Mattel, Inc. (//) is an American multinational toy manufacturing company founded in 1945 with headquarters in El Segundo, California. The products and brands it produces include Fisher-Price, Barbie, Monster High, Ever After High, Winx Club, Hot Wheels and Matchbox, Masters of the Universe, American Girl, board games, and WWE. In the early 1980s, Mattel produced video game systems, under its own brands and under license from Nintendo. The company has presence in 40 countries and territories and sells products in more than 150 countries. The company operates through three business segments: North America, international, and American Girl. It is the world's second largest toy maker in terms of revenue, after The Lego Group. In 2014, it ranked #403 on the Fortune 500 list. On January 17, 2017, Mattel named former Google executive Margo Georgiadis as CEO. Margo Georgiadis stepped down as CEO of Mattel on April 19,2018. Her last day is April 26, 2018. Ynon Kreiz will be the new CEO of Mattel.
Mattel headquarters in El Segundo, California
|Headquarters||333 Continental Blvd, El Segundo, California, U.S.|
|Revenue||US$ 5.456 billion (2016)|
|US$ 519.23 million (2016)|
|US$ 318.02 million (2016)|
|Total assets||$US 6.439 billion (2016)|
|Total equity||$US 2.407 billion (2016)|
Number of employees
Harold "Matt" Matson and Elliot Handler founded Mattel Creations in 1945. The company sold picture frames, and later dollhouse furniture. Matson sold[when?] his share to Handler due to poor health, and Handler's wife Ruth took Matson's role. In 1947, the company had its first hit toy, a ukulele called "Uke-A-Doodle".
The company incorporated the next year in California. Mattel became the first year-round sponsor of the Mickey Mouse Club TV series in 1955. The Barbie doll debuted in 1959, becoming the company's best-selling toy in history. In 1960, Mattel introduced Chatty Cathy, a talking doll revolutionizing the toy industry, which led to pull-string talking dolls and toys flooding the market throughout the 1960s and 1970s.
|Dee & Cee Toy Co. Ltd.||1962|
|Standard Plastic Products, Inc.||1966|
|Hong Kong Industrial Co., Ltd.|
|Precision Moulds, Ltd.|
|Rosebud Dolls Ltd.||1967|
|Monogram Models, Inc.||1968|
|A&A Die Casting Company|
|Ratti Vallensasca, Mebetoys, Ebiex S.A.||1969|
|H&H Plastics Co., Inc.|
|Meta frame Corp.|
|Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus
|Holiday on Ice|
|Corgi Toys, Ltd.||1989|
|Tyco Toys, Inc.||1997|
|The Learning Company||1999–2000|
The company went public in 1960, and the New York Stock Exchange listed them in 1963. Mattel also acquired a number of companies during the 1960s (see table). In 1965, the company built on its success with the Chatty Cathy doll to introduce the See 'n Say talking toy, spawning a line of products.They released Hot Wheels to the market in 1968. In May 1970, Mattel formed a joint venture film production company Radnitz/Mattel Productions with producer Robert B. Radnitz, and later entered a multimillion-dollar partnership with Mehra Entertainment, whose CEO, Dr. Nishpeksh Padmamohan Mehra, was one of Mattel's Inc.'s main directors for Barbie (film series).
Mattel purchased The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in 1971 for $40 million from the Feld family, whom Mattel kept as management. Mattel sold the circus corporation by December 1973, despite its profit contributions, as Mattel showed a $29.9 million loss in 1972.
In 1974, an investigation found Mattel guilty of issuing false and misleading financial reports, banishing Elliot and Ruth Handler from their own company.
In 1991, Mattel moved its headquarters from Hawthorne, California to El Segundo, California.
Arthur S. Spear, a Mattel vice president, took control of the company in 1975, who returned the company to profitability in 1977. Ruth Handler sold her stock in 1980.
The Mattel Electronics line debuted in 1977 with an all-electronic handheld game. The success of the handheld led to the expansion of the line with game console then the line becoming its own corporation in 1982. Mattel Electronics forced Mattel to take a $394 million loss in 1983 and almost filed for bankruptcy.
In 1979, through Feld Productions, Mattel purchased the Holiday on Ice and Ice Follies for $12 million. Also acquired that year was Western Publishing for $120 million in cash and stock. The Felds bought the circus (and related companies) in 1982 for $22.8 million.
New York venture capital firms E.M. Warburg, Pincus & Co., and Drexel Burnham Lambert invested a couple hundred million in Mattel in 1984 to help the company survive. However, the Master of the Universe action figure line sales dropped, causing a $115 million loss in 1987. Chairman John W. Amerman improved the company's financial performance in 1987 by focusing on core brands. Mattel returned to working with the Disney company in 1988.
