Inventor of Hot Wheels, Elliot Handler, dies at the age of 95

Article by Christian A., on July 25, 2011

The inventor of Hot Wheels and the co-founder of Mattel, Elliot Handler, passed away on July 21 due to undisclosed causes at his home in Century City, Calif. He was 95. His passing was confirmed by his daughter, Barbara Segal, after whom the Barbie doll was named. Elliot Handler and his wife Ruth founded Mattel in 1945 out of a garage workshop in Los Angeles with a friend, Harold “Matt” Matson.

The Mattel was derived from the names, Matson and Elliot. Picture frames were the first products from Mattel. But it wasn’t long before Handler created a side business of building dollhouse furniture from picture frame scraps.

The Handlers bought out Matson and then the focus was on toys. Elliot was amazing with designing and developing the product while Ruth was an excellent marketer. Mattel’s toys that were successes early on were musical toys like the Uke-A-Doodle, a child-size ukulele, and a cap gun named the Burp Gun that were advertised on television, a new medium at the time.

But there’s no denying that Mattel’s biggest hit was Barbie, which Ruth designed and was inspired by the paper dolls that her daughter liked. Many were skeptical about the potential of this doll. Elliot Handler told Ruth that no mother will buy “a doll with breasts” for her daughter.

Barbie’s 39-21-33 proportions became controversial for being anti-feminist and for promoting unachievable body expectations for girls. But Barbie was loved by both girls and collectors and it soon became the top-selling fashion doll in the world.

If you liked the article, share on:

Topics: united states

Comments

Recommended

November 17 is considered a very special day for Tesla, as this is the day that they revealed the highly anticipated Tesla Semi. But Elon Musk did not think the...
by - November 17, 2017
More details have emerged about the new sixth generation of the BMW M3 just as the German premium practically announced the end of the current-gen 3 Series with the unveiling...
by - November 17, 2017
All is set for Volkswagen’s plans to enter the electric vehicle game, as prompted by the so-called Dieselgate scandal. In fact, the German carmaker has already made a commitment to...
by - November 17, 2017
As BMW has already revealed, the next generation of the BMW M5 (F90) is a four-wheel drive high-performance sedan with overwhelming power output and torque at its disposal. However, it...
by - November 17, 2017
McLaren unveiled a one-off Gold - on - Black 720S at the 2017 Dubai Motor Show which will be on display throughout the entire stretch of this week’s event. The...
by - November 16, 2017
Facebook

Youtube Channel

Tip Us
Do you have a tip for us?
Did you film an important event?
Contact us
Newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter!
Subscribe
Galleries