Hey Mattel! Now you can put Bratz to sleep once and for all

bratz logoAfter a hotly contested court case between huge toy conglomerate Mattel and MGA Entertainment, it looks like Mattel might actually be given back profits and the intellectual property that comprises the entire Bratz line.
Here’s the thing though: I hate the entire concept behind the Bratz toys and am frankly aghast that any parents buy it.

Hold on, before I rant too much, let’s have a bit more detail about the lawsuit itself:

“A U.S. District Court jury in Riverside, Calif., found toymaker MGA Entertainment guilty of contract interference and copyright infringement when it hired doll designer Carter Bryant away from Mattel in 2000.”

Who knew that doll designers were to be courted and stalked like secret agents?

Analysts estimate, by the way, that the Bratz line brings in over a billion dollars in sales annually, which must look very nice to Mattel given that its cornerstone doll line, Barbie, is down 6% in sales.

Nonetheless, that doesn’t change my basic objection with the toy line, that it glorifies and “sexifies” teen girls in a way that’s alarmingly exaggerated. Even the name is a play on “brats”, which no parent in the world would want their child to be, would they?

Looking at their pouty lips and general posture and attitude, it’s a surprise that MGA Entertainment didn’t just call them “Slutz” and cut to the proverbial chase.

If the brand intellectual property does transfer to Mattel, then I dream of a press release announcing that Mattel is going to shut down the entire Bratz line and replace it with something like “Angelz”, a similar line of toys that are themed after nice girls that behave well, not bratty girls that are self-indulgent gits.

But it’s quite possible I’m alone in my deep dislike of the Bratz line. I mean, 1.1 billion in annual sales suggests that some people are buying the stuff. I just don’t have a clue why that is…

17 comments on “Hey Mattel! Now you can put Bratz to sleep once and for all

  1. Dave – I couldn’t agree more. We wonder about morals is society today. Evidently, the profit dollar is more important than the future ethics of our world.
    Even TY is slowly learning this lesson. Look at their TY Girlz – first wave of dolls were “slutz”. Second wave softened up the look a little and their outfits were less “street corner”. The new third wave have removed the overbearing eye shadow and softened the pouty lips – the outfits now are presentable main-street fashion.
    BRATZ are clearly an affront to common decency. I share your dream of them being delegated back to the street corners they came from.

  2. Absolutely agree! Those “dolls” have long been banned in our home. Ridiculous, and no doubt sends the exact opposite message most parents are trying to impart on their daughters today.

  3. You’re definitely not alone in your deep dislike of the Bratz line! It’s shocking that so many people buy them. I feel sad in a profound way when I see them all over the place, sort of like when I hear what the average amount of screen time is for kids these days.
    On a more positive note, the new Kit movie, based on the American Girl doll of the same name, is outstanding, according to my nine-year-old daughter, two of her friends, and the three Kleenex-wielding adults of both genders who accompanied them to the theater. American Girl is also owned by Mattel …

  4. To all of you concerned parents and Dave.
    Dave, MGA came against our tradmark for ANGEL BRATZ in 2002 and although our concept was much more of a teaching and message doll concept I did not fight them. The fact that you mentioned “ANGELZ” in your commentary shocked me because we change our name to “SPAZE ANGELZ” www. Ohkidz.com. After posting our website in January 2007, MGA Bratz came out with “BRATZ SPACE ANGELZ”in December 2007…”How ironic”. This time they are not going to get away with their plagerism…Mattel taught them a lesson and now we are going to do the same. The people involved in MGA reflect the unscrupulous demeanor of their product. Please visit our web site http://www.OHKIDZ.com I believe we are on the same page. “KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK”.

  5. i hate those dolls too and won’t let my 6 yr old have em. in my novel the grandma gives her granddaughter one and the mom throws it away- she doesn’t want to give it to goodwill and inflict it on those kids either 🙂

  6. Dave,
    I saw that you read my reply to you but I cannot find where you replied back. I so appreciate that you are sending the parents our web site. It is not going to be easy to prove that MGA ripped us off AGAIN! My daughter is the cartoonist along with a brilliant cartoonist, Bill Mimms. Our ANGELZ promote the best in children and MGA is not going to take the name SPACE ANGELZ from us. We have been working on this project since 1998 and it is rightfully ours…Please write us back, because we need all the support we can get against MGA. We fear that Mattel is going to squash BRATZ and MGA is going to run with Space ANGELZ. We cannot let that happen. I would like to speak with you personally, our offices are in Los Angeles, again “keep up the good work”.

