Micro-Games America Entertainment (M.G.A. Entertainment Inc.) is entertainment products and kid toys manufacturer launched in 1979. The company’s products include Rainbow High, Num Noms, Bratz, and Little Tikes.
Its headquarters are in the Chatsworth area, Los Angeles, on a mixed-use corporate campus. In 2018, the company’s C.E.O. and chairman, Isaac Larian, announced that it would be opening new offices in Australia in 2019.
Launched in 2001, Bratz is the company’s most successful franchise, with several spin-offs from the initial teenage dolls, including children’s versions (Bratz Kidz), Bratz Girlz Really Rock (direct-to-video film), live-action featured movie (Bratz; The Movie), Bratz Tv Series, Lil’ Angelz (tiny baby dolls with pets), Bratz Petz (Pets), Bratz Babyz (baby dolls), and Lil’ Bratz (miniature versions).
The product line also produced several soundtracks and DVDs. In 2008, Mattel brought a lawsuit against the company, and Bratz Lil’ Angelz and Bratz Kidz were renamed 4*Ever Lil Angelz and 4*Ever Kidz, respectively, before M.G.A. discontinued them in 2009.
They returned them in 2010 during their 10th anniversary with brand new makeup and bodies. The makeup resembled that of the archetypes of the original dolls. In 2013, M.G.A. gave the dolls brand new logos and taller bodies.
The company went on a hiatus in 2014 to rebuild the brand and try to match its initial success. In 2015, the products were relaunched in the market with their original logos but with new head and body molds as well as branding.
The relaunch wasn’t as successful as anticipated, the company was met with dissatisfaction from its customer base and low sales, and they were discontinued in 2016. They were relaunched in 2018; this time, Hayden Williams designed them. For their 20th anniversary, the company launched the original 2001 dolls.
Moxie Teenz and Moxie Girlz
In 2009, the company introduced a new line called Moxie Girlz. The Moxie girlz were similar but legally different from the Bratz dolls. The company did this to circumvent the ruling from the lawsuit filed by Mattel.
Initially, the company made the Moxie Girlz a replacement for Bratz dolls; however, when the Bratz was relaunched, the Moxie Girlz became an entirely separate line. The Moxie Girls line includes Bria, Sophina, Lexa, Avery, and several other characters. The Moxie dolls are similar to Bratz dolls, the only difference being that the former feature modest clothing that the average teen would wear.
The company didn’t manufacture any Moxie Teenz dolls after 2011, and they discontinued Moxie Girlz in 2014. The company redesigned leftover dolls into Moxie Girlz Friends (only found in Target) and the Storytime Princess collection (only found in Toys R Us).
On 7th December 2016, M.G.A. launched the L.O.L. Surprise (Lil Outrageous Littles) unboxing. The product line was a massive success, and it was the number one toy in 2017 in the United States based on reports from the NPD group. The company intended to double the sales of L.O.L. surprise in 2018. `
The company released various pricier L.O.L. Surprise dolls, including L.O.L. Bigger Surprise, L.O.L. Amazing Surprise, and L.O.L. Surprise House. According to Shareably, in November 2019, the L.O.L. Surprise Playset was among the Top 100 toys on Amazon.
The company extended the product line in 2019 by adding Outrageous Millenial Girls’ (L.O.L. O.M.G. fashion dolls). The new dolls won the doll of the year award in the 2020 Annual Toy Industry Awards. Besides that, the company also won the toy of the year award in 2020 at the Annual Toy of the year Award. The company also introduced the L.O.L. J.K. spin-off line in the summer of 2020.
The supply of the toys was threatened in 2020 owing to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company announced a special edition doll in April 2020. Every dollar from the sale of each special edition doll (Frontline Hero) would go towards the company’s non-profit. The L.O.L. Surprise is among M.G.A. Entertainment’s most successful toy lines.
On 8th October 2021, Netflix released L.O.L. Surprise 47 minutes animated film. The movie is about Queen Bee, a young girl in the popular dolls’ CG-animated world where she must assist them in making a film. It’s the first feature-length movie of the L.O.L. surprise franchise. The movie received mixed reviews from the audience.
