The Bratz dolls were 15 years ahead of us and we didn’t realize

Bratz is a line of fashionable American dolls manufactured by MGA Entertainment. The first four dolls were launched in 2001.

History

First steps

Toy designer Carter Bryant was responsible for the development of the Bratz toy line. In 2000, he met with Isaac Larian, CEO of Micro-Games America Entertainment (MGA Entertainment). There, Bryant presented his photos to him and Larian found them horrifying, however he found that the sketches captivated his daughter, Jasmin, who was visiting the office at the time.

(2001-2013)
In June 2001
, the Bratz dolls were launched with four urban fashion characters, called Yasmin, Chloe, Sasha and Jade. They gained great popularity, becoming number one in many countries, such as France, Spain and Italy, Japan and number two in the United Kingdom. The dolls won the Family Fun Toy of the Year Award and the Toy of the Year Award by popular election of the Toy Industry Association, Inc. (TIA, Toy Industry Association).

In 2002, the Bratz was the UK’s Toy of the Year, becoming a serious competitor to the longtime number one Barbie fashion doll, and has been a global phenomenon ever since.

In 2003 she again won an award from the Toy Industry Association, this time for the best female toy of the year, for “Bratz Super Stylin’ Runway Disco”.

While MGA Entertainment was enjoying great success with the Bratz dolls, it suddenly announced in 2003 that one of the most beloved characters in the Bratz Pack line, Meygan, would be discontinued, rejoining the Wildlife Safari collection.

A special collector’s edition, called the Big Bratz, contains versions of the Bratz that are 2 feet tall (approximately 61 cm) and was introduced in 2003, with Yasmin added as a member of the Bratz Pack annually; the limited edition dolls come with a certificate of authenticity and are dressed in fashionable fall/winter clothing.

In 2012 a spin off was launched on the Bratz Bratzillaz witches cousins, later in 2013 the franchise logo was changed and the main characters redesigned, but the fans were not very satisfied with the dolls so MGA withdrew the Bratz temporarily to renew the franchise throughout 2014 and bring them back in 2015.

Return (2015-present)
The Bratz returned in July 2015 with new outfits, new features, sticking to the current fashion and with a new member of the group whose name is Raya. The new Bratz have some similarities to the past Bratz, like their big feet and fashionable clothes, but the characteristic of the eyes were changed taking away the big makeup that used to characterize them as well as their big heels and mini skirts were transformed to a more childish and “appropriate” style. They also “revived” some old lines like

Next lines
In the lines that followed, Meygan (who was separated for a time and later returned), Nevra, Tiana, Kumi, Felicia, and Kiana (who has been officially retired) joined the Bratz Pack most of which were introduced, either through game sets, or through collector’s editions of dolls. Also joining the Bratz Pack were four sets of “Twins”, Roxxi and Phoebe, Tess and Nona; Oriana and Valentina; Krysta and Lela; Diona and Ciara and Fio and Patri (Wicked Twins). Oriana and Valentina were later joined by a triplet sister, Sierrna, in a special “Triiiplets” set. The character May Lin was produced only once, as a special collection doll and wore a kimono as part of the Tokyo-A-Go-Go collection, and was later removed, due to the culturally offensive nature of her name.

Each year, the Bratz collections included a basic line, at least one or two economic collections and two or three characteristic collections. The basic lines, such as Flaunt It!, Strut It!, Xpress It!, Funk Out! or Step Out! had the Bratz with two matching outfits. Each collection brings new styles of shoes and accessories (the Bratz with piercings in the eyes started with the production of Funk Out! and the new line of accessories from Canillos in the Step Out!) The economy lines include I-Candy, Hollywood Style, Sportz and Birthday Bash, which contain the Bratz with a change of clothes and the minimum of accessories. Real mascara first appeared in the Girls Nite Out collection (2004), then in the Wild Wild West and in the Holiday Katia and The Movie. The head molds offered by the girls with the open mouth smiles were initially offered in the Formal Funk collection. The unique Head Gamez line went a step further, allowing the user to customize their own Bratz by removing and placing the head on a specially designed body.

Collectable posters have been included since 2001 and the collection postcards were introduced in 2004. Other dolls include key chains, decorations, stickers, playing cards and cosmetics.

In addition to the dolls, the Bratz line includes play sets, vehicles, accessories, the Lil Bratz, the Bratz Babyz, the Petz cuddly toys (Catz, Pony, Dogz and Foxz), Bratz Boyz, Bratz Kidz and currently Bratz World Familiez, such as moms, collectors’ posters and a series of video games, developed by Blitz Games.

