Isaac Larian, pugnacious founder of Bratz fashion dolls maker MGA Entertainment, knows all about toys. Despite repeated efforts, he has yet to make rival Mattel his own plaything.

After Mattel dismissed his plan to sack its directors, merge the two Los Angeles companies and put himself in charge, the Iran-born billionaire walked away this week.

Mattel, he said, "cannot be salvaged by anyone under current conditions, management and board".

The episode brings to the fore competing visions for the troubled global toy industry. Mattel, home to American Girl, Thomas the Tank Engine and Masters of the Universe, believes the future