An interesting multi-national corporation, makers of children's toys and games.

In 1945 Harold Matson and Elliot Handler produced picture frames from their garage workshop. They come up with the name "Mattel" by combining letters from their names. Elliot uses the scraps from the picture frames to begin a side business making dollhouse furniture.

Later this spawned a successful doll business, culminating in Barbie.

Aside from Barbie, they make a bunch of other games, and recently computer games (yes, Barbie games too).

Barbie is very successful and Mattel is very corporatized I think. Test groups to see if Barbie's friend Stacy and kid sister Skipper are a hit among pre-adolesent girls and minorities. Advertising is done in-house I think.

Mattel has come under fire by the slashdot community lately because they own one filtering software company or another, like CyberPatrol or NetNanny. Someone wrote a program called cphack that cracks the filtering software, and even though it's GPLed, it got sued for DMCA reasons.

Also, before that, they sued Aqua for their song Barbie Girl, which may have damaged Barbie's image as a sweet innocent doll product for sale.

In 1980, Mattel introduced the Intellivision game console. Intellivision = "Intelligent Television". It had better graphics and features than Atari 2600, at a steeper price, $299US. Mattel promised to release an optional peripheral that made it function as a PC.

It seems Mattel has a partnership with Nickelodeon, so all their toys and stuff gets contracted over to them, like the GIR plush doll from Invader Zim.

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