Mattel purchased Fisher-Price, Inc. in 1993, Tyco Toys, Inc. (owners of the Matchbox and Dinky Toys brands) in 1997, and Pleasant Company (maker of the American Girl brand) in 1998. Mattel purchased The Learning Company in 1999 for $3.5 billion, but sold it in 2000 at a loss. The company had a $430.9 million net loss that year.
Mattel earned the first grant for Disney Princess doll licenses in 2000. In December 2000, Mattel sued the band Aqua, saying their song "Barbie Girl" violated the Barbie trademark and turned Barbie into a sex object, referring to her as a "blonde bimbo." The lawsuit was rejected in 2002.
In 2000, Mattel signed a deal with Warner Bros to became the master licensee for Harry Potter-branded toys. In 2002, the companies extended their partnership, with Mattel becoming master licensee for Batman, Superman, Justice League and the Looney Tunes toys for all markets except Asia.
In 2002, Mattel closed its last factory in the United States, originally part of the Fisher-Price division, outsourcing production to China, which began a chain of events that led to a lead contamination scandal. On August 14, 2007, Mattel recalled over 18 million products. The New York Times closely covered Mattel's multiple recalls. Many of the products had exceeded the US limits set on surface coatings that contain lead. Surface coatings cannot exceed .06% lead by weight. Additional recalls were because it was possible that some toys could pose a danger to children due to the use of strong magnets that could detach. Mattel re-wrote its policy on magnets, finally issuing a recall in August 2007. The recall included 7.1 million Polly Pocket toys produced before November 2006, 600,000 Barbie and Tanner Playsets, 1 million Doggie Daycare, Shonen Jump's One Piece and thousands of Batman Manga toys due to exposed magnets. In 2009, Mattel would pay a $2.9 million fine to the Consumer Products Safety Commission for marketing, importing, and selling non-compliant toys. Mattel was noted for its crisis response by several publications, including PRWeek, the Los Angeles Times, Fortune and Business Management.
In early 2010, HIT Entertainment licensed Thomas & Friends to Mattel for toys. Mattel agreed to purchase HiT Entertainment sans Sprout from Apax Partners group in October 2011 for $680 million. The sale/merger was completed on February 1, 2012, and HIT Entertainment became a wholly owned subsidiary of Mattel, managed under its Fisher-Price unit. In October 2013, Mattel launched its new in-house film studio, Playground Productions.
Fortune Magazine named Mattel one of the top 100 companies to work for in 2013, noting only 1,292 positions were full, out of 164,045 job applications during the previous year, as well as more than 1,000 employees had been with the company longer than 15 years.
Mattel added a princess-themed Barbie line in 2010, and the fair and fantasy store-based Ever After High line in 2013. Barbie sales began plummeting in 2012, thus removing focus from the Disney Princess line. Mattel had only sold Cinderella, Ariel, Belle, and the two Frozen princesses during the last year or so of its license. With these competing lines and an expiration of the brand license at the end of 2015, Disney gave Hasbro a chance to gain the license given their work on Star Wars, which led to a Descendants license. DCP also made an attempt to evolve the brand from "damsels" to "heroines." In September 2014, Disney announced Hasbro would be the licensed doll maker for the Disney Princess line starting on January 1, 2016.
In January 2015, board member Chris Sinclair replaced CEO Bryan Stockton, following with 2/3 of senior executives resigning or receiving lay off.
In January 2016, Mattel acquired Fuhu, makers of Nabi tablets and other technology-driven hardware, in a bankruptcy proceeding for a sum worth $21 million. Mattel formed a new division, Mattel Creations, as an umbrella unit over its creative content units, Playground Productions, HIT Entertainment and the American Girl content creation team, in March 2016.
On November 10, 2017, the Wall Street Journal reported that Hasbro, Inc. had made a takeover offer for Mattel, Inc. At the time, Mattel worth was $5 billion, while Hasbro was about $11 billion. On November 15, 2017, Reuters reported that Mattel rejected the offer.
|Content production division of Mattel|
Number of locations
|Divisions||Mattel Playground Productions|
Mattel Creations is the content production division of Mattel, Inc. The division is head by Mattel’s president & chief operating officer Richard Dickson and consists of Playground Productions, HIT Entertainment and the American Girl content creation team in Middleton, Wisconsin.
In May 1970, Mattel had teamed up with producer Robert B. Radnitz to form a joint venture film production company, Radnitz/Mattel Productions. Masters of the Universe had a cartoon series back in the 1980s followed by a live action film in 1987.
