I’m currently left in an overall state of confusion. On paper, the Manta Ray sounds like everything I could ever possibly want in a sex toy. In practice though, it infuriates the hell out of me…
… and yet, I somehow still find myself going back for more. And i’m having such a hard time trying to explain why. I will do my best to explain what is going on here, but be warned. We might be in for a bumpy ride. So strap yourselves in and hold on tight.
This isn’t our first dealing with IMTOY. We reviewed the PIU 2 years ago, and sadly I was left thoroughly underwhelmed. Even after the app was sorted out, the PIU just didn’t feel good, and I never wanted to use it again. So I will be honest, and say that when I found out they were releasing a new line of toys, I was completely dubious. Yes, I know it’s wrong to make snap judgements, but we all do it. Yet I was prepared to go into this review with an open mind, in the hopes that I would be pleasantly surprised.
The ZOO collection by IMTOY is a set of unique vibrating toys that are all named after animals. A dollar from the sale of each product goes to Endangered Wildlife Trust (which is sort of kinda cool, actually). There are 6 different toys in the range; the Gazelle (looks like a mini wand with a horned cap), the Giraffe (a typical g-spot vibe), the Whale (a ‘couples’ toy that looks similar to the WeVibe sync), the Rhino (classic rabbit), the Dolphin (similar to the Whale) and lastly… the Manta Ray.
When it arrived, my initial hesitation gave way to a sense of excitement, and I couldn’t wait to give it a try.. so let’s try and make sense of everything and get on with the review…
The Manta Ray Vibrating Stroker was sent to me free of charge in exchange for an honest review by IMTOY.
The Manta Ray definitely wins an award for one of the most beautiful packages i’ve seen on a sex toy in a very long time. The toy is packaged in a solid outer box in a muted grey colour. Pull on the little black tab at the bottom of the box, and out slides a little pastel peach drawer. Inside, it starts to feel like an expensive box of chocolates, with white translucent paper hiding the contents inside. As you open the flaps, you are greeted with another flap of cardboard, printed with motifs of the Zoo collection, and as you lift that up, there you will find the Manta Ray, it’s charging cable and the instruction manual. It’s a little bit of effort, but it’s a wonderfully put together package.
Inside, the Manta Ray looks like just a big slab of pink silicone. And in essence, that is really what it is. At this point, it’s hard to imagine how this becomes a cock-teasing device. In my hand, it looked less like a manta ray, and more like… well, a fillet of salmon. The silicone is very soft, and very flexible though and does feel quite nice in the hand.
Embedded in the centre of the silicone is the motor, which is USB rechargeable. A 2 hour charge should give around 45 minutes of playtime. It’s waterproof, allowing for easy clean-up and shower-time fun. It boasts 16 modes of vibration, and can be controlled via an app on your iOS or android device. That’s enough of an introduction; lets get on to the important stuff – how did it feel?
I chose a sunny wednesday afternoon as being the first time I would try out the Manta Ray. The MR was working and I had very little to do around the house. I stole away to the bedroom, stuck some porn on the TV and got comfortable. I laid the Manta Ray and a bottle of Sliquid next to me, and got myself relaxed. As the action on screen heated up, I reached for the stroker, and carefully applied a small amount to the dimpled surface. Then I gently wrapped the soft, squishy silicone around my shaft.
I started out just by stroking slowly, just so I could get used to the feel of the material. The silicone was definitely soft and felt… nice. It wasn’t an overwhelming sensation, but it was what I had come to expect from a masturbation device. At this point, I did note that it was somewhat awkward to hold, and I couldn’t seem to get it to hold on to me tightly. It sort of just… flopped about a bit. I had tried my best to keep lube from getting on the outside of the sleeve, but it’s an inevitability. When it does finally happen, the Manta Ray becomes impossible to hold. It’s just too slippery and wibbly. Yeah, I said it; wibbly.
I’m not one to be deterred, so I carefully cleaned up some of the excess lube and started again, this time adding the vibrations to the mix. There are 4 constant settings and then a series of 12 patterns. When turned on, the vibrations are initially underwhelming. They are very high pitched and shallow, meaning it doesn’t penetrate through the silicone as well as I would have liked. On the plus side, the whole spine of the toy vibrates, and you can feel the vibrations through that part. But it doesn’t travel through the rest of the sleeve, which would have been nice.
Still, with the Manta Ray on it’s highest speed, it did manage to coax an orgasm from me. But it certainly took a lot longer than say, using the PULSE or similar. But it did happen. And isn’t that really all I want my strokers to do? So surely that’s a win, right? Well, let’s keep going and we’ll pass our judgement on it a bit later. But at that moment in time, I was sort of unimpressed. But an hour later, I found myself wanting to go again. I went through the same rigmarole as before, and I got frustrated with it’s floppiness and threw it across the room at one point. But perseverance paid off and once again, it made me come.
