LOL dolls have become one of the most popular toys for children in recent years. These small dolls, often packaged in balls that kids have to unwrap, have unique outfits, hair, and accessories. However, some parents and child development experts have raised concerns about the dark side of LOL dolls and their impact on young girls.
Oversexualization of the dolls
One of the biggest criticisms of LOL dolls is that they promote the oversexualization of girls at a young age. Many of the LOL dolls wear very revealing outfits, such as crop tops, mini skirts, fishnet stockings, and heavy makeup. Critics argue that these dolls encourage girls to focus on their appearance and reinforce an unrealistic or unhealthy body image.
For example, the LOL Surprise Diva doll wears a skin-tight leopard print bodysuit with matching fishnet stockings. Other dolls like the punk-style Rocker doll have edgy outfits with ripped tops, leather jackets, and bold makeup. While parents make the ultimate decisions on what toys to buy for their kids, some feel LOL dolls promote mature styles at too young an age.
Potential choking hazard
Another concern parents raise about LOL dolls is the potential choking hazard they pose. LOL dolls come with small clothing, shoes, accessories, and pets that are tiny pieces of plastic. For children under the age of 3, these tiny accessories could become a choking risk if not closely supervised.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that any toys with parts under 1.25 inches in diameter should not be given to young children as they can completely block airways. LOL doll clothes and shoes are well under that recommended size. While kids 8+ are usually fine with tiny accessories, parents of kids under 6 or 7 should be cautious about letting them play unattended with LOL dolls.
Promotion of excessive consumerism
LOL dolls have spawned an industry of related products, add-ons, YouTube videos, special editions, carrying cases, and more. Critics argue the dolls promote excessive consumerism and collection at a young age. With new LOL dolls released every few months, it encourages kids to want every new doll, outfit, or accessory.
The unboxing experience of LOL dolls in plastic spheres also adds to the toy industry practice of using blind bags, mystery, and unboxing to fuel more purchases. Kids are compelled to buy more LOL products in hopes of collecting entire sets of dolls. This excessive consumerism and collection at a young age concerns some parents and children’s advocates.
Lack of diversity in some lines
Another criticism that has been made about LOL dolls is the lack of diversity in some of their doll lines. While LOL dolls come in a rainbow of skin tones, hair color, and designs, some of their categories like the Lil Sisters feed into gender norms.
All the Lil Sisters are female babies with pink outfits and floral designs. The Big Brothers have mostly male professions like a king, fireman, cowboy, and astronaut. While toy preferences aren’t inherently bad, some feel these LOL lines promote outdated gender stereotypes in terms of colors, looks, and careers.
There have been a few safety recalls issued for defective LOL dolls over the past few years. These include:
|LOL Surprise Glitter Globe Pink and Purple dolls
|Balloons could become deflated and detach, posing a choking hazard
|LOL Surprise Water Surprise! dolls
|Some included deflated balloons with small plastic connectors that could pose choking risks
|LOL Surprise Pearl Surprise, Dolphin Magic Pearl Surprise, and Winter Disco Pearl Surprise
|Small parts could detach including plastic eyes posing choking hazards
While the number of safety recalls have been small, it does indicate quality assurance issues. Parents should pay attention to any recall announcements for these popular dolls.
LOL dolls mark one of the first internet connected toys for kids. Some LOL dolls like Pets and Remix come with an app and code that unlocks online content and games.
While the apps don’t collect personal user info, the always-connected nature of these toys raises privacy concerns around data collection practices. As smart toys evolve, children’s privacy advocates stress the importance of safeguarding kids’ personal information.
LOL dolls have skyrocketed as one of the hottest toy crazes among kids, teens, and collectors in recent years. However, these trendy dolls have some controversial elements like oversexualized clothing, choking hazard risks for small children, and promotion of excessive consumerism.
Parents should carefully consider if LOL dolls align with their family values and the age for introducing mature styles or internet-connected toys. While kids may crave the latest LOL dolls, their hidden dark side should give parents pause in allowing unfettered access to these controversial toys.
Like many toy fads, LOL dolls have both positives and negatives. Evaluating the developmental appropriateness, safety hazards, and collection obsession promoted should all be part of the decision as a parent on whether LOL dolls have a place in your family. Their edgy and mature styles raise important discussions around self-image and sexuality for the pre-teen demographic targeted. Ultimately, mindful parent supervision and discretion is advised with any LOL doll playtime.