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Mattel

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Mattel Inc. Template:Nyse, the world's largest toy company (2004 revenues), produces products including Barbie dolls, board games, and, in the early 1980s, video game consoles. It was started in 1945 by founders Elliot Handler and Harold "Matt" Matson (hence the name 'matt-el'). Elliott Handler's wife Ruth Handler would later become president, and is credited with establishing the Barbie product line for the company in 1959.

The company originally produced picture frames and dollhouse accessories from picture frame scraps. With the success of their dollhouse accessories, the company turned its attention to toys. The company became publicly owned in 1960.

The Barbie and Ken dolls are named after the Handler children.

An independent audit of Mattel, released on November 3, 1975, revealed that company officials had fabricated press releases and financial information to "maintain the appearance of continued corporate growth." In 1999, the ill-advised purchase of a major software publisher, TLC, for 4+ billions of dollars led to the CEO, Jill Barad, being ousted (See Brøderbund.)

In 1993, Mattel merged with the Fisher-Price toy company. In 1996, Mattel purchased Tyco Toys which was the third largest toy manufacturer at the time.

Mattel serves as the parent company for American Girl (formerly Pleasant Company) and Fisher-Price. Currently, it is headquartered in El Segundo, California.

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