After a year-long hiatus, the Bratz have finally returned with a quirky new look, a hot new theme song, and a fresh new slogan: “It’s Good To Be Yourself”.
For those of you who have forgotten about the Bratz or have been out of the loop and so haven’t really known what happened to the Bratz, last year MGA Entertainment, the creators of the Bratz, decided they would go on a hiatus. MGA made the following statement:
So, here’s the deal with Bratz. We finally got the go-ahead to give it the time and backing to make it awesome. We want to really dig in to the direction of Bratz, what makes the brand awesome, and bring that back full force! In order to do that, and to have the epic come back that the brand really deserves, we are taking a year off. We are giving ourselves and the buyers a chance to cleanse palates of expectations so we can come back in 2015 and deliver something cutting edge, disruptive and awesome.
Many of you may not know what the statement above truly means. Many of you probably didn’t realize the Bratz had even left the scene. Many of you may have thought the Bratz were long gone BEFORE last year and may not understand why they had to take “a year” off. Some of you “kiddies” may have already consumed yourself with smartphones and I-pads and are like, “People still buy dolls?”
For all of you lost individuals, I will be here to give you a brief spill before getting into the actual comeback. Already know the details? Skip to the bottom…
For those of you who didn’t know Bratz left or for those of you who thought the Bratz left a long time ago, I will bring you up to date.
What Happened to the Bratz?
At the Turn of the 21st Century, many doll companies were trying to win “tweens” back into the doll market because so many were distracted by CDs, TV, video games, and anything else but dolls. By the age of 10, many girls were beginning to feel they were too old for dolls. Many people felt girls were growing up too fast and companies suffered from that lost of tween consumers. So, in an attempt to encourage tweens to play with dolls, many companies tried to make toys that would appeal to an older crowd. The only dolls that were successful at this were the Bratz dolls.
Bratz has always been a doll line that has fought through major challenges and has overcome much opposition from critics and competition. When Bratz was first released in May 2001, the Bratz were not received well. It wasn’t until December 2001, the Holiday Season, that kids began to recognize the Bratz dolls. Ever since then, the Bratz slowly began climbing their way into the doll market until they were able to take 40% of the fashion doll market from the biggest fashion doll in the world, Mattel’s Barbie (I’ve collected both by the way, since the 1990s).
That really may not seem like much, considering the doll industry is much larger than “fashion dolls”, but considering at the time fashion dolls were really popular prior to 2001, it was a huge accomplishment. Bratz dolls were the first fashion dolls to rival Barbie in popularity. Mattel was the powerhouse toy company of the 1990s, eating up Hot Wheels, Disney toys, and even American Girl. When Bratz arrived on the scene, Mattel had competition from another growing toy company: MGA Entertainment.
MGA was unique. First off, people of various ethnic backgrounds could relate to the CEO who was not Caucasian. This impressed upon those who disliked “white, blonde” Barbie and her influence. Second, he was not afraid to take risks when it came to dolls. Ever since the 1980s, Barbie had already begun to lose her appeal. She became less of a fashion doll. When Mattel tried to add more diversity to the Barbie line to compete with the popular Jem dolls in the 1980s, Mattel distinguished Barbie from the group by making her signature color pink, which limited color choices in fashion. In the 1990s, so that she could appeal to “soccer moms”, Mattel tried to scurry away from her “fashion doll” label and began designing her fashions around various careers and ambitions.
Bratz, on the other hand, wore hip-hop fashions and had a modern urban appeal. They related to real teenagers. Many of the doll clothing was of higher quality than Barbie had been at the time. Many of the Bratz fashion was also trendier and not as…well…PINK.
As the popularity of Bratz grew, word spread about the rebellious dolls. People began to take them seriously and critics began examining the Bratz, especially “soccer moms”. The Bratz wore a lot of make-up, revealing or suggestive clothing, had big heads, glossy eyes, huge lips, and called themselves “Bratz”. Prior to 2004, there were no movies giving the Bratz much depth as far as personality, so kids could make them anyway they wanted. If a kid didn’t have a computer, they wouldn’t know who the “sporty one” or the “glam one” was. There was also no particular “message” that parents deemed “positive”. It wasn’t until the movies and TV show arrived that “morals” like friendship, strength, courage, and creativity were implemented. When Bratz began capitalizing on movies and their music albums, the Bratz popularity skyrocketed. Bratz began moving away from their urban roots and started taking advantage of their “edgy” reputation by trying fashion styles that were completely “out-of-the-box”.
