Blonde-haired barbie, fresh from victory against Bratz, lords it over Princess Alexa

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 06 December, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 06 December, 2008, 12:00am

It's good that over the years Mattel has ethnically diversified its once all blonde and blue-eyed Barbie dolls.

Fierce competition from the multi-ethnic and urbane Bratz dolls, produced by MGA Entertainment, probably has something to do with it.

But the Bratz dolls may be knocked out of business, if not style, after Mattel won a permanent injunction this week from a US federal court against the sale of all 40 Bratz dolls for infringing Mattel's rights.

The court has ordered MGA to destroy all the moulds and plates used to make the dolls and to compensate retailers for the cost of removing the dolls from stores.

Let's hope Mattel does not go back to its all-blonde Barbies. But signs are not good, at least in Hong Kong.

Toys 'R' Us is selling the brunette Princess Alexa with darker skin for HK$169.90, HK$20 less than for Princess Liana, the typical blonde, blue-eyed Barbie. Both dolls can change a dress into a sparkling ball gown and sing the same song.

Their prices are the same in Britain and North America. To be fair, this is probably not the fault of Mattel, but the retailers in Hong Kong.

We are just wondering what kind of message this is sending to children here.

Well, we all know how Chinese are crazy about fair skin from cosmetics commercials here. We learn that from childhood.