The design center is where the company’s ultra-confidential toy prototypes are invented before being discreetly sent abroad for manufacturing.
It is Mattel’s version of the Wonka factory, and, accordingly, every outsider is treated with suspicion.
(Per Mattel, all of Ken and Barbie’s weddings are “dream” weddings.) Ken has no children but has been sold alongside a toddler “sibling” for whom he is the only apparent caretaker.
“That’s very important for Ken from a girl’s perspective,” says Michael Shore, Mattel’s head of global consumer insights (it means he watches kids play with dolls).
That’s part of what the initiative hopes to change.