Lady Gaga, Management + Merchandiser Sued for $10 Million Over Bratz Dolls
Lady Gaga, her management at Atom Factory and her merchandising company Bravado are being sued over a line of Bratz dolls made in Gaga's image and likeness. Actually, the dolls were never produced, so they are being sued for breach of contract for failing to approve the line of dolls in time for the 2012 shopping season.
MGA Entertainment, Inc., which is based in Van Nuys, California and manufactures Bratz toys, filed suit in New York state, seeking a whopping $10 million in damages, according to Bloomberg.com.
MGA claims that in December 2011, it agreed to manufacture Gaga dolls at the request and insistence of Bravado, even paying a fee of $1 million in anticipation of shipping product to retailers this summer ahead of the holiday shopping season. All the ducks appeared to be lined up...
However, come April, Bravado's CEO told MGA's CEO that Gaga wanted to delay the production and shipment of the dolls to coincide with the release of her new album in 2013. Talk about changing horses in mid-stream!
MGA maintains that the defendants continue to withhold approval in order to force a delay in the marketing of the dolls. The company points out that Gaga is currently promoting another licensed product – her Fame perfume -- instead.
Sounds like Gaga's team is trying to control when the Bratz dolls are released in conjunction with her music and to suit her promotional priorities. However, MGA already invested millions, offered Gaga's team a generous royalty rate, used its reputation to secure shelf space at retail and pulled in orders from 10 countries for this particular season. MGA came up empty handed and with egg on its face.
Essentially, MGA claims it was screwed since it socked time and money into the dolls, expecting to rake in $28 million in retail during the fall 2012 season because of them.
Gaga's rep said tried to keep the Mother Monster's name out of its, saying, "This is a dispute between Universal Music Group's merchandising company and MGA. There was no legitimate reason for dragging Lady Gaga into that dispute. Lady Gaga will vigorously defend MGA's ill-conceived lawsuit and is confident that she will prevail."
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