Mattel, desperate to keep their hold on the fashion doll market, came up with new doll competitors for the Bratz: Myscene dolls. Myscene took advantage of the current emphasis on New York (since many were still recovering from 9/11), and tried to implement more urban fashions into the Barbie line. Myscene was a “hipper” and “more fashionable” version of Barbie. The lead character was still Barbie, but she took on the glossy-eyed look and bigger lips that the Bratz had. Though Myscene looked a lot like Bratz dolls, Myscene were decidedly prettier and more natural than the Bratz. Their feet were not stubby and their bodies were more realistic. Neither of them had the posable bodies we see today (that came with Liv dolls), but they had fashion any tween could want or dream of. Both fashion doll lines were relatively successful.
However, MGA felt a bit insecure with Myscene looking so much like the Bratz. They were obviously afraid people would confuse the two and give Mattel money for Myscene, not seeing the real difference between the lines (though they were different in many, many ways). MGA filed a lawsuit in April 2005 against Mattel claiming they stole MGA’s doe-eyed look and used it on the Myscene dolls. This was a big mistake. In 2006, Mattel filed a lawsuit against MGA claiming that the main creator of Bratz, Carter Bryant, was working for Mattel while he was designing Bratz, which technically meant Mattel were the true owners of Bratz. Mattel had some good proof. Mattel was awarded money for the Bratz dolls and all dolls were ordered to be removed from store shelves in 2008.
This case was appealed by MGA in 2008 and the recall was halted. During this halted process, Bratz were allowed to return to shelves until it was finalized who truly owned Bratz. In 2009, the companies gained another lawsuit from Bernard “Butch” Belair. He filed a lawsuit against them both because Carter Bryant, the originator of the Bratz, claimed to have been inspired from a Steve Madden shoe ad Belair created for Seventeen magazine. Mattel stepped out of that case. MGA took it on and prevailed, but they still didn’t have complete ownership of Bratz. For the rest of 2008 and 2009, Bratz stepped out of the doll scene. After all of this mess with Bryant, he was let go from MGA, which made them suffer because he was the main creator of the line.
Court battles have been going back and forth between the two companies, MGA and Mattel, ever since. When Bratz were removed from shelves, that gave other doll lines just the space they needed to shine. Monster High was in the works, playing on the “edgy” success of the Bratz. Basically, Monster High was supposed to be edgier than it turned out being. Monster High eventually formed its own identity, though…
Suddenly, in 2010, MGA announced that Bratz would make their comeback to shelves. Everyone was excited, expecting the edgy Bratz with the amazing quality. Instead, we got dolls that “played it safe”. Most of the dolls wore really “quiet”, normal outfits. Many of their outfits covered them up completely, adding leggings where a skirt was too short and jackets where a top was too cropped. I suppose MGA was trying to appeal to the critics and parents. But it didn’t appeal to tweens or fans any more: the people who matter most. To add, the quality was low. Painted on leggings, cheap hair, recycled and re-used clothing and shoes, and low quality outfits destroyed the doll line. Later, MGA admitted they rushed the new Bratz because they were eager to bring the dolls back to shelves. Still, they tried to make the dolls work, but the quality was just awful. Finally, in 2014, MGA announced that Bratz would go on a hiatus.
They said they wanted to “cleanse palates of expectations” and “deliver something cutting edge, disruptive, and awesome”.
So let’s see how well they did this time.
The NEW Bratz
The Bratz have traded up both their urban and edgy look for one that is absolutely “creative”, eclectic, and quirky. They switched their logo from “The Girls with a Passion for Fashion” to “It’s Good to Be Yourself, It’s Good to Be a Bratz”. MGA is trying to focus all of their attention on promoting the Bratz through technology (Isn’t it obvious with the selfie line?).
The Bratz have announced several lines including the “Hello My Name Is”, “Selfie”, and “Study Abroad” lines. Of the three, my favorite is “Study Abroad”.
So, what do you think of the new Bratz?
Here’s my review, and you are all welcome to agree or disagree.
