MGA Entertainment (Micro-Games America Entertainment) is a manufacturer of children's toys and entertainment products founded in 1979. Its products include the Bratz fashion doll line, Bratzillaz, Lalaloopsy, Mooshka, Moxie Girlz, Moxie Teenz, BFC and Vi and Va. MGA also owns The Little Tikes Company. MGA is headquartered at 16300 Roscoe Boulevard in the Lake Balboa area of the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles, California, United States.
- Main article: Bratz
Introduced in 2001, Bratz is MGA's most successful product line, with various spin-offs from the original teenage dolls, including miniature versions (Lil' Bratz), kid versions (Bratz Kidz) baby dolls (Bratz Babyz), pets (Bratz Petz), tiny baby dolls with pets (Lil Angelz), two feature films (Bratz: The Movie and Bratz Girls Really Rock) and numerous DVDs and soundtracks. Because of the lawsuit brought by Mattel against MGA in 2008, the Bratz Kidz and Bratz Lil Angelz were renamed "4*Ever Kidz" before their eventual discontinuation.
Moxie Girlz and Moxie Teenz
In 2009, a new doll line named Moxie Girlz was introduced. These Moxie girlz are similar, but legally distinct, from the Bratz line of dolls. This is to circumvent the ruling from the lawsuit described below.
The Moxie Girlz were intended to replace Bratz, but when they came back, the Moxie Girlz became a separate line of their own. The line includes Avery, Lexa, Sophina, Bria and more characters, and has been around since 2009. They are similar to the Bratz line, only this line shows more modest fashions that typical tweens would wear.
The Moxie Teenz are a spin-off from the Girlz, and includes college girls with unique skills. The line launched in Fall 2010, the characters Melrose, Tristen, Arizona and Bijou were in the first two lines, and new characters Leigh and Gavin joined in Fall 2011.
The KaChooz were introduced in 2011 - these are pencil toppers with wild hair. Each KaChooz character is in a group known as a Moop, and it's the buyer's job to reunite all of the characters in their Moops. Examples of Moops are Rainbow, Mohawk, Nervous, Highlights, Punk and 2-faced - each Moop has a different personality that the KaChooz are associated with.
MGA Entertainment introduced its Lalaloopsy brand in 2010 accompanied by the tagline "Sew Magical, Sew Cute." Lalaloopsy were once rag dolls who magically came to life when their very last stitch was sewn. Each Lalaloopsy doll has a unique personality reflected by the fabrics used to make them. They live happily together in Lalaloopsy Land, a whimsical world full of fun and surprises around every corner. Each Lalaloopsy doll comes with his or her own pet.
Lalaoopsy dolls stand approximately 13 inches. Large dolls include Rosy Bumps 'n' Bruises, Crumbs Sugar Cookie, Dot Starlight, Peanut Big Top and more. Recent additions to the line include Mango Tiki Wiki, Coral Sea Shells and Toffee Cocoa Cuddles. In Fall 2011, MGA released Suzette La Sweet, a Lalaloopsy collector doll who was sewn from pieces of a duchess' dress.
The Lalaloopsy line includes Littles dolls, the younger brothers and sisters of Lalaloopsy dolls. Just like their older siblings, the Littles magically came to life when their very last stich was sewn. The Lalaloopsy Littles have their own unique personalities and pets. There are currently eight Lalaloopsy Littles dolls, including Matey Anchors (Marina Anchors' brother), Bundles Snuggle Stuff (Mittens Fluff 'n' Stuff's sister) and Scribbles Splash (Spot Splatter Splash's sister). Laloopsys were a hit in 2010.
Also in the Lalaloopsy line are Mini Lalaloopsy, Lalaloopsy Micros and Accessories. The Accessories line includes outfits and furniture for the Lalaloopsy dolls and Littles dolls, and Mini Lalaloopsy playsets and vehicles.
Lalaloopsy dolls are sold in store and online at a variety of retailers. On December 7, 2010, Lalaloopsy had the People's Play Award for large dolls.
True Hope is a special edition doll franchise introduced in 2012. In an effort to raise cancer awareness, MGA Entertainment created a line of bald Bratz and Moxie Girlz dolls stating that "courage is always in style." MGA Entertainment plans to donate one dollar from every sale to City of Hope Cancer Foundation.”
Novi Stars was a brand line which will be released around August 2012; MGA has partnered with Justice Stores to bring out these new characters. The line revolves around alien characters landing on the planet Earth to discover new trends. Each character has a special quality: for instance, Alie Lectric blushes, Ari Roma is scented, Una Verse glitters, and Mae Tallick can talk.
The line's tagline is What on earth is going on?
