Isaac Larian

Isaac Larian (born March 28, 1954) is an Iranian-born American billionaire businessman, and the chief executive officer (CEO) of MGA Entertainment, the world's largest privately-owned toy company.[7]

Isaac Larian
Born (1954-03-28) March 28, 1954 (age 66)
OccupationFounder and CEO, MGA Entertainment
Net worthUS$ 1.1 billion (April 2019)[4]
Spouse(s)Angela Neman[5][6]
Children3[6]

BiographyEdit

Born to a Jewish family in Iran,[1][2][3] Larian has three sisters and one brother.[citation needed] Larian arrived to the United States alone in 1971 at the age of 17.[1] After graduating from California State University, Los Angeles in civil engineering,[1][2] he started an import-export business[2] with his brother Fred in 1979 after his plans to return to Iran were ended by the 1979 Iranian Revolution.[2] They then re-positioned the business into consumer electronics.[2] In 1987, they became a distributor for Nintendo and in 1993, they became a licensee for the "Power Rangers."[1] In 1997, toys became their focus and they had their first internal success with the Singing Bouncy Baby.[2] In 1998, he changed his company’s name to MGA Entertainment.[7] In 2000, his brother sold his 45% stake in the company to Larian for $9 million[2] and in 2001, MGA developed the "Bratz" doll.[1] In 2005, Bratz sales totaled $800 million well ahead of their main rival, Barbie with $445 million in sales.[2] In 2004, Mattel sued MGA alleging that the designer of the Bratz doll had developed the concept while working for Mattel and that MGA had paid Mattel employees to work on MGA projects. MGA counter sued alleging that Mattel spied on its salesmen by masquerading as toy buyers, re-positioned Bratz displays in retail stores to less favorable arrangements, and that Mattel paid retailers to favor Barbie over Bratz.[2]

In August 2011 Mattel was ordered to pay MGA $310 million for attorney fees, stealing trade secrets, and false claims.[8] Due to a technical procedural issue having nothing to do with the merits of the claims, the Ninth Circuit vacated without prejudice the $170 million portion of the judgment against Mattel for this misconduct. In January 2014, MGA filed a complaint for these claims in State court in California seeking in excess of $1 billion and this lawsuit is currently pending.[9][10] In November 2006, MGA purchased the manufacturer of toddler and preshcool toys, Little Tikes.[2] In 2010, MGA released the successful "Lalaloopsy" doll.[2]

In March 2018, Larian launched a GoFundMe campaign to acquire Toys "R" Us after news broke out of them declaring bankruptcy. Larian posted $200 million of his own money to get the campaign running, and a goal of $1 billion was set. According to the campaign description, all the money raised would be used in the formulation of a bid to acquire some of the company's assets throughout the bankruptcy process. The campaign has a deadline of May 28, 2018, Memorial Day. Any donations from supporters of the campaign would only be donations and would not result in donors receiving equity in any potential acquisition of the company.[11] On April 13, Larian placed a bid of $890 million: $675 million to buy 274 Toys R Us stores in the US, and $215 million to acquire 82 Canadian stores.[12]

In June 2020, Larian made headlines when he tweeted that artist and influencer Amina Mucci was "a disgrace to Black people." Mucci has accused MGA of stealing her likeness for a doll without permission or compensation.<ref>{{Cite web|url=https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/stephaniemcneal/lol-surprise-black-influencer-amina-mucciolo-isaac-larian%7Ctitle=The CEO Of The Company That Makes "Bratz" And "LOL Surprise" Dolls Went On A Rant Against A Black Influencer Who Accused Them Of Copying Her Image|website=BuzzFeed News}

AccoladesEdit

He was named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the consumer products category in 2004.[citation needed] He was also named the overall national Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2007.[7] His motto, "Fortune favors the bold" is displayed throughout MGA's building.[citation needed]

Personal lifeEdit

He is married, with three children, and lives in Los Angeles.[4]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f Bratz toymaker Isaac Larian living the American dream. JewishJournal.com, December 6, 2007. Retrieved July 7, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Forbes: "The Toy Mogul Who Became A Billionaire Through His Fight To The Death With Barbie" by Abram Brown November 18, 2013
  3. ^ a b Lisa Keys (August 7, 2007). "Bratz: Jewish man's answer to Barbie". JTA.
  4. ^ a b "Forbes profile: Isaac Larian". Forbes. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  5. ^ Nieder, Alison A. (December 29, 2000). "Feizollah Neman Dies at 80". Apparel News.
  6. ^ a b Lobel, Orly (November 14, 2017). You Don't Own Me: How Mattel v. MGA Entertainment Exposed Barbie's Dark Side. W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 9780393254082.
  7. ^ a b c MGAE.COM: "MGA ENTERTAINMENT’S ISAAC LARIAN NAMED ERNST & YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR 2007 NATIONAL WINNER November 11, 2007 | Retrieved October 1, 2015.
  8. ^ Chang, Andrea (August 5, 2011). "Mattel must pay MGA $310 million in Bratz case". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 5, 2011.
  9. ^ Bratz Doll Maker MGA Entertainment Sues Mattel January 13, 2014
  10. ^ Barbie Plays Dirty, Bratz's Dirty Tricks Suit Claims January 16, 2014
  11. ^ https://www.gofundme.com/helpsavetoysrus
  12. ^ Cosgrove, Jaclyn (April 13, 2018). "Toy mogul Isaac Larian ditches GoFundMe campaign and bids $890 million for Toys R Us stores". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 14, 2018.

External linksEdit