Relevance

The Bratz were a milestone in the history of the toy store. First of all for standing up to Barbie, the doll whose reign seemed unquestionable. Secondly for having created a new concept of doll that created a school and has had multiple followers. Until 2001, the dolls sold a classic, timeless, sweet, princess image. This trend was broken by the Bratz. The modern, urban, adolescent and cheeky image of these dolls created a turning point.

Behind the Bratz: The Moxie Girlz
In July 2009 the company MGAE launched the Moxie Girlz line of dolls using Bratz characters and new MGAE characters. The characteristics of the Moxie Girlz are similar to those of the Bratz since they are four friends: Sophia, Lexa, Avery and Bria (Avery being part of the Bratz Babyz), their website was already launched with four lines of dolls that have similarity with the lines Passion 4 Fashion, Sweet Dreamz: Pajama Party and Magic Hair, adding Art-itude.

After losing the litigation with Mattel, MGA has created the Moxie Girlz line with which it hoped to cause the same effect as the Bratz, after the latter became part of Mattel in 2010.

But at the end of 2010 the Bratz returned with new collections and the Moxie Girlz followed part of MGA with the new Moxie Teenz company.

Characters

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The main bratz are Chloe (Caucasian), Yasmin (Hispanic), Jade (Oriental), Sasha (African-American). Not all of them have appeared in the totality of collections, but they have appeared in most of them. They have also been the four, protagonists of the films, the series and video games. In order to give the women the chance to respond, four Bratz Boyz have appeared. These are Cameron (Caucasian), Dylan (black or mulatto), Eitan (Oriental) and Koby (Caucasian). To this basic list of bratz have been added countless new characters.

Film

The film was directed by Sean McNamara and the main characters are Skyler Shaye (Chloe), Janel Parrish (Jade), Nathalia Ramos (Yasmin) and Logan Browning (Sasha). The starring appearances of Jon Voight stand out.

15 Years ahead of us

Anyone who grew up between the late 1990s and any time in the 2000s will remember the arrival of the Barbie doll’s nemesis, the Bratz.

The first generation of Bratz, named Jasmin, Chloe, Sasha, and Jade, came into our lives in 2001, and just one year later, the mighty Barbie Doll had been stripped of her throne as one of the best-selling toys. More editions followed, and the Bratz family grew almost as large as their heads. While it is true that at first glance the Bratz continue to perpetuate a canon of beauty where the fundamental thing seems to be a wasp’s waist, they also contributed many things that are so 2017 that it seems hard to believe that that was 2001.

The Bratz presented four multiracial and ethnically diverse dolls against the sovereign whiteness of Barbie. Diversity is a word that 2017 has very much in mind, but it didn’t seem so important in 2001… except in the Bratz universe, of course: one of the best-selling toys to date was a rich, white, blonde lady named Barbie, and then the Bratz appeared, whose names were Jasmin, Cloe, Sasha and Jade and whose skin color was varied.

Unlike in the Barbie universe, where her friends were just as much accessories as her mansion or her pink New Beatle, in the Bratz universe the four protagonists were just as important regardless of their skin color, making racial diversity not only something visible that a lot of pre-teens could identify with, but also something natural and beautiful. Do you want to be surprised? There it is.

The Bratz also represented a more accessible role model. If you wanted to be Barbie you had to have money, things as they are. To have all the accessories you needed more than just ambition. Barbie was a doll that offered an aspirational life in different shades of pink. In 2001, the year of the arrival of the Bratz, and no matter how much Barbie had brought out her astronaut or vet doll, she was still presenting us with a new edition of the Barbie princess, and how the hell could a neighborhood girl become a princess if we weren’t born with blue blood?

If Barbie was the lady you could become by hooking up with and getting your master’s degree in private school, representing the “if you want to, you can” philosophy at its best, Bratz represented the girl you’d be in a couple of years: a middle-class or even lower class, ordinary teenager with an interest in fashion, makeup and spending time with friends. In other words, practically any teenager.

Did the Bratz Doll anticipate the 2008 crisis by creating role models who were not so tied to the materiality of the capitalist system that Barbie enjoyed? I say yes.

Her physical appearance was also visionary: thanks to the feminism of this millennium, we find many, many women rescuing traditionally female parts of the world that have long been a source of mockery, ridicule or shame. This includes parts referred to the body (fat, cellulite, stretch marks or body hair), to the way of dressing (miniskirts, tops or shorts, whatever your size), of acting (being very guirly) or of tastes (romantic comedies, guilty pleasures) and hobbies (makeup, hairdressing, the world of cosmetics and beauty in general).

