Mattel loses Bratz battle, must pay millions
The Bratz line, which has deeply hurt Barbie sales, does not belong to Mattel, a jury decides.
Barbie maker Mattel (MAT) got smacked down by a federal jury today, and was ordered to pay $88.5 million to rival MGA Entertainment in a dispute over the Bratz line.
In what's being called a stunning decision, the jury told Mattel that it does not own the Bratz dolls. The legal battle has been going since 2004, and one analyst said today that Mattel's failure to settle was a "tremendously bad decision" by management.
Post continues after this news report about the jury's decision:
"It means they wasted $400 million or so of shareholder money to get zero return," the analyst told Reuters. Mattel shares dropped nearly 3% after the verdict, but later recovered to $26.68, down less than 1%.
The verdict was a momentous victory for MGA after a prolonged legal scuffle that turned ugly. Mattel executives had described a "rival-led Barbie genocide" in one internal memo, according to The Associated Press. "This is war and sides must be taken: Barbie stands for good. All others stand for evil," the memo read.
MGA's chief executive, Isaac Larian, wept as the verdict was read while Mattel's chief executive leaned back in his chair and rubbed his forehead with his hand, The Los Angeles Times reports. "It very well shows that in America, even huge corporations are not above the law," Larian told Reuters.
The whole thing may sound a little silly, but there are billions at stake. MGA has sold more than $3.3 billion in Bratz products since the dolls debuted, reaping nearly $300 million in profits, the AP reported. Barbie profits sank by nearly $400 million in that period.
The jury's decision was a complete turnaround from the first trial between the companies, in 2008. At that time, a jury awarded Mattel $100 million in damages and told MGA to hand the Bratz line over to Mattel. But that jury verdict was overturned last year, and the issue went to federal court.
Now, the question is whether the Bratz dolls have survived all the years of turmoil. The legal issue made some retailers uneasy about committing to sell Bratz, and the fashion-doll category has changed over the years, the Los Angeles Times reports.
"Mattel killed the Bratz brand," MGA's Larian said. "It will never be the same level it was before."
the bratz dolls suck. if you want a good doll,
try american girl. i'm collecting those, and i
can, so :p! enough about barbie vs. bratz,
barbie came out first, and she will always
be better. sorry.
Have all you Bratz-bashing "parents" (I don't really believe most of you are out of High School) ever actually played with one? Growing up, I owned both Bratz AND Barbies, but preferred Bratz for reasons just like Nikkole said. They had "trendy" clothes (Honestly, not many of the outfits were trashy, just downright hideous) and more and better hair. Just because I played with them doesn't mean at all that I aspired to be like them. Extremely far from it, actually. I wear less makeup than nearly every girl in my High School, and I'm a huge believer in natural beauty. What you played with as a child doesn't even come close to defining you.
Also, have any of you SEEN a Bratz doll? Any kid who wants to look like one has serious issues. They have heads taller than their torsos, lips the size their head should be, and feet that come off. Far from the ideal image.
When Bratz dolls first came out, some relative (on the OTHER side of the family) gave my daughter one for her birthday. I took one look at it and threw it in the trash.
I think the bratz dolls are horrible role model toys for girls. I think they have too much make up on thier face, and thier clothes are slutty and show too much "skin". Girls don't need that kind of example of being a girl. Mind you, when I was a girl, Barbies face had a ton of make-up on her and had an impossible waist no normal girl could have along with other attributes. Now she's far more natural looking.
I would never buy those dolls for my daughter. Yes, she's asked for one, and we talked about why I won't by them. Now she looks at them and says "Mom, they need a natural make over!".
I did buy her a barbie doll, but we still talk about real expectations of size, shape, beauty and weight. I'm 5 ft 4, I'll never be a super model, or wear a size 7 again. My daughter is on her way to being probably 5 ft 7, and wants to be a Engineer. She's 10.
Barbie Is Mattel's Golden Goose And Got It's Butt Kicked By A Competitor...
So, Being The Bigger With More Money, Mattel Went After MGA In Attempts To Grab Back The Market It Lost...
It Succeeded During The Years Of Turmoil, And By Doing So Cost MGA Profits And FUTURE Profits By Damaging Their Product Name And Momentum..
88 Million Is Hardly Enough...
MGA Needs To Counter Sue Now And Slam Mattel BIG TIME For Further Damages...
Barbie Lost It, Bratz Line Was & Is & Will Continue To Be Awsome!!
I'm A Father Of A 12 Year Old Girl........
Let people buy whatever doll they like best. As for me, Barbie will never be beat by any other doll. A few great reasons to love Barbie. Barbie is a perfect example of what a feminine woman should look like. She keeps her hair and nails looking nice, wears makeup and dresses with a sense of style and class WITHOUT ever looking cheap. Barbie cares about her weight and never makes an excuse why she has to look like a over puffed marshmallow. Barbie is a happy person, cares about others yet keeps her strong vision and moral fiber intact. Barbie wanted marriage but Ken did not so they split up. Barbie came out looking like a classy lady once again and was not going to let a man have his way with her without being married.
Thumbs up if Barbie IS what a woman should be.
Barbie YOU will always be my doll of choice.
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