Kelly is a mom to a 4-year-old girl who loves novelty toys, from L.O.L. Surprise! Dolls to Darth Vader and everything in between.
1. They Are Addicting
It all started with my daughter asking me, "Can I have an Ellie-Elle doll some day?" She was pleading with those big, pitiful, blue eyes of hers. It took some troubleshooting with my 4-year-old; but finally, after a long conversation, I realized "Ellie Elle" meant L.O.L. doll. Apparently, her best friend at preschool had informed her of her own "amazing" L.O.L. collection, and now, she felt the urge to keep up.
I've heard of these mysterious dolls and my mind went to my memory of those wrapped balls I've passed along the toy aisles of my favorite store. For the longest time, I assumed they were bath bombs with a toy inside. "Waste of money," I thought to myself, while I perused the other, and far more interesting toy collections.
And then it happened—after hearing my daughter's childish plea for such a simple toy, I melted inside a little. And now, within a matter of a just few weeks, we have found ourselves surrounded with empty plastic balls (what do people do with these, anyway?) and a tiny plastic collection of big-headed, tiny-bodied, glitter-covered, water-drinking, crying, and peeing dolls.
In addition to the dolls, there is a peeing dog with its own sandbox and pooper scooper to boot. My daughter has now informed me that she needs the entire L.O.L. doll collection for Christmas. Now, what did I get myself into?
2. They Are Infuriating
From their tiny shoes to their microscopic bracelets (which require a magnifying glass to place on their chunky little wrists), the word that best comes to mind is infuriating. God forbid, a crucial accessory becomes lost and we all have to stop what we're doing to find it. In the meantime, yet another doll has lost its fashionable, glitter-covered headband, only to be found stuck to the bottom of a bare foot. Sometimes, I sense their sparkly little eyes judging me while I'm kneeling on my hands and knees, searching for yet another missing piece to their teeny tiny outfit.
And then, let’s talk about these dolls' fashion choices. First, we all know they can all drink and pee, now add that to tiny outfits that show off everything, and you have adults losing their mind over inappropriate toys and grandmothers feverishly sewing tiny underwear for these risque dolls.
3. They Shed Glitter Everywhere
"Glitter pox" is my family-friendly version of a more popular and vulgar term commonly used in the crafting world to describe the contagious nature of glitter. If such a page existed in the dictionary for "glitter pox", the L.O.L. Surprise! Glitter Glam collection would be front and center.
Surely, these little dolls are decorated in glitter from a factory that is run by Guy Diamond himself. You'll find glitter on your hands, glitter on the floor, glitter on just about anywhere but the doll itself within a few days. A must for these dolls is Mod Podge. A thin coat of Mod Podge goes a long way in the prevention of glitter pPox growing to epidemic proportions. It also keeps your child happy because no one needs a child crying over a doll losing its glam.
4. They Break the Bank
I'm not quite sure how the makers of these dolls came up with the cost. I'm guessing it was the difficulty of finding toy-makers with tiny enough hands to make itty bitty clothes and paint them with the tiniest of brushes.
I'm fairly certain my daughter would be just as happy if she received 3 dolls in a clear and very to easy open package. Actually, she'd be happy with no package at all. At nearly $10 for a crazily wrapped, plastic-encased, accessory wrapped ball, it is literally a money pit. Given that these dolls drink, spit and pee water, they quickly become expensive bathtub toys that grow mold and need to be disposed of in a matter of a few months.
5. They Get Sand Everywhere
The L.O.L. Surprise! pets come with their own sand/litter box and pooper scooper. I guess I should be glad these pets don’t literally poop (unless of course, your child feeds them chocolate pudding). The sand was entertaining at first, as it changes colors in the sunlight. But now half the sand is on the carpet and the other half mixed with dog fur, carpet fuzz, and other unidentified objects. All I can say is good luck if you find yourself with more than one of these pets.
