Mattel, Inc. is an American multinational toy manufacturing company founded in 1945. They purchased HiT Entertainment from its previous owners, Apax Partners, for a sum of $680,000,000 (USD) in 2012 outbidding Disney by a landslide. HiT Entertainment merged with Mattel's production company, Mattel Playground Productions to form Mattel Television.
The company was founded by Harold Matson, Ruth Handler, and Elliot Handler in 1945. They are most famous for their toy products such as Barbie, Monster High, Polly Pocket, Matchbox, Disney-Pixar Cars and Hot Wheels.
Fisher-Price, the manufacturer of many other Thomas toys is a subsidiary of Mattel. They also took over the rights from Polly Pocket after Bluebird Toys closed. In 2014, they acquired MEGA Brands, which includes the Mega Bloks range.
In 2021, Rick Siggelkow, co-creator of Shining Time Station, revealed that the franchise rights were now owned by Mattel, and that the company's current mindset essentially derailed any chance of the series being available on DVD.