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December 08, 2008

Hooray for Barbie!

Barbie_bratz I must admit that I smiled a bit when I read the news that Mattel, which makes Barbie dolls, has won its copyright infringement lawsuit against the maker of Bratz dolls.

Yes, I'm familiar with all the brouhaha over the unrealistic beauty standards implied by Barbie's fabulous face and figure. But I have very fond memories of playing with one of the earliest Barbie dolls (I still have her), mainly learning to make her clothes using fabric scraps from my mother's various sewing projects. I gave my daughter Barbie dolls when she was growing up, and I've purchased several for my granddaughters.

I have not, however, bought any of the wildly popular Bratz dolls. Why not? Because they're freaky-looking, they're dressed like prostitutes, and they have a name that implies that being a brat is somehow a worthy goal. Needless to say, I won't be shedding any tears over their demise -- though I'm sure some savvy doll collectors will snatch up all the available Bratz dolls and make a pile of money.   

(Image © Competitive Intelligence)

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Gina Dalfonzo

My immediate reaction to the Bratz news was very similar to Catherine's feeling in another context: "There is a God."

Dan Gill

I hate the Bratz dolls, and I'm none too fond of Barbie (thankfully, my daughter never liked either), but I'm curious as to how the Bratz violated Barbie's copyright. They don't look like Barbies at all. Does this mean that Mattel's copyright trumps all dress-up dolls? The article gave none of the real reasons behind the decision.


In response to the question, the copyright infringement wasn't because Bratz looked like Barbie. A jury decided that the designer of Bratz, Carter Bryant, had created Bratz while he was a Mattel employee. Because Bryant was under contract with Mattel during that time, this meant that Mattel owned the copyrights to Bratz itself. MGA committed copyright infringement by using the Bratz designs owned by Mattel to make the Bratz dolls.


I always thought those Bratz dolls were hideous. The name, the clothes, the make up, the strange proportions. Ugh! At least Barbie looked pretty and wholesome, though she kind of has abnormal proportions too.

Michael Snow

Over the years, I believe that it has been the subtle things like Barbie dolls and GI Joes, etc. that had the most corrosive effects on bringing up children with a Christian world view.

And we have all seen the heartbreak of fellow Christians who have lost their children to the world.


Can Barbie (tm) be "redeemed" i.e. a version found or made wholesome for little girls???

Barbie herself has some less than wholesome 1950's origins (search online - hint - not the official Mattel history).

(So far, I see NO Bratz(TM) worth purchasing but some Barbies (TM) might be worthwhile...)

In the 1960's my mom muttered negative comments about Barbie's unrealistic figure,but bought me one anyway. I too sewed for her ...

And when I had a girl, I remembered Mom's negative comments on Barbie. So...I delayed giving my daughter Barbies for a few years. I provided baby and then young girl dolls (like American Girl(tm)) for my daughter. Supplied with clothes I sewed and furniture relations made - the Am Girl dolls worked for her...tho they were and are expensive.

Later, she got Barbies and I sewed some historic costumes or mostly bought the ethnic costumed Barbies...(we still have the beautiful Austrian Barbie(tm) and the Barbie(tm) in various Victorian dresses...Nothing like quality clothes to "sell" modesty...

I gave away the over suntanned Barbies others gave her . .. you know, the dolls whose overbleached looking blonde hair made them look(tragically) like the late Anna Nicole Smith...

So if your favorite little girl relation wants a "Barbie" do you have wholesome, and low-cost options???
There are some more wholesome lines - notably the about $5 "Beach Glam" (tm) version of Barbie and friends which has the new more realistic body type.

If yousew or can build furniture - For about $5, one could purchase Beach Glam (tm) Barbie or friends and costume her in lots of wonderful, full outfits which will make the sometimes silly, sometimes sleazy little outfits look - lame.

And note - there are more versions of the 14" to 18" grade school girl dolls on the market (including "Madame Alexander" 18" girl doll for $$25-29) which are also wholesome and inexpensive alternatives...to the lovely but expensive American Girl 18" dolls...

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