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L.O.L. Surprise Is Making a Major Change to Its Toys (& Parents Everywhere Will Be Grateful)

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It’s hard to find a child over four years old who hasn’t heard of L.O.L. Surprise dolls. Even my 3-year-old could immediately identify the bright pink balls hiding a small mystery doll (or pet) and its accessories. Today, the brand announced a major change to its iconic look: Those pink, plastic balls will soon be no more.

Starting with the launch of its new L.O.L. Surprise Earth Love Dolls, the iconic design is being replaced with a more eco-friendly, heavy duty paper ball. Kids will still get the surprise-and-delight, unboxing experience of popping open the ball and unwrapping the toys inside, only now, parents can feel a little less guilt about tossing the containers that inevitably pile up as kids collect ‘em all. MGAE estimates this move will eliminate three metric tons of plastic from its production, which is the equivalent of about 200,000 plastic water bottles or 7 million (!) single-use plastic straws. (It’s a gradual ramping up; their goal is to replace all plastic balls by 2025.)

CANDACE DAVISON

We tested out the two new L.O.L. Surprise Earth Love dolls ahead of their launch, sharing them with three very opinionated young toy fanatics (a 3-year-old, a 4-year-old and a 6-year-old) to get their honest feedback. The consensus? They didn’t miss the plastic balls one bit; in fact, they barely noticed the balls had changed. The 4-year-old, a hardcore L.O.L. fan, remarked that she missed the pink color, but that was soon replaced with squeals of excitement when she saw both dolls came with a water bottle that could be filled with actual water to ‘feed’ them (and that they’d cry or go to the bathroom, depending on which doll you got).

CANDACE DAVISON

Each kid played with the toys for more than 30 minutes at a time, despite being surrounded by other toys, using the accessories to give them a drink, pretend to garden or swap out their clothes while acting out stories. Which means a full half hour of off-duty time for parents; an added bonus.

The Earth Love series comes with seven surprises to unbox, and it’s currently a Walmart exclusive, available in stores and online.