- Cindy Ord/Getty
- LOL Surprise dolls have become the hottest toy this holiday season, earning a spot on multiple best-seller lists.
- “LOL is the biggest thing that we have ever done,” says Isaac Larian, CEO of MGA Entertainment, the company that makes the dolls.
- Much of the draw is due to the mystery – kids don’t know which doll they’re going to get until they unbox it.
- This has led to a proliferation of YouTube videos showing the dolls being unboxed.
The hottest toy this holiday? There’s only one word shoppers need to know: LOL.
LOL Surprise, a brand of dolls with a somewhat bizarre name, has risen to the top of the pile to become the hottest-selling toy of the season.
It was a top seller at multiple stores over the shopping holiday, including at Target and Amazon. It was also an online best seller for the entire five-day Thanksgiving weekend, including Cyber Monday and Black Friday, according to Adobe Analytics.
LOL Surprise dolls were a top seller last year, but they were nowhere near as dominant then as they are this year.
“LOL is the biggest thing that we have ever done,” Isaac Larian, CEO of MGA Entertainment, which makes the dolls, told Business Insider in an interview in November. “It’s the cuteness, it’s the mystery, all the attention to detail that we put in the product … the combination of all of this has made this a major phenomenon.”
MGA has sold more than $4 billion of the dolls worldwide so far, up dramatically from the total of $600 million it had sold as of last year, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. LOL Surprise now accounts for seven of the top 10 toys in the United States, according to NPD, and it was the top toy in October.
- Getty/Jack Taylor
LOL Surprise stands for Little Outrageous Little Surprise – words that would also describe the toy’s meteoric rise.
The appeal of the toy is in its surprise factor, since nobody knows what’s inside each capsule until they buy and open it. The packs come with the collectible dolls as well as accessories or new clothes for them.
That mystery factor has led to a huge proliferation of unboxing videos, fueled by the fact that each box contains a multitude of surprises to unwrap. Larian described LOL Surprise as “the ultimate unboxing toy” in an interview with the Inquirer.
“This started with adults buying iPhones and unboxing it and putting a video on YouTube and then the kids followed,” Larian said to Business Insider.
Hundreds of videos on YouTube show customers – from professional and amateur toy reviewers as well as everyone else – unboxing the toys. Some videos have garnered more than a million views.
Larian attributes LOL’s success to the attention to detail MGA has given its product, which drives kids’ urge to unbox and discover.
“You cannot put garbage in a box. People think that you can put anything in the closed box and kids will buy it,” he said.
“Kids are very smart. They’re looking for uniqueness, they’re looking for detail, they’re looking for cuteness.”