We meet Thomas! The most famous of Wilbert’s engines arrives in the second book of the series, “Thomas the Tank Engine." Thomas and his friends would go on to star in 24 more books by the Rev. Awdry, selling more than 50 million copies.
The Company’s first big hit is the Uke-A-Doodle, a child-sized instrument designed to make music more interactive and accessible.
Mattel is incorporated with headquarters in Los Angeles.
Magic 8 ball is released, inspired by the inventor’s mother, a clairvoyant. An average of 1 million are sold annually.
Mattel begins television advertising through the Mickey Mouse Club, revolutionizing the way toys are marketed.
Barbie is born. Ruth Handler is inspired by observing her daughter, Barbara, play with paper dolls for hours, and recognizes the opportunity to champion and inspire girls by introducing a three-dimensional doll that shows them that they can be anything.
Mattel becomes a publicly traded company.
Chatty Cathy is introduced with the voice of June Foray. She is the second most popular doll during the 60s behind Barbie.
Ken is introduced as a boyfriend for Barbie.
Mattel launches the first Barbie Dreamhouse. Barbie represents women in new ways, becoming a symbol of independence and empowerment. With its mid-century modern décor, girls can imagine entertaining friends or relaxing in their stylish living room.
Barbie Astronaut goes to the moon four years before Neil Armstrong.
Major Matt Mason is introduced, His spacesuit is inspired by NASA prototypes released in the 1960s.
Mattel introduces Christie, the first Black doll, to the Barbie world.
Hot Wheels is invented by a team of Mattel creators, which included a rocket scientist and a car designer. Sparked by Elliot’s idea for miniature die-cast vehicles that paired cool designs with speed, power and performance, Hot Wheels launches with a focus on igniting the challenger spirit in every child.
Hot Wheels brings drag racing back into pop culture with Snake & Mongoose. The re-creations of the rivalry between racecar drivers Don "The Snake" Prudhomme and Tom "The Mongoose" McEwen encouraged kids to act out their own side-by-side racing battles.
Malibu Barbie launches to reflect the updated fashion style reflecting California culture with a forward-face glance reflecting women’s empowerment.
Uno is invented by a a barber shop owner from Reading, Ohio.
The Mattel Children’s Foundation is formed as a private corporate foundation in the state of California.
With music at the forefront, the Fisher-Price Phonograph is able to withstand the roughest of play.
Mattel introduces the first diverse line of dolls carrying the Barbie name.
The first He-Man and the Masters of the Universe line of action figures is released. The Masters of the Universe franchise would become a $2 billion cultural phenomenon throughout the 1980s across toys and licensed products.
Beatles star Ringo Starr joins Thomas & Friends series in 1984 as narrator, the first of many famous storytellers.
“We Girls Can Do Anything” campaign is launched. Girls everywhere hear “We can dream dreams and make them come true because nothing’s worth doing that we girls can’t do, your moms know it too. We girls can do anything, right Barbie?”
Day-to-Night Barbie breaks the glass ceiling as a CEO. She celebrates the workplace evolution of the era and shows girls they can have it all.
American Girl enters the large doll space with a novel concept to help girls learn about pivotal periods in American history and the role women played in the shaping of our country via three 18” character dolls and books.
Andy Warhol made his mark by creating images of American icons. Barbie is added to that esteemed list when Warhol paints her. The first Barbie portrait was reportedly inspired by Warhol’s muse, Billy Boy, a jewelry designer and member of New York’s downtown scene in the 1980s, who owned a vast collection of Barbie dolls.
Thomas & Friends makes its US debut on PBS. Thomas & Friends now airs in 180 countries around the world in 55 languages.
The world meets Polly Pocket, at 1-inch tall she lives in a miniature world all her own. Inside each small case an entire world waits to be discovered – a world that can fit right in your pocket!
Mattel moves into its current headquarters in El Segundo, CA.
Thomas & Friends’ 3rd season features George Carlin, who took over the role of Thomas & Friends storyteller for US audiences.
American Girl debuts the premier issue of American Girl magazine, an advertising-free publication that features stories of girls’ lives today.
Barbie first runs for president. She’s goes on to run 5 times and debut an all - female ticket in 2016.
