"Jerry Oppenheimer, one of America′s great biographers, has expanded his vision in this book by probing and exposing the dark side of the multibillion–dollar, international toy industry. Thoroughly researched, beautifully written, Oppenheimer′s opus contains all the intrigue and drama of an epic novel. Barbie will never be the same! I can hardly wait for the film version."
C. David Heymann, author of A Woman Named Jackie
"′Behind every great fortune is a great crime.′ So wrote Balzac, which gave The Godfather its opening epigram. But a great crime behind the sweet House of Barbie? Yikes! Terrors in toy land! The scandal. The skullduggery! This book is enough to scare Santa Claus."
Kitty Kelley, author of The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty
"Mattel was a place you had to watch your back. It has always been a place where people are pitted against each other. . . a shark pond. As one former top executive declares, ′You throw people in and see if they can swim fast enough to stay alive.′ Another says, ′There was a tremendous amount of self–merchandising. People were constantly making it known how great they were in order to get noticed.′"
From Toy Monster
Chapter 1: Barbie′s Untold Heritage.
Chapter 2: A Shocking Cover–up.
Chapter 3: From Weapons of Mass Destruction to Barbie, and the Knocking Off of a German Doll.
Chapter 4: Putting the Matt in Mattel, and How the Toymaker Became a Hotbed of Aggressive Hotheads.
Chapter 5: Real–Life Barbie Dolls.
Chapter 6: Horrific Scandal, Controversy and Indictments.
Chapter 7: A Civil War and a Hollywood Romance.
Chapter 8: A Bloody Tragic Ending.
Part Two: A Drama Princess and the Barad Era.
Chapter 9: Miss Italian America .
Chapter 10: From He–Man to Home Depot.
Chapter 11: A Fearsome and Firing Diva and the Great Whistleblower Debacle.
Chapter 12: The Princess Diana Fiasco, Praying for Success, and Demi Plays Barad.
Chapter 13: Another Whistleblower in the Ranks, Toyland s Worst Acquisition and the End of a Reign.
Part Three: Toy Terror, the Bratz Attack, and the Eckert Era.
Chapter 14: The Processed Cheese Savior.
Chapter 15: Barbie′s Aging, Eckert′s Making Excuses, and the Bratz Pack Is Booming.
Chapter 16: Toy Terror 2007.
Chapter 17: An Outrageous Apology.
Chapter 18: Like Something Out of The Exorcist .
Chapter 19: Keep It Out of the News!
Chapter 20: Don′t Diss Barbie, and the Toy Trial of the Century – Bratz vs. Barbie.
Author′s Notes on Sources.
Oppenheimer (Just Desserts) takes a tour of Mattel s seamier side, highlighting its dubious corporate practices and kooky cast in this scathing portrait to be published to coincide with Barbie s 50th anniversary. Drawing on personal interviews and public sources, Oppenheimer paints a bleak picture of the peculiar practices of the adults running the toy company including the playboy Jack Ryan, known as the Father of Barbie and rumored to be sexually obsessed with his creation, and Mattel cofounder and white–collar criminal Ruth Handler, who took credit for Barbie s invention. The author chronicles the Doll Wars the fierce competition and eventual litigation between Mattel and the creators of the rival Bratz line, as well as 2007 s Black Friday the 13th, when potentially deadly magnets and lead paint in the company s most popular toys led to two massive recalls. Executive scapegoats and backpedaling resulted in public lashing from the media and intense public mistrust. Fast–paced and engaging, this exposé will absorb readers until the last page and will forever change the way they think about the company. (Mar.) (Publishers Weekly, January 26, 2009)