Mattel Reviews

Updated October 18, 2014
Updated October 18, 2014
238 Reviews
3.2
238 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Mattel CEO and Director Bryan G. Stockton
Bryan G. Stockton
90 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Also having half day Fridays all year around is nice (in 71 reviews)

  • There are many work/life balance initiatives to take advantage of (in 25 reviews)


Cons
  • work/life balance is nearly non-existent: emails and work on weekends, late nights (in 15 reviews)

  • Some long hours and weekend emails (in 11 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Good Place, Bad Location

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Mattel

    Pros

    Great Environment and a lot of good people

    Cons

    Move to a place that isn't in the middle of nowhere.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get a new location

  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Creative and fun, but stressful and exhausting.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate Marketing Manager in El Segundo, CA
    Current Employee - Associate Marketing Manager in El Segundo, CA

    I have been working at Mattel full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Creative environment with wonderful people to work with.

    Cons

    Minimal work-life balance. Some positions require round the clock accessibility and assumed availability to work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire younger people with more break frame ideas.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 10 people found this helpful  

    It's old school corporate: politics gets promoted not talent. And everyone else is just a piece of meat.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Administrative Assistant in El Segundo, CA
    Current Employee - Administrative Assistant in El Segundo, CA

    I have been working at Mattel full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    And a employer name you don't have to explain to people, casual dress all week, 1/2 day Fridays, 2 weeks off at Xmas, and decent benefits IF you are permanent (which Mattel rarely does now). Oh and no 13th floor in the tower. So, THAT silly superstition is still being perpetuated (by a multi-billion dollar corporation).

    Cons

    Politics & "old-boys club" prevails. If you're in the executive club, you'll be rewarded handsomely -- higher pay, stock options, car leases, trips, gifts, etc. But the people who actually do the work are squeezed about day-to-day spending needed to do their job. Then management will go waste thousands of dollars on some crap "gift" that is left on every employee's desk to announce a new product or event. (Cool! I can't make rent this month, but at least I have a set of cheap ear-buds that I don't need in a fabric zip-pouch with the Mattel logo on it. Totally worth being homeless for that!)

    The annual review process is a rigged-game -- raises are budgeted 6 months before the reviews are even written. And if everyone does a great job, it actually means LESS of a raise for each person because there is just so much allocated to the peon class. Anyone can be laid off when the company has even one bad quarter (even if you had nothing to do with the low sales)...but the exec who was in charge of that low-income division still has HIS job.

    So, unless you are one of the "chosen ones", this is not a company that supports & promotes employee happiness or growth. They just don't get that happy employees = improved business & profits, nor do they seem to care.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Look up the definition of "employee morale" because you're shockingly tone-deaf to it. I mean: laying off dozens of people, telling employees there will be no raises or bonuses -- and then you give bonus checks & raises to the executives? Do you think your employees are stupid and/or don't talk to each other? No matter how hard you try to spin something, your employees can see through it & know what you're really doing. So, instead, be honest & frank -- we'll tolerate it a lot more than any of the current slick BS coming from the 15th floor.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Good atmosphere and great place to learn

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Mattel

    Pros

    Creative, smart and driven people

    Cons

    Large, slow decision making process

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Set strategy and get out of the way

  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    Old boys club, highly politically charged, lacks leadership, and innovation.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Mattel full-time

    Pros

    Good benefits, half day Fridays, and shuts down during holiday season; Exposure to a variety of brands to work on.

    Cons

    It's an old boys club that rates your political savvyness above talent. It's who you know, not what you know. If you're in the clique, you'll get promoted. They are more concerned about posturing than leading their teams and coming up with great ideas.

    New people with new ideas will get frustrated and leave because Mattel doesn't know what to do with you. "This is how it's always been done at Mattel" is a common mantra. Upper mgmt have been there far too long. More people from the outside with fresh ideas need to replace the current regime.

    Micro-management at the leadership level is prevalent. Leadership can override all other decisions made below them. The "worker bees" voices are never heard. At any given point, 5 layers above can override any decisions made at the team level. It sends the wrong message and you're never truly empowered working there.

    Leadership all know each other from the past - it's an incestuous environment and you always feel paranoid that you'll get laid off. Those at the top and the clique, will never get laid off yet, they're the ones making the bad decisions that's driving Mattel in the wrong direction. Antiquated processes, old ways of thinking, bad leadership, & a highly political environment is what Mattel stands for today. Sadly, they've been unable to leverage the strength of their brands beyond the physical. Hasbro is 3 years ahead of the curb.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Leverage the strength of your brands beyond toys. This should have been done years ago! Take more risks like your competition is doing. Change the regime at the top and stop incentivising them - that's the biggest issue! Put an end to micro-managing and empower your teams. Hire new leaders from the outside but leverage their knowledge and new processes so they don't get frustrated and leave. The current leadership is creating the wrong culture and producing ideas that no one wants anymore. Mattel needs a reboot!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 3 people found this helpful  