Posts with term L.O.L Surprise X

L.O.L. Surprise! Unveils New Product Innovation: MGA CEO Discusses Sustainability

Jeff Fromm
Jeff Fromm
Expert on Millennials, Generation Z and the impact of purpose and sustainability.
Listen to article8 minutes
I had the chance to visit with MGA CEO & founder Isaac Larian. He is a pioneer in the toy and entertainment industry, and like many successful CEO’s, he knows he needs to navigate consumer culture changes to stay ahead of competition. At the same time, Larian is looking to make it easier for consumers to live a sustainable lifestyle.  
L.O.L. Surprise paper packaging
L.O.L. Surprise is eliminating plastic in favor of paper to produce their iconic ball. The company ... [+] PROVIDED BY L.O.L. SURPRISE
  In my recent research and consulting work on sustainability, consumers expressed a desire to live a more sustainable lifestyle, which means brands need to make it affordable, accessible and easy to enjoy the products consumers’ want. Consumers also want to feel less guilt about their purchase decisions. According to Mary Anne Hansan, President of the Paper & Packaging Board, “It’s encouraging to see more companies embrace materials like paper and paper-based packaging that are sustainable by design and that come from an abundant, renewable resource, forests, so you can do good for the planet.” Jeff Fromm: What are the major trends in play? Isaac Larian: The primary trends that MGA has invested and innovated around include: Mental Health focus - Toys are part of the answer to engage kids in social development and play at home.  Specifically, plush toys and games that promote mindfulness as well as fidget toys and tactile toys with a focus on soothing are a big trend, largely because of the COVID pandemic. Creativity – In self-expression through art, but also through role play. As AI becomes an even larger component of kids’ toys, it is believed that use of such toys will develop critical thinking and creativity skills, which are critical areas for future employment and success. Toys that foster creativity in new ways will become more important to parents who want to prepare their kids for the future.
Gender Neutrality - I was recently interviewed by a reporter on this topic and how MGA will continue to include focus on breaking down gender stereotype into toys. The Kidult Space - Teens and adults that did not previously buy toys have been buying them since the advent of COVID. It’s been fueled further by toy companies supplying toys that tap into nostalgia (five surprise mini brands), current and past entertainment (Lego sets, collectible figures for Game of Thrones, etc.) and a desire to express oneself through own likes. This could continue to grow as other categories in toys figure out how to appeal to adults. Sustainability - Parents want to instill long-lasting values and educate their kids via their favorite toys. They also want to teach their children to take care of their environment. This trend will become critical in the manufacturing, packaging, and distribution of toys. The toy product itself will change and kids’ interest in sustainability will create new opportunities also; think recycling truck vs. garbage truck. Fromm: How is MGA thinking about sustainability? Larian:   MGA has taken a variety of steps when thinking about sustainability. This movement is woven across everything we do. We put thought into our entire lifestyle at MGA from the inside out. So that translates into three areas of opportunity right now: actual toys, packaging and shipping and lifestyle and culture. In toys, MGA has introduced products that fall into the green category like our Real Wood Adventure collection from Little Tikes. We also have entered the NFT and digital play world, eliminating waste by encouraging kids to explore the imaginative universe of their favorite L.O.L. toys online. This focus is woven throughout MGA globally, as demonstrated by our partners in Poland changing the floorboards in Cozy Coupes from yellow and pink to black to minimize waste and use recycled material. They also exclusively use carton boxes made from 100% recycled cardboard, turn 100% of production scraps back into production, as well as introduced a Go Green line of toys that are 92.3% made of recycled materials. In packaging and shipping, our reusable packaging from Lalaloopsy and our Crazy Fast Car toy coming out this Fall are examples of toys with packaging that can be re-used for play.  L.O.L. Surprise also introduced paper as a substitute to plastic across the blind bag packing. We also established an ongoing recycling partnership with Terracycle in 2019 across several regions globally, which allows fans to conveniently recycle L.O.L. Surprise! packaging. In 2021, we moved from plastic packaging for our Amazon shipments to all cardboard boxes. Also, we recently opened a plant in Mexico, which helps to shorten the supply chain and in turn reduces energy. MGA has also actualized their sustainability initiatives across brands and content, with the launch of their Little Tikes’ Let’s Go Cozy Coupe episode that centers on recycling awareness as well as social content shared across MGA’s channels highlighting DIY tips and tricks for repurposing L.O.L. Surprise!™ packaging in creative ways. From a lifestyle and culture perspective, MGA around the world is reducing its carbon footprint in the workplace. We have moved from buying and stocking plastic water bottles to instituting filtered water fountains and systems easy for reusable paper cups and glasses. Our utensils, plates and supplies are now bamboo or recycled paper products, and we encourage our employees to drive electric cars by offering charging stations across campuses globally. We are vigilant and diligent about finding other ways to change the employee experience and commitment to driving sustainability. Fromm: What do you think parents and kids want when thinking about having fun and engaging in learning? Larian: Parents are focused on minimizing the damage by the pandemic to their children —in terms of mental health, social development, and educational preparedness. Parents are using toys to ensure children continue to develop social skills since so much face-to-face play has been taken from their day-to-day experience.  Kids learn in a variety of ways – they see; therefore, they copy. They imagine and pretend; therefore, they create.  They role play; therefore, they make up their own stories. Toys, games, (even entertainment) that engage, enable and teach them are fun and help them grow. Fromm: How will MGA lead industry transformation to more paper-based solutions? Larian: MGA has taken seriously the need to reduce our carbon footprint. And we realize that eliminating plastic and sustaining our progress is not easy, but it must be done. We have committed to two important goals, which we already have announced:    
  • To achieve and maintain 95% recycled or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) - certified content in the paper and wood fiber used in our products and packaging.
  • To achieve 100% recycled, recyclable or bio-based plastic materials in our products and packaging by 2025.

