Ask any group of parents what the hottest children’s toy of the last few years has been, and more than one will surely mention the aptly-named L.O.L. Surprise! doll, which has befuddled and surprised — ahem — analysts with its runaway success. Created by the L.A.-based Larian family, the unboxing-themed dolls are manufactured exclusively by the Larians’ firm MGA Entertainment, the world’s largest privately-owned toy company (the Larians also invented the popular Bratz brand of dolls.) But while the products and the name may keep children of all ages entertained, the L.O.L. Surprise financials are no laughing matter. Just two years after their 2016 debut, the dolls had already notched a very serious 800 million units sold, and they were the bestselling toy of 2017 worldwide.
Forbes says the dolls’ success helped make Larian family patriarch, Iranian immigrant Isaac Larian, a billionaire. And the financial rewards have carried over to other members of the clan, too. Real estate developer Ryan Hekmat, who married into the family, and Larian’s daughter Jasmin — owner of popular apparel brand Cult Gaia — recently paid $29.3 million for a compound that straddles the posh border between Holmby Hills and the city of Beverly Hills.
Split into two contiguous parcels of land and reportedly once owned by Elvis Presley, the 2.35-acre compound features a Tudor-style main house originally built in 1937 and extensively modified since. There’s also a guesthouse and Japanese-style tea house set on a lake-sized lagoon, decked out with a waterfall and surrounded by a forest’s worth of mature trees, plus a full-sized tennis court with an adjacent viewing pavilion, garages and a swimming pool.
The property’s most recent owner was haircare mogul Paula Kent Meehan, who lived at the estate for decades. Following her 2014 death, Meehan’s heirs marketed the giant compound for sale as two separate properties, one listing featuring the main house and the other including the lagoon and tea house, before selling both to the Hekmat and Larian. Both lots were marketed as a “development opportunity,” or a teardown in realtor-speak.
Mere financial mortals may be shocked that someone would pay nearly $30 million for one teardown, but 2.35 contiguous acres in one of California’s most exclusive neighborhoods do not often become available. And at that price — especially in an area where other mega-manors have sold for $100 million and up — the price almost seems reasonable.
The Larians have long ranked as one of L.A.’s wealthiest families, and they continue to maintain a covet-worthy real estate portfolio to match. Isaac Larian and wife Angela have long owned an 11,000 sq. ft. mansion elsewhere in Holmby Hills, and in 2017 the couple paid $24.2 million for a Frank Gehry-designed oceanfront Malibu estate.
Rick Hilton and Jeff Hyland of Hilton & Hyland held the listing on the larger Holmby Hills lot, Michael Libow of Compass held the listing on the second parcel; Joe Babajian of Rodeo Realty repped the buyers.