You lose, MGA.
A federal court jury is awarding Mattel
Mattel has claimed that the concept for the doe-eyed playthings was the handiwork of a former Mattel designer, dreamed up while he was still working for the giant toymaker. The jury seems to agree.
Mattel was seeking more, but this is a moral victory for a company that has seen its own flagship Barbie dolls fade in popularity. Barbie is still a killer brand, but it seems like everyone -- from Disney's
In other words, it's a small battle victory for a company that is missing the bigger war. If anything, the courtroom victory only highlights how Mattel let a good thing go.
Bratz has been huge for MGA. Last year's Lions Gate
Was Mattel wronged? The federal court seems to think so. Were Mattel shareholders wronged by Mattel management for letting a toy designer with an eventual breakthrough concept go? Sure. If you're going to cheer toymakers for their successes -- like JAKKS Pacific
The favorable verdict is great, especially if Mattel is able to collect it. However, investors have every reason to think "if only" when it comes to the missed opportunity here.
Other ways to play:
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz wonders who will have the hot toys for the 2008 holiday season. He does own shares in Disney. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.