I remember like it was yesterday. It was 2001, maybe 2002, and my dad and I were at a Walgreens in New Jersey picking up some snacks before we went to Blockbuster. My dad called me over to the toy aisle and asked if I’d ever heard of something called Bratz dolls. I hadn’t, but I was immediately intrigued.
Revisiting the History of the Bratz Dolls for Their 20th Anniversary
These dolls were a cultural phenomenon
My dad bought the Chloe doll for me, and I convinced him to take me to the toy store to pick up the rest of the collection. What followed was an obsession that lasted until my teenage years, and I know for a fact that I wasn’t alone. To put it succinctly, Bratz became a global phenomenon, one that you had to be there in real-time to witness.
So with the Bratz back in action for year 20, we’re going to be telling the story of how they changed 2000s culture.
Released May 21, 2001 (the day after my birthday I might add), and actually didn’t do too well on the market at first. Why? Well, probably the biggest reason is because you had the massive success of Barbie to compete with at first, and there didn’t seem to be a big media/commercial push at first. This was before the advancement of the internet and social media, so commercials and print ads were still a heavy form of promo back then.
That said, Bratz dolls didn’t really start gaining traction until after Christmas, which generally speaking is a time where people are more open to trying new things, especially if their first/second options are not available. However the Bratz hit, they hit. Those first couple of years saw the Bratz constantly evolving, adding characters like Megan, Dana, and the boys Cameron and Dylan.
They also used this time to experiment with collections such as: Funk N Glow, Style It, Formal Funk (my personal favorite), and Winter Wonderland to name a few.
Bratz also had an official website where you could play style games, a dance video game called Bratz, and released their first movie Starrin & Stylin in 2004.
Phase 2 (2005-2007)
There aren’t very many games that would make me want to go back and buy a PlayStation 2 to play it, but I would definitely do it for Rock Angelz. The plot was similar to the movie in the sense that you were playable as each Bratz character, and were on a mission to launch a teen magazine. You also had a chance to visit some of the fashion capitals with a trip to London and Paris.
It was also during this time that Bratz babies were introduced, which was a great way for the super young kids to get introduced to the brand. Not too long after the release of Rock Angelz, Bratz released a follow television series called Bratz: The Series, which continued to follow their journey of launching a teen fashion magazine.
Genie Magic and Forever Diamondz were the next two films released, with each having a respective collection, and Forever Diamondz having a video game as well. This leads us to Phase 3.
Phase 3 (2007 Live Film)
What else do you do when you have amassed a multi-million dollar business consisting of widely popular collections, movies, and video games? Well, you make a live-action film. Bratz: The Movie starred Nathalia Ramos, Janel Parrish, Logan Browning, and Skyler Shaye, as the fashion-forward Bratz quartet who have to learn about the values of friendship when their relationship gets tested by outsiders.
The Bratz gang would go on to release two more animated films Bratz: Fashion Pixiez and Bratz: Girlz Really Rock. Oh, and let’s not forget the interactive DVD’s as well: Livin' It Up with The Bratz, Bratz: Glitz 'n' Glamour, and Lil' Bratz: Party Time!
The video game releases would continue sporadically until about 2013.
Phase 4 (Present)
What’s next? Well, the Bratz official website says loading, so we can only assume that Phase 5 is on the way for the girls with a passion for fashion.
Oh, and one more thing! Since we're talking beauty and fashion, be sure to check out vegan glam company Beauty In The City (BNTC) if you haven't already. We recently got the chance to try a beauty box set, and we loved it! Our favorite products were the Antioxidant Rich Bronzer which goes on very smooth with a silky light texture, the eye pencils which feature a nice smooth glide and the ability to also wear as a lip liner, and the Baby Lip Kit which keep your lips looking soft and plump.
Check them out via Instagram!