Barbie Doll Creator Dead

Los Angeles, Jul 24 (IANS/EFE): The creator of the Barbie doll and Hot Wheels miniature cars, Elliot Handler, died here this week after dedicating most of his life to his toymaking company Mattel, the daily Los Angeles Times said. He was 95.

Handler died at home Thursday from heart failure, the newspaper cited his daughter Barbara Segal as saying.

In 1945 Handler founded the Mattel company, together with his wife Ruth and his partner Harold Mattson, to make gifts and toys, among which they developed the iconic Barbie and later her boyfriend Ken, both dolls named after the Handler kids.

Ruth Mosko, later Handler, worked as a secretary at Paramount Studios and became the driving force behind Mattel's business and sales.

Born April 19, 1916 in Illinois and raised in Colorado, he studied industrial design and was one of the pioneers in using the power of television to sell products to the kiddie market.

Mattel's first sales success was a plastic Uke-a-Doodle ukelele, followed by a toy gun promoted on TV programmes like "The Mickey Mouse Club".

In 1959 the Handlers developed Barbie and in 1969 Hot Wheels, two of the company's emblematic products which continue to make profits in the millions.

The couple left Mattel in the 1970s following a series of accusations related to the bad financial practices.

Ruth Handler died in 2002 and was known as "Barbie's mom".


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