A judge has ruled that MGA Entertainment Inc. which owns toy rotational molder Little Tikes Co. has to stop making its landmark Bratz dolls, in the legal battle pitting MGA against Mattel Inc. and its rival Barbie dolls.
MGA said the ruling will not impact its other brands.
Judge Stephen Larson of U.S. District Court in Riverside, Calif., issued an injunction in December barring MGA from making Bratz; the order wasn't enforced, pending an appeal by MGA Chief Exexutive Officer Isaac Larian. But on April 27, Larson lifted the stay on the order barring MGA from making the dolls, saying Bratz were created by a former Mattel employee. The judge also upheld a jury verdict for $100 million against MGA of Van Nuys, Calif.
Larson appointed a temporary receiver, Patrick A. Fraioli Jr., to run the Bratz business; Larian has appealed that ruling. MGA issued a news release April 30 that said it is fully cooperating with Fraioli. Larian said MGA is operating normally and will continue to sell and ship Bratz under the receiver's oversight. MGA is preparing to show the Bratz line for spring 2010, he said.
It's unclear what impact the recent legal maneuvers might have on MGA subsidiary Little Tikes. MGA bought the Hudson, Ohio, toymaker from Newell Rubbermaid Inc. three years ago.
Tom Richmond, general manager for Little Tikes and executive vice president at MGA, declined to comment. The judge's decision will have no impact on the production, distribution or sales of Little Tikes or any of the company's other brands, Larian said.
Little Tikes employs about 350 in Hudson.