- Alie Lectric (light up) - brainy, organized
- Ari Roma (scented) - airy, romantic
- Una Verse (water & glitter) - trendy, fashionable
- Mae Tallick (talk) - talkative, clumsy
- Nita Light (glows) - creative, artistic
- Malie Tasker (her 4 arms stretch and glow)
- Tula Toned (filled with two-colored goo)
- Anne Arctic (her legs are filled with snow)
- Ina Ferna (her hair glows)
Project MC2 is a doll line introduced in 2015. It revolves around the fields of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math); the fictional organisation NOV8 (pronounced 'innovate'), a highly secretive group of female operatives, and has the slogan Smart is the new cool. There is also a live-action series on Netflix produced by AwesomenessTV, a division of Dreamworks Animation SKG which was released on August 7th 2015, with the first season made up of three episodes.
There are four lead characters in the series:
- McKeyla McAlister (portrayed by Mika Abdalla) - the lead girl and an agent of NOV8.
- Adrienne Attoms (portrayed by Victoria Vida) - the culinary chemist.
- Bryden Bandweth (portrayed by Genneya Walton) - the tech junkie.
- Camryn Coyle (portrayed by Ysa Penarejo) - the engineer with a high IQ.
The first dolls were introduced in the fall of 2015, and include both basic, unarticulated dolls as well as deluxe articulated dolls that come with their own science experiments, such as a lava lamp, volcano, glowstick and skateboard building set.
MGA Entertainment also owns Little Tikes, a popular infant, pre-school and young child toy line.
In 1999, a clone to the Bop It line of games was made by MGA Entertainment under the name Super Click-It, and it was also made under the name Bonk It. It was sold by a retailer in the UK called Marks and Spencer in 2003. The game unit has five actions which are Squish It (a double sided yellow button that is pressed), Zip It (a lever that can be pushed up and down), Twist It (an object that looks like the Twist It knob from the Bop It Extreme), Blast It (a green fan that when the command is issued will work either by blowing or using one finger to make it work.) and Crack It (an object that is designed to pull backwards and then to normal position). The game has two game modes which are: One Player with Voice Commands (the voice will say: "One Player, Squish It!" when the player presses the squish it button to select the game mode), One Player with Sound Commands (The voice will say "One Player" with a Squish It sound effect). There are also two two player game modes which are Two Player Voice Commands and Two Player Sound Commands.
The aim of the game is similar to Bop It] where the game gives one command and the player has to obey and perform the action. The game has a maximum score of 100 points and on achieving the maximum score the player is celebrated with a fanfare. In the two player game mode, the game can continue up to 200 points if one player has scored 100 first. In the two player mode, the voice says "Switch" instead of "Pass It". The game doesn't have any screaming sounds when the player performs the wrong action or runs out of time, instead cartoon sound effects are heard such as the wa wa wa wa melody or a slip up sound effect when a cartoon character slips over a banana skin.
On July 17, 2008, the U.S. District Court in Riverside ruled against MGA Entertainment and for Mattel Inc. in a battle over the creation rights of the Bratz doll line. The jury in the case determined that Carter Bryant, creator of the Bratz doll line, had violated his exclusivity contract and had designed the dolls while he was still working at Mattel. Mattel was awarded $100 million US in damages, far less than the $1 billion they were seeking.
On December 3, 2008, U.S. District Judge Stephen Larson granted an injunction requested by Mattel, which effectively banned MGA from manufacturing and selling Bratz dolls, though he allowed MGA to continue selling Bratz through the end of the 2008 holiday season. Larson determined that all of MGA's Bratz produced from 2001 through 2008, except for the Kidz and Lil Angelz lines, infringed on Mattel's intellectual property. Larson allowed MGA to continue to manufacture the Kidz and Lil Angelz lines, provided that they not be promoted under the Bratz brand. He also stipulated that MGA must, at their own cost, remove all Bratz merchandise from retailers' shelves, reimburse retailers for said merchandise, and turn all recalled product over to Mattel for disposal. In addition, MGA was to destroy all marketing materials, molds, and other materials that had been used in the manufacture and sale of Bratz. MGA immediately filed for a permanent stay of the injunction and, on February 11, 2009, was granted a stay through at least the end of 2009.
On December 10, 2009, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit granted MGA an immediate stay of the injunction, effectively halting the recall of Bratz product, which was to have begun on January 21, 2010. In their initial ruling, the Court found Larson's previous ruling to be unusually "draconian," questioned why Mattel had simply been handed ownership of the entire franchise rather than be awarded a stake in the ownership of the franchise or a share of the royalties from future Bratz sales, and ordered MGA and Mattel into mediation.
In April 2011, a federal court jury in Santa Ana, California, awarded MGA $88.4 Million and ruled that MGA didn't steal the idea for Bratz dolls from Mattel or infringe its copyright. Additionally, the jury found Mattel liable for stealing closely held trade secrets from MGA and other toymakers.
Due to a technical procedural issue having nothing to do with the merits of the claims, the Ninth circuit vacated without prejudice the $170 million judgment against Mattel for this misconduct. On January 13, 2014, MGA filed a complaint for these claims in State court in California seeking in excess of $1 billion, and this lawsuit is currently pending.