Mattel agreed to purchase HIT Entertainment sans Sprout from Apax Partners group in October 2011 for $680 million. With Lionsgate, Mattel had Barbie brand launched into a series of successful animated direct-to-video movies, which later moved to Universal. Monster High followed Barbie in 2010. Many “American Girl” films were made.
A few properties, Hot Wheels, Max Steel, Masters of the Universe and Monster High have been set up at the various studios. For example, Hot Wheels was first at Columbia Pictures with McG attached to direct, but ended up moving to Warner Bros. and Joel Silver. As of 2013, the property was licensed out to Legendary Pictures, with Joe Roth attached to produce. In October 2013, Mattel Playground Productions was launched by Mattel as its new in-house film studio to handle multi-media productions for Mattel's brands.
Mattel Creations was formed in March 2016 bring all three of Mattel content production units, including the American Girl creative team in Middleton, Wisconsin, under its aegis. Mattel chief content officer Catherine Balsam-Schwaber was named to head the unit. While, Christopher Keenan was moved up out of HiT Entertainment to be Creations' Senior Vice President of content development & production. Two pacts with DHX Media and 9 Story Media Group were placed into Mattel Creations. The DHX partnership with Mattel included HiT properties (Bob the Builder and Fireman Sam) and direct Mattel properties (Little People and Polly Pocket). The partnership included new multi-platform content development and production and distribution of the new and existing content. 9 Story deal was directly with HiT for 2017 revivals of Barney & Friends and Angelina Ballerina, but as no new information on either revival has been provided since the initial announcement, its unknown when or even if they will ever air.
Mattel Creations and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment Content Group had agreed to an exclusive worldwide SVOD rights agreement for the Barbie movie library. This deal started in October 2016 for the next seven years and includes the next two releases, Barbie: Star Light Adventure and Barbie: Video Game Hero.
With Balsam-Schwaber taking the general manager position at Craftsy, Mattel president and chief operating officer Richard Dickson has taken over responsibility for Mattel Creation and was not planning to fill the chief creative officer post.
|Fate||Absorbed into Mattel Creations|
|Headquarters||El Segundo, California, United States|
Mattel Playground Productions (PGP), or commonly Playground Productions, is a division of Mattel Creations, itself a division of Mattel, Inc. The division was planned to set up three-year storytelling plans that incorporate every part of the Mattel company from toy designers to consumer products and marketing.
In October 2013, Mattel Playground Productions was launched by Mattel as its new in-house film studio to handle multi-media production, films, TV shows, web series, live events and games, for Mattel's brands. The intent was to centralize Mattel's disjointed content productions. Its first animated project is “Team Hot Wheels: The Origin of Awesome”. Mattel has under development a live-action Hot Wheels movie at Legendary Entertainment and Universal Studios, a Masters of the Universe and a Barbie film at Columbia Pictures, a Monster High feature with Universal and a Max Steel film with Dolphin Entertainment. David Voss was appointed as Senior Vice President of Playground Productions.
With WWE in March 2014, Playground launched an online short form series, WWE Slam City, to go along with the toy line. The series was picked up by Nicktoons’ NickSports programming block starting October 22, 2014.
|Team Hot Wheels||June 7, 2014||animated||Playground||Mercury Filmworks
|WWE Slam City||March 17, 2014||stop motion||Playground||Stoopid Buddy Stoodios||digital platform
|26-episode two-minute shorts series|
|Ever After High||2014||Legacy Day animated special||Playground||Netflix|
|True Hearts Day 22-minute webisode special||Nickelodeon|
|Thronecoming TV special||44-minute|
|fairy tale web series||EverAfterHigh.com||22 two-minute webisodes|
|Thomas & Friends: The Great Race||
|ARC Productions||National Amusements (UK theatrical)
|Max Steel||August 26, 2016||live action film||Playground||Dolphin Entertainment
|Open Road Films|
|WellieWishers||September 8, 2016||2D-animated series||Mattel Creations||Submarine Studios||Amazon Prime Video (US)
Tiny Pop (UK)
|2 seasons: 26 episodes x 11 minutes; American Girl doll franchise|
|Dreamtopia||June 26, 2016||2D CGI-animated film||
|Monster High: Great Scarrier Reef||February 12, 2017||CGI-animated movie||
||61 minutes, Monster High (film series)|
|Monster High||October 6, 2018||live action film||Playground||Universal Pictures
Fake Empire Productions
|Masters of the Universe||December 18, 2019|
|Barbie||May 8, 2020||Sony Pictures Entertainment.|
|Hot Wheels||TBA||Legendary Entertainment and Universal Studios|
|The Beastlies||animated film||Bad Robot Productions|
- "Mattel Inc. - Contact Us". corporate.mattel.com.