There are some things that I am very happy with, but the overall presentation of the Bratz is a bit boring for me this time around. There are some major improvements to the line, but the actual content is not as bold as what once impressed upon me when I first fell in love with the Bratz. I think the Study Abroad line is the best line offered because there is so much quality and detail in the line. It brings out the boldness of Bratz more than all the other lines. I feel that with time, the Bratz may get a little more bold, just from judging the Study Abroad line. But the first two lines seem to lack the boldness that I’m craving.
Still, after getting my eyes on Study Abroad, I feel that little glimmer of hope. I believe that this is just the beginning for Bratz. If we get more dolls like Study Abroad, with just a little more edge, I believe I will begin to enjoy this line of dolls.
Though the Bratz’s outfits are of the highest quality right now, and though the Bratz have the Study Abroad line, there’s something about the Bratz that seems a bit off.
I feel that, for a line that has the slogan, “It’s Good to Be Yourself”, they don’t really feel like they are being “themselves”. In fact, it feels like the Bratz are trying to conform to what everyone else wants of them and to the trends around them rather than breaking fashion rules. The new Bratz are just too girly. If they have a female lead designer, Bratz are doomed. Why? Because females tend to want to make dolls that are “safe”, “sweet”, and something they feel girls should play with (even if it’s not truly what girls actually want). I hardly see any female designers who make doll lines disruptive (Tree Change is a good example of that) and hardly any doll lines designed by females appeal to boys like the Bratz once did.
I don’t know whether it’s the eyes, the clothes, or the overall presentation. Something just seems to lack “Bratitude”.
MGA said they were trying to bring something “cutting-edge, disruptive, and awesome”. Study Abroad carries most of those descriptions. The other lines are just way too colorful and sweet. Instead of being bold and edgy, the Selfie Snaps and Hello My Name is dolls look cute and innocent. They almost feel like the second Moxie Girlz, Bratz’s sister line from MGA. These dolls literally look like they are wearing leftover fashions from Moxie Girl design ideas. And all of the dolls’ eyes (even in study Abroad) are almost exactly like Moxie Girlz’s eyes. For people who like the cute and innocent thing, you may like the cuter Bratz lines. I just can’t really merge myself with the cute and innocent appearance of the some of the Bratz dolls. I want the make-up, the dramatic fashions, and the bold line choices. I want to see dolls who break rules.
The “Study Abroad” line interests me most.
I really hope that Tree Change dolls haven’t influenced the Bratz dolls in any way, not now or ever.
The “Tree Change” dolls, designed by Sonia Singh, were Bratz dolls that were reconstructed to look more like real girls. I’m here to tell you, the dolls are not interesting. It’s an example of why trying to make dolls into “normal” girls is a bad idea. The more you try to make a doll as boringly realistic as possible, so that they can reflect real girls, the more the girls just want to just well…live life without a doll. Dolls spark the imagination and make girls dream of the impossible. They help girls escape their everyday world and be what they can’t be everyday. If girls are given dolls that reflect their everyday circumstances, they might as well not even imagine it. They won’t have to. They live their everyday circumstances everyday.
This is exactly why I disagree with the goal of Tree Change dolls. Not only does it stifle imagination, art, and creativity, it is a poor business tactic, and can never be implemented in the real doll industry. I know I wouldn’t buy a Tree Change doll. I can’t imagine any kid that would even show interest. The reason is because there are more “average” dolls on toy shelves than there are “unique and bold” dolls. The news press pays attention to dolls that do something unique. Business runs on the element of originality. Bank (when the money rolls in) happens when someone sparks an idea that hasn’t been done before and when they find an idea that will be unique to the company. People will give money to the company because this “original product” can only come from that one company. Though nothing in the doll industry is extremely unique, the more unique a product is, with the right timing and promotion, the higher the chances for the doll line to become a hit.
If MGA breaks under the criticism, they may end up sacrificing all of their dolls’ unique qualities. I don’t want that to happen but I’m a bit worried that MGA might try to conform.
It’s clearly evident that MGA is trying to appeal to parents and critics this time just as they tried last time in 2010 (though at least this time they were more creative). I could tell when they posted this article onto their facebook page that they wanted to appeal to parents, and somehow this article made them “feel good” about their release—–>New Bratz Dolls Tell Girls “It’s Good To Be Yourself”
The article author basically says “they’ve got a look and message that won’t make parents cringe”. That is truly the exact opposite of what made the Bratz so popular. Therefore, if this is the response MGA is getting from parents, they are not disruptive or “earth-shattering”. They are just…any other doll that a child can play with for a day and dump in the closet.
