If you have a 7-or-8-year old girl in your family, chances are you know she is obsessed with a toy called LOL Surprise! This pre-tween sensation is a plastic ball wrapped in plastic wrapping full of even more tiny pieces of plastic, wrapped in more plastic with a tiny plastic “toddler” doll who looks as if she may spend equal amounts of time tricking on the corner and potty training.
This toy has become popular due in part to “unboxing videos” on YouTube, which, again, if you have a young child, you also know they spend a ridiculous amount of time watching other children on YouTube opening toys on camera. Like they would rather watch this than cartoons. How exciting (insert major eye roll)!
As a child, I never even wanted to stick around to watch my friends open their presents at the end of their birthday parties. I can’t imagine wanting to watch a video of just a kid sitting at a table opening toys. And as an adult, I want to stab myself in the eyes with an icepick to see if I can possibly un-numb my mind after viewing these videos.
But the kids love it and spend hours watching it. And these little “stars” are raking in the dough for peddling these products, some are even millionaires at the ripe old age of 6. (Yes, millionaires at 6 — for opening toys! Please take a moment to ponder your own career choices and why life in America makes no sense sometimes, then go throw up and return to reading this column.)
The manufacturers of LOL, MGA Entertainment (also responsible for the equally scantily-clad Bratz dolls girls longed for in the early 2000s), are obviously making even more money than the kids, as they cash in on this “unboxing” phenomenon.
And my 7-year-old daughter helped make them even richer this Christmas by asking for numerous different LOL products from Santa. And, of course, Santa obliged because despite his hatred of these toys, he wanted to see her little face light up in wonder and joy on Christmas morning.
But I can tell you, without question, there is a special place in hell for the makers of LOL.
How do I hate these products? Let me count the ways!
The amount of plastic garbage that accumulates as she opens each “surprise” is embarrassingly voluminous. I try to be a pretty good environmental steward, but I could certainly be more proactive than I am, and these products make me want to start hugging trees and planning my Earth Day activities right now.
Possibly worse than the whopping amount of waste created from just the wrapping is what’s inside. Each “surprise,” you see, depending on its size and, of course, cost, promises a number of things to unwrap. These “surprises” are tiny little clothes and accessories that are smaller than dimes, which, of course, end up all over the place, usually the floor.
Surprise, Mom! You are going to spend all day picking this crap up from every surface in the house! And then of course throwing it away because they don’t really care about anything except the prosti-tot doll, so her small plastic crop top with plunging neckline and/or coffee cup will inevitably end up in a landfill or choking a turtle.
In addition to killing turtles, their “fashion sense” can best be described as Jersey Shore Saturday night dance club attire meets Moulin Rouge performer. Especially on the bigger dolls, which are know as the “OMG Fashion Dolls.”
Now, please don’t get me wrong. I am all for dolls coming in different shapes, sizes and colors. Not everyone is an ivory-skinned, blonde Barbie with a tiny waist wearing an evening gown. But, I’m quite certain any girl still living under her parents’ roof would be grounded until she was 40 if she attempted to wear any of the LOL outfits in public. And they quite possibly could be arrested for indecent exposure.
Our daughter, Ellen, temporarily lost one of her under-clothed plastic gal pals the day after Christmas and asked my husband, Frank, for help finding her. I said, “You may want to try one of the seedy motels on the Beltline.”
I am sure you are thinking, “Well, why would you let your daughter play with these if you think they are so inappropriate? What a horrible mother!”
You are probably right, and I would feel bad about this, but all of Ellen’s Barbies, LOLs or dolls of any make, model or fashion choice always end up totally nude sooner rather than later anyway, so does it really matter if they come in a teddy and fishnets or an ankle-length flannel nightgown and chastity belt? I’m going with no.
But the biggest “surprise” of all from the LOL folks came with the main present she wanted from Santa — the LOL alpine chalet, which is what a Barbie Dreamhouse is for Barbie, but it’s a little more brothel with a hot tub and ski lift. (Not that there’s not hanky panky going on in the Dreamhouse, but it’s always only with Ken, the luckiest man doll on Earth.) But a winter home seems an odd choice for these dolls as they clearly do not have the appropriate clothing to ski or play in the snow.
Speaking of snow, if these evil toy makers weren’t bad enough, the alpine chalet boasts that it produces real flurries! Admittedly, Santa did not pay much attention to what this entailed when loading it up into the car, I mean, sleigh, but let me fill you in on this nightmare. These lunatics include four large bags of tiny Styrofoam-looking balls that you can feed into a pump that then blows them out all over the chalet (and presumably your entire house).
Frank labored for hours constructing this house of chill repute and when he pulled out these bags of “snow,” he said, “Oh hell no.” He then explained to Ellen why it couldn’t snow because it was bad for the environment (and our vacuum cleaner). She accepted this, but he still had to put the pump on because it powered some of the lights and other things. Every piece, including this pump, is built to look like it’s a part of the house, so even if it has one function it doubles as another feature.
“Come here,” he screamed to me, as he was installing this piece. “Can you believe this? These mother f-ers made the machine designed to blow tiny ‘snow’ balls all over the place as a recycling bin? You’ve got to be kidding me!”
This is akin to Alabama Power disguising a replica of the coal ash pond at Plant Barry as a giant compost bin.
Special place in hell, I tell you!
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