Welcome to ASM's Toy Fair 2005 Coverage!
MGA Entertainment Girls Toys Report
Amy Lipkowitz, General Reporter
MGA Entertainment (www.mgae.com) has won several Toy of the Year awards for its high quality -- and highly innovative -- Bratz line of dolls. With striking fashions and instantly recognizable body proportions, the Bratz have created several equally popular spin-offs, such as the pocket-sized Lil Bratz, the Petz (featurings Catz, Dogz, Foxz and Bunniez) and the brand-new Bratz Babyz.
MGA's policy is that they don't permit photographs in their showroom, so our coverage will consist of this report until we obtain official images from MGA Entertainment. In the meantime, please enjoy this preview!
Since the Spring 2005 Line is already showing up in stores, the majority of items on display in the showroom were the Fall 2005 line. Our guides were not able to give us specifics on certain things, such as names or finalized details, but here are some highlights:
The traditional "basic" pricepoint for Bratz dolls has been 14.99. Starting this year, however, they've introduced a new 9.99 pricepoint, a simple basic doll with a fashion and a few accessories. The hair and fashion quality is just as high as the other dolls, of course, and besides the "main line" there are also themed lines such as:
- Bratz iCandy (Spring 2005)
- Bratz Sports (Spring 2005)
- Bratz Party (Fall 2005) with doll-sized party gift
- Bratz Sports Wave 2 (Fall 2005), including karate, basketball, and a Bratz Boyz with football gear
Each of the themed dolls are dressed in a fashionable outfit associated with the theme. The karate outfit is more than just a plain white gi, and the bowling outfit is adorable enough to wear outside the bowling alley.
Other Bratz themes include Bratz DynaMite, a vivid yellow-and-black themed line featuring Cloe (blonde), Meygan (red-head, and previously retired), and Nevra (multiethnic). Dressed in sharp black-leather ensembles, they also have a matching vivid yellow metallic sports motorcycle (with matching helmet, of course).
Midnite Dance is a masquerade-ball themed line featuring dolls in beautiful fashions inspired by gothic-lolita styles. Colors such as black and dark purple and textures such as ruffles and lace feature heavily in this line. Each doll comes with an elaborate masquerade mask in gorgeous pearlized tones. They also come with different stylized capelets and purses, as the line is one that edges into the holiday season.
The Midnite Dance series also includes a black hearse-like car, and a castle playset with gothic stained glass windows that really open, a juice bar, and a lounge area with plastic faux-Victorian furniture.
The holiday line begins in earnest with the Bratz Campfire line, which capitalizes on the popularity of previous years' winter sports-themed dolls. This time, the Bratz are camping out in style, with a corduroy tent and realistic camping accessories sized perfect to them. The fashions incorporate a lot of winter colors, as well as hot red colors in campfire shades. The dolls also wear ugg-style boots with fur trim and suede. The car accessory for this line is a jeep in hot red, with flame decals added on. There is also a complementary Petz Campfire line, featuring the stylized cat and dog friends of the Bratz.
Another line is the Wild Wild West line, featuring dolls in western garb with elements such as snake skin, leather, denim, and metal studs. This line also features horses with the inimitable Bratz-style eyes, with rhinestone and bead decorations on bridle. On display were a grey and white horse, as well as a black horse displayed with the Wild Wild West carriage. The carriage is a funky mix of Old West (steer horns), Victorian cab, and Bratz glam (giant chromed wheels).
The big theme for the year is Bratz Rock Angelz, which covers the doll line, various toy and lifestyle-product tie-ins, a CG movie, and a CD coming out in the Summer of 2005 with 12 original sounds from the movie soundtrack. The movie is their second straight to DVD movie, but the first to use computer graphics modeled so closely on the dolls that it almost looks like the dolls have come to life. Apparently a TV series is in the works, although it's not yet clear what network will be carrying them.
The Bratz Rock Angelz dolls have a hard-edged rock/punk feel to them, compared to the pop-star/futuristic stylings of Bratz Live In Concert. The predominant colors and textures are black, white, and red, with a great deal of denim and pleather. Besides the four standard Bratz characters, a new doll Roxxi will be available with the Recording Booth playset (complete with a child-sized microphone that lets the child sing along.)
The Rock Angelz line also includes a car and a jet, all in the Rock Angelz color schemes. The Jet has cut-out stars on the cockpit, making it vaguely reminiscent of early KISS make-up.
Besides the items scaled to the dolls, the Rock Angelz line includes a new version of the Bratz styling heads. This time, girls can not only play by styling hair and putting on make-up... the torso and arms allow girls to do manicures as well as apply temporary tattoos. The jointed arms allow a number of poses to be taken, as well.
The Holiday 2005 line will also include a collectible new doll. Every year, the Holiday doll has included a limited edition ornament; this year, the ornament is a miniature version of the doll itself. Fun and functional!
