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Today, Mattel is a conglomerate with ownership of numerous toy companies including Fisher-Price, Hot Wheels, Matchbox, and the iconic Barbie doll company. Mattel has survived in volatile markets throughout its history and is recognized today among the “Forbes” Fortune 500 and as one of the top 100 places to work for in the world.
Mattel’s name was derived from its founders, Harold “Matt” Matson and Elliot Handler. The company began by selling picture frames and eventually sold dollhouse furniture. In 1947, the company introduced its first big toy, a ukulele called Uke-A-Doodle. As Mattel grew, they became the first year-round sponsor of the “Mickey Mouse Club” TV show in 1955.
The Barbie doll was introduced in 1959. Barbie is the best-selling toy in Mattel’s history. In 1960, just one year after Barbie’s introduction, Mattel introduced another famous doll: Chatty Cathy. Cathy was a talking doll, a new invention that later helped Mattel and hundreds of other companies produce pull-string dolls and toys until their popularity faded in the ‘70s. Today, Barbie sales have reached $3 billion annually. Mattel has sold one billion Barbie dolls in the history of the company and sells three dolls every second worldwide.
A rare 1965 Barbie known as Midnight Red sold at Christie’s London in May 2007 for £9,000, the highest price ever paid for a vintage-era Barbie at auction
The most expensive Barbie at auction sold at Christie’s New York in October 2010 for $302,500. The custom-designed doll was created with a one-carat pink diamond necklace surrounded by three carats of white diamonds
The most expensive tiny car in history is the Hot Wheels 40th Anniversary car worth $140,000. It is adorned with 2,700 black, blue, and white diamonds covering a solid 18-karat white-gold body and underframe