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December 5, 2008 | David Colker and Tiffany Hsu, Colker and Hsu are Times staff writers.
Day One: Bratz held hostage. The fate of the hugely popular dolls -- either beloved fashionistas or streetwalkers-in-training, depending on whom you talk to -- was unclear Thursday in the wake of a federal court order that handed the rights to the dolls and the Bratz name to the biggest toy maker of them all: Mattel Inc. Also in limbo was the fate of MGA Entertainment Inc.
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BUSINESS
December 4, 2008 | David Colker, Colker is a Times staff writer.
A federal judge delivered a potentially fatal blow to the popular Bratz dolls and their manufacturer, MGA Entertainment Inc., ruling late Wednesday that archrival Mattel Inc. is the legal owner of the edgy toy line and has the right to recall all unsold Bratz. The court order, which represents a major victory for toy giant Mattel, says MGA may no longer manufacture, sell, advertise or license its core lineup of Bratz dolls or any other product with the Bratz name.
BUSINESS
November 11, 2008 | David Colker, Colker is a Times staff writer
The Barbie vs. Bratz case was back in federal court Monday, and it was clear Barbie-maker Mattel wanted all the dolls in the toy box. Based on a trial victory in July, Mattel Inc. asked the court not only to stop MGA Entertainment Inc. from making the sassy Bratz, but also to require the Van Nuys company to turn over all its dolls, including those already in stores. Mattel, which won the rights to early drawings of the rival doll after weeks of contentious testimony, even wants the Bratz name.
BUSINESS
August 5, 2008 | David Colker, Times Staff Writer
The Barbie vs. Bratz fight in federal court will go on. U.S. District Judge Stephen Larson in Riverside on Monday denied a motion to declare a mistrial sought by the maker of the lucrative Bratz doll, MGA Entertainment Inc., because of a juror's ethnic slur. The jury already had found that MGA and its chief executive, Iranian-born Isaac Larian, had improperly aided a Mattel Inc. Barbie designer who created the concept in violation of his Mattel contract.
BUSINESS
July 26, 2008 | David Colker, Times Staff Writer
There's big trouble in the dollhouse. One of the jurors in the Barbie vs. Bratz trial -- in which toy giant Mattel Inc. already has scored a major victory over rival MGA Entertainment Inc. -- was removed Friday for making slurs about the ethnicity of Isaac Larian, the Iranian-born chief executive of MGA. A court order said the juror remarks characterized Iranians as "stubborn, rude" and as "thieves" who have "stolen other person's ideas."
BUSINESS
July 11, 2008 | David Colker, Times Staff Writer
The tiny, fake fur was flying as the Barbie-Bratz court battle wrapped up Thursday, with toy industry giant Mattel Inc. and upstart MGA Entertainment Inc. both claiming ownership of the hugely successful Bratz line of dolls. MGA, which seven years ago debuted the saucy Bratz doll, has maintained from the May 27 start of the trial that Mattel was trying to unfairly stomp out competition to its faltering Barbie empire.
BUSINESS
June 13, 2008 | David Colker, Times Staff Writer
Bratz creator Carter Bryant testified Thursday that he drew up some plans for the dolls while he was working at Mattel Inc. as a designer of fashions, hairstyles and makeup for its Barbie line -- and that he used some Ken boots to put together a Bratz mock-up. The testimony at a copyright infringement trial in Riverside could bolster Mattel's claim that it owns a stake in Bratz, which are phenomenally popular with young girls. Bryant left Mattel for MGA Entertainment Inc.
BUSINESS
February 14, 2008 | From Reuters
Mattel Inc. and Jakks Pacific Inc. on Wednesday announced new deals to make wrestling action figures, the latest chapter in a story that has all the acrimony and shifting alliances of professional wrestling. Mattel has teamed with World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. to make toys based on its popular wrestlers, and Jakks is matching up with WWE rival TNA Entertainment. Both deals -- which take effect in 2010 -- are for five years.
BUSINESS
February 1, 2008 | From Times Wire Services
Mattel Inc. posted a 15% gain in fourth-quarter profit Thursday, even though it entered the crucial holiday season in the shadow of negative publicity over its recalls of millions of Chinese-made toys tainted with lead. The company said that tax gains and strong international sales of Hot Wheels and other toys helped offset the cost of the recalls. Still, the world's largest toy maker warned that it expected to rack up additional costs in 2008 as a result of the recalls. "We have a lot of litigation around the world on things related to product recalls, and we've got a significant case coming to trial this year," Robert A. Eckert, Mattel's chairman and chief executive, said during a conference call with Wall Street analysts.
BUSINESS
November 22, 2007 | From the Associated Press
In a risque video on YouTube, Ken and Barbie dolls are joining calls by high-profile Democrats for the resignation of Nancy Nord, acting chairwoman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. In the video, shot and posted by the Campaign for America's Future, a liberal advocacy group, Ken and Barbie meet at a bar after breaking up and go to Barbie's house. A week later Barbie complains to Ken that she is "having some symptoms." When Ken asks what's wrong, she answers, "It's lead poisoning."
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