In what seems to be turning out to be the biggest rival market battle in Barbie® doll's history, Mattel's toughest challenge for the 2002 holiday season came from The Bratz™ doll line, an upstart line of sassy fashion dolls from MGA Entertainment aimed at so-called "tweens", girls who are eight to 12-year-old. While no doll brand has ever succeeded in toppling the toy world's most profitable franchise, Bratz™ achieved something Mattel has been trying to do for years: get tweens to play with dolls. "At first we thought no one is going to buy a doll named Bratz™," says Isaac Larian, chief executive of MGA, based in North Hills, CA, "But in focus groups, girls really liked it. It meant everything that Barbie® is not."
|Mattel's answer to the rivalry is the My Scene™ line, a sort of "anti-Barbie®" Barbie® doll line that Bratz™ dolls created. Priced lower than the Bratz™ dolls at $13.99, the My Scene™ dolls are attempting to tap into the mind-set of these teen-wannabes with more realistically proportioned bodies, exotic looking faces and edgy wardrobe. While not replacing the familiar Barbie®, they feature extra-pouty lips and oversized eyes that were inspired by Japanese-style anime cartoons. In comparison, the Bratz™ dolls (at $14.99 each), are marketed with racier fashions such as platform shoes, hip huggers, tube tops and fur vests. They are multiethnic, with hip names like Yasmin™, Cloe™, Cameron™, Jade™ and Sasha™. And they have cool activity sets, such as a spa with treadmill, bubble-making Jacuzzi and real makeup compartments. Bratz™ dolls are an inch shorter than Barbie®, so the rivals can't share their wardrobes.|
Visit the website http://www.myscene.com
|Mattel is busy taking the right steps by
launching an aggressive ad campaign on network and cable TV, including MTV for
the My Scene™ line. Waves of new merchandise this year will continually
freshen the line as Mattel heads full throttle into the tween market war. Public
Relations at Mattel describes My Scene™ as the "new tween-targeted brand
from the makers of Barbie®". It "captures the spirit of
today’s informed, independent and fiercely individualistic urban girl like
never before. Inspired by the fashion-forward, high-energy, chic attitude of the
big city, My Scene™ features three “it” girls – Barbie®, Madison™
and Chelsea™. These girls each express their individuality though
personal style that’s defined by a slice of metropolitan living. Each doll
comes with two complete on-trend fashions and their own funky accessories".
My Scene is emblematic of the current approach being taken by most consumer marketers to stimulate sales: extend existing lines that are already popular and presold to shoppers rather than increase the risks by trying to establish an all-new brand.
made efforts to tap into the tween market, but they had not taken root or
had real impact until My Scene," says Richard Dickson, senior vice
president for the Mattel Brands division of Mattel in El Segundo, Calif.
The line, he adds, was inspired by illustrations used to sell licensed
merchandise bearing the Barbie brand, which showed the flagship Barbie
doll with a larger head, poutier lips and a hip, big-city attitude.
That led to the development of the My Scene line, which began with Barbie, of course, in this instance a teenage technophile with a cell phone and PDA rather than a grown-up beauty queen, astronaut or teacher. Her two friends are named Madison™, a shopping devotee who is African-American, and Chelsea™, an artsy downtown type. You may notice the intentional New York City pattern in the names. In 2003, Mattel added new girlfriend Nolee™ (as in the NoLIta neighborhood of Manhattan), along with My Scene™ boys Bryant™ (as in Bryant Park) and Hudson™ (as in the Hudson River). In late Summer 2003, two new single My Scene™ boys River™ and Sutton™ (as in Sutton Place) are added to the line along with a second edition of Bryant™. Another new My Scene™ boy Ellis™ (Ellis Island) is also introduced in a My Scene™ "Crusin' in my Ride" Barbie® and Ellis™ gift set.
In December 2003 (after the Holiday) the two newest members of My Scene™ Jai (female) and Tyson (male) make their appearance in the line. Jai is only available in My Scene™ Jammin' in Jamaica™ "Cruisin' the Boardwalk™" Sutton and Jai gift set. Another Jammin' in Jamaica "Cruisin' the Boardwalk™" gift set will include Barbie & River. Both gift sets include a Tandem™ Bike built for two! My Scene™ "Jammin' in Jamaica Surfrider™" Tyson™ with Jet Ski" will be the only set to feature new My Scene™ member Tyson™.
|BELOW: My Scene™ Jammin In Jamaica male dolls. A/Sutton, B/Ellis, C/Hudson and D/River from My Scene.com. (Photo courtesy of My Scene.com).||All the characters
are featured in the My Scene Jammin' in Jamaica DVD made available with
the female My Scene dolls. The DVD develops the characters of each
doll, There is also a "My Beach Ride™" dune
buggy vehicle and an awesome "Guava Gulch Tiki Lounge™" play
set! River, Sutton, Hudson and Ellis
are also available in the My Scene™ Jammin in Jamaica™ line as their
band "Urban Desire" compete in the "Beat to Beat" band competition (pictured left)!
Each doll comes with a instrument. More exciting news comes as
Mattel finally makes separate fashions available for the boy dolls in the Jammin'
in Jamaica line. Four fashions are available (listed below).