The article is a complete contradiction. While the author claims to enjoy the new message of “being yourself”, they obviously encourage the line to be something that “pleases parents”, the opposite of Bratz being “themselves”. For some reason, make-up is not a part of that self-expression. Dolls have to look “innocent to be “themselves” as well. To me, that doesn’t sound like “being yourself”. That sounds more like “Let People Mold You and Tell You What You Should Be”.
Parents can love and hate what they want, but at the end of the day it really matters what the kids and fans think. Parents aren’t the ones who will play with the dolls and most are not collectors. A parent can choose to buy any toy they want their child to play with, true enough, but if the child doesn’t like it, the child won’t play with it. The child won’t even ask their parent to buy a toy that they don’t want. If a parent buys a child a toy they think the child should have, it could be a waste of money. Therefore, the success of the Bratz is dependent on the new generation and the older fans of the Bratz. Furthermore, Bratz was meant to bring TWEENS back into the doll market, not little children. That goal is clearly being lost with the new Bratz.
MGA said they were trying to give Bratz the epic comeback the line deserved, but this is not exactly what I would call epic. However, it’s good enough, considering it’s just the beginning. It’s better than 2010, but not quite epic. If this is their idea of epic, they are definitely dealing with the wrong dolls here.
Still, there are some promising points I’d like to discuss. Though I don’t feel this comeback was amazing, this comeback wasn’t a total bust. There are some things that tell me that the Bratz have enough juice to fight the declining doll market.
1) I really like the new theme song the Bratz are promoted with. It’s called “Bratz What’s Up” by Skylar Stecker. It’s way better than the song they had in 2010 (“I Like”). This song carries more sass than the doll line itself. If Bratz come out with more movies and music, I’m certain it will sound good like it once did. I’m a bit relieved about that.
2) I also like the Study Abroad line. I feel that it could’ve been edgier, like Pretty n Punk and Tokyo A-Go-Go, but I think it suffices. I really miss the Bratz when they weren’t so “girlish” (what’s with all the pinks and pastels, the skirts and floral patterns? Too much like Barbie), but I love the different details in this line. I love how each girl represents a different country. Maybe feminine and girly is in, but I don’t like what’s “in”. But Study Abroad has a lot of dramatic flair and the line is promising. Every doll will be coming home with me. The detail is amazing. The quality is impeccable. It really is the best line that has come out with this relaunch.
Berry Bread, a fellow blogger and Bratz collector, has an amazing review on the dolls:
3) I also like Hello My Name is Sasha doll. She seems to carry on the urban roots of the Bratz. Maybe it’s because she’s “Bunny Boo” and loves the “hip-hop thing”. In any case, her doll actually seems to look like a teenager. If any doll from that line comes home with me, it will be Sasha.
4) I also am happy the original “Bratz” logo has returned. The little cute “lips” next to the logo is great.
5) I like the new artwork. It feels more like the original. And the dolls actually look like the artwork! That is one major improvement.
6) They also returned Jade back to who she was in 2001. They made her the girl who likes extreme sports like surfing and skateboarding. For those of you who don’t remember Bratz in 2001, you probably didn’t know that Jade used to have a skateboard in her room on the original website (the Bratz showed their rooms back then). In fact, she was more of the sporty one. Cloe used to play an acoustic guitar. Yasmin and Sasha were always generally what they are now.
7) I also heard that the quality is good. The hair is silky (saran, the most expensive). And guess what? No painted on leggings! Yay! (If you remember the horror of Style Starz Cloe, then you know what I’m talking about). It seems that the new dolls have more detail in their clothes, particularly in comparison to 2010. From reader Tom, I learned that the Bratz now come with two outfits in each package, tons of accessories, and now fashion/shoe packs are also available. This is excellent news. This shows that the Bratz have at least improved since 2010. They are not on the level they were in 2004/2005, but they are showing potential.