Today’s feminism rejects the negative opinion about women and, in this sense, the use or non-use of makeup always seems to generate debate (“I like girls without makeup”, “it’s that it’s painted like a door”, “you should see it with your face washed”). From this movement comes an endless number of celebrations and one of them is the fascination with the world of makeup and cosmetics without many women having to be labeled as superficial or even hypocritical.

Now look at a Bratz doll, tell me if she doesn’t look like she just uploaded a fantasy makeup tutorial to Youtube. It seems that the Bratz factory stopped being ashamed of its more stereotypically feminine side before many of us and started celebrating, believe it or not, in 2001.

Perhaps in 2017, Bratz should go back ahead and think about what the woman of the future will look like. In this sense, Barbie has already done so with a series of dolls with more diverse bodies (tall, short, skinny and curvy) and has incorporated diversity in the color of her dolls. I imagine a curvy Bratz with no problem, and in addition, Bratz style: with her shorts, her fishnet stockings, her boots and her lack of complex. If this factory, born from nothing, was able to visualize a different world for women in 2001, I think it could also do so in 2017… what will women be like in 2031? Think, Bratz! You have enough head for it.

Are the Bratz an emblem of our modernity?

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Since their appearance in 2001 the Bratz have been very particular dolls. Now we analyze the two great opinions we find about them: icons of modernity or examples of post-feminism.

The Bratz appeared on the market in 2001 and represented a revolution in the toy industry, as they broke with the hegemony of the Barbie to present some dolls with a passion for fashion and a more urban style. Thus, for several years the Bratz occupied the throne of the doll preferred by children, leaving the Barbie in the background. However, their appearance also brought discomfort among some parents who considered the Bratz to be a highly sexualized doll. Now, the generation that lived their emergence has put them back on the rise as a symbol of modernity.

The fundamental traits that characterize the Bratz, as Sarah Becker analyzes in an article for Media, Culture & Society magazine based on the dolls’ films, is that they are a racially diverse group of four friends who all share a passion for fashion, although each has her own style. Thus, they must overcome various obstacles to preserve Bratz Magazine from the ruses of its archenemy Burdine, the magazine’s editor of the competition that embodies the prototype of the white middle-aged woman champion of classic fashion.

They are considered a symbol of feminist values such as sorority, independence from patriarchy, freedom to express themselves as women or the collective struggle against old canons

There are different opinions about the representation of these dolls and their implications. The most current, and the one that many of us can see in social networks today, is the concept of the Bratz as an emblem of modernity. They are considered a symbol of feminist values such as sorority, independence from patriarchy, the freedom to express oneself as a woman or the collective struggle against old canons.

In the fictions of the Bratz, the demand for collective struggle is always present, since they always manage to solve problems thanks to the participation of all. In the same way, there is also a willingness to empower women by claiming that they are independent to do what they want. Thus, they grow up in the face of people’s criticism, an aspect that is evident in the origin of their name. Bratz comes from the English insult brat, which means brat, and which they appropriate and adapt by adding a z to express their own power and attitude in the face of adversity. Also, although they all like fashion, they value that girls can have as hobbies activities such as skateboarding or soccer, which has traditionally been related to the stereotype of masculinity. Thus, the fact that they often have to face Burdine’s rules and tricks, also shows a symbolism that can be related to the battle of feminism to dismantle conservative ideas related to women.

This perception of the Bratz as an example of the modern and independent woman is very present in social networks. For example, in the publications of the Instagram @bratzdivass account, with more than 570 thousand followers, some of the ideas explained above can be appreciated.

In the Bratz we find a very specific type of femininity, considering them a prototype of a highly sexualized woman
On the other hand, there are positions that question the above and defend that these arguments are the result of post-feminism or neo-liberal feminism which, as Sarah Becker explains, defends women’s individual freedom and the power to transform and improve themselves, without considering possible structural inequalities. In this way, it is denounced that the Bratz portray a complex vision of individualism because, although it is shown that they always support each other, they do not fight for a better society but for them to be better. Similarly, in the Bratz we find a very specific type of femininity, considering them a prototype of a highly sexualized woman. Likewise, although there is a varied racial representation, at no time is any reference made to the situations of discrimination that most racialized women suffer. Another element that can be seen in the Brtaz’s films is that they always want to be fashionable and use consumerism as a form of expression, following what the market establishes and perpetuating what corporations or producers consider to be a teenage woman.

In short, these two positions before the meaning of the representation of the Bratz is a clear example of two currents of thought that coexist in our society and that have influenced all the children who have grown up playing with them. Thus, I wonder, are the Bratz an icon of modernity today or just another consequence of neoliberal feminism.