Also coming in Winter 2005 is the Oooh La La line. The theme is Paris chic, with textured plaid fabrics, warm colors, and painted black stockings over black boots. The dolls also come with makeup in mature winter tones such as mauve and dark pink, and miniature hat boxes. The dolls in this collection include Cloe (blonde), Dana (brunette), and Kumi, previously only available as an exclusive doll in the Bratz International line. There is also a coordinating Petz Ooh La La line, featuring Parisian pets with chapeaux and capes.
The make-up items can be stored in a separately sold make-up kit, which features many storage options and a mirrored lid for practicing make-up application.
There will also be a special lipstick-shaped carrying case and display unit sold separately. The case is just the right size to hold one doll on a stand, and carry her around. The case also opens up to reveal a mirrored interior that allows collectors to display her on the stand, and see the doll from every possible angle. Given the many details that go into each Bratz doll and fashion, this is a serious concern for doll fans.
The lipstick and lips theme carries over into some of the lifestyle elements being sold this year. These include phones, digital cameras, miniature radios, and a miniature MP3 player in the shape of a tube of lipstick.
There is also a collection of wood and fabric furniture, including Bratz Babyz and Lil Bratz Rock Starz-themed chairs for children. Of particular interest to the budding collector is a special wall-mounted Bratz doll display, developed in response to young girls' growing need for somewhere to show off their beloved dolls. The display is made to fit a number of dolls in a number of poses, and its two shelves are spaced to be the perfect height for Bratz.
The Twiinz line of good girls and bad girls continues in 2005 as well, with an ethnic pair of dolls. A total of eight new girl characters will be introduced in Fall 2005, including these lovely new twins. Also on display were a beautiful pair of twins with raven black hair and light blue eyes. These were unnamed, did not have packaging, and were possibly slated for a later release.
The Twiinz line will also include a bedroom playset, which includes matching/contrasting pairs of angelic and devilish-themed furniture. There are also crossovers into the world of Petz, with Twiinz Catz and Dogz, and the hugely popular Bratz Babyz.
The Bratz Babyz are currently available as approximately 5 inch tall figures. These chubby toddlers represent the core Bratz as little girls. In 2005, they will be joined by Bratz Boyz Babyz Cameron, as well as Babyz Meygan, and Babyz Dana (available with the Cribz playset, a Babyz-sized dream home). There are also Playsetz with many accessories that can close up into stylish lunch boxes.
The Babyz are spinning off two more lines; one is a jumbo-sized line of 12 to 14 inch Babyz, which come with detailed fashions and a miniature rocking-animal based on their Bratz symbol. Accessories and playsets include baby-themed items such as a diaper bag, a bathtub that really makes bubbles, a motorcycle-style tricycle, and did I mention that the big Babyz includes Cameron? Because it does. And he is cute. Also adorable are the separately sold fashion packs, and the lovely Sasha dressed in a (possibly) miniature version of her Wintertime Wonderland polar bear-suit (with black plaid).
The other spinoff line is Ponyz, a line of Bratz Babyz friends with big heads, Bratz eyes, and different body moldz. They also come with their own playsets, which fold up into a horseshoe-shaped lunchbox. There will also be a Ponyz Horse and Buggy.
While Bratz reigns supreme over tweens (girls aged 10 to 14) and the coveted "old enough to have disposable income, young enough to enjoy toys" demographic, the pocket-sized Lil Bratz is aimed at younger girls. Despite their smaller size, the Lil Bratz come with rooted hair, delicate yet fashionable make-up, and even have their own separately-sold fashion packs. They have had many elaborate playsets with tiny accessories... and this year, they will have Traveling Lil Bratz playsets, which fold up into a portable form that little girls can take with them on play-dates. The playsets have funky themes such as a retro Bowling Alley and a 50's diner.
MGA Entertainment's other line aimed at the very young is Best Friends 4ever, a line of dolls that features two "best friend" dolls with coordinating outfits and accessories. Over the past year, the line has expanded to include an elaborate fun park and a rock stage. The 2005 Fall line will include the themes "Beauty Time" and "Birthday Blitz", each with its own dolls, playsets, and separately-sold fashions.
Other Bratz-related products being released include:
- a European line of bath and beauty products that are being imported into the US by MGA Entertainment
- various Bratz stationery, including Lil Bratz Prep Style and Pretty n Punk Bratz
- Bratz and Lil Bratz activity sets, including one set that allows children to make and design their own Lil Bratz room playset
- Plug n Play video games that tie in to the various Bratz line, such as the Sportz Totally Tennis game, and the guitar game (available in regular edition and Rock Angelz version)
- a remote control edition of Kendall, one of the Bratz Petz
- Bratz Virtual Buddiez, a portable virtual pet rendition of the Bratz Petz
- various board games, including the Funk Fashion Makeover game, which uses miniature make-over heads as game pieces. The make-over heads are moved around a board, with each square requiring the player to apply a certain kind of make-up or accessory. The miniature make-over heads have real rooted hair, and look like beautiful enough to display on their own as a collectible.
It looks like a great deal of excitement is in store for Bratz fans this year! Personally, I can't wait to see these products in stores... and I may have to get that Fashion Makeover game just so that my Bratz dolls can play with the miniature make-over heads.