Many companies have started out of a garage and giant toy manufacturer Mattel did so before many others. In 1945, Ruth and Elliot Handler and Harold Matson (i.e. Matt) started their company Mattel out of a garage in Southern California.
The company initially manufactured and distributed picture frames and then used the picture frame scraps to make dollhouse furniture. The success of the new line of business prompted the partners to focus on making toys and three years after it was founded, in 1948, Mattel was incorporated in Hawthorne, California.
In 1959 Mattel introduced one of its most iconic toys, Barbie®. Named after Ruth Handler’s daughter Barbara, the new doll was a hit and would become a market leader for generations to come.
Mattel became a publicly owned company in 1960 and continued to solidify its market presence with educational toys and the introduction of another iconic line, Hot Wheels® die cast vehicles.
Over the next five decades, Mattel would continue growing through strategic partnership and acquisitions. The company has continued to introduced successful lines of toys such as American Girl®, but some of its iconic brands continue to have a strong market presence. In 2013, Hot Wheels celebrated its 45th anniversary.
Mattel takes its role in children’s lives very seriously and in 2003, the company received the Corporate Responsibility Award from the U.S Fund for UNICEF.
Mattel has a wide variety of products under the umbrella of many different brands: Barbie, Hot Wheels, Fisher-Price, American Girl, Bitty Baby, Geo Trax, Grow to Pro, Laugh & Learn, Little People, Matchbox, Magic 8 Ball, Blokus, Masters of the Universe and many more.
The company has games, toys, action figures, dolls, educational games and collectibles for all ages.
The Infant and Preschool brands include: Blue’s CluesTM, Disney, Dora the Explorer, Fisher Price®, Fisher-Price Thomas & Friends®, Geo Trax®, Grow to Pro®, Laugh & Learn®, Little People®, Matchbox®, Mickey Mouse®, Miracles & Milestones®, Pixter®, Power Wheels®, Sesame Street®, UNO®, View Master® and Winnie the Pooh.
Some of Mattel’s brands of toys for girls are: American Girl®, Barbie®, Diva StarzTM, Matty CollectorTM, Thumbelina®, Shining Stars® and Pixel Chix® among many others.
Brands targeted at boys include: Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Battle Force 5, ESPN Toys, Hot Wheels, James Cameron’s Avatar, Max Steel, Tumblin’ Monkeys®, Tyco®, Mindflex®, Rebound®, SpongeBob SquarePantsTM.
Mattel has a variety of items that are considered collectibles, specially within the company’s oldest brands: Barbie® Collector and HotWheels Collectors.com TM.
There is no question that Mattel has wonderful products for every age and stage: games for family nights, dolls for girls, hot rods and cool cars for boys, and a great line of educational products for every stage.
What we love most about Mattel is that it has a comprehensive social strategy and a strong philanthropic backbone. In 1997, Mattel introduced its Global Manufacturing Principles to provide a framework for the manufacturing of all its products. A year later, the company announced a multi-year $25 million gift to the UCLA Children’s Hospital, which opened its doors in 2004 under the new name, The Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA.
In 2005, Mattel re-launched its non-profit philanthropic arm, the Mattel Children’s Foundation with a focus on education and learning, health and wellbeing and girls’ empowerment, ultimately with the goal of making a meaningful difference in children’s lives.
Companies that go above and beyond in their efforts to make children’s lives better are always 5 stars companies.
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