Bratz has overtaken Barbie in many parts of the world as the number one selling fashion doll. Following in Barbie's footsteps, the Bratz line includes much more than just the dolls alone. They also produce playsets, outfits, a clothing line for girls, DVDs, video games and even a theatrical movie released in 2007. The dolls have even won several toy industry awards including Character Brand License of the Year from Licensing Industry Merchandisers Association (LIMA), as well as several Toy of the Year and other awards from Family Fun and the Toy Industry Association (TIA).
Bratz are available in nearly 70 countries worldwide. Bratz dolls began production in the summer of 2001, and they are produced by MGA Entertainment.
The original Bratz line included several multi-ethnic characters, including Cloe, Sasha, Jade, and Yasmin. They have combable, rooted hair for play value. The dolls have very over-sized heads which help them resemble some of the big-head, big-eye dolls of the 1960s such as Blythe. The dolls are also known for having fun, detailed accessories and play sets which reflect their cool (and somewhat materialistic) lifestyle. Playsets depicting discos, karaoke, and sushi bars, salons and spas, limousines, retro cafes, and malls are all available.
Size of Bratz Dolls
Bratz dolls are 10 inches in height, but much more "chunky" to the feel than Barbie dolls which are 11.5 inches in height. There is also a pocket-sized "mini Bratz" doll available.
Materials and Characteristics of Bratz Dolls
Bratz dolls are made of two types of vinyl: hard vinyl for the head and body with softer, bendable vinyl for the arms and legs. Bratz dolls also have a unique feature that when you change their shoes, you actually change their feet. The shoes and feet pop off as one.
This obviously isn't very realistic, but it is fun for play and it does solve the problem of tiny doll shoes being vacuumed up all over the house.
Controversies About Bratz Dolls
Bratz dolls are somewhat controversial because of their heavy diva-like makeup and their oh-I'm-so-bored attitude expressions. Many mothers have also objected to the skimpy and overly "fashionista" outfits. Other mothers are simply so happy to have their nine to 12-year-old daughters still playing with dolls that they happily overlook those aspects of the doll. Whatever mothers think, older girls are crazy about Bratz dolls!
Spin-off Bratz Dolls
Following the success of the original Bratz dolls, two spin-off doll lines were created. Bratz Babyz featured the original characters as babies and Bratz Kidz which were six inches tall and shorter proportioned versions of the originals. The Babyz line was criticised by parents for being overly sexualized. The Big Babyz line specifically came under fire for coming with a garment that strongly resembled a thong which the company maintained was meant to keep the dolls skirts from riding up. Other parents found the Babyz Night Out fashion set and Brattoo Parlor playset to be inappropriate for a baby doll.