I decided I needed to throw this one over to the MR to get his opinion, because I was definitely caught between a ‘love and hate’ situation. After watching him wrestle with it for about 10 minutes, he threw it down on the bed and said ‘Nah. Not for me’. From what I could see, the vibrations were working OK for him, but he was struggling to keep the sleeve wrapped around his shaft. In all fairness, he is slightly girthier than I, so that combined with the thick silicone is probably a recipe for a bad time. We tried holding it in position with 2 hands (both mine and then his) and we both agreed it was just awkward, especially once lube gets on the outside of the sleeve.
Now, as far as I know, there isn’t really a ‘right way’ or a ‘wrong way’ to masturbate with this, you do what you need to do for it to feel good. But I did have another play (or three) with it to see if I can find a way to use it that would be less frustrating. And I am sort of proud to say that Yes! I did find a way. I had some old adjustable velcro ties lying around, and I wondered whether I could use those to hold the sleeve closed into a tube, making it easier for me to grip and stroke with. It took a fair bit of adjusting, but eventually, the ties were in place, and they were holding together the Manta Ray in a fleshy tube shape.
This time, with a good coating of lube on the inside, I was able to stroke away with much less effort. I wasn’t concerned about the Manta Ray unfolding, flopping and losing contact with my shaft. There was no worry of lube creating a slippery surface on the outside. All of that was gone, and I was able to stroke myself to a couple of pretty decent orgasms. But that just highlights my biggest problem with the Manta Ray. It’s just too floppy. It’s honestly struggle trying to keep enough of the toy in contact with the shaft for it to feel good, and I just feel the dimpled texture is just too… soft.
The APP that you can use with all the ZOO Vibrators seemed to work fairly well. You can control the vibrations from there, which is slightly easier than trying to do it on the toy mid-wank. You can ‘draw’ your own vibration pattern, but it’s not very imaginative. You can make the vibrator react through voice and sound, which is an interesting feature, and I would dare say that were the vibrations stronger, then this would probably have been my favourite feature. Imagine giving a hand job and dirty talking at the same time? To the music, I could just feel it reacting to the volume, rather than any specific beat, so again, it’s a little hit and miss.
Clean-up and Maintenance
The Manta Ray is completely waterproof, so you can rinse the whole thing under the tap for fast and efficient clean up. The silicone can feel a little ‘tacky’ (it sort of feels like the VixSkin silicone), but I gave it a little dusting of some cornflour and it was suddenly transformed into a silky delight which seemed to repel pug hair. Prior to the dusting, it was definitely attracting dust and hairs, so this is something that will need some sort of bag to store it in. It’s a real shame one wasn’t included, especially after all the effort they have gone into making it an attractive package.
I have to confess. I am really concerned none of this review makes sense. I’ve been writing it for almost 2 weeks now, and I have been delirious with flu and goodness knows what else. So i’m hoping that you can understand what i’ve waffled on about, but i’ll try and be concise here.
For the most part, when I can get it all together, the Manta Ray does feel quite pleasant. The silicone has a good amount of squish to it, so it doesn’t feel too rough. There’s a good array of speeds and vibrations (even if they are a little on the lacklustre side, for my taste). And yes! It’s a silicone masturbator! I mean, I’m all for as many silicone wank toys as I can find (providing you are not a complete douche when you try to market one).
For me, my biggest issue was the fact that it is just so floppy, that trying to keep hold of it whilst stroking was just sometimes a bit awkward; and for a fuss-free session I (Ironically) had to make a lot of fuss and macgyver the sleeve with some velcro. Which is not ideal, nor something everyone is able to do. What would have been awesome, was if there was some sort of ‘skeleton’ inside the silicone, that allows you to ‘pose’ the Manta Ray into the shape you require? In a similar way to how MAIA did with their ‘ray’ stroker (but with the added benefit here of the silicone being much softer and much more pleasant to stroke with).
Maybe over time, I will grow to truly appreciate the Manta Ray; but right now, I have other vibrating masturbators that leave me feeling more satisfied (and they don’t require an engineering degree to use).
Where to Buy
You can order your Manta Ray direct from IMTOY. It currently retails for $99.99 (£78 as of 15.6.2017).
I would like to thank IMTOY for providing us with the Manta Ray free of charge, in exchange for an honest and impartial review. This does not affect our experiences or opinions of this or any other product we receive for review. Affiliate links have not been used in this post.
The Lowdown | IMTOY Zoo Manta Ray Vibrating Stroker
Pros: Silicone (yay!), open-faced (allowing for most penises to use it), app-controlled (for varied fun).
Cons: Silicone is very floppy and can be awkward to wield, vibrations are quite shallow and high-pitched.
Bottom Line: I don’t believe IMTOY have crafted a truly terrible toy here. I think the concept is great, and it will have it’s fans. It just feels like it’s not quite finished, and a few improvements here and there could turn this into a truly incredible toy.