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Can these plastic beings take on the might of Mattel?

Saturday, 7 April 2007

Barbie VS The Bratz Dolls


The Barbie Doll vs। The Bratz Dolls by: Terry Edwards

There is no question, argument, or debate over the fact that the Mattel Barbie doll is the most popular doll of all-time। Barbie has been a favorite of little girls for nearly 50 years now and a constant top selling toy in retail stores everywhere. With that said, there seems to be another doll favorite in stores these days called the Bratz dolls. The Bratz dolls have recently given Barbie some tough competition in the doll industry. Introduced in 2001, some of the many Bratz line of dolls include Bratz Babyz, Bratz Step Out, Bratz Rock Angelz, and many others as well. You can go inside any toy section of your favorite retailer and find a wide selection of these popular new dolls. Also included is a whole line of Lil Bratz which are designed for girls under 6 years of age. Another factor in this doll rivalry is the fact that the Bratz dolls have fashions and accessories that include every ethnic group, whereas up until the last couple of years, Barbie had not. Could it have been the competition from Bratz that forced Barbie into this change? With Bratz closing the gap in sales, Barbie needed to come up with some fresh ideas. It should also be noted that Bratz dolls are also available in male models as well. Over the past few holiday seasons we have seen the Princess Barbie and the Pauper Anneliesse become very popular and very good sellers. We are also seeing Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus. Included in the selection is Pegasus Annika, Cloud Queen Rayla, Prince Aidan, and Flying Horse Brietta. The newest line of Barbie's is the Barbie Mini Kingdom. This line of Barbie,s is a miniature collection of dolls and accessories that are 6" in height. Bratz has followed suit with a line called Bratz Forever Diamondz. At a price of $29.95 it is the most expensive Bratz dolls yet. The success this new collection is enjoying is very impressive. A new video game called Bratz Forever Diamondz is now on the market for Sony Playstation as well as Ninentendo. The company hopes this new video game will follow the success of the Rock Angelz game. Even more than this, there is talk of a full length animated motion picture in the works for release in 2007. At no other time in Barbie's history has the competition been this fierce. Will Barbie survive? Only time will tell, but I wouldn't bet against her just yet. It would be hard to imagine life without Barbie. With nearly 50 years under her belt she has seen just about everything. Does anybody see the similarities between this years Barbie range and last years Barbie range? Is it just a coincidence that Princess Anneliesse from last year is now Princess Annika, Pauper Erika is now Cloud Queen Rayla and King Dominic/Julian is now Prince Aidan. They also look pretty similar too! This is not to say that the new range is not fantastic because it is but maybe this explains the sudden interest in something new for children such as the new Bratz dolls which are exciting and different and not scared of causing controversy. Maybe our children need toys that reflect the times and do not send us back to our past. Barbie maybe correct in trying to try a few different styles in order to compete with Bratz but diversification may be in order.

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Barbie's decades-long dominance of the doll market is now facing a strong challenge from Bratz, which has already overtaken the Mattel Inc। brand in many countries around the world as the top-selling fashion doll.

Launched by MGA Entertainment Inc. in 2001, the Bratz line also offers outfits, playsets, and even video games and DVDs, with a motion picture scheduled for release in 2006. The Bratz characters include Dana, Sasha, Cloe, Phoebe, Yasmin, Jade, Roxxi, Nevra, Kumi and Meygan.
Bratz has already been recognized by various toy industry groups. The doll has been named Toy of the Year by both the Toy Industry Association and Family Fun, while the Licensing Industry Merchandisers Association has given the Character Brand License of the Year award to Bratz.
The surging sales of Bratz dolls worldwide has strongly affected Barbie's sales, and has already led to a management revamp at Mattel Inc. Mattel brands president Matthew Bousquette tendered his resignation in October 2005, with the division to be reorganized under a single unit headed by ex-Fisher Price executive Neil B. Friedman.
The restructure reflects how much market share has declined for Barbie and skyrocketed for Bratz. Market analysts also feel that the multi-ethnic looks, big heads and edgy appeal of Bratz dolls are now more popular with girls, who have apparently tired of the "cleaner" look of Barbie. Displays of Barbie at Target Corp., Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and other major US retailers have given way to greater and more prominent shelf space for Bratz.
The 10" Bratz dolls are shorter than the 11.5" Barbie dolls. However, the MGA brand has moved ahead of its rival due also to their diva-like appearance, the line's "fashionista" apparel, and detailed accessories. Bratz dolls also have their shoes and feet attached, making it easier to change shoes and to better keep all removable parts together.
MGA Entertainment is apparently not relaxing despite the huge market success of its doll line. For 2006, the company is reportedly launching new themes for Bratz dolls.
Yellow and black will be the hallmark of Bratz Dynamite, which will feature Meygan, Cloe and Nevra. These dolls will come in bikes and outfits using the same color combinations.
A masquerade ball is the theme of the Midnite Dance Line. Gothic designs, Victorian-era costumes and individual masks in shades of purple, black and dark blue will characterize these Bratz dolls. The set will also include a huge black car.
Red is the predominant color for the Bratz Campfire dolls, which draw their inspiration in part from the 2004 wintertime dolls. This line comes with a red jeep as the mode of transport.
Horses and a western outlook are the themes of Wild Wild West Bratz, while the Oooh La La Line will mark the Winter Time Bratz, with Dana, Cloe and Kumi coming in pink, lilac and plaid combinations.
The Rock Angelz Bratz Dolls are being touted as the company's top product next year. The release of this line will also include CDs and a movie.
The other upcoming lines include: Bratz Babyz; Bratz Pretty N Punk; Bratz Twiinz; and the London-themed Bratz Pretty N Punk Party Spot, which includes the Bratz Boys.
MGA is offering variations of Bratz Babyz in the Carriage Cruiser and Motor Bike lines. Bratz Pretty N Punk will also come under the Phone Booth collection, which includes an LED display, moveable handset and graffiti stickers.

Bratz World

The only girls with a passion for fashion now have their own TV series, and it’s exclusive to the CITV channel, every day at 4.30pm!
Starring best friends Cloe, Yasmin, Jade and Sasha, they juggle their cool teen magazine, school work and personal life in each high stylin’ episode. Packed full of funky fashions, friendship and flirtation, the Bratz girls are the best at finding adventures that take them from high school, to exotic far-flung cities – and even to outer space.
Life in the Bratz camp isn’t always peaches and cream though, particularly where rival magazine editor Burdine Maxwell is concerned. Burdine has long blonde hair, only wears pink and considers herself fashion royalty. Can the girls take on the ageing queen of fashion and inject some of their own cool and funky style?
Don’t miss Bratz – it’ll rock your world!