Jammin' in Jamaica™ (Male) Fashions
Spring 2004, two new lines are introduced. The Out With The Girls™
line place single versions of River™,
in impromptu settings as they get ready for dates. The Out & About™
line pairs Madison™/Sutton™,
Hudson™/ Chelsea™ and Delancey™/Ellis™ in two doll Gift Sets. Both
lines feature new "smiling" head molds for the guys as well as the girls.
PR from Toy Fair 2004: Don’t miss a minute of the My Scene™ girls’ fall movie, “Masquerade Madness™,” sure to be filled with fashion and fun! After all, parties only get better when the attire is – well, anything your fashionista imagination can conjure up! Masquerade parties mean creative couture gone wild when the My Scene™ gals are invited. Masquerade Madness™ Girl Dolls From rock’d out glam girl to sassy mermaid, only the My Scene™ girls dare to wear these outrageous costumes. Also Masquerade madness™ Hudson (Prize Fighter), River (Rock Star), Ellis (Pirate) and Sutton (Vampire). The spotlight will definitely be on their style as they strut though the door at this sassed-up soiree. Are their ensembles an expression of their fantasy alter egos? Only they know for sure! Each girl comes with a DVD movie so girls can join in the fun.
A new Fall 2004 My Scene™ line is appearing in stores now. The "Masquerade madness" line originally consisted of eight dolls (four female and four male dolls). Latest figures put the count at six female and three male dolls. Inspired by the "Masquerade madness" movie, a Party Pad™ and glowing My Ride™ vehicle are also available. Dressed in costumes for a masquerade, River, Hudson and Sutton are included, along with Barbie®, Madison™, Chelsea™, Nolee™ and Kenzie™; who is a Target store exclusive. There have also been sightings of Delancey™; all of these sightings taking place at TRU, but no word on whether she is actually a TRU exclusive.
WHERE IS ELLIS™? Interestingly, an Ellis doll (dressed as a Pirate) was originally advertised as part of the line and is pictured on the packaging, but is not featured at MyScene.com. He was also shown at Toy Fair 2004 (pictured below). A My Scene Fashion Scene Masquerade Madness #C6676 Ellis' Pirate fashion was released internationally, and is now appearing domestically. I know everyone was pretty disappointed that Ellis was dropped from the MM wave, and I thought it might be of interest that his costume, at least, was released. Poor Ellis!
Pictured Above: Masquerade madness Ellis doll as Pirate pictured at Toy Fair 2004. Photo courtesy of alteredstatesmag.com. Used with permission.
Pictured Above: My Scene™ River™ wants to rock at the “Masquerade Madness™ party. Along with Hudson and Sutton, he features a new head mold.
All of the male dolls have a NEW "smiling" head molds, which are different than the ones used for the "Out With The Girls" edition dolls. Even though both versions of the smiling head molds are marked "2003", the markings are placed differently on the back of the neck.
Next, the Club Birthday line centers around Nolee's 16th birthday. Hudson, River and Sutton are represented in this line and are now back to new closed mouth head molds that are more similar to The Bratz Boyz head molds.
Above: My Scene™ Mall Maniac™ Boys
|So much shopping to do so little time! The Mall Maniacs line centers around the group shopping in their favorite stores in the mall. With so many great stores in the mall, what's a girl to do? The My Scene dolls are checking out the latest trends in their favorite store! Accessorize, accessorize social butterfly Barbie doll is at Claire's making sure she picks up the coolest new accessories to complete her look! Shopping queen Madison doll can't get enough of the latest bath and body products in the body boutique. Funky fashion gal Chelsea is modeling the latest hip sneaks in Skechers! Sporty glamour girl Nolee is trying on some hot new Mudd clothes in the trendiest clothing store in town. The Mall Maniacs guys do some shopping too! Mall Maniacs River shops at "Sound Town" while Mall Maniacs Hudson shops at the "Made In The Shade" store. boys are out at the mall with the girls, hitting up the coolest stores around! Dressed in trendy, urban outfits, they come with tons of fun accessories for a fun day of shopping. Both the My Scene™ Mall Maniac™ Boys (pictured left) are released in December 2005.|
My Scene Goes Hollywood was the first DVD movie to be sold apart from the dolls and the only one that was full-length. The film was distributed by Miramax Family Films. It featured a voice-over by actress Lindsay Lohan, who plays herself in the movie. In order to see it up close, the My Scene girls pretend to be extras in an action movie being filmed in New York. When one of the actresses is injured, Madison is called upon to take her place. She begins spending less and less time with her friends and develops a crush on the leading actor, Ryan Ridley. Madison ends up fighting with her friends because they embarrass her. In the end, Lindsay Lohan convinces Madison that friends are the most important thing to have, and the girls make up. Although the title suggests a trip to Hollywood, California, the whole movie actually takes place in New York.
Ryan Ridley, a new male doll is relaeased in the My Scene Goes Hollywood line, along with Hudson and a Lindsay Lohan doll. Unfortunately, the My Scene Goes Hollywood line will be the last line a male doll is produced in the My Scene line of dolls.