LOL Dolls: The toy flying off shelves in New Zealand

There's something about the glitter, the hair, and unwrapping layers of plastic that's sending LOL Surprise! Dolls flying off retailers' shelves.

Lonnica Van Engelen, The Warehouse buying manager for toys, says the surprise element is what makes it so successful.

She says it's similar to pass the parcel or watching children opening Christmas presents because they don't know what they are going to get inside.

Some dolls are so rare they are fetching top dollar online.

Isaac Larian, MGA Entertainment chief executive, says scalpers frustrate him and so do imitations.

"The toy is very hot; we didn't expect it to be as hot as it is," he explained.

This is surprising because he's the mastermind behind the hit doll Bratz and more recently Poopsie the Surprise Unicorn. He says success in the toy industry can largely be attributed to the way he thinks.

"I think like a child, a 64-year-old child, I think like a child 24/7."

He's got a knack for knowing a good toy for someone who never owned one.

"I was born and raised in the slums of Iran; I came to America when I was 17 years-old. I had a one-way ticket and $753 in my hand," Mr Larian said.

"As a child, because we lived really poorly, I didn't have any toys."

Now he's creating the toys he could only dream of playing with as a child.

One of those with more than 100 LOL Surprise! dolls is Stella Jonkers. She says she loves the variety of colours the toys come in, as it's taught her the importance of individuality and diversity.

She loves the plastic packaging too: "It makes you feel like you're going to win a cool one, and all of them are cool."

Her mum loves the happiness the dolls bring, but not the impact it has in the environment.

"I would really like them to be more eco-friendly to have less plastic."

But Mr Larian says they're planning a recycling scheme for consumers to return the packaging to his base in the US, and in return they'll get a surprise.

"I am very, very conscious of the environment, and you can't make a doll out of paper, so it has to be out of plastic."

As the Government is phasing out single-use plastic bags and campaigning to reduce plastic waste, it is also asking toy makers to consider the impact plastic packaging has on the environment.

Environment Minister Eugenie Sage says she understands the popularity in unwrapping toys, but many plastic toys end up in the landfill - and it's up to manufacturers to think about where plastic ends up.