- "Company Financials Mattel, Inc". Google Finance. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
- "Mattel 2016 Form 10-K". SEC.gov. December 31, 2016. Retrieved October 23, 2017.
- "Mattel, Inc. Company Profile". MarketLine. November 25, 2014.
- Research, Zacks Investment. "Lego Surpasses Mattel As World's Largest Toymaker". Zacks Investment Research.
- Carnevale, Chuck. "A Full Toy Chest Makes Mattel A Buy For Growth And Income Investors". Retrieved January 1, 2017.
- "Fortune 500 List (2014)". Fortune. August 2014. Retrieved May 30, 2016.
- S. Lublin, Joann; Ziobro, Paul (January 17, 2017), Mattel Names Google Executive Margaret Georgiadis as CEO, Wall Street Journal, retrieved January 17, 2017
- "Mattel, Inc. History". International Directory of Company Histories. Vol.61. St. James Press (2000). Retrieved May 7, 2014.
- (January 23, 1992). INTERNATIONAL GAMES INC. TO BECOME MATTEL SUBSIDIARY. Mattel, Inc. Newswire Association LLC via TheFreeLibrary.com. Retrieved on June 6, 2016.
- "COMPANY NEWS; Mattel Sets Deal". New York Times. Reuters. December 19, 1989. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
- "Barbie maker Mattel to buy Thomas the Tank Engine owner". BBC News. 24 October 2011. Retrieved 25 October 2011.
- Townsend, Allie (February 16, 2011). "All-TIME 100 Greatest Toys: See 'N Say". Time. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
- Knapp, Dan. (May 21, 1970). "Mattel, Radnitz Join Hands". Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, California). Page F13.
- Langdon, Dolly (May 12, 1980). "Lord of the Rings' Irvin Feld Has Made a Fading Circus the Greatest Show on Earth Again". People. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
- Brown, Lonnie; Fiero, Peter (December 19, 1973). "Mattel Selling Circus World". Lakeland Ledger (Vol. 67, No. 64). New York Times Company. pp. 1A, 7A. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
- Barton, Matt; Loguidice, Bill (May 8, 2008). "A History of Gaming Platforms: Mattel Intellivision". Gamasutra. pp. 1, 3. Retrieved November 5, 2015.
- Dale, Steve (January 20, 1995). "Snow White And Greenbacks". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
- "Western Publishing Group, Inc. History". International Directory of Company Histories. Vol.13. St. James Press (2000). Retrieved November 5, 2015.
- "Feld Family Buys Ringling Bros". Associated Press in New York Times. March 19, 1982. Retrieved 2008-07-20.
Mattel Inc. said it had sold Ringling Brothers-Barnum & Bailey Combined Shows Inc. for $22.8 million to a family who had owned the circus and managed it for 26 years. Two members of the family, Irvin Feld and his son, Kenneth, said the deal included the circus, Ice Follies, Holiday on Ice, and the new Walt Disney's World on Ice.
- Suddath, Claire (December 17, 2015). "The $500 Million Battle Over Disney's Princesses". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved February 18, 2016.
- "Barbie loses battle over bimbo image". BBC News. July 25, 2002. Retrieved August 8, 2007.
- Mattel and Hasbro get licenses for character from Harry Potter - Lisa Bannon and John Lippman, The Wall Street Journal, 11 February 2000
- Mattel, Warner Bros. in Licensing Deal - James Bates, Los Angeles Times, 9 July 2002
- "CTV article on recall". Ctv.ca. Retrieved June 9, 2011.
- Barboza, David; Story, Louise (2007-07-26). "Toymaking in China, Mattel's Way". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-07-04.
- Story, Louise. "Mattel shifts into crisis mode after quality problems - The New York Times". Retrieved 2015-07-04.
- Story, Louise (2007-08-02). "Lead Paint Prompts Mattel to Recall 967,000 Toys". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-07-04.
- "Mattel to announce toy recall". Service.mattel.com. Retrieved June 9, 2011.
- Kavitanz, Parija. "Mattel fined $2.3 million over lead in toys". Retrieved 8 November 2013.
- "Mattel tackles crisis with solid comms". Retrieved 2015-07-04.
- Goldman, Abigail; Reckard, E. Scott (August 18, 2007). "Tactics differ for 2 firms in crises". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2015-07-04.
- Yang, Jia Lynn (January 22, 2008). "Mattel's CEO Recals a Rough Summer". CNN Money. Archived from the original on May 12, 2014. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
- "Business Management – Work Hard, Play Hard". www.busmanagement.com. Retrieved 2015-07-04.
