Already a collectable in the US and billed as the ‘ultimate unboxing toy,’ the L.O.L Surprise! has landed in the UK and we got a sneak preview.
L.O.L Surprise! – a doll and more
It’s like a very souped up round Kinder egg: bigger, more layers, more surprises and generally a lot more going on. My initial thought was that it was too gimmicky and wouldn’t hold the interest of my daughters for more than a few minutes. I was wrong.
It was actual fever pitch excitement as all three girls dived in and systematically unravelled the layers of the ball. The first layer simply contained a secret message, but this gave a clue to which doll was going to be the ultimate surprise. The humble bit of paper completely tapped into their love of all things mystery and secret agent (they are currently obsessed with Barbie Spy Squad).
Layer two was emoji stickers. Next up was a baby bottle, then a pair of shoes, an outfit and then an accessory in layer six. Each of these were contained within little compartments; again all secretive and mysterious, which they loved. The final layer was the 3-inch doll itself. We got Cheer Captain. There are 45 to collect and certain ones are much rarer than others. ‘Cute’ was a word that was used to describe the doll and the whole package again and again by the girls, and the unwrapping was ‘awesome.’
There’s actually quite a bit of functionality and the L.O.L Surprise! crosses into Transformers territory as the ball can serve as a bathtub, doll stand and a ‘hangout.’ The whole thing can then convert into a purse/handbag as it also comes with an attachable handle. The only grumble here was that the table for the hangout was quite fiddly to install.
If you feed the doll you’ll find out which one of the bonus features it has… it might cry, spit or wee! If you give it a bath, it might even be one of the special dolls that changes colour.
The press release says it’s for children aged three and up, but I’d say it would be more suitable for five and up. My eight year old was very engaged and loved not only playing with it and using it as a handbag, but also the prospect of collecting and swapping with friends. Collecting and swapping is all the rage at her junior school at the moment with Pokemon trading cards.
Whilst I think an RRP of £7.99 represents good value as a standalone product, I can imagine that it could get rather expensive (and disappointing) if you ended up with a large number of duplicates. This is also Series 1 so I imagine there’ll be another drop in the not too distant future.
Verdict: Big hit with all three girls (ages 5-8 years) and they have already asked if they can use their pocket money to buy more. Sofia said that she can imagine her friends collecting them.
- Available now from The Entertainer, Argos, Asda, Smyths and Toys R US and other retailers.