Bratz back … for now

2009-01-09 00:00

A COURT judgment in the U.S. will keep the popular pre-teen Bratz dolls on the shelves, albeit for only one more year.

Mattel (the manufacturers of Barbie) recently won a four-year legal battle after accusing MG Entertainment (the makers of Bratz) of copyright infringement.

Bratz designer Carter Bryant worked for Mattel before launching Bratz in 2001 and has been accused of stealing ideas from Mattel. It was also argued that sales of Barbie dropped considerably after the launch of the cooler, multi-racial Bratz dolls.

In December, MG was ordered to stop making Bratz and to pay Mattel $100 million in damages.

But on January 2, the judge ordered a stayed execution of the judgment, allowing Bratz to be sold in 2009. All profits will then be awarded to Mattel and it is at this point uncertain whether Mattel will continue the line.

Weekend Witness interviewed store managers at Game, Clicks, Edgars, CNA, Jet, Reggies and Woolworths at the Liberty Midlands Mall to find out whether they were aware of the case and if they still stocked Bratz dolls.

Other than Game, all the stores had the merchandise on their shelves. The Game manager said he was told to keep all the new merchandise in the storeroom.

“We weren’t aware that there was any problem with the product. So we will continue to sell Bratz …” said the Clicks training manager. At other stores, Bratz dolls were sold out following the very busy festive season. Managers didn’t know whether they would be receiving new stock.

“What I have gathered is that Chloe the blonde Brat may be the only one discontinued because she looks like Barbie. The rest of the Bratz will still be sold … ” said the buying manager for CNA.

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