The popularity of surprise toys, the ones that have kids tearing through layers of packaging to uncover the coveted thing inside, shows no sign of waning. And the linchpin of that particular cottage industry is the phenomenon known as L.O.L. Surprise! dolls. L.O.L. Surprise toys come in many forms, be it cars or winter chalets or houses, but by and large, the most popular ones are the titular dolls.
This isn’t a happy (or unhappy, whatever your take might be) accident. Dr. Richard Freed, a child and adolescent psychologist and the author of Wired Child: Reclaiming Childhood in a Digital Age, told the New York Times that “the unboxing trend capitalizes on the anticipation humans have when they want something. It’s not as much about the reward as it is the excitement of the reward that can trigger the dopamine.”
In other words, the dolls themselves are a means to an end. It’s the excitement of unboxing them that gets kids worked up. And here’s a little primer for those who have somehow snoozed through the madness: The L.O.L. toy comes wrapped in plastic and sometimes paper. Kids open it to see more wrapped bags, all of which contain surprises, ranging from miniature pets to tiaras to hat boxes. The good news, for those of us who aren’t exactly LOLing about all that plastic waste that accompanies these toys: MGA Entertainment, which makes the dolls, is working on biodegradable packaging.
There’s a ton of these dolls on the market, and more are released every season. So pick the ones that resonate with your kids. One thing to note: Because each package has a slew of small pieces like shoes and handbags, these dolls are best for kids 6 and up.
Now here's what we'd call a proper clubhouse. It comes with an L.O.L. Surprise doll and a Boy doll. It's three feet wide and has so many areas to hang out: A game room, a movie room, a stargazing room, a kitchen, a patio, and even a skateboard zone.
The opposite of Sweets is Spicy Babe. Again with those names! At any rate, each package comes with a removable piece that is half of a heart. Meaning with this one, you get half a Sweet heart. And you know you want the Spicy Babe half as well.
Candylicous is back. Hey, we didn't choose the name. She comes equipped with earrings, a shoulder bag, a magazine, her dressing room, and of course, a brush for her multi-colored hair. The set also includes her little sister and naturally, a pet rabbit.
New for 2021, these dolls are the big sisters to LOL Surprise dolls. There are four in total, and each fashion doll has unique dances move. The black lights illuminate the surprises.
This 11 inch surprise doll is clad in a jacket, short and bodysuit. And kids get everything they need to shoot their own unboxing videos, if you're inclined to let them: a doll-size table, chair and backdrop.
What's the opposite of spicy? Sweet, of course. Hence, this doll comes with a removable piece that is half of a heart. Kids get the other half from her sweet counterpart.
This surprise doll comes with her own black light, which reveals additional glowing surprises. When you pull the tab, the doll actually dances.
What, you thought these dolls lived in a 7th floor walkup? Please. This three foot tall house has six rooms, including a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, living room, patio and fashion closet. Plus a pool, hot tub, and elevator. Of course it does.
This doll with the fierce hair comes with 25 surprises. Her hands are removable for easy dressing and the package becomes a reusable playset with a dressing room and chill out area. There's even an ultra-rare snow surprise.
This little gal comes packed with eight, yes eight, surprises. Each doll's look is inspired by a star sign, so hopefully, you'll get one that correspond's astrologically to your child.
It's L.O.L. magic for the wrist. This watch has a selfie camera, voice recorder, numerous games, a pedometer, plus an alarm, stopwatch, and calculator.
Lights! Camera! Fashion! Speedster is the big sister to fan favorite Drag Racer. And get this: Her hands are removable for easy dressing and outfit changes. When you shine the included black light on Speedster, you see more surprises.
Not only does this set include a fashion doll and her sibling. But there are also 25 surprises: Clothes, garment bags, shoes, shoebox, accessories, a hat box, a purse, a hair brush, doll stand and reusable package playset.
One of this year's hottest toys, this set includes four, count 'em four, dolls: Fame Queen on keyboard synthesizer, Ferocious on base, Bhad Gurl on drums, and Metal Chick on the double guitar. And the instruments really work, with each playing six different sounds.
A palace fit for royals. This one has six rooms and three stories, anmd looks like a chalet you'd find at a mountain resort. It includes a living room, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, dressing room and patio. And it spins around for 360 degree play. It lights up and naturally, there's a hot tub, an ice skating rink that you can really fill with ice, and a working ski lift.
Lest the two in one glamper wasn't good enough, here's the upgraded version. It has a car, a house, a fashion runway, and a light-up pool. It comes with 55 surprises, including fashion dolls and surprise dolls, and includes bunk beds, a water slide, a makeover station, a barbecue patio, and a DJ booth.
This doll, the class president, comes with 20 surprises. Her hands are removable for easy dressing. The set includes shoes, a shoebox, a hat box, a purse, a hair brush, garment bags, and a doll stand.
This fancy set includes the Sprinkles doll and her pet, Sprin-claws. When you bathe the doll, she changes colors. The set includes party gear, including a banner, a game, and an invitation.
Sometimes, bigger is better. Such is the case with set, which has a whopping 60 surprises. Kids get one L.O.L. Surprise! O.M.G. Outrageous doll, along with a boy doll, a little sister, and a pet, along with their fashion accessories.
Aspiring stylists will dig this thing. It comes with 30 surprises, including 15 hair accessories and 14 hair pieces. Kids can give her a variety of looks, or add hair to only one side for an updo.
The Fuzzy Pets are inside a shampoo container, and the set includes seven surprises: a magic mirror, a secret message, a bottle, a scooper, an outfit, a fashion accessory and of course, the Fuzzy Pet itself.
Every product on Fatherly is independently selected by our editors, writers, and experts. If you click a link on our site and buy something, we may earn an affiliate commission.