As we head into the holidays this year, there are a few must-have toys that kids are clamoring over, including the interactive Fingerlings and the double Hatchimals Surprise. But one product in particular, the L.O.L. Surprise Big Surprise, has left some parents with disappointed children and with wallets that are $69.99 - $155 lighter.
L.O.L. Surprise dolls have been huge this year because they combine two trendy elements: They're collectible and include a "surprise." The whole point is to unwrap seven layers to find out what the present is. (C'mon, what happened to just tearing into gifts?!) While it might seem torturous to us, there's something about the suspense of prolonged unwrapping that just screams fun for kids. (We mostly blame those surprise YouTube videos) So, for about $10 each, kids can discover their new fashion doll, stickers, charms and accessories, or even throw the toys in cold water to see if they change colors. L.O.L. Surprise even includes collectible pets, in case you need more plastic to accidentally step on.
So, how do you make this personal "unboxing" fad even bigger? Enter the limited-edition L.O.L. Surprise Big Surprise.
This huge, glittery, dome-shaped case includes 50 exclusive and individually wrapped surprises, including dolls, accessories and fizzy bath bombs. It's supposed to be a huge money-saver, at a recommended retail price of $69.99, since each individual product is valued higher. The Big Surprise is now sold out at Target, Walmart and Toys R Us. It's available on Amazon—but expect to pay about $120, or about $155 on eBay.
The feedback, though, has not been great. People who paid top dollar are saying the product really isn't worth the money. (Surprise!)
One of the most viral rants was from mom Ciara Umar, who posted on Facebook that she definitely does not recommend the toy "if you don't want to waste your money." She included a photo of what she found inside the Big Surprise.
Other reviews, on Amazon for instance, mention that the toys are made of cheap quality, that the pieces are so small they can get lost easily and that there's really no "surprise" at all.
Kids who have seen unwrapping videos of the Big Surprise have already seen what's in it, and if you've seen one, you've seen them all, as this parent realized.
"The allure of L.O.L. dolls has always been the surprise of which doll you're getting. Not with this big surprise. I purchased three for my daughters, two from Amazon and one from another store. All of them had the same exact dolls, so there's no 'surprise' at all. All I got were disappointed daughters who now have triple of each doll," the parent wrote on Amazon.
Other Amazon reviews didn't hold back either:
"The ball is flat — you only get half the ball," one reviewer wrote. "Just was really disgusted to feel like I only got half of what I purchased—if I'd understood it up front, that would have been better. Also these are just ridiculously priced for what you get."
"(My daughter) loved it just as any other toy, however at the end of the day it's just a very expensive squirt toy, that will fill with mold inside and need to be bleached every two weeks," another reviewer wrote.
"What a waste of money," wrote another. "The items in the L.O.L Big Surprise Doll are dollar store, gumball machine quality. ... My granddaughter asked every day for the last two weeks for this thing. She opened it and was disappointed."
But, while the price is pretty steep, some parents are still saying that it's worth it.
"Oh I know they are totally not worth the money. Olivia has her heart set on this, it's all she's asked for. I'd have a really unhappy little girl on Christmas morning if Santa doesn't bring this," one mom wrote on Umar's Facebook post. "It really is a lot of money for what you get, but I would pay this just to see the smile on her face."
"My daughter was so excited to get this for her birthday. Of course, like all the newest toys, in my opinion it's overpriced, but she loves it and plays with it for hours so I guess in the end that's all that matters," another wrote on Amazon.
So, if you still want one and can get your hands on one, here are a few tips: Maybe don't ruin the surprise by watching unboxing videos of the product with your kid; keep reminding yourself that these are limited edition and totally worth it; and don't be surprised if you find small plastic toys clogging your bathtub. Good luck!