December 10, 2023

The brand saga: Mattel

Harold Mattson and Elliot Handler are the two dads of Mattel, the American founders of the world's largest toy company. Why "Mattel "? Because Mattson's "Matt" and Elliot's "El"!

In 1945, the beginnings of Mattel are made in a California garage to sell photo frames. Soon, the two men start making doll accessories: the first stone is laid! But the partners separate and only Elliot Handler remains at the helm of the boat.

In 1955, Mattel starts advertising in the Mickey Mouse Club. This is where the company launches one of its first successes: the Burp Gun, a pistol with automatic mechanism.

In 1959, Mattel conceives a radically different doll. Created by Ruth Handler, the doll has non-infant shapes but a slender young model and owes her name to Ruth's daughter, Barbara. This one inspired her doll from the small girl's interest in precut paper dolls. Television ensures Barbie a most effective promotion. She wins the hearts of the girls at the same time as their admiration.

Barbie is, then, a submissive young woman who modestly looks down. But over the years, Barbie follows the social evolution: she has different trades, drives a car, is assigned a companion, Ken, in 1961, and even takes different skin colors. She is dressed by the greatest couturiers and sometimes adopts the features of a star.

In 1972, Mattel becomes Mattel Inc. and is structured in seven departments. This change comes three years before the departure of Ruth and Elliot Handler.

In 1982, the success of the Masters of the Universe occupies the front of the toy scene. The dolls alone generate a turnover of 400 million dollars in 1985!

1986 is the year where Mattel signs an agreement with Bandaï, the leading Japanese toy manufacturer.

Fisher Price, the leader in early learning, joined the group in 1993. In 1996, under the brand name Fisher Price, the famous Elmo won the votes of the youngest children. In 1998, the brand of awakening reached peaks by becoming the number one. It enjoys a portfolio of attractive licenses such as Disney, Winnie the Pooh, Sesame Street ...

1997 is a year event in the world of Barbie : her band of friends is enriched by Becky, a doll in a wheelchair.

In 2000, Mattel befriend Harry Potter! The little magician has a whole range of awakening games and toys to entertain children around the world.

2001 sign the shattering entrance of Barbie At the movie theater ! The star doll dances in the ballet The Nutcracker. 2001 is also the year of the Twin Towers bombing and Mattel makes a generous donation to the American Red Cross.

Mattel has developed many games we've all heard about, no matter how old we are: Big Jim, Polly Pocket, Scrabble ... it's Mattel ! Every Christmas sees Mattel storm the gondola heads and take out games and toys for the whole family.

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