Bratz dolls-owner MGA Entertainment is to set up a UK business in 2008 and sever its four-year partnership with Vivid Imaginations.
Details of the new MGA operation are yet to be announced and Vivid, which has the license for the brand in the UK, say the separation is amicable.
However, the move could prove a heavy blow to Vivid. Although it handles other toy brands, including Crayola and Robin Hood, Bratz dolls is the clear winner in the UK dolls market, beating its nearest competitor by more than two to one with a 63.7% share compared to its nearest rival at 25.3%. It has held this position for more than two years and was the first doll to topple Barbie Girl from the top slot.
Issac Larian, chief executive of MGA Entertainment, says: “I would like to place on record our great respect and appreciation of Vivid for the outstanding job they have done in taking Bratz to more than 60% market share. They have been a great business partner.”
Nick Austin, chief executive of Vivid, adds: “We have enjoyed four hugely successful and mutually beneficial years working with MGA and have achieved great things together.”
MGA Entertainment is also taking control of Smoby-Majorette within the next few days, according to Alain Ribeyre, a lawyer representing Smoby. The company, which unsuccessfully tried to compete with rivals Mattel and Hasbro, has been under bankruptcy protection since March.
MGA Entertainment is a consumer entertainment products company headquartered in California. It manufactures lines of propriety and licensed products, including toys and games, dolls, consumer electronics and sporting goods.