December 10, 2008
Bratz v. Barbie: The Sequel
We reported earlier that Mattel won the first round of its legal battle with Bratz doll-maker MGA. Last week, Bloomberg news reported that Barbie was not satisfied to get the Bratz dolls in a headlock. She went for the kill. Now MGA is banned from marketing or distributing the Bratz dolls. MGA has stated that the ban on Bratz would be lethal for the company. Fortunately for MGA, the ban will not go into effect until after a February 11th hearing on the parties' post-trial motions. Moreover, a few of the Bratz dolls will be exempted from the ban. My seven-year-old daughter is relieved. What would the holidays be without Bratz? Actually, my daughter got her first Bratz doll when my sister, unaware that the Bratz have long been banned in our house, bought "Yasmin" for my daughter, because Yasmin is my sister's daughter's name and she thought it was cool that my daughter should have a doll named for her cousin.
"What's a Bratz doll?" my brother-in-law asked.
"They're like Barbies," my sister answered, "but they dress like prostitutes."
Yeah, thanks a lot. Fortunately, as the conversation took place in Hebrew, my daughter is blissfully unaware of the semiotics of Bratz.
Meanwhile, both companies are hurting, according to Bloomberg. Sales are down for both the Barbie and the Bratz lines, and Mattel has incurred legal fees relating to the MGA litigation of nearly $30 million. Mattel has announced that it will need to reduce its workforce by about 1,000.
It is much harder than one would expect to find a PG-rated YouTube clip about the conflict between Barbie and the Bratz. Come on, guys! The potential for humor is almost unlimited, and it need not be crass. Anyway, here's the best I could come up with:
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