We’re working on improving our email newsletters and your opinion is important to us. Will you help us by answering this short survey, so we can make our newsletters a better fit for you?
Life Expectancy: Americans are dying younger, according to new reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Death rates are increasing among young people, particularly those between the ages of 25 and 34, Olga Khazan reports. The takeaway from this somber trend? “Whatever we are doing in the U.S. to improve health and survival in our population … we need to do more.”
This year’s hottest children’s toy is … extra packaging? Toy makers have created a product based on a new phenomenon among kids—“unboxing” videos, featuring nothing more than people unwrapping, and then assembling, various objects:
Enter the L.O.L. Surprise! doll, a sphere the size of a bocce ball that consists of seven layers of packaging. Kids peel away the layers of crinkly plastic, which contain stickers and messages and tiny accessories that are surely crunched under many a parental foot, and find a small, nearly naked plastic doll with giant Bette Davis eyes who measures just a few inches tall.
More than 800 million L.O.L. Surprise! toys have been sold since their debut in late 2016, and they were one of the top products sold on Cyber Monday this year, according to Adobe Digital Insights. This year, even more toy makers have caught on to the trend. Parents can now buy eggs, pods of foam, cake pops, burritos, and balls of many shapes and sizes containing mystery animals and figurines. Some balls contain “boy-themed” surprises, which include insects, octopuses, skateboards, ninjas, and a packet of a powdery substance, as well as my personal favorite, Poopeez, which are rolls of toilet paper that hold mystery capsules with names including Lil’ Squirt, Skid Mark, and Toot Fairy.