For other uses see Bratz (disambiguation).
Bratz is a popular line of fashion dolls and related merchandise designed by Carter Bryant and manufactured by southern California toy company MGA Entertainment. The four original 10" dolls - Cloe, Jade, Sasha, and Yasmin - are teenagers distinguished by large heads and skinny bodies, almond-shaped eyes adorned with eyeshadow, and lush, glossy lips.
Though Bratz dolls fared poorly at their June 2001 debut, their popularity increased the following Christmas. In their first five years, 125 million were sold worldwide, and, in 2005, global sales of Bratz and Bratz products reached two billion dollars. In 2006, a toy-industry analyst indicated Bratz had captured about forty per cent of the fashion-doll market, compared with Barbie's sixty per cent.
Bratz have provoked controversy in several areas. Criticism has been leveled at the labor conditions under which the dolls are manufactured in China, and the American Psychological Association has expressed concern about the sexualization of the dolls' clothing and its effect on children. Some of the Bratz characters dress in a provocative manner and the designers at MGA have agreed that the appearance of these dolls were far from how teenagers should dress today. MGA conceded further that many of their styles were sexually provocative and were setting a bad example for the children and the pre-teens to whom these toys are marketed. The original dolls generated a number of spin-offs such as Lil' Bratz, Bratz Boyz, Bratz kidz, and Bratz Petz as well as films, music albums, and interactive DVDs.
In 2008, rival manufacturer Mattel filed suit against MGA for infringement, claiming that MGA had improperly appropriated Mattel intellectual property in creating the Bratz. The jury found in favor of Mattel and awarded them $100 million; $10 million for MGA's copyright infringement and $90 million for their breach of contract. After the verdict, Mattel filed for a permanent injunction against MGA, to stop them from making and selling Bratz and to dispose of all Bratz-related marketing materials. The superior court judge granted the injunction, but enforcement of the injunction has been stayed until at least the end of 2009, while MGA appeals the decision.
The success of the original four dolls generated an octet of similar dolls in 2002 and 2003. Sets of twins were also introduced. The dolls were sold separately and in themed environments, such as Bratz Genie Magic Dolls. Accessories such as the Bratz Make-up Bag, Spa, Nail Stencil Factory, Playsets, Furniture, Video Games and Cars were released.
Four Bratz Boyz were released in 2002 with others debuting in 2007 and 2008. Bratz also includes Bratz Boyz Twiins, Adventure Boyz, Play Sportz, and others. Lil' Bratz (2002) are miniature versions of the original four Bratz and eventually included Lil' Boyz based on the Bratz Boyz. In 2007, a clothing line was released called Lil' Bratz Couture.
Bratz Babyz debuted in 2004 with molded hair and infant accessories such as bottles and blankets. The line met with a lukewarm reception, but their popularity grew when saran hair was introduced. Other characters from the regular Bratz have been brought to the Babyz. Bratz Lil' Angelz (2007) are the newborn, collectible version of Bratz Babyz. Smaller than regular Bratz Babyz, they include their own newborn pets.
Bratz Petz debuted in 2004, proved unpopular, and were discontinued in 2006. They were plush toys resembling foxes, cats, and dogs with their own bags, clothes, and accessories. Bratz Petz have been re-released in Australia and the UK with bobble heads and accessories.
Bratz Kidz, the "kid" equivalent of the teenaged Bratz dolls, were introduced in 2006. The dolls were 6" tall and thus, shorter than the regular Bratz. Bratz Boyz Kidz were introduced in 2007 starring four of the Bratz Boyz. Their first movie was released in July 2007 and a second movie was released in February, 2008.
Be-Bratz dolls (2007) were designed for owner customization. With a Be-Bratz USB Key, the doll owner can take a Be-Bratz doll online, name it, and create an online social homepage. Games can be played with the Be-Bratz account to acquire accessories for the doll.
On December 21, 2006, the National Labor Committee announced that the factory workers in China, who make Bratz dolls, labor for 94½ hours a week, while the factory pays only $0.515 an hour, $4.13 a day. The per doll amount is $0.17, much less than the Bratz dolls actually cost. A single doll costs $19.99-$49.99 depending on any specialties it may have (New Character, or possibly coming with a different assortment of garments.) Twin pack of Dolls cost between $39.99-$59.99 (Australian Dollar). Bratz Baby's cost $29.99-$49.99 and lil Bratz can cost between $19.99 and $39.99 again all of this is depending on latest models.
The allegations in the report describe practices found at many Chinese factories producing name-brand products for export. They include required overtime exceeding the legal maximum of 36 hours a month, forcing workers to stay on the job to meet stringent production quotas and the denial of paid sick leave and other benefits. The report shows copies of what it says are "cheat sheets" distributed to workers before auditors from Wal-Mart or other customers arrive to make sure the factory passes inspections intended to ensure the supplier meets labor standards. It said workers at the factory intended to go on strike in January 2007 to protest plans by factory managers to put all employees on temporary contracts, denying them legal protection required for long-term employees.
After the announcement, the CEO of MGA Entertainment, Isaac Larian sent a statement on December 24, 2006 via e-mail to a fan site of the doll line, Bratz World , and another two days later to Playthings Magazine stating that the information is false and the company is not familiar with the company named in the report and MGA uses first rate factories in "the orient" to make its goods, like Mattel and Hasbro do. Larian said that he never heard about the news or of 'the organization who is behind this negative and false campaign immediately prior to the last holiday shopping weekend.'"
