Go Thin or Bust 

How Berkeley's Mayer Laboratories won the battle of the thin condoms.

Page 5 of 5

But Kimono keeps soldiering on with innovations of its own. The company sells a girly change purse designed to hold a stash of condoms that it calls the "Kimono Kouture Bag." And last year the company began decorating its condom boxes with animals culled from Japanese myth: The Phoenix that adorns Kimono Thin packages is said to symbolize "the union of the Yin and the Yang." The ram on Kimono Maxx is "powerful, yet graceful." Kimono's textured condom, the tiger, is "daring, vigorous and passionate." There's a painterly quality to these images, suggesting that perhaps Mayer Laboratories has a backroom staff that hand-draws each package with bamboo pens and Sakuyo paintbrushes. Granted, Mayer wasn't the first condom-maker to use animal imagery. The Intellx Dolphin, a condom with a cute mammalian snout, came out in a few months ago and is now on the shelves of CVS drugstores nationwide. "It's one of their hot new items," said Osterberg, who said his company has several other new shapes forthcoming — including a bell, a baseball bat, and a condom that looks like a beer glass.

Video Extra: Express Labs Tests Condom Breakage. Which condom will come out on top in our controlled bathtub testing? Watch our video and see.

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