Wednesday, August 17

Barbie’s US toymaker father dies


LOS ANGELES:  Elliot Handler, the co-founder of US toy giant Mattel who gave the world the Barbie doll, has died aged 95, the company said this today.

Handler, who with his wife Ruth named the doll after their daughter Barbara in 1959, died yesterday from heart failure, according to the TMZ celebrity news website.

“We were very saddened to learn about the passing of Elliot Handler, the Mattel founder who created some of the world’s most beloved toys,” Mattel said in a statement.

Mattel was founded in 1945 by Handler and his business partner Harold ‘Matt’ Matson, who combined their names to create the world-beating brand. Matson was later bought out by the Handlers.

Barbie, the toy doll owned by generations of girls, wowed the world when she made her debut at a New York toy fair in 1959, leading to sales of 300,000 that same year.

She is at the centre of the Mattel company empire, has inspired dozens of fashion designers and revolutionised playtime for young children all over the world.

The Handlers’ daughter Barbara is still alive. Their son Ken died of a brain tumor in 1994. Ruth Handler died in 2002 aged 85. – Agencies