What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the Bratz dolls are all about the next mall crawl, hairstyle, and clothing or other product purchase. The dolls (and site) place a huge emphasis on buying things and how you look. The site features frequent product plugs; kids can also register for the V.I.B. (Very Important Bratz) club by entering their name, e-mail address, and other information. However, there aren't many benefits if you're a member: You're just able to download a few things, like screensavers and wallpaper.
What's it about?
The Bratz divas are all about fashion -- with a preference for big clunky shoes, faux fur jackets, and navel-revealing tops. They have awesome accessories, too, and love to try on makeup. The only question is: How many ways can they get kids to buy something Bratz related? After clicking around this site, the answer is TONS! You can learn about or buy Bratz products on every page on the site, as well as find retailers who can sell them to you. The site does have some interactive games, but they mostly involve dress-up or makeup. Those who have registered for the club (it's free, but requires parental permission if you're under 18) can use more of the site's features, including playing some games and entering the virtual Bratz world.
Is it any good?
BRATZ.COM feels like a big ad to encourage kids to buy the dressed-up diva dolls (and related accessories). Most of the content -- including doll bios, a Bratz catalog, and TV commercials--centers around pushing the product.
Girls can also register (for free) for the Very Important Bratz Club, which promises special extras -- but they aren't really anything exciting. A couple of the site's games are interesting. One lets girls design their own rock video; another teaches them how to run a business. However, they aren't all as cerebral -- including a love meter that rates your relationship potential.
Overall, the site offers a pretty safe experience; kids can't chat or otherwise interact. However, the emphasis on fashion, appearance and buying a ton of stuff may make parents think twice about encouraging their children to spend much bonding time with the Bratz.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about whether or not girls can have fun looking at info about the Bratz dolls and playing a game on the site without having to feel like they need to buy a bunch of stuff. Does using the site make you want to buy Bratz dolls and accessories? Read our tips about selling to kids.
The Bratz dolls are really into hair, make-up, and fashion. How can you have fun creating a new look or trying out a new style -- without placing too much emphasis on feeling good or bad about yourself based on how you look?
Do you think most girls look like the Bratz dolls? Or do you think the dolls look different from real girls? Does seeing the Bratz dolls add to the pressure of girls feeling like they need to be thin or look a certain way?