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Scott Jagow: Last year, Mattel was getting kicked in the teeth — all those toy recalls from China — but things are looking much better this morning. A good profit report for one, and yesterday, the company won a huge lawsuit against the people who make the Bratz dolls.
More on that from Steve Henn.
Steve Henn: Since 2001, the toy industry’s been torn apart by an epic battle in the valley of the dolls. Mattel’s iconic Barbie doll’s been locked in mortal combat for market share with a posse of younger club-hopping party dolls, the Bratz.
[Clip from Bratz Ad]: The girls with a passion for fashion: Bratz! See you tonight!
Parents might hate the Bratz’ pouty demeanor and skimpy outfits, but doll experts — even my own 6-year-old — are obviously fascinated by their signature look.
Steve’s Daughter: They have big eyes and then they have big lips, like that big.
Mattel alleged that look was created by one of their own employees, who then sold the idea to a rival. Yesterday, a jury agreed.
That means Mattel could end up earning royalties or even owning the Bratz line, which rakes in approximately $1 billion in sales each year.
In Washington, I’m Steve Henn for Marketplace.
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