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Lady Gaga doll case highlights alleged breach of contract

Dolls are a traditional source of imaginative fun and comfort for small children. However, dolls can be a contentious source of stress for adults. For like any kind of toy, children's furniture or article of clothing, dolls are serious business for the manufacturers who make them. And when any kind of children's product is associated with a celebrity, the high-profile nature of these consumer goods can become even more valued by the manufacturers and marketers associated with the products.

One recent case highlights the fact that dolls are not simply child's play. The controversial Bratz doll brand is currently fighting an alleged breach of contract on the part of Lady Gaga and her professional team.

The flamboyant artist has reportedly refused to approve a final design for a Bratz doll in her likeness. Her merchandising advisors at Bravado International had allegedly accepted a $1 million advance from Bratz manufacturers MGA Entertainment and had consented for the company to make dolls in Lady Gaga's likeness.

However, delay in final design approval is apparently stalling orders placed in 10 countries and holding up millions in expected revenue during the autumn shopping season. As a result, MGA filed a suit seeking over $10 million in damages and an order to authorize the dolls' production.

Though a judge has declined to compel immediate production of the dolls, he has scheduled a hearing for later this month where he will consider whether or not to order their manufacture.

Though manufacturers and marketers may focus on the production of children's products, the contracts governing them are every bit as serious, binding and "grown-up" as contracts governing every other kind of product.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Lady Gaga is sued over deal to make a doll in her likeness," Dalina Castellanos, July 25, 2012

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