Fresh concerns over the body image and lifestyle the Bratz dolls allegedly promote were raised by the American Psychological Association when they established their "Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls" in February 2007. In their published report, they cited concern over sexuality the Bratz dolls allegedly portray.
Bratz were not the only dolls to be criticized in this report, which highlighted not only toys but also other products and the wider media; including the Bratz animated series. In the United Kingdom a spokesman for Bratz defended the toy line by saying that Bratz are purchased by over-eights and are directed to the preteen and teen market, and that the focus on the dolls while on looks was not on sexualization and that friendship was also a key focus of Bratz dolls.
The spokesman quoted Dr Bryan Young of Exeter University as saying "parents may feel awkward but I don't think children see the dolls as sexy. They just think they're pretty". Isaac Larian, in comments given to the BBC, voiced the opinion that the report was a "bunch of garbage" and that the people who wrote it were acting irresponsibly.
On Christmas Day 2006, Miami resident Kristina Acre received the Jade Singing Bratz doll as a gift. According to her father, Luis Acre, Kristina indicated the doll was saying "lots of bad words". According to Luis Acre, these included "the f- and b-words" and, "bahhumbug."  Later, MGA Entertainment responded on their website stating that the story had no merit, and posted the profanity-free lyrics to the song in question on the Bratz.com website.
The Bratz range of dolls have affected the sale of Mattel's leading fashion doll, Barbie. In 2004, sales figures showed that Bratz dolls were outselling Barbie dolls in the United Kingdom, although Mattel maintained that in terms of the number of dolls, clothes and accessories sold, Barbie remained the leading brand. In 2005, figures showed that sales of Barbie dolls had fallen by 30% in the United States, and by 18% worldwide, with much of the drop being attributed to the popularity of Bratz dolls.
In April 2005, MGA Entertainment filed a lawsuit against Mattel, claiming that the "My Scene" line of Barbie dolls had copied the doe-eyed look of Bratz dolls. The lawsuit is currently pending in the court system of California.
Mattel sued MGA Entertainment for $500 million alleging that Bratz creator Carter Bryant was working for Mattel when he developed the idea for Bratz. On July 17, 2008, a federal jury ruled that Bryant had created the Bratz while he was working for Mattel, despite MGA's claim that Bryant had not been employed by Mattel at the time and Bryant's assertion that he had designed the Bratz between two separate periods of employment at Mattel. The jury also ruled that MGA and its Chief Executive Officer Isaac Larian were liable for converting Mattel property for their own use and intentionally interfering with the contractual duties owed by Bryant to Mattel. On August 26, the jury found that Mattel would have to be paid US $100 million in damages, citing that only the first generation of Bratz had infringed on Mattel property and that MGA had innovated and evolved the product significantly enough that subsequent generations of Bratz could not be conclusively found to be infringing.
On December 3, 2008, U.S. District Judge Stephen Larson granted a permanent injunction requested by Mattel against MGA. The injunction was to have been enforced on February 11, 2009 at the earliest, the same date that Mattel and MGA would once again be in court to present their cases for appeal, and mandated that MGA must remove, at its own cost, all Bratz product from store shelves, reimburse retailers for the product, turn over the recalled product to Mattel for disposal, and destroy all marketing materials and molds and materials used in the production of the dolls. The judge made exceptions for a very limited number of products, under the condition that they be packaged separately from the allegedly infringing toys. MGA immediately filed an appeal and was granted a stay in the enforcement of the injunction through at least the end of the 2009 holiday season. MGA is currently seeking appeal of the 2008 judgement and a permanent stay of injunction.
is a live-action film released theatrically in 2007. The film stars Nathalia Ramos as Yasmin, Janel Parrish as Jade, Logan Browning as Sasha, and Skyler Shaye as Cloe in a story that follows the Bratz as they start high school. Lainie Kazan and Jon Voight co-star.
Bratz have seen several direct-to-DVD movies including in 2004, and, in 2005 Bratz Rock Angelz. Released in 2006 were Bratz Genie Magic, , and Bratz Forever Diamondz. In 2007, three DVD movies were released including Bratz Fashion Pixiez, , and Bratz Super Babyz. In 2008, three more movies were released: Bratz Kidz Fairy Tales, Bratz Babyz Save Christmas, and Bratz Girls Really Rock.
Bratz has also directed a made for TV movie which aired in February 2009 as the sequel to Bratz Genie Magic. This aired on Boomerang for the UK entitled .
Music albums include Bratz: Rock Angelz in 2005, and, in 2006, and . Albums in 2007 include and Two albums were released in 2008: and .
Bratz had a computer-animated television series, based on a line of toy dolls of the same name. It was produced by Mike Young Productions and MGA Entertainment, and premiered on the FOX 4Kids TV television programming block on September 10, 2005 and ended on April 7, 2007.
Nickelodeon announced the October 2008 launch of a Bratz-themed reality show, Bratz Design Academy in which 9 to 14 year olds will compete in Project Runway-type fashion challenges, with the winner designing clothing for a British line of Bratz dolls.
Bratz interactive DVDs include Livin it up with the Bratz (2006), Bratz Glitz n Glamour (2007), and LilParty Time (2008).