8) And yes, the Bratz individuality is back. We saw a decline in individuality around 2007 and 2008 when the court battles between MGA and Mattel began to affect the Bratz dolls. Thankfully, fans can finally have a desire to collect them ALL because no two girls look the SAME. Fans know what I’m talking about when I mention the lack of individuality. Lines like Fashion Pixiez put the Bratz dolls in the same outfits as one another. Designers thought that giving them a slightly different color would make them pass as “individual”. Sad to say, many fans, such as myself, were satisfied with just ONE Fashion Pixiez doll (though I really was never interested in pixies to begin with). But now, Bratz have shown individuality within each line shown so far.
9) I also like what I see of #SnowKissed which strongly reminds me of Winter Wonderland back in the 2000s. But in Winter Wonderland, the girls came with one skirt and one pair of jeans. Cloe’s doll comes with two skirts. Jade is the only one who comes with one pair of leggings and a skirt. The new dolls just seem too girly. :/ That’s not my thing. To add, the Bratz girls are wearing cropped tops when it’s supposed to be wintry and cold. The original Winter Wonderland dolls wore sweaters and tights, like it was actually cold outside…
But at least #Snowkissed shows some sass and flair very similar to the original winter collection. They are too girlish for my tastes, but they are still really nice.
10) Bratz #Fierce Fitness isn’t bad either. It’s just something about their eyes…They don’t sit well with me.
1) The Bratz are way too cute and innocent for my tastes. “Bratz” hardly seems fitting anymore. That may be fine and dandy for some, but I’ve collected enough cute dolls (Mystikats, Liv, American Girl, Lisa Frank, Ever Girl, etc). I don’t want any more. I know a unique doll when I see one and Bratz will literally just fade for me. Is Bratz awfully bland? No. They have more detail and accessories than in 2010. But their wardrobes are just so colorful and they just look too innocent.
They lack a whole lot of sass. Just look at their eyes. The glossy look is completely gone. Really, that’s what is taking away their edgy look. Their eyes are too big. Their eyes look like Moxie Girlz’s eyes now. That could be another reason why they look so sweet and innocent. It’s funny how a painted face can give so much meaning and personality to a doll. Without the glossy eyes, it just doesn’t feel like they have much “Bratitude”. In 2010, they managed to make the eyes look a bit sassy, even if it wasn’t as glossy as the original. I don’t know why they deviated from the glossy look even further.
Perhaps MGA had to deviate away from the original designs due to the court cases. MGA had to remove all 1st Wave Bratz from shelves and they are no longer allowed to utilize the original look for the Bratz. This could be why there is a change in the eyes (clearly going from being glossy-eyed to being doe-eyed). That loss in the court case really changed the Bratz. MGA may be trying their hardest to make Bratz as similar to how they used to be as possible without stirring another court case battle. From my understanding, they have to be careful using the format given to them by Cater Bryant. It really is a shame because those details make a world of a difference. Still, the only thing they may not be allowed to use are the eyes and original facial structures. This shouldn’t affect their fashion sense. Perhaps we will see more fashion lines like the Study Abroad line in the future.
Even though I know MGA may not be allowed to use the glossy-eyed look they once used in 2001-2002, during the midst of their court battle for the Bratz in 2010, they managed to make the eyes a bit sassy. Now, their faces look like cute little girls rather than sassy, bold teenagers.
Bratz were never the kind of edgy that was just bag-lady tacky. They were edgy because they weren’t afraid to wear chains and leather. They were edgy because they weren’t afraid to wear things most people said were worn by “bad girls”. Their expressions expressed sass and attitude. They dressed in darker colors and wore as many jeans as they did skirts. In fact, when the Bratz debuted, they all debuted in jeans. They were not just appealing to girls, but some boys liked them and collected them, too. I’ve run into so many male fans of Bratz, I began to see Bratz’s wide-ranged appeal. These new dolls don’t feel any different from Barbie, Moxie Girlz, Monster High, or Ever After High. I might as well buy those dolls instead.
At this point, Bratz seem to be going in the same direction as Moxie Girlz dolls.
They are also just too girlish and feminine. They started getting this way in 2007. Some fans may like it, and maybe that’s what’s in, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it or buy into it. When Bratz first debuted, they were different from the other prissy dolls. They debuted with skirts, sure, but pants dominated much of their lines. They, at least, had one skirt and one pair of pants each line. Now, some dolls will have two skirts and no pants. Hardly any of the dolls wear pants. They are just too feminine for my tastes. I liked the dolls that broke all the rules of femininity. I liked the dolls who weren’t so “soft”. I liked the tough look of the Bratz. No other doll line, not even Monster High, could capture that tough look, considering most doll lines are meant to be appealing to little girls.