These Companies Are Saving the Planet with Easy Recycling Programs

Earth Day is Thurs. Apr. 22 this year and if you’re looking for easy ways to show our planet some love, you’ve come to the right place. While topics like climate change may seem overwhelming, everyone can do their part by something as simple as recycling. To make turning trash into treasure as easy as can be, lots of family-friendly companies have partnered with Terracycle, a social enterprise currently in 21 countries that is diverting tons of waste away from landfills. Keep scrolling to see how you can be a part of this movement with brands you already use!

Once Upon a Farm

  All those baby food, smoothies and applesauces pouches an be easily recycled with Terracycle. Clean them out, dry them off and ship off so they can be sorted and pelletized––ready for a new life. image.png


  Food pouches are super convenient, especially for on the go, but they add up quickly. If you're at a loss for what to do with them, head to Terracycle to snag a printable label! Add it to a box of used pouches, ship and repeat. image.png


  Tired of storing old games and toys? Recycle them! Hasbro's recycling program takes your kiddos old My Little Pony, Play-Doh, GI Joe and more and transforms them into things like play spaces, park benches and flower pots so they can continue to bring joy. image.png

Honest Drink Pouch

  Kiddos love their juice! Rather than tossing in the trash, save up the aluminum and plastic pouches (you can even keep the straws!) for recycling. Make sure the pouches are empty before shipping. When they are received, they'll be melted into hard plastic so they can be reshaped into something new again.

Spin Master

  The new Spin Master Recycling Program gives a second life to your toys. All you have to do is sign up on the TerraCycle program page and mail in your old toys. Your old toys will be cleaned and melted into hard plastic so they can have a new lease on life by being made into items like park benches and picnic tables. image.png


  There are tons of Gerber products you can recycle, like baby food packaging (but no glass!), shrink labels, plastic containers, plastic lids, flexible plastic pouches and small and large hook Gerber baby clothing hangers. Once you have a full box of products, just send in with a free label and your products will be recycled free of charge. image.png

L.O.L. Surprise!

  L.O.L. Surprise! dolls are super fun, but they come with a ton of wrapping! Now you don't have to wonder what to do with it all. Just pack it up and ship to Terracycle and they'll do the rest.


