The garage in Ruth and Elliot Handler’s Los Angeles residence served as headquarters for their picture-frame business, Mattel, in 1945. They quickly expanded and began producing toys – a child-sized ukulele and toy furniture to name a few. When ABC approached Mattel, asking the couple to sponsor Disney’s “The Mickey Mouse Club”, they invested their entire net worth – $500,000 – for 15 minutes of commercial time. The risk paid off, sales increased by 25 percent, and, along with the invention of the Barbie doll, Mattel exploded into the $8.5 billion company that exists today.
Don’t want to miss our financial news you can finally use? Subscribe to our newsletter – it’s free!