- KELL, JOHN (October 25, 2011). "Mattel to Buy HIT Entertainment". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- Szalai, Georg (January 31, 2012). "Mattel's Acquisition of 'Thomas & Friends' Maker HIT Entertainment to Close on Wednesday". Hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- "Welcome to HiT Entertainment". hitentertainment.com. HiT Entertainment. Archived from the original on October 29, 2013. Retrieved October 28, 2013.
- Graser, Marc (November 5, 2013). "Mattel's Bold Plan to Take Control Back From Hollywood". Variety. Retrieved May 7, 2014.
- "Mattel - Best Companies to Work For 2013". Fortune. Money.cnn.com. 2013-02-04. Retrieved 2013-07-10.
- "Jealous Barbie: Mattel Comes After Lego With Mega Bloks Purchase". Forbes. February 28, 2014. Retrieved March 5, 2014.
- "Quirky and Mattel join forces to crowdsource the next hit toy". Fortune. April 16, 2015.
- Blakely, Lindsay (January 21, 2016), Mattel Buys Fuhu Out of Bankruptcy for $21.5 Million, Inc.com
- Tartaglione, Nancy (March 31, 2016). "Mattel Creations Formed To Centralize Toy Giant's Theatrical, TV & Digital Content". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media, LLC. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
- "Mattel Nabs Universal's 'Jurassic Park' Toy License From Hasbro". Bloomberg. July 19, 2016.
- Zaiobro, Paul; Mattioli, Dana (November 10, 2017). "Hasbro Sets Its Sights on Mattel". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved November 11, 2017.
- "Hasbro approaches Mattel about takeover, says WSJ, citing sources". CNBC. November 10, 2017.
- Roumeliotis, Greg. "Mattel snubs Hasbro's latest acquisition approach - sources". Reuters. Retrieved 25 November 2017.
- Fleming, Jr, Mike (July 30, 2012). "Jon M. Chu In 'Masters Of The Universe' Talks". Deadline. Penske Business Media. Retrieved December 20, 2016.
- Graser, Marc (October 15, 2013). "Mattel to Create Original Entertainment Through Playground Productions Banner". Variety. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
- Castleman, Lana (March 31, 2016). "Mattel centralizes content output in new division". Kidscreen. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
- Goldman Getzler, Wendy (December 16, 2015). "DHX Media & Mattel pact on content creation". Kidscreen. Brunico Communications Ltd. Retrieved December 20, 2016.
- Vlessing, Etan (October 6, 2015). "MIPCOM: 'Barney & Friends' Set for Relaunch by Mattel, 9 Story". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 20, 2016.
- Milligan, Mercedes (October 16, 2016). "UPHE Snags Exclusive 'Barbie' SVOD Rights from Mattel". Animation Magazine. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
- Whyte, Alexandra (November 10, 2017). "Mattel CCO Catherine Balsam-Schwaber departs". Kid Screen. Retrieved February 12, 2018.
- Goldman Getzler, Wendy (17 March 2014). "Mattel and WWE producing 26-episode web series for kids". StreamDaily. Brunico Communications Ltd. Kidscreen. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
- Dickson, Jeremy (October 22, 2014). "Nickelodeon takes WWE Slam City from web to TV". Kidscreen. Brunico Communications Ltd. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
- Rusak, Gary (April 3, 2014). "Mattel plays around with digital distribution strategies". StreamDaily. Brunico Communications Ltd. iKids. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
- "Robert De Niro Boxing Movie 'Hands of Stone' Set for August Release". Variety.com. Retrieved April 2, 2016.
- Milligan, Mercedes (October 18, 2016). "'WellieWishers' Gets UK Deal, Season 2 Greenlight". Animation Magazine. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
- "New Live Action Monster High Movies". Variety.com. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
- Goldman Getzler, Wendy (October 16, 2013). "With profits up, Mattel launches in-house studio Playground Productions". Kidscreen. Brunico Communications Ltd. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
- Jr, Mike Fleming (January 22, 2016). "McG Orbiting 'Masters Of The Universe' At Sony". Deadline. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
- Ford, Rebecca (May 23, 2017). "Amy Schumer Exits 'Barbie' Movie". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
- "Legendary Pictures Developing an Edgy 'Hot Wheels' Movie". February 1, 2018.
- Mike Fleming Jr (February 16, 2018). "Mattel & J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot Team On 'The Beastlies'". Deadline. Retrieved February 18, 2018.
- Kettelkamp, Sean; Chatty Cathy and Her Talking Friends, Schiffer Publishing (1998)