  7. Dave,
    I saw that you read my reply to you but I cannot find where you replied back. I so appreciate that you are sending the parents our web site. It is not going to be easy to prove that MGA ripped us off AGAIN! My daughter is the cartoonist along with a brilliant cartoonist, Bill Mimms. Our ANGELZ promote the best in children and MGA is not going to take the name SPACE ANGELZ from us. We have been working on this project since 1998 and it is rightfully ours…Please write us back, because we need all the support we can get against MGA. We fear that Mattel is going to squash BRATZ and MGA is going to run with Space ANGELZ. We cannot let that happen. I would like to speak with you personally, our offices are in Los Angeles, again “keep up the good work”.

  8. OMG i dont like the new name they might give bratz or the new name angelz itz sounds to like there going to change there personality in sted of doing there magazine there going to do what now? the whole intire thing is really dumb

  9. I understand you disliking them but not all girls are influenced so deeply by dolls. The dolls don’t have awful clothing now (and do have some decent outfits) and I believe if children did take after dolls it should be the parents fault for not teaching them right and wrong. The message (apart from ‘The Only Girls With The Passion For Fashion’) in the TV shows and movies are to stand up for and stick with your friends and to follow things you like and want to do.

  10. Just like a poor reason for Mattel to rid themselves of any competition. I wonder how much that judge was paid to rule in their favor.

  11. I agree with the person who said that not all the bratz dolls have indecent clothes there are plenty with decent outfits, and if there are kids who are so deeply taking it that way then it is the parents repsonsiblity to teach them the difference between right and wrong. I think that bratz do also teach some positives like being yourself, sticking up for yourself,being creative,sticking up for friends, not being afraid to be yourself, having good friendships(BFF), and it promoted ethinicty in a better way than barbie ever did to me, as well as, having fun in a positive way, but all you hear is the suggestive reference to the look of the doll. I think a lot of adults are looking at the dolls in an unappropriate way. In a way it sounds like a company whining over losing money, but on a real note if the ideal was stolen then I think it is right for MGA to have to give account for that and make amends. I know a lot of parents whose kids have bratz dolls and apparel and I haven’t heard any of there children speaking out of sorts in any unappropriate way in reference to the dolls, clothes or apparel but I have heard plenty adults speaking about the dolls, clothes and suggestive messages the doll makes.

  12. Gee i thought the dolls were cute & pretty harmless.I think your putting way to much into them.I always thought barbie gave off a harmful body image thing to young girls. My oldest was always wanting to dye her hair so she could look like barbie. Brown hair like skipper wasnt good enough for her.etc etc.The brats dolls dont even look real they have exaggerated features.

  13. YOU ARE SO WRONG!!! Bratz are very creative and amazing dolls that were made to promote friendship, and the ACTUAL lives that people have, not the perfect cookie-cutter family Barbie has interpreted it to be! Bratz are not “SLUTZ”, you are such a corporate JERK! Bratz are actually pretty, teenage dolls, unlike those cheap, plastic, breast-enhancing dumb-blonde Barbie. So what if some dolls have tank top t-shirts and skirts? They exist in the real world, don’t they?! You are just an parent with a very strong and prejudice opinion. At least Bratz have the different cultures, that distinguish them from Barbie. No wonder so many people like bratz MUCH more than Barbie. Bratz promote having your own fashion and style, and expressing yourself! Go watch their movies, and see for yourself how BRATZ are really amazing!
    PS- And by the way, MATTEL is NOT taking over Bratz, so take that you Coprate LOOSER!!
    PPS- and also, Barbie is being a BIG FAT copier! Remember the bratz change head dolls? Yeah, BARBIE made those AFTER Bratz did! So, keep your hurtful opinion to yourself, because so many people like Bratz, and the fact that you have time to bash on dolls make you an even bigger prejudice against bratz dolls!
    BRATZ4LIFE! <3 xoxo

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