Maestro Interactive Games released two games; L.O.L. Surprise! Movie Night (2021) and L.O.L. Surprise! Remix: We Rule The World (2020) on the Nintendo Switch platform.
The company introduced the Lalaloopsy line in 2010 and the tagline “Sew Magical Sew Cute.” These dolls were rag dolls that magically came to life when their final stitch was sewn. Every doll’s personality is reflected by the materials used to design them.
The dolls live happily together in Lalaloopsy Land—a fantasy world with surprises and fun at each turn. Every doll comes with its pet. The doll is roughly 13 inches, and the line’s large dolls include PeanutBig Top, Dot Starlight, Crumbs Sugar Cookie, and Rosy Bumps’ n’ Bruises.
In fall 2011, the company released Suzette La Sweet, a character sewn from the fabrics of a duchess’ gown. This product line also has little dolls, younger siblings of Lalaloopsy dolls. Like their older brothers and sisters, the tiny dolls magically came to life when their final stitch was sewn.
The little dolls have their pets and distinct personalities. Currently, there are more than 30 Lalaloopsy tiny dolls, including Spot Splatter Splash’s sister (Scribbles Splash), Mittens Fluff’ n’ Stuff’s sister (Bundles Snuggle Stuff), and Marina Anchor’s brother (Matey Anchors). The product line’s popularity peaked in 2013.
The line also features accessories, Lalaloopsy micros, and mini Lalaloopsy. The accessory line features furniture and outfits for small and large Lalaloopsy dolls, cars, and playsets.
These dolls are sold online and in-store at various retail outlets. The Lalaloopsy line won the People’s Play Award for large dolls on 7th December 2010.
This was a unique edition product line launched in 2012. True Hope was produced to raise cancer awareness. The company produced a line of bald Moxie Girlz dolls and Bratz with the tagline “courage is always the style.” The company pledged to donate every dollar from each sale to the City of Hope Cancer Foundation.
The company launched this product line in 2015, and it included a doll line and science set, which ran from 2015-2018. M.G.A. Entertainment also created a live-action tie-in film with AwesomenessTv, which ran on Netflix from 2015-2017. The film spanned six seasons, and its tagline was Smart is the New Cool.
On 20th July 2006, M.G.A. entertainment acquired a 19.2% minority stake in Zapf Creation, a German toy company. The deal allowed the company to distribute Zapf’s products in South and North America, while Zapf Creation had permission to distribute M.G.A. Entertainment’s products in specific European territories.
In 1999, M.G.A. Entertainment created Super Click-It (Bonk), a rival to Hasbro’s Bop It line of games. Mark and Spencer sold Super Click-It in the United Kingdom in 2003.
Super Click-It has five actions which include Crack It (Object created to pull back the switch back to normal position), Blast it (a green fan that works by blowing when the command is issued or when a finger is used to make it work), Twist It (orange knob that’s similar to Twist it Knobs from Bop It Extreme), Zip It (a lever you can push down), Squish It (a double-sided button that’s pressed).
Super Click-It has two modes; One Player with Sound Commands (The voice usually says “One Player” and it has a Squish It sound effect) and OPne Player with Voice Commands (the voice says “One Player, Squish It!” when a player clicks on the Squish Button to choose the game mode). The game also has two p[layer modes; Two Player Sound Commands and Two Player Voice Commands.
The game’s aim is similar to Bop It, where the game gives a player a command, and the player has to perform and obey the action. The game’s maximum score is 100; once a player achieves the maximum score, they’re celebrated with fanfare. The two-player mode has a maximum score of 200; the voice says “Pass It” when a player scores 100.
Unlike Bop It, Super Click-It gives the player adequate time to respond to a command. When a player runs out of time or performs the wrong action, the game doesn’t produce any screaming sounds. Rather, it produces cartoon sound effects like the slip-up sound effect or the way wa wa melody when a character slips over a banana peel.
The company also owns Little Tikes, a well-known toddler, preschool, and infant toy line brand. In the 1990s, M.G.A. Entertainment also launched handheld versions of several arcade games from Mappy, Ms. Pac-Man, and Pac-Man (Namco), Space Invaders (Taito), Super Breakout and Centipede Asteroids (Atari), and handheld games based on RoboCop, Power Rangers, Goosebumps, and Navy Seals.
