Elliot Handler -- a co-founder of the Mattel toy company -- the guy who NAMED the "Barbie Doll" -- has died ... TMZ has learned. Handler's caretaker tells TMZ ... Elliot had a medical emergency… READ MORE >
Elliot Handler (born April 9, 1918) was the co-founder of Mattel. Originally called Mattel Creations, it has gone on to become the largest toy maker in the world. In April 2008, Handler was honored by Mattel with a 90th birthday party at its headquarters in El Segundo, California. Guests included his daughter Barbara, after whom the Barbie doll was named. Mattel was named after business partners Elliot and Harold Matson. Elliot's wife Ruth Handler took over Matson's role when the Handlers bought out his share in the late 1940s. Ruth Handler is credited with the creation of the Barbie doll that debuted in 1959. The Barbie doll is still one of the top-selling dolls. Mattel introduced the talking Chatty Cathy doll in 1960. Later talking dolls included Chatty Baby, Charmin' Chatty, and toys made for cartoon favorites such as Bugs Bunny and Porky Pig. TV characters such as Herman Munster and Mr. Ed were also transformed into Mattel talking toys.