New Bratz Dolls Tell Girls "It's Good to Be Yourself"

Bratz dolls are back! After being on "vacation" for a couple of years, a new and improved version of the dolls will hit store shelves on July 25th—and they've got a look and message that won't make parents cringe.

The Bratz line, made by MGA Entertainment, still has a "passion for fashion" but also has new mantra of "It's good to be yourself." In short, I find them less bratty. They've still got giant heads with huge eyes on tiny bodies, but they are wearing way less makeup and overall look more innocent and cute and they have a message I can get behind. The revamp of the entire line was designed to embody the interests, passions and personalities of the modern day girl and encourage self-expression, individuality, confidence and creativity.

In addition to giving a new look and feel to the core Bratz friends with the "Hello My Name Is" collection (Jade, Yasmin, Cloe and Sasha each come with outfits and accessories true to their individual interests and hobbies), the relaunch added new collections like "Study Abroad" and "Fierce Fitness." Each Study Abroad doll adopts a different culture's traditional fashion and styles and incorporates them into their own wardrobe, which I think is a fun way to get girls interested in new countries around the world. Fierce Fitness dolls showcase healthy hobbies in the most fashionable and fun way, like how Cloe can hit the hiking trails with her visor, backpack and binoculars or Jade can revv up for a race with her sports bag, comb and hydration bottle. Similiar to the fitness-themed collection, Bratz's new "#SnowKissed" collection celebrates the doll's love for fun winter activities, with each doll equipped to hit the slopes in stylish snow gear and a sticker sheet to customize their snowboards, sleds or skis. Considering how important it is to teach kids that exercise should be a regular part of their lives, I think this is a cool way for dolls to contribute to the lesson.

Creativity is a key element of the new dolls, so the Create-It-Yourself Fashion Set gives girls the freedom to design their own Bratz fashions with a rotating platform and mannequin to decorate an outfit for their Bratz doll. Exclusive Bratz collections at Target will include a "Create-A-Bratz" online experience where kids can design their own doll, outfits, and accessories, while Wal-Mart will have an exclusive on the Sleepover Party with Sleepover Spa & Hair Studio.

Of course, technology is huge with modern-day girls, so Bratz has a new #SelfieSnaps collection, too. Each doll comes with tech-inspired accessories, their own smartphone and two phone cases, as well as her own "selfie snap" style and fun emoji icons. The dolls will also have a new Bratz selfie app and original stop-motion webisodes available on Bratz's YouTube channel.

Ellen Sturm Niz is a New York City-based editor and writer whose daughter is loving the new Bratz dolls. Check out Ellen's new Etsy shop and follow her on Twitter and Pinterest.

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