Elliot Handler, co-founder of Mattel Toys, dies at 95 (Video)
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Elliot Handler, co-founder of Mattel Toys, dies at 95 (Video)

El Segundo : CA : USA | Jul 22, 2011 at 9:56 PM PDT
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Elliot and Ruth Handler interview

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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The story of Mattel, very interesting history and stories told by Ruth and Elliot
Stephanie Ealy is based in Tacoma, Washington, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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  • Elliot Handler, Co-Founder of Mattel Toys, Dies at 95

      International Herald Tribune
    The New York Times Elliot and Ruth Handler, co-founders of Mattel, assembled a two-stage plastic rocket in this photograph from Feb. 7, 1959. The cause was heart failure, his daughter, Barbara Segal, said. Mr. Handler helped introduce Barbie , helped...
  • Elliot Handler, toy maker and Mattel co-founder, dies at 95

      Los Angeles Times
    The Handlers and their business partner, Harold Mattson, founded Mattel in 1945 and made gifts and toys. They produced their most successful product in 1959 when they introduced the Barbie doll, a plastic creation with an hour-glass figure that...
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    Elliot Handler, the co-founder of U.S. toy giant Mattel who gave the world the Barbie doll, has died aged 95, the company said Friday. Handler, who with his wife Ruth named the doll after their daughter Barbara in 1959 and two years later created Ken,...
  • Mattel co-founder dies at 95

      AP Online
    Elliot Handler, who with his wife grew Mattel Inc. from a small home-based picture-frame business into the largest U.S. toy maker and created the Hot Wheels brand, died on Thursday. He was 95. The company first produced picture frames,...
  • Co-founder of Mattel Elliot Handler dies at 95

      Daily Breeze
    Elliot Handler, a founder of the El Segundo-based toymaker Mattel who created the iconic Barbie doll with his wife, has died...Handler, who had been ill for some time, suffered a heart attack at his Century City home on Thursday evening, said his...
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    Elliot had a medical emergency last night ... and eventually died from heart failure. Barbie Doll back in the '50s ... and Handler named the doll after their daughter Barbara.

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