Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Bratz comeback: will it work this time?

Bratz was a playline fashion doll that threatened Barbie sales - maybe even surpassed them - when they first came out in 2001. Designed by Carter Bryant, a former Mattel employee, with 10" bodies, huge heads, heavily made up and dressed in what looked like the then current street style, they were an instant hit with girls that were bored with more conservative Barbie dolls and wanted something more like them to play with. They were so successful that Mattel issued its own line, My Scene. The battle reached its apex in 2004, when Mattel sued MGA (the Bratz maker) for copying, alleging that their designer was still working for Mattel when he came up with the concept. After a lot of legal wrangling, MGA was ordered to pull Bratz from selves. Even though the decision was later reversed, the damage had been done. Bratz sales went into a slump.

The line did try to come back once again. back in 2010, changing the size of the bodies (12"), new logos and slogans, but it did not make any waves. There were even complaints about quality being inferior to previous product. After some time, the company pulled back all lines in 2014 to overhaul the dolls and re-launch this year. As the tastes of their target group have shifted drastically, with the success of lines such as Monster High and Ever After High, they have some serious competition to beat. Not to mention the avalanche that Frozen dolls have been since that franchise surfaced.

I was never a fan of doll lines like this, so I cannot say if the attempt to brink back this line will be successful or not. MGA is suing Mattel for industrial espionage now (they filed a lawsuit back in 2014) so there are still issues to be worked out on the business side of things. MGA is trying to open up the line to social media as well, like instagram and youtube. They revamped their website too (see photo above) but it's weirdly devoid of product photos so far. There's even an app for smartphones. After this first wave, MGA is releasing at least three more waves until Christmas.

Photos courtesy of MGA


  1. czy to najnowsza oferta na rynku?
    urocze - chętnie bym ciemnowłose :)

  2. Hello from Spain: I did not know that the Bratz dolls were back on sale. In the past these dolls were not my favorite but their looks were very cool. keep in touch

  3. Thanks for posting this story I'd always wondered what happened to those dolls

  4. I'm not really sure if it will work, Bratz have some fans out there, but I'm not sure if this new line will work with kids nowadays. I don't want to be disrespectful with the designers' job, but personally, I expected more, like a fully articulated body, however, I guess it's difficult to revamp a doll line without loosing it's essence. Also, they haven't changed the logo and in my opinion it looks a little bit old fashioned.
    I don't dislike the new Bratz at all, but I'm not interested in them.

  5. I'm hopeful that the new line will be a success. The Bratz dolls aren't my preferred type of doll (not even close!), but there's something about them that I seem to be charmed by.

    We shall see!

  6. I am looking forward to at least a few of these. I have always luv Bratz fashions,
    and the details etc.. My only complaint is that I wish they were fully joint. I do see as well a slight changed to facemold, and they have added ridiculous/hideous oversize feets/shoes.

    I did care for the previous line, as I like the original/shorter bodies.

    Not sure if it will be as successful as earlier lines, but they still have a fan base.

  7. My 7 yr old neighbor is in full Bratz collecting mode, so they still have some appeal with the younger kids, too. I was never a collector, but I hope their comeback is successful. Always great to have competition to keep companies on their toes.

  8. Bratz might have had a passion for fashion in the past, but now they look like they have a passion for scraps of fabric hastily sewn into a skirt. No one dresses like this in 2015. They look like an absolute mess!

  9. I never liked them and I think kids like them because their a cheaper alternative than the more well known brands out there.