  Don't toss those old toothpaste tubes and toothbrushes into the trash! Check out the simple programs from Terracycle where you can drop off in person or mail in so those old products don't end up in a landfill. image.png



Carter's has recently partnered with Terracycle to bring you Kidcycle, a way to recycle old baby and kids clothes. Not only can you send them in or drop off for free, but all your packages can even earn you Rewarding Moments points, too!


Target Car Seat Trade In

  A few times a year Target's car seat trade-in keeps millions of pounds of plastic from landfills. All you have to do is drop off your old seat at a participating Target location, get a coupon and rest easy that you're saving the planet, one seat at a time.


  We mamas have tons of products that could end up in the trash––or get recycled! Nordstrom's BEAUTYCYCLE program takes packaging from haircare, skincare, makeup and more so it doesn't head to a landfill. You can help them reach their goal of recycling 100 tons of packaging!


  Stasher bags already keeps tons of waste out of landfills, but even they don't last forever. When you send them in for recycling, they'll be. cleaned and ground into a crumb-like powder which is used for playground, athletic field or track ground cover.


  Send your beloved Teva sandals on one last adventure through TevaForever. The recycling program turns them into melted hard plastic so they can go on to live in athletic and playground tracks.

VTech & LeapFrog

  When your little has outgrown their fave learning or electronic toy, recycle it! The free program will melt down your old toys and transform them into materials used in new playground and park equipment.