Bershka launches a new collection inspired by the Bratz and fans criticize the absence of the most important garment

The Bratz are mythical dolls that were released in 2001 and their popularity reached such a high level that they even made series and movies about them. Since then, they became the favorite toy of millions of people with an extravagant style that conquered everyone.

With those big eyes, lips and heads that characterize them, they marked a before and after. Although they seemed to be totally missing, Bershka has launched a new collection about them with which Twitter has exploded.

The term Bratz has positioned itself in the trends of Spain and it has all been because of the comments about this new fashion line on the dolls. Among the products it has launched, we can find garments from the different protagonists, all with their respective names.

As it is a low cost firm within Inditex, prices are quite reasonable. The collection is made up of dresses, cell phone covers, jogging pants and even t-shirts with pure merchandising style faces.

However, fans have criticized the absence of one product in particular that is not included: boots with a giant platform that the dolls always wore. Others, like Andrea Compton, have shown their dissatisfaction with the short variety of sizes in this collection.

Making up as a ‘Bratz’, a challenge that revolutionized Instagram

Exploiting a great amount of colors and adapting to any skin, this challenge comes to fill the social network with color and excess.

Bratzchallenge’ is the new challenge that is sweeping Instagram, something that is not surprising due to the care and work that take some of the sensational makeup.

The Bratz are dolls created in 2001 and managed to be the queens of toy stores halfway around the world. Excessive and colorful, these dolls had everything to succeed. Their universe expanded so much that they even made it to television.

Big lips and well-defined lines and eye shadows are the beginning of how they managed to achieve this not at all subtle make-up. Exploiting a great amount of colors and adapting to any skin, this challenge comes to fill the social network with color and excess.

Are the Bratz a plagiarism of Barbie?

dolls-shopping-bratz-plagiarism-barbie

Background

In 2000, when he was still working for Mattel as a designer in the “Collectible Barbies” department, Carter Bryant presented MGA with his idea for the Bratz dolls, through some sketches and a rudimentary doll model. MGA offered him a consulting contract, and on the day he signed the agreement with MGA, Bryant informed Mattel that he was quitting his job. He gave two weeks’ notice and immediately set to work creating a prototype Bratz doll for MGA. The drawings used for the presentation of Bratz’ idea were the basis for the first generation of Bratz dolls, named Cloe, Yasmin, Sasha and Jade.

With the commercial success of Bratz, Mattel discovered Mr. Bryant’s involvement. This led to the first lawsuit in 2004, in which Mr. Bryant’s violation of his employment contract was confirmed. Numerous lawsuits and counterclaims were filed, and all claims relating to Bratz’ property were consolidated into a single case in the United States Federal District Court for the Central District of California.

Bratz dolls are independent of the Barbie empire, according to one judge

Although the creator of Bratz was an employee of Mattel when he invented the dolls.
The court sentences Mattel, owner of Barbie, to pay 218 million to MGA .
For the damages caused to her rival and in compensation for the costs of the process.

A judge has sentenced toy maker Mattel to pay more than $309 million (218 million euros) to rival MGA Entertainment after a court ruling in April ruled that the Bratz dolls were independent of the Barbie empire, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

Mattel began a lawsuit in 2004 against MGA for the exploitation rights of Bratz, which were born in 2001 with a more modern and urban air and became serious competition to the classic Barbie, considering that its creator designed them while he was an employee of his company.

After two trials, a California federal court upheld MGA in April and this week the judge in charge of the case, David O. Carter, sentenced Mattel to pay just over $309 million in damages to its rival and in compensation for the costs of the process and the expensive lawyers’ fees.

“I feel vindicated and very excited. I am happy for MGA, for its employees and for all the people who believed in us and did not abandon us during all these years,” said Isaac Larian, CEO of the Los Angeles-based company.

Carter Bryant, designer of the Bratz
Judge Carter also dismissed Mattel’s request for a retrial, finding that its request, which explained that the jury’s decision lacked adequate evidentiary support to rule in favor of MGA, was unfounded.

“We remain committed to finding a reasonable solution to the litigation,” Mattel said in a statement explaining that it is evaluating the next steps. Barbie’s owners insist that Carter Bryant, designer of the Bratz and founder of MGA, was a Mattel employee when he designed the dolls in the 1990s and that he violated the “invention clause” he had signed with the company by taking his creations outside of Mattel.

The first trial concluded in 2008 with a verdict that was contrary to MGA and required that company to cease production of Bratz. MGA appealed and got an appeals court to overturn the first trial in July 2010 on the grounds that there had been “several errors” in the process.