Barbie, Beware

These are tough times for Barbie.

She had that much-publicized breakup with Ken last year, and now, CBS News correspondent Anthony Mason reports that a new girl is moving in on her turf.

To 10-year-old girls, they're the epitome of hip: Bratz dolls.

They have pouty lips, big eyes and short skirts.

"It's what every girl wants," says one girl.

They even their own hit single. Now this posse of doll chicks is threatening to knock Barbie off her pedestal. As the pink princesses' sales have been slipping, Bratz's have been soaring.

Isaac Larian, founder of MGA Entertainment, which makes Bratz dolls, had just 50 employees four years ago. Now he has more than 500.

"So you're 10 times as big as you were four years ago?" Mason asks.

"We are," Larian says. "We have exploded."

Suddenly the doll wars have exploded into a catfight. Those Bratz girls have slapped Barbie's maker with a lawsuit — accusing Mattel of stealing the Bratz look.

"You're saying Mattel and Barbie are copying you?" Mason asks.

"Exactly," Larian says.

Larian points to Mattel's new "My Scene" dolls, claiming that they have similar eyes to the Bratz dolls.

So Larian has taken the world's largest toy company to court.

"They cannot just bully everybody," Larian says. "At least they cannot bully me or this company."

Mattel would not respond on camera. But the toy giant has itself sued one of the Bratz creators — a designer who used to work for Mattel.

The market is shrinking.

Maria Weiskott, editor of "Playthings" magazine, says Barbie faces a real fight.

"I think she is in trouble," Weiskott says.

Since she was introduced in 1959, Barbie has been the blonde bombshell of the toy business. But sales in the U.S. were down 25 percent the first three months of this year. And, in Britain, Bratz dolls now outsell Barbie.

"Does that make her less iconic?" Mason asks Weistkott.

"No I think she's still an icon. As much as G.I. Joe is an icon and the red wagon is an icon and Slinky is an icon. Barbie will always be an icon," Weistkott says.

But there's a new girl in town. They may be dolls, but this is no child's play.

  • Stephen Smith

    Stephen Smith is a senior editor for