Trenton-based TerraCycle is making sustainability a mainstream movement

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Americans generate over 250 million tons of trash annually, or 4 to 5 pounds per person per day. Only about 25% to 30% of it is recycled; the rest is incinerated or buried in landfills, where it can often end up polluting the environment and leaching into the soil and groundwater supply.   It’s a reality that TerraCycle finds unacceptable.   Founded in 2001 by Tom Szaky, then a student at Princeton University, Trenton-based TerraCycle is a social enterprise on a mission to eliminate the idea of waste. “We pick up where municipal recyclers leave off and recycle the things they don’t, including coffee pods, cigarette butts, chip and snack wrappers, clothing, shoes, contact lenses and much more,” said TerraCycle North American Public Relations Manager Sue Kauffman. “We collect over 150 waste streams and are adding more every day.”   Different towns have their own rules for recycling, often driven by economics. “If recyclers can sell the processed waste at a profit, they’ll recycle it – if not, they’ll either incinerate it or divert it to a landfill,” she said. “Thanks to over 200 million individuals actively recycling through TerraCycle, we’ve recycled over 7.7 billion pieces of waste, diverted millions of pounds of valuable resources from landfills all over the world, and donated nearly $45 million to charity to-date.”   A Range Of Recycling Solutions   Recycling 97% of the waste it receives and composting the remainder, TerraCycle promotes the opportunity for consumers to “reuse, upcycle, and recycle” in a variety of creative ways:  
  • Free Recycling Programs – Sponsored by corporate partners such as Arm & Hammer, Colgate, Gerber, Gillette, Herbal Essences, Solo, Swiffer and other well-known brands, TerraCycle’s free recycling programs enable consumers to recycle specific branded products or entire categories of products at no cost. “Simply go to our website, pick a recycling program, register and ship the targeted waste stream to us using the free shipping labels provided online; based on the weight of the shipments, recyclers earn ‘TerraCycle points’ that can be converted to cash and donated to schools, charities and nonprofits of their choice,” said Kauffman, who noted that points can yield big dividends. “Through the ‘Free Recycle Playground Challenge’ that Colgate runs in conjunction with ShopRite each year, for instance, the school that collects the most oral care waste will win a new playground constructed from the recycled plastic they sent in and valued at $50,000,” she said. In addition to being free and easy, “it’s exciting to see schools starting their own Green Teams, learning about sustainability and participating in our recycling opportunities to earn more points.” Among new items recently added to their recyclable list are the packaging associated with L.O.L. Surprise! dolls and products by Reckitt Benckiser (makers of such brands as Mucinex, Enfamil and MegaRed). “In addition, in association with Gillette, we recently added disposable razors to our list, which represents the first time that there’s been an outlet to recycle disposable razors, blade cartridges and plastic packaging in the U.S.,” Kauffman said.
  • Zero Waste Boxes – Through this program, consumers can purchase everything from a pouch to a pallet to reuse difficult-to-recycle waste that can’t be recycled through one of TerraCycle’s free programs or through regular municipal recycling. Boxes are specific to a variety of different product categories, from alkaline batteries and light bulbs to printer cartridges, paint brushes, plastic bags, shoes, vitamin bottles and dozens more options. “Once consumers send their waste in to be recycled, it will be weighed, processed, shredded, melted into pellets and ultimately sold to companies who use it to make other things,” Kauffman said.
  • Loop – Launched in January 2019, Loop is a groundbreaking e-commerce platform that’s reminiscent of the milkman of yesteryear. Through the exclusive program, consumers can receive the products they use every day in durable, reusable containers that were designed for Loop by partners such as Proctor & Gamble, Unilever, Nestle, PepsiCo, Coca Cola and others. When finished, consumers return the packaging for cleaning and refill, completing a no-waste loop. “While TerraCycle recycles plastic and other items to make the Earth a cleaner place, our new Loop program strives to not create waste in the first place,” Kauffman explained. “Response to this program has been so strong that we’ve already expanded it to other states beyond New York and New Jersey.”
  Offering Creative Circular Solutions   Headquartered in a refurbished facility where contents are made largely from recycled items – “my desk is an old door and office partitions are crafted from old soda bottles,” Kauffman said – TerraCycle has tapped into a growing need and is helping to make sustainability a mainstream movement. Following heightened media attention concerning the magnitude of America’s waste, as well as China’s 2018 decision to restrict imports of the megatons of trash they’d been processing/recycling for us for decades, “American consumers are definitely paying more attention to this issue than ever before,” Kauffman said. “The best way to elicit change is by voting with your dollars and buying from companies with a strong sustainable process. In the case of the companies that have partnered with TerraCycle, we’re able to work together to offer creative and efficient circular solutions to waste that don’t include the landfill.”       Nearly 20 years since its founding, TerraCycle now operates in 21 countries, has won more than 200 awards for sustainability, and was named No. 10 in Fortune’s Change the World list, out of 52 companies. For Kauffman and her 300 colleagues, working at TerraCycle is a labor of love. “We’re all extremely passionate here, creativity is so high, and new ideas are blossoming every day,” she said.   “It’s wonderful to celebrate Earth Day in April and we celebrate it for the entire month,” Kauffman concluded, “but the way we see it at TerraCycle, Earth Day should be every day.”   TerraCycle is located at 1 TerraCycle Way in Trenton and can be reached at (866) 967-6766 or by visiting www.terracycle.com.

MGA Entertainment looks for a bounce with biodegradable ball

CHATSWORTH, California – Toy maker MGA Entertainment, Inc. (MGAE) is fulfilling its promise to bring biodegradable toys to market. It launched the line with “L.O.L Surprise!”, a bio-degradable ball.   The company also announced a new product line from its brand Little Tikes, which is made entirely from post-consumer and post-industrial resin. MGAE is manufacturing products and packaging with a new patent-pending compound that facilitates the degradation of plastic in landfill conditions.   “I have assembled an in-house team that is 100 percent focused on identifying the best innovative and eco-friendly options to use in our toys,” said Isaac Larian, CEO and founder of MGA Entertainment.   “Sustainability is a personal priority and a MGAE commitment. We will have product at retail this fall.”   MGAE extended its L.O.L Surprise! partnership with TerraCycle, last month adding nine new countries to the program. As well, beginning in summer 2020, all L.O.L Surprise! accessory bags will be paper based, and any packaging made from resin will be degradable and include new compound. Beginning 2021, the entire L.O.L Surprise! packaging line will be completely degradable.   The Little Tikes “Go Green” line will launch with four products and will continue to evolve and incorporate other Little Tikes items throughout 2020 and beyond.  The “Go Green” products will be available at retail beginning Earth Day.