Several days ago I heard that Mattell had won bratz, barbie , mattell a suit against MGM the maker of the popular seres of Bratz dolls. To say that I was shocked is a light way of putting my reaction to Mattel’s lawsuit against the beloved dolls, videos and books that stress a bratz way of life creative, nonconventional, and realistic.
Mattel won 100 million dollars from MGM by stating that the creator of the Bratz dolls came up with the idea while working for Mattell. I suppose this goes somewhere in the non-compete clause where you agree to not compete with your employer while working there and for a number of years after. I am not sure of the wording but the two dolls are so dramatically different it is questionable in my mind whether MGM competed with Barbie or just created a totally different idea that happened to be a toy and happened to be a doll.
The Bratz filled in a missing component in American culture and World culture that was missing, and that was the belief that one had to be a white to be beautiful. Sure they had black Barbies, Black Barbies with Chocolate icing on them but it was always understood that Blonde Barbie was the queen and there would be no other competitors, everyone came in second. A Barbie only society was and is like a reinforcement of shall I say it white supremacy. MGM however changed the rules of Game, along came the Bratz with their flirtatious looks, their racial varieties, their attitudes and their international worldview. Furthermore, for those people into doll studies, it no longer became the color of the skin that mattered but the features also, my daughter who is black looks like the Asian Jade and on the Bratz video game plays as the character Jade. While color became important the Bratz series has presented a multidimensional options for young girls and parents appreciative of the Bratz.
With the Bratz, the Doll world no longer has one queen but has suddenly become a democracy without a president only a congress. Barbie has been sent to Buckingham as a ceremonial queen, and meanwhile the world has moved on into a good old American Democracy in Bratz land.
The question must be asked in Mattel’s suit of MGM Bratz were their motives pure, did they just wish to say that the MGM capitalized on an idea that they would have used or is this an attempt to maintain a monopoly on the doll industry. The fact is Barbie does not need MGM to put big lips on a doll, or to give them funky clothes, or a funky attitude. They have not done this, therefore it is my opinion that Mattell’s motives are only to maintain a monopoly on the doll industry and therefore they should be sued for this.