I have always been a big kid and enjoyed buying and collecting toys. From Lego, to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Micro Machines and my personal favourite, Transformers. I have always been intrigued by the design and “play-ability” of each toy. So when it comes to Cara, I probably enjoy buying and playing with her toys just as much as she does. Move over Paw Patrol, it’s LOL Surprise! time.
What the heck is LOL Surprise!?
Being an only child, I am always minded not to spoil Cara rotten to ensure she appreciates the gifts and rewards she earns. She has always been a great daughter and will happily walk out of a toy shop empty handed. However, it is difficult when she looks up at me with those big eyes and mutters in her sweet voice, “Can I have this one?”. The response of “No” is usually said with a heavy heart.
One day after being dropped off by the childminder, Cara mentioned that she wanted a LOL doll. Not knowing what she meant, it was a quick Google to understand what she wanted. Now, I cannot escape the world that is LOL Surprise!
If you have never heard of LOL Surprise!, it’s most likely you have a son rather than daughter. In brief, it’s a doll (either a girl, little baby or pet) that is stored in a ball with numerous accessories and wrapped in layer upon layer of plastic. With the current environmental focus on reducing plastic, it’s crazy that such a toy has a minimum of 3 layers of plastic to unwrap before getting to the toy.
The surprise element is that you don’t know which doll or accessories you will get until you unwrap and open everything. Accessories include clothes, sunglasses, water bottles and jewellery. The dolls are all different. Some change colour if you put them in cold or warm water, while some cry, spit or wee if you put water in them.
Extras and add-ons
Like all toy fads, it’s all about selling as many add-ons as possible to maximise profits before the next fad comes out. In addition to the LOL Surprise! balls, there’s duvet covers (which Cara owns one), scooters, sticker books, extra accessories and houses to store the dolls. With the cost of LOL Surprise! toys ranging from £5.99 to £10.99, and larger balls with many more accessories going up to £59.99, it is not the cheapest of toys.
Cara currently has 3 dolls, although she has somehow mis-placed the pet version. She does have a lot of fun with the remaining two girls. She has totalled many hours of role-playing with them, dressing them up and taking them into the bath. So price-per-hour for each doll, it doesn’t work out to be too bad.
I am not 100% sure how many dolls there are, but there must be over a hundred. I read online that one parent had spent over £800 trying to collect just ONE series of the dolls, which is insane. Cara doesn’t ask for all of them and is more than happy to play with the ones she currently owns, or happy watching other people play with them on YouTube. That, my wallet and I are thankful for.
Although they’re not the cheapest, they do go on sale when the likes of Smyths or Argos have their sales. As I type, Argos has a 3 for 2 sale which includes some LOL Surprise! toys, and Smyths had a £10 off for every £50 spent offer last week. So, if you do buy some, my advice is to wait for these types of sale, then bulk buy. I recently took advantage of the Smyths sale and picked up a few, which then meant I received one for free after spending £50. These will be slowly drip fed to Cara. In the meantime, I will continue to be her role-playing partner and enjoy LOL Surprise! with her.
Is your child a LOL Surprise! collector? Do you have a favourite character? Share them with Cara in the comments below.