RoboCop and Power Rangers aren’t to be confused with handheld games created by Tiger electronics. On 13th March 2018, the company confirmed through email that it had submitted a bid for Toys “R” Us, the Canadian division.
In collaboration with other toy makers, the company intended to keep some of its over 700 locations open in Canada. Isaac Larian, the MGA CEO and Chairman stated in an interview that Toy “R” Us Canada is good business, and, If Toys “R” Us is non-existent, then there’s a toy business.
Lawsuits Over The Bratz Toy Line
On 17th July 2008, Mattel filed a lawsuit against M.G.A. Entertainment in the United States District in Riverside. Mattel was fighting over the doll line’s creation rights in his suit. The jury ruled that the designer of the Bratz doll Line, Carter Bryant, had violated the exclusivity terms of his contract with Mattel by designing the Bratz doll line.
The court awarded Mattel $100 million in damages which was way less than the $1 billion they sought. On 3rd December 2008, Stephen Larson, a U.S. District judge, granted Mattel an injunction that banned M.G.A. Entertainment from producing and selling Bratz dolls. However, the judge allowed M.G.A. to0 sell the doll line till the end of the holiday season.
Larson established that all the Bratz dolls manufactured from 2001 to 2008, save for Lil Angels and Kidz lines, infringed on Mattel’s intellectual property. Consequently, the judge allowed the company to keep manufacturing these lines as long as they weren’t advertised under the Bratz brand.
The judge also stipulated that M.G.A. entertainment must remove all Bratz products from retailers, reimburse them at their own cost, and turn all the recalled products over to Mattel for disposal.
Additionally, the company was ordered to destroy all promotional materials, molds, and other items used in the production and sale of the doll line. The company filed for a permanent stay of the injunction. The court granted them their request on 11th February 2011, and a stay till the end of 2009.
On 10th December 2009, the United States Court of Appeals granted M.G.A. Entertainment an immediate state of the injunction, hence stopping the recall of the Bratz doll line, which was set to begin on 21st January 2010.
In their original ruling, the court established that Larson’s ruling was unusually draconian and wondered why instead of granting Mattel a stake in the firm or royalties from Bratz’s future sales, the judge had granted Mattel ownership of the whole franchise. The Court of Appeal ordered Mattel and M.G.A. Entertainment into mediation.
A federal court jury in Santa Ana in April 2011 ruled that the company didn’t steal the Bratz Doll concept or infringe its copyright and awarded M.G.A. Entertainment $88.4 in damages. In addition, the jury concluded that Mattel was liable for stealing trade secrets from M.G.A. and other toy manufacturing companies.
Owing to a technical procedural issue that had no links to the merits of the claims, the court of Appeal withdrew without prejudice the $170 million judgment against Mattel. On 13th January 2014, the company filed a complaint for these claims in California’s State court seeking over $1 billion.
People have criticized the L.O.L. surprise dolls for being anatomically correct. In June 2020, Amina Mucciolo (Tasselfairy), a well-known Instagrammer, claimed that Rainbow Doll (from the L.O.L. Surprise Line) had plagiarized her likeness from pictures posted on social channels.
The company denied these claims and made a statement affirming that they deeply respected the creative and artistic community and wouldn’t take from a creator in the way Amina Mucciolo suggested.
The company’s chairman and C.E.O., Isaac Larian, took to Twitter to discredit Mucciolo, branding her as a fraud, liar, and a disgrace to the black community. He even threatened to take legal action. He deleted the messages later on and deactivated his account following backlash.
In August 20221, popular media outlets reported that the L.O.L. Surprise toys when dipped in cold water with what seemed to be bondage gear, tattoos, and lingerie.
Michael Scott Anderson, the lead designer for L.O.L. Surprise dolls, posted the street map of a 16-year-old fan on his Instagram in September 2021. He took the story down shortly after and locked his account; however, the damage had already been done as other fans had already seen the post and taken screenshots. The company is yet to comment on the situation, and the designer’s account remains deactivated.