The makers of Bratz, the garish kids’ dolls that have been criticised for sexualising young girls, are suing Lady Gaga and her record company. The no-less garish but marginally more wholesome Lady Gaga had a deal with the manufacturers of the dolls to produce a Lady Gaga doll, but it seems she may be having second thoughts. The manufacturer MGA is as robust with its litigation as it is with its marketing campaigns, and is now suing the singer for more than $10 million.
According to MGA’s estimates, the dolls would have made $28 million in revenues in the period leading up to Christmas. Gaga and her record company wanted to delay the launch to coincide with the release of her new album (in the new music industry, you need to try any tactics you can to sell a record).
MGA were unhappy with that, presumably aware that pop stars come and go, but festive cash-in opportunities are strictly limited. They claim they paid "an excessively generous royalty rate, invested millions in the preproduction of the Lady Gaga dolls and put its reputation and goodwill on the line in order to secure distributors and retail shelf space."
Lady Gaga was unwilling to get involved in the details. "This is a dispute between Universal Music Group’s merchandising company and MGA," she said. "There was no legitimate reason for dragging Lady Gaga into that dispute. Lady Gaga will vigorously defend MGA’s ill-conceived lawsuit and is confident that she will prevail."
With just a little judicious adjustment on the Chinese assembly lines, those Gagas can probably be remoulded into this Christmas’s tweenie must-have, the Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart breakup doll set.