6. You Have to Buy Accessories for the Accessories
Once you think you’ve spent enough money on L.O.L. dolls, think again. With microscopic accessories, comes great responsibility. if you’ve read this entire article and still plan on buying a child these dolls, a tackle box is a must. From glittery boots, itty-bitty bracelets, headbands that don’t stay on, over-sized drink bottles, and heads that randomly fall off, you’re going to want to organize all of it.
8. They Are Environmentally Unfriendly
Everyone knows how terrible these things are for the environment. With the umpteen layers of plastic surrounding a hard plastic ball that is basically useless, one wonders what the creator was thinking. I’m sure he’s laughing at this comment right now in his multi-million dollar home.
Anyway, to my knowledge, the balls aren't recyclable other than reinventing a use for them. There's also no locking mechanism, so I wouldn’t dare store a doll and its accessories knowing that once it hits the floor, it explodes similar to a grenade filled with glitter and doll accessories.
7. Their Heads Fall Off
For whatever reason, we own one doll in particular whose head is always falling off. It's not loose, but every now and then there will be a "pop" and off her head goes. We find it more hilarious than frustrating; however, for some children, it may be a frustrating defect than a source of entertainment. On a positive note, instead of exchanging dolls outfits, you can always just pop their heads off and put them on a new body.
9. They Lack Creativity
My daughter’s first dolls were ones with short skirts and fancy shoes (you know, those shoes that mom never wears). So, according to my daughter, she labels them as a singer and a ballerina, respectively. For her third doll, she was quite excited to unwrap a doll with athletic socks, tennis shoes, and a neon athletic outfit with the hopes of an aspiring basketball player. Only to find yet another drink bottle with an uncanny appearance of a milk carton.
My daughter keeps asking me where her basketball is so she can shoot some hoops. I think the creators could stretch their imagination a little here. My daughter also keeps asking me for a boy doll, which I believe is harder to find than a winning Powerball ticket. At least we have a Hobby Lobby to depend on for miniature knick-knacks and more accessories. Why else wouldn’t we want to spend even more money on these dolls?
10. You End Up With Duplicates
With a name like L.O.L. Surprise!, you can already guess the dilemma here. Believe me, a child is not surprised when they get a repeat doll. Even if it has a brand spanking new case of the glitter pox. Apparently, there are websites dedicated to the trading of such dolls, an adventure I would rather avoid. The thought of getting someone else's bathtub toy with germs far more contagious than a case of the glitter pox creeps me out.
Currently, my daughter wants to give away her duplicate dolls to her friends, which I feel is a kind-hearted thing to do. An alternative to giving away expensive plastic toys is to search deep and discover your artistic talents. Apparently, a little acrylic paint can turn a duplicate L.O.L. into a sister doll you never knew existed. Good luck to all of you who decide to venture into the world of L.O.L. Surprise! dolls; but remember, you have been warned.
© 2018 Kelly Wagner
Beth on August 12, 2020:
Maybe teach your kids herpes isnt a bad word before you worry about their toy use lmao
puppy on February 08, 2020:
I love my LOL boy his name is dribbles but I renamed it Jaxon, I can't find his sister Rip tide because I think I sold her.
kardo on January 09, 2020:
Good news! There is a company called Terracycle that recycles the plastic packaging and containers. You sign up on their website and ship it to them for free!
Shannon on May 18, 2019:
Ive bin buying alot of second hand dolls, and outfits etc,, some new ones to but not to many :) im also not overly fussed about repainting either
Karol on May 10, 2019:
Tell me about it. Here in Puerto Rico they are expensive. $15.99 to $25.00 crazy prices. And my daughter loves them
Poppy from Enoshima, Japan on November 15, 2018:
Your article had me laughing! I can imagine how much you despise these little dolls, even though they are quite cute. One day your daughter will look back on these dolls with fond memories, which is nice even though your memories will be picking up glitter and trying to find the accessories.