Toy Monster: The Big, Bad World of Mattel

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Wiley, Feb 2, 2010 - Business & Economics - 280 pages
2 Reviews
From Boise to Beijing, Mattel's toys dominate the universe. Its no-fun-and-games marketing muscle reaches some 140 countries, and its iconic products - Barbie, Hot Wheels, and Chatty Cathy, to name a few - have been a part of our culture for generations. Now, in this intriguing and entertaining expose, "New York Times" bestselling author Jerry Oppenheimer places the world's largest toy company under a journalistic microscope, uncovering the dark side of toy land, and exploring Mattel's oddball corporate culture and eccentric, often bizarre, cast of characters. Based on exclusive interviews and an exhaustive review of public and private records, Toy Monster exposes Mattel's take-no-prisoners, shark-infested corporate style. Throughout this scrupulously reported, unauthorized portrait, you'll discover how dangerous toys are actually nothing new to Mattel, and why its fearsomely litigious approach within the brutal toy business has helped their products dominate over potential rivals such as Bratz. But this is only part of the story. Along the way, you'll also become familiar with the larger-than-life personalities that have shaped Mattel's eccentric world. There's cofounder Ruth Handler, a 'one-woman sales-merchandising-promotion-administrative force, a sort of industrial Orson Welles,' who becomes a white-collar criminal. There's Jack Ryan, the 'Father of Barbie,' whose second of five wives calls him 'a full-blown seventies-style swinger into wife-swapping and sundry sexual pursuits as a way of life.' And don't forget CEO Robert Eckert, who came from the worlds of processed cheese and hot dogs to lead Mattel - only to get grilled by the U.S. Congress, and the world press, in the lead-paint-and-dangerous-magnets cause celebre. The phenomenal Barbie brand's 50th anniversary arrives in 2009, hot on the heels of the China Toy Terror recall scandal that has tarnished Mattel's image in the hearts and minds of millions of people worldwide. "Toy Monster" takes you inside

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Toy monster: the big, bad world of Mattel

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Journalist and pop biographer Oppenheimer (e.g., Front Row; Anna Wintour) here covers the more sensational side of the toy industry with this unauthorized company history of Mattel. He begins by ... Read full review

Review: Toy Monster: The Big, Bad World of Mattel

User Review  - Brittany - Goodreads

I listened to this audiobook immediately after it was released. There were no reviews and I had no idea what to expect. I have to say, I learned a lot. I thought this book was really fascinating. Read full review

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About the author (2010)

JERRY OPPENHEIMER has written eight biographies of major American icons, from Martha Stewart and Barbara Walters to the Clintons and Kennedys, and has worked in all facets of journalism, from national investigative reporting in Washington, D.C., to producing TV news and documentaries. He's quoted in magazines such as Vanity Fair, and is a frequent guest on national TV interview and syndicated magazine shows, including Good Morning America, Entertainment Tonight, Extra, Anderson Cooper 360, Nancy Grace, BBC News, Fox News, and more.

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