This crop is made well enough to withstand fairly 'vanilla' use, like a lightweight spanking over a knee before sex, but if you're looking to spank someone regularly for hours at a time, this really isn't going to stand up to that.
The good thing about the lower quality is that it's inexpensive, and you don't have to feel bad if you toss it because you don't like it. If it turns out that you and your partner really don't WANT to hit each other with crops, you're down less than $10.
This materials listed are as follows: ABS plastic stick, poly vinyl chloride, and polyester.
Because it doesn't contain real leather, this is totally vegan friendly. It also means that you don't have to worry about treating and moisturizing it like you do leather, and it still feels pretty realistic.
The fabric, or 'leather,' is pretty flexible. You can easily push down on the top to pop open the loop. The plastic is not very flexible at all, which allows you to put a fair amount of force behind the crop if you so wish.
The crop is entirely 12.5 inches long, or just over a foot. The business end is about 2.5 inches long, and the rest is all handle. The small size actually makes this great for traveling. If you don't want to pack your hardcore gear, or don't want to risk your spikey dom paddle getting taken by the TSA, this would be an okay alternative.
While it is pretty well put together, there are a few loose threads. They don't appear to be unraveling, but are more like the manufacturer didn't take much care to snip the threads when they tied it off from the sewing machine.
The flogger loop:
The tip VS a pen:
And the handle:
If you're really into either sadism or masochism, this isn't going to be for you. It's not the best at really hurting, even though you can put a bit of force behind it. If you're in it for the noise, this does make a nice 'thwack' sound.
Because it's not very painful, this is a good product for newbies. If you are worried about hitting or being hit too hard, it's almost impossible to do with this little thing. The noise also is a plus for people just getting into it, because it would be a good way to lightly add to a fantasy.
While this does leave red marks, they go away in about 20 minutes. The red marks left are small squares that are the same shape as the crop tip. While you can hit with the side of the crop, it's more painful and can scratch the skin. It also doesn't make the nice noise if you hit it like that.
No matter how much force you put behind this, by the time you finish whacking one part of someones rump, your first marks will begin to fade. If you get off at seeing your partner's skin all red and puffy from your lashes for a while, this is not going to do that.
There is little application for this product other than light spanking. The packaging implies that it can be used to tickle your partner as well, but fingers are just about as effective as this. There is actually a feather duster in this line that would work well if you want to add tickling into your BDSM routine.
When it comes to caring for this toy, the main thing to keep in mind is to avoid getting it wet. While it is not made of leather, the material won't look nice after getting dirty. While you can spot clean the material, the inside especially isn't meant to get too dirty. When spot cleaning, just soap and water work well, but you could use a toy wipe.
If you get the plastic handle dirty you can wipe it off in any way you want. As long as you take care not to get the business end wet, the plastic is easy to care for. This is especially important in case the handle gets lube or bodily fluids on it from your hands, because you can just wipe it off without worry.
The small size makes this product easy to store just about anywhere. While it's not suitable for a handbag, there are few BDSM supplies that are more portable. Be it in an over-nighter, a suitcase, or a carry on, this is a great size for travel. It should be kept in a cool, dark place.
The packing of this toy is very minimal. It comes attached to a cardboard cutout with plastic ties. Scissors are not needed to remove the plastic bindings, and they can just be pulled off. Because of the nature of the packaging, it can not be re-put onto the packaging.
The front of the package is all monochrome. It has gray swirls that almost look like silk sheets in the background, and it states the name of the line and that it is a riding crop. It also has a QR style barcode on the front.
On the back is a short blurb selling the toy, and three 'scenarios' that are suggestions for use. They all assume that you don't have the riding crop, but rather have a product called the 'whip and tickle' that has a feathery end. Because of that, they do not really apply to this toy.
This is not good for storage, because the toy can not be fastened to the cardboard once it has been taken off. It would be all right to give as a gift, but it may be better to be taken off of the cardboard and included loose in a gift basket. There were no instructions.
Here's the front:
And the back:
Because I am not super into the BDSM scene, this was my first toy of this nature. It was a great size for a first crop-type toy, and I really liked how lightweight and portable it is. It's certainly 'dorm sized' if you have to keep your collection hidden away in a small closet.
I also really liked that, while this makes a great noise, it's not going to bruise or give anyone welts. It's an awesome design for people who don't quite know how much force to put behind a toy and play around with it. It also doesn't leave marks that will get you raised eyebrows the next day.
In conclusion, this is a great toy for people who are super beginners. It's not going to please anyone who's looking to upgrade from anything other than a silk sash and a feather tickler. It's also a product that will quickly be outgrown if you find you're into sadism/masochism, but $9 for a 'gateway' toy is a pretty good deal.
In all, I am giving this toy 4 stars. While it is a good product and is well made, and it is a great introductory toy, those already in the scene will find it pretty much useless.