The company was founded in 1945 originally producing picutre frames and dollhouse accessories from picture frame scraps. With the success of their dollhouse accessories, the company turned its attention to toys. The company became a publicly owned company in 1960.
An independent audit of Mattel, released on November 3, 1975, revealed that company officials had fabricated press releases and financial information to "maintain the appearance of continued corporate growth."
Mattel serves as the parent company for American Girl Place, Fisher-Price, and Pleasant Company.