Barbie did her best to get rid of her rivals, but the Bratz dolls are back and coming to a store near you.
If you are the parent of a young girl, you probably already know the story, but let’s recap: In 2008, a jury ruled that Bratz maker MGA Entertainment had essentially stolen the concept for Bratz dolls from Mattel. After that, the dolls we love to hate pretty much disappeared from the toy store shelves. But in July, a federal appeals court overturned that earlier ruling and cleared the way for MGA to resume manufacturing the dolls.
But in the years since Bratz were put on the back burner, things have changed. Not only are there some new rival dolls to contend with, fashion has changed. As such, Bratz have gotten a makeover.
In an effort to present a more demure image, Bratz dolls are showing less skin and wearing slightly less makeup. According to MGA’s Chief Executive Isaac Larian, the new and improved Bratz dolls are going for a look that is “more preppy than sexy.” And failing miserably, in my opinion. If their pouty lips have been deflated and their bling has been scaled back, I sure can’t tell. They look as ridiculous as ever.
I’ve always had mixed feelings about Bratz dolls. On the one hand, I found them to be really ugly. I thought all the makeup and skimpy outfits made them look like prostitutes. But as offensive as they may have been, it was clear to even the youngest kid that they weren’t supposed to look like real women. With their over-sized heads, invisible noses and blown up lips, they were cartoonish.
Barbie, on the other hand, tries to look like a real woman. And to the untrained eye, she does. She may wear less makeup and have a normal- sized noggin, but her impossibly long legs, tiny waist and perky breasts are just as unrealistic as the Bratz’ snap-off feet. Just not so obviously trashy.
Larian says that getting retailers back on board with Bratz dolls is proving to be a challenge as many are hesitant to take a chance on a product that may end up in court again. But what about parents?
White House correspondent Jake Tapper says absolutely not. He thinks they look like they came “straight out of Hustle and Flow” and if he wanted his three-year-old to see that, he’d just Netflix “Showgirls.”
What about you? Are the new and improved Bratz dolls new and improved enough?
Image: Toys R Us
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