The fashion doll for the tween generation, Bratz is back on the Australian toy roster with a new look inspired by the world of social media and its fascination with self-expression. Instilled with a unique digital component that incorporates an App, a YouTube Channel and an original song on iTunes by teen pop sensation Skylar Stecker; the 2015 Bratz launch offers fans of the brand the opportunity to create immersive experiences across multiple platforms.
Speaking with entrepreneur Jasmin Larian, daughter of Bratz CEO and MGA Founder Isaac Larian and inspiration for Bratz Queen Bee Yasmin, it’s clear that this digital direction is key to the brand reinforcing its ethos of instilling girls with self-confidence and encouraging them to create their own individual styles. “We provide avenues for girls to create their own worlds through creative play across multiple platforms,” says Jasmin. Fans of the brand can download the Create it Yourself (C.I.Y) Shoppe App where they can customise Bratz avatars, the dolls’ fashions and design spaces. As is the overwhelming nature of today’s society, the new Bratz line works on both actual and virtual levels to inspire girls of all ages to creatively express themselves.
The original foursome, Yasmin, Sasha, Cloe and Jade, are joined by new addition Raya, in injecting fun, fashion and most importantly the power of friendship into today’s playscape. Each imbued with her own personality; the dolls’ individual personas are brought to life through stop-motion animation webisodes produced by Stoopid Buddy Stoodios via the Bratz YouTube Channel. New girl Raya combines the Bratz values to a tee, Jasmin describes her as the playful prankster with a tongue-in-cheek fashion sense to match, case in point her kooky burger shoes. “The brand is known to be rooted in contemporary and pop culture,” Jasmin explains. “The amazing design team are trendsetters, always picking up inspirations and references from the latest news, movies, and catwalk shows.”
Introducing my nearly 4 year old daughter to her new ‘Hello my Name is Cloe’ doll, the brand’s style inspiration is certainly evident, as is their attention to detail in matching the daintiest of accessories to the overall appearance. My little’s girl’s love of fashion and self-awareness is already deeply ingrained, from her love of assembling ensembles both at home and on shopping trips to her finely-tuned understanding of what she wants from each look that she creates for herself each day. Thus finding a plaything with style sensibilities which mirror her own has given her imagination and attitude towards self-expression a new lease of life.
The new Bratz fivesome are available across a variety of ranges, including Hello My Name is Doll, #SelfieSnaps Doll, #Selfie Stick with Doll, Fierce Fitness Doll and Study Abroad Doll, bringing together themes and interests relevant to young people today. From Create It Yourself (C.I.Y.) fashion to studying abroad and fitspo such as yoga and hiking, the range also remains true to the fundamental importance of friendship so revered by the Bratz brand.
Incorporating “the Selfie” into the 2015 launch is a genius move from the brand’s creators. The Selfie has become so instilled in our reality, with constant Facebook-mounted self-portraits and tourist spots strewn with people desperate to capture their image against bridges, buildings and the like with their trusty selfie-sticks; the days of disposable cameras and calling on a passing stranger for photographic assistance seem almost prehistoric. Importantly, the selfie-sentiment intrinsic to the Bratz brand is one which champions self-expression and comfort in one’s appearance rather than the oft-discussed issue of body shaming prevalent among teenage girls. Less an obsession with looks and more a celebration of self, Jasmin is quick to affirm: “I think that (the selfie) is a new form of self-expression. It’s literally people showcasing THEMSELVES and I love it.”
“Self-expression is intrinsic to kids and adults alike”, says Jasmin. “Self-expression, individuality and confidence is extremely important and we hope that the dolls and dynamic entertainment content are a vehicle for girls to use their imaginations, be creative, fearless and confident.”
The drive for girls to grow their confidence and be fearless in their decisions is key to the brand, and Jasmin is keen to remind us that while the style-centric pastime of Yasmin and Co is central to Bratz appeal so too are the scientific and technological routs favoured by young female mathematicians, engineers and inventors. The academic antidote to the brand’s fashionista sisters, ProjectMC2, equally encourages girls to be their best selves and aspire to the peak of their potential.
“This new generation of girls are savvier than ever and we hope that we can grow with our girls digitally and be where they are,” says Jasmin. “The new look and digital content from the new Bratz collection embodies the interests, passions and personalities of the modern girl. The world is about to see a new generation of smart, self-expressive and confident girls who are ready for anything and we hope to continue to inspire them.”
The Bratz collection of dolls and play sets range in price from $24.99 to $79.99 and will be available at toy stores nationwide.
Bratz What’s Up by Skylar Stecker is available to purchase and download via the iTunes store.