2) Bratz’s goal was to focus on the interests of teens and tweens, not little girls. The new Bratz seem to be trying to gather in the interests of little girls. Issac Larian mentioned that he had gotten some of his inspiration from talking to little girls. Even looking at their newest “It’s good to be a Bratz” commercial/ad it’s apparent that younger children will be the focus. Compared to older Bratz commercials, it really doesn’t seem like a doll line people of all ages and genders can relate to. The original inspiration behind the Bratz was from Seventeen magazine, a magazine for teenagers. The difference in inspiration will influence how the dolls are marketed and influences what the Bratz are wearing right now. Currently, the Bratz just don’t look like teenagers anymore.
I feel that is the problem. They will only capture the “little girls” and not the older girls as they once did. Bratz easily captured the hearts of tweens and teens (such as myself) back in 2001 because I didn’t feel too lame to own a doll that was “so cool”. Little girls imitated their older cousins and sisters anyway, so they were captured as well. That made Bratz’s popularity huge. With the new lines, I’m not too sure Bratz could capture the tween/teen market. That could be a loss in profits.
Bratz also once captured the interests of many males, even those that didn’t like dolls. That was something hardly any doll line has been able to achieve, as most dolls are geared towards girls. But Bratz were just that cool.
I honestly can’t see too many guys finding the new dolls cool, so that could be a loss as well.
They certainly will have a hard time appealing to as many people as they once did unless older people get the nostalgia “jones” (the disease I have right now :P ) and make themselves like it simply because it was a part of their childhood. I can’t see them grabbing a new market of teenagers.
3) What is with the cheesy selfie line? I know people are into selfies, but making it that obvious by putting “selfie” on every shirt in the line makes it obvious the people at MGA aren’t tech savvy. It’s obvious they are not used to catering their doll line to a modern age. They should be more discreet with the line. No one hardly takes “selfies” with “selfie” shirts on. It would be fine if just one doll had it on their shirt. But they should bring some individuality to the selfie line by making them have different words on their shirts instead.
4) I really don’t like the slogan, “It’s Good to be Yourself”, either. It’s cliche and everyone is using it. Even Monster High uses something similar in their slogan (“Be Yourself”) and Moxie Girlz is similar (“Be True! Be You!”) as well. Very few slogans say, “The Girls with a Passion for Fashion”. That slogan also encouraged a great variety in fashion. It’s great we get to see their own individuality, but doesn’t that take away the imagination of the children? How can they make up their dolls’ personalities when their dolls are given personalities? Plus, we want to see how far they can go as fashion dolls.
MGA seems to miss the point entirely. Issac Larian, the CEO, seems to think that if he makes the dolls more “techy” it will be more appealing. But actually people are looking for something that stays true to itself despite all obstacles. People are looking for something that’s unique and empowering. They are not looking for something that “fits in”. I feel this will be the downfall of the line. Right now, MGA is just focused on making the Bratz more appealing to a new generation.
5) The website is also disappointing. I know people hardly visit websites anymore, but an appealing interactive website can make a world of a difference. It is one of the reasons behind American Girl’s success. I was hoping the Bratz website would be as awesome as it was once before. But it’s not. http://www.bratz.com
Overall, I love some things, but I have this emptiness. There is just something that is missing. I feel this was not an epic comeback. Maybe my expectations were too high, but after someone has a second chance at it, you’d think they’d get it right. What happened to all the ideas fans gave them? Maybe they are saving those ideas for later, but the initial lines matter right now, especially at this time in history where it is getting harder to capture the interests of girls and make a profit from fashion dolls. They would have done better if they’d showed fans some of the prototypes and got the fans’ input on the dolls. Oh well.
Even though I don’t like the first two lines released, time will tell. The lines out now could grow on me and I could end up liking future lines. The question is, do the Bratz have time? With other competitors’ profits dwindling, one wrong move can mean the difference between success and failure. If Bratz fails to make a profit, it could mean the end of them forever. A company needs money to keep a doll line rolling and I don’t want to see them fail again like they did after the 2010 re-launch.
Again, hopefully the new dolls take off as well as they did before.
Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!