MGA Entertainments, the toy manufacturer behind Bratz dolls, is going head to head with rival Mattel with the launch of a Bratz social network. Mattel launched a Barbie Girl-branded site in May.
Be-Bratz was launched weeks later in response to the Barbie site. Both are aimed at girls aged between eight and 12 years old.
The Bratz site will be accessible only after consumers have purchased a special Bratz doll that comes with a USB key. Consumers are then asked to choose a screen name and a Bratz avatar, which can be dressed by the user.
The site will also have an online store and virtual currency that can be earned by playing Bratz-branded games online. An online cinema will show promotional clips from the Bratz film that is set for release on August 2.
Critics of Mattel’s site said it could encourage the early sexualisation of young girls, putting them at risk of online bullying as well as promoting eating disorders.