The Mattel Company Story...
"Barbie" is a registered trademark of Mattel, Inc.; "Fashion Royalty" and "Candi" are registered trademarks of Integrity Toys, Inc.
Marcdolls are not affiliated in any way with the manufacturers of these dolls, or any other doll manufacturer.

The photos and text of the entire contents of this web site are copyright of Marcdolls, 2000-2011, in Watt / Switzerland, and may not be used without special written permission.


Index:

Bild-Lilli, Barbie's predecessor

Barbie's Introduction

Barbie's early history

Barbie's biography

Barbie the doll

Barbie's Manufacturers Markings

Barbie's controversies

Barbie's friends and relatives

Ethnic Barbie's

Barbie's fashion

Barbie through the ages, 1959 - 2009

Barbie luxury doll to massproduction

Barbie as collectors object

Silkstone Barbie doll

How to care Barbie's head?

How to care Barbie's body?

How to care Barbie's clothes?

Barbie versus Bratz

Dolls of the My Scene-line

The five different collector types

Glossary of Abbreviations

Miscellaneous


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
Barbie-doll ist the best known and most sold playdoll in the world and became a toy classic.
The name Barbie is a registered trademark of the Mattel company and depicts a production line of  1 : 6 scale
fashion dolls. The male doll Ken is therefore just another Barbie-doll. The name not only depcts the dolls
made by Mattel but practically became a synonym for fashion dolls in general.



 
 

The actual „Barbie“-Logo
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The vintage „Barbie“-Logo
 

Fashion dolls existed before Barbie dominated the market; the first know reportedly appeared in the
13th century France. But the fact that these dolls became a part of the western culture history, is mainly
thanks to the clever concept of Mattel’s founder : Ruth Handler. She continuously refined the production
line to the following main aspects:

The design of the Barbie doll

Focus on clothing and fashion
Incorporating ethnic target groups
Product-line enhancement with more doll personalities 
Development from luxury dolls to mass-production toys
Production of exclusive collector dolls besides play-dolls 
 
 

....
Mattel, Inc.  /  333 Continental Boulevard  /  El Segundo, CA 90245-5012 USA

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Corporate governance .......... Corporation
Founded 1945
Headquarters El Segundo CA , U.S.A.
Corporate CEO  Robert A. Eckert
Employees  ca. 31000 (worldwide)
Revenue 5,970 billion USD (2008)
Industry Toys and Games
....
1945
Harold Matson, Elliot Handler and his wife Mrs. Ruth Handler founded Mattel in a small garage. (hence the name "matt-el" from Matsons nickname “MATT” and ELliot). The first products the made were wooden picture frames and doll furniture. The expansion to offer doll clothing proved very successful, thus the Handler’s decided to concentrate more on toy production following the separation from their partner Matson.

1959
The first Barbie-doll appeared initiated by Ruth Handler as the president of the company

1961
The first Ken-doll appeared (Barbie’s Friend).

1966
The  first European branch office: Mattel G.M.b.H. was established and the first Hot –Wheels Toy car model appeared.

1968
And three Years later 1971 the highly successful card game „ UNO „ was produced.

1972
Appeared  the Action-Figure: « Big Jim « on the U.S. market.

1975
Ruth and Elliott Handler retired from Mattel

1978
Mattel started developing the first  16-Bit-VideoGame, called: Intellivision, which was introduced two Years later.

1982
The first Masters of the Universe-Figures are introduced.

1993
Mattel took over the Fisher-Price toy company.

1997
Mattel merged with Tyco Toys and simultaneously took control over the Trade Marks: Matchbox, Tyco R/C and View-Master.

2000
Mattel became the main licenced producer for the Harry-Potter-toy-line.

2006
Mattel announced the takeover of Radica Games Ltd. a electronic toy manufacturer.

2008
Mattel Inc. defeated MGA Entertainment Inc. in a conflict over the creation of the Bratz doll line. The U.S. District Court in Riverside ruled that Bratz designer CEO, Carter Bryant, violated the terms of his exclusivity contract with Mattel. It was decided that he created the Bratz doll concept while he was working for Mattel. This decision will lead to the possibility for Mattel to claim right to the Bratz doll line as well as the right to receive damages.

Recalls and Penalty
On August 2, 2007, Mattel's Fisher-Price subsidiary recalled almost 1.5 million Chinese-made toys, including because of potential hazards from parts of the toys which were colored using lead-based paint that may have exceeded the US Federal limit of 600 part per million.The CEO of the subsidiary committed suicide following this Toxic toys scandal. The loss for the corporation was estimated to 30 million USD. this case. Just two weeks later on August 14.2007 the company started the largest recall action in their history. More than 18 million dolls, toy cars and other toys again made in China were taken back from the market, because  Children who suck on or ingest toys or jewelry with high lead content may be poisoned. Mattel’s shares lost more than 3,3 percent of their value and in June  2009 the Consumer Product Safety Commission fined Mattel and its' Fischer-Price division $2.3 million dollars for violation of Code 16 of the Federal lead paint ban. While Mattel agreed to the fine, no wrong doing was admitted on the companies part, despite the company knew that they had imported and sold toys from China covered in lead paint.

Criticism
From the black book of the brand manufacturers – the crucial machinations of  the world’s largest companies, the group was blamed to exploit most of his Asian suppliers, i.e: by accepting conditions that: minimal salaries of 11 Cents per hour and  16-hours working- days,   without any right of trade unions were standards in China.  Although Mattel announced its Global Manufacturing Principles (GMP) in 1997, designed to set safe and fair treatment of employees.

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