The Barbie Doll vs. The Bratz Dolls by:Terry Edwards
There is no question, argument, or debate over the fact that the Mattel Barbie doll is the most popular doll of all-time
. Barbie has been a favorite of little girls for nearly 50 years now and a constant top selling toy in retail stores everywhere. With that said, there seems to be another doll favorite in stores these days called the Bratz dolls.
The Bratz dolls have recently given Barbie some tough competition in the doll industry. Introduced in 2001, some of the many Bratz line of dolls include Bratz Babyz, Bratz Step Out, Bratz Rock Angelz, and many others as well. You can go inside any toy section of your favorite retailer and find a wide selection of these popular new dolls. Also included is a whole line of Lil Bratz which are designed for girls under 6 years of age.
Another factor in this doll rivalry is the fact that the Bratz dolls have fashions and accessories that include every ethnic group, whereas up until the last couple of years, Barbie had not. Could it have been the competition from Bratz that forced Barbie into this change? With Bratz closing the gap in sales, Barbie needed to come up with some fresh ideas. It should also be noted that Bratz dolls are also available in male models as well.
Over the past few holiday seasons we have seen the Princess Barbie and the Pauper Anneliesse become very popular and very good sellers. We are also seeing Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus. Included in the selection is Pegasus Annika, Cloud Queen Rayla, Prince Aidan, and Flying Horse Brietta.
The newest line of Barbie's is the Barbie Mini Kingdom. This line of Barbie,s is a miniature collection of dolls and accessories that are 6" in height.
Bratz has followed suit with a line called Bratz Forever Diamondz. At a price of $29.95 it is the most expensive Bratz dolls yet. The success this new collection is enjoying is very impressive. A new video game called Bratz Forever Diamondz is now on the market for Sony Playstation as well as Ninentendo. The company hopes this new video game will follow the success of the Rock Angelz game. Even more than this, there is talk of a full length animated motion picture in the works for release in 2007.
At no other time in Barbie's history has the competition been this fierce. Will Barbie survive? Only time will tell, but I wouldn't bet against her just yet. It would be hard to imagine life without Barbie. With nearly 50 years under her belt she has seen just about everything.
Does anybody see the similarities between this years Barbie range and last years Barbie range? Is it just a coincidence that Princess Anneliesse from last year is now Princess Annika, Pauper Erika is now Cloud Queen Rayla and King Dominic/Julian is now Prince Aidan. They also look pretty similar too! This is not to say that the new range is not fantastic because it is but maybe this explains the sudden interest in something new for children such as the new Bratz dolls which are exciting and different and not scared of causing controversy.
Maybe our children need toys that reflect the times and do not send us back to our past. Barbie maybe correct in trying to try a few different styles in order to compete with Bratz but diversification may be in order.
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