|Page (1) of 1 - 07/22/11||email article||print page|
Toy innovator Elliot Handler, co-founder of Mattel, dies at 95
NEW YORK (AP) ' 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, but Handler started making dollhouse furniture and other wooden toys on the side from scraps. Mattel's first hit product was a "Uke-A-Doodle," a child-size ukulele and the Burp gun, a cap pistol.
Handler's wife Ruth created the iconic Barbie doll in 1959, naming it after their daughter. It became an instant success. Seeking a similar hit for boys in the 1960s, Handler created the Hot Wheels brand.
Handler is survived by his daughter Barbara Segal. His son Kenneth died in 1994 of a brain tumor.