In the midst of the holiday shopping season, there’s one toy on the top of almost every child’s wish list. It’s called L.O.L. Surprise! These miniature dolls are a packaged in a ball, complete with accessories and stickers and range from $5 to $240. What’s the surprise? Kids have no idea which doll they are actually going to be getting.
L.O.L. items, made by MGA Entertainment, which also owns Bratz, are reportedly expected to bring in at least $500 million this year alone.
“You know L.O.L Surprise! is the number one selling toy again this year, and it's actually bigger than Disney ‘Frozen 2’ and every other product out there,” MGA Entertainment CEO Isaac Larian told Yahoo Finance’s On the Move.
The “Frozen 2” toys are expected to be among the top of the list this holiday season, too. Toymakers Hasbro and Jakks Pacific are scrambling to make products that meet demands of consumers. Jakks and Mattel were the original partners for the first “Frozen” movie, which came out in 2013. But Mattel lost the license to make the toys to its biggest rival Hasbro. Mattel lost about $300 million in annual sales because of the battle.
“We are staying away from ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Frozen’,” Larian said. “Frankly, the only company who makes money on these licenses is Disney. And I applaud them. I'm a shareholder. I make money on that. But everybody else loses money on these licenses.”
To make up for lost revenues and bolster sales, Mattel and other toymakers, are beginning to license their toys to film studios and other entertainment platforms.
“I am a betting man,” Larian said. “I bet you $100 that none of the movies that Mattel is talking about will ever come to the screen— I think that's a lot of smoke and mirrors.”
MGA Entertainment chooses a different way to promote its original toys. L.O.L. Surprise! has a YouTube channel with 1.2 million subscribers, and fans can watch the “L.O.L. Surprise! Movie” on Amazon Prime.
“That's what the kids like,” Larian said. “We will break the barriers and keep on doing it.”
Valentina Caval is a producer at Yahoo Finance.