Fisher Price is acquired by Mattel, adding the brand’s incredible catalog of pre-school toys to Mattel’s portfolio.
Bitty Baby, the American Girl line of nurturing baby dolls is introduced. At 15-inches tall, they are infinitely huggable and easy for young children to handle.
American Girl introduces one of the first contemporary doll lines (American Girl of Today) that allows girls to choose a doll that looks like them from various skin tone, eye and hair color/texture options.
Little People goes through a design transformation to look more like real kids - bringing diversity and inclusion to the toys.
After delighting parents and kids alike for almost 60 years, Mattel welcomes View-Master into the fold.
Hot Wheels & NASCAR bring racing legends to the brand by partnering with NASCAR drivers Kyle Petty and Jack Baldwin and putting NASCAR-themed vehicles into kids’ hands for the first time. The Hot Wheels - NASCAR partnership lasted for the next decade.
Mattel acquires American Girl.
American Girl unveils its first experiential retail store, American Girl Place – Chicago, featuring a live theater performance; a dining experience for girls.
Mattel begins a landmark collaboration with UCLA Health and becomes the proud namesake of UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital.
Barbie is inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame.
Alec Baldwin narrated the 5th and 6th seasons of Thomas & Friends for the US audiences.
The first Thomas & Friends theme park, ‘Thomas Land,' opens in Fuji-Q Highland Theme Park in Japan.
The first life-sized Hot Wheels car, the Twin Mill, is unveiled at the SEMA custom auto show in Las Vegas. Over 20 life-sized Hot Wheels are now in the Hot Wheels Garage of Legends.
American Girl debuts its first contemporary Girl of the Year character, Lindsey Bergman. The line gives voice to a diverse range of personalities and backgrounds through inspiring, relatable characters that give girls confidence, understanding, and a broader worldview toward others.
American Girl Place, the company’s second flagship store, opens on Fifth Avenue in New York city.
American Girl launches its first made-for-TV movie based on historical character Samantha Parkington, played by Anna Sophia Robb. (Mia Farrow plays Samantha’s grandmother.)
American Girl’s second made-for-TV movie launches based on historical character Felicity Merriman, played by Shailene Woodley. (Marcia Gay Harden plays Mrs. Merriman).
American Girl’s first feature film debuts based on historical character Kit Kittredge, played by Abigail Breslin. (Cast also includes: Julia Ormond, Chris O’Donnell, Joan Cusack, and Stanley Tucci).
Mattel launches Monster High, a new fashion doll line centered around the perfectly imperfect teenage children of the world’s most famous monsters.
Hot Wheels smashes the world record for longest ramp-to-ramp distance jump at the 100th Anniversary of at the Indy 500, at a length of 332 feet.
HIT is acquired by Mattel, adding Thomas the train engine, Bob the Builder, and Barney to Mattel’s catalog of brands.
The Mattel Children’s Foundation partners with the Barbie brand to create Ella, Friend of Barbie dolls to donate to organizations working with children experiencing hair loss from cancer, alopecia or any other medical condition.
Mattel acquires MEGA Brands, the No. 2 player in the construction building sets category.
Viewmaster gets a virtual reality reboot when Mattel partners with Google to use their Google Cardboard technology to bring everything from dinosaurs to historical monuments alive.
American Girl introduces younger girls to the whimsical world of the WellieWishers. With 5 fun-loving characters—Willa, Kendall, Ashlyn, Emerson, and Camille—kids can imagine and play in a whimsical backyard garden while learning timeless life lessons on empathy, kindness, and the importance of being a good friend.
In 2016, and against the background of the first woman presidential candidate, Barbie releases an all-female ticket with a president and vice president doll set to inspire girls to believe they can be anything—including leader of the free world.
Barbie Introduces New Body Types to better reflect the world girls see today, Barbie introduces three new body types: curvy, petite, and tall. The launch of the new body types lands Barbie on the cover of Time magazine.
American Girl launches Create Your Own, the ultimate experience in customization through millions of combinations.
Hot Wheels turns 50 and celebrates its continued status as the #1 selling toy in the world with the Hot Wheels Legends Tour.
The Mattel Children’s Foundation launches the 1st Annual Global Day of Play.
Thomas & Friends Partners with the UN to introduce Sustainable Development Goals in content.