The Giant Mattel: A garage, a founder who sold his part, a doll and a conviction for fraud

Talking about Mattel is to speak inevitably of the history of Barbie, the iconic doll that appeared for the first time in the United States at the end of the 50

The Giant Mattel: A garage, a founder who sold his part, a doll and a conviction for fraud

Talking about Mattel is to speak inevitably of the history of Barbie, the iconic doll that appeared for the first time in the United States at the end of the 50s. Its history can not be understood without Ruth Handler, the woman who ever It occurred to him that girls also liked fantasizing with being adults and conceived a doll that ended up becoming the best selling in the world and changed the toy industry forever.

But what was the two partners that Mattel founded at the end of World War II? They worked together in a jewelry on the outskirts of Los Angeles where Elliot Handler designed the pieces and friend of him Harold "Matt" Matson was in charge of manufacturing them. A few years later, in 1945, they decided that it was time to become independent and rode their own company in a garage in Southern California, whose name emerged from the merger of the first letters of their respective names.

They started selling wooden frames, but almost immediately Elliot began to design miniature furniture for doll houses with the remains of the material that ended on the floor of the workshop. He was the germ of a toy factory that ended up becoming an empire valued in billions of dollars. The first great success of him was the uke-a-doodle, a ukulele of children who sold as the foam.

It was at that time, in 1947, when Elliot Handler decided to buy his participation in his partner, who retired from the business for health problems when Barbie had not yet appeared on stage. "Matt" contributed the letters of him to this visionary company that ten years later would give birth to his iconic doll from which today, 60 years later, is still selling one every three seconds.

Little more is known about the steps that Harold Matson followed, while Elliot Handler continued to the front of the business with his wife Ruth. For 1955 they began to promote their toys on the Mickey Mouse Club TV show, a revolutionary idea that fired their sales, and four years later, after a trip through Europe, the first barbie was born that was presented in society in the living room of the New York toy in 1959 and sold to three dollars from the time.

Although he was born in the city of Chicago in 1916, Elliot Handler moved very soon to Colorado, where during a dance of the institute in Denver he met who years later he would end up being the woman of his life. He studied industrial design at a Pasadena University, California, and was the huge creative talent of him, coupled with Ruth's good eye for marketing, which led him to invent some of the best-selling toys in history.

His biographers assure that he initially did not see his wife's proposal to create a doll in an adult version. "Ruth, no mother is going to buy her daughter a doll with tits." Obviously he was wrong, because only in the first year of his launch was sold 300,000. The skeptical Elliot ended up going down in history as the "father" of Barbie, and both were the first people alive in entering the toy fame salon.

A year after the appearance of its first barbie in the market, they decided to take stock the company, rated at the time by about 10 million dollars. He continues to be quoted in Wall Street and its stock market capitalization exceeds 6,600 million dollars. Elliot Handler continued to be linked to the company for more than a decade, time he invented other iconic toys such as the well-known Hot Wheels.

His departure from the company was controversial, since in the mid-70s they were denounced by the shareholders and lost their managerial position in Mattel. She ended up being convicted of fraud by the stock market commission (SEC), but she reinvented herself manufacturing breast implants after passing through a mastectomy in the midst of her fight against breast cancer. Ruth Handler died in 2002 and nine years later, Elliot died at 95 years old.

Updated Date: 17 October 2021, 21:19

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