Founded in 1945, in a garage workshop, by Harold Matson and Ruth and Elliot Handler, Mattel (a combination of the letters of their last and first names,) is now a worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of toys and games. It was listed on the New York Exchange in 1963 as a public company and now has 4 subsidiaries: Fisher-Price, Mega Brands (Mega Bloks), HIT Entertainment and Mattel Playground Productions.
The 1950s significantly saw its initial collaboration with Disney, uniquely product placing its toys on the Mickey Mouse Club TV show and Ruth’s creation of Barbie. The late 70s saw the launch of their brand Hot Wheels with the 80s and 90s bringing strategic acquisitions including Corolle S.A., Corgi Toys, International Games Inc., Fisher-Price and Tyco Toys. The Company also renewed strong relations with the Walt Disney Company as well as acquiring the Nickelodeon Licensing Agreement. Brands available from Mattel’s nominated UK nursery wholesaler, Baby Brands Direct include: Fisher-Price, Mega Bloks, Barbie, Thomas and Friends, and toys in Disney licences including Frozen and Cinderella.