Elliot Handler dies
Elliot Handler, of Mattel Toys, the company responsible for Barbie dolls, died at his home in Los Angeles. He was born in Illinois, April 9, 1916 and died at 95 years old, on Thursday.
Handler was responsible for Hot Wheels toy cars, helped the world fall in love with Barbie dolls and was a part of designing the talking doll Chatty Cathy.
“He loved coming up with new cars,” said his brother, Sid Handler. “He loved the design part, and Ruth loved the business. It worked pretty well. He was a quiet, kind man. I think that’s why he liked toys so much. They make people happy.”
Elliot and Ruth Handler
Elliot was married to Ruth and in 1945 they put together a start-up called Mattel with a short-term partner. Unfortunately they were pushed out of the largest and most well-known toy empire in 1975.
Mr. Handler made costume jewelry and dollhouse furniture in his garage in Southern California as a poor art student. His initial claim to fame came when he brought his homemade miniature piano to the New York toy fair.
Losses before great success
People went crazy for the piano and even though stores ordered more than 300,000 of them, Ruth and Elliot made a big mistake and mispriced them which lost them ten cents on each.
Tough times hit the Handlers after their loss, but they networked with a music arranger who gave them a way to produce them into a music device for an affordable, profitable amount for their music boxes.
Success comes with a helping hand
With the music arranger's help, the music devices were created and put inside the Jack-in-the-Box and other toys which made the couple millions of dollars.
Elliot Handler's daughter, Barbara Segal, told the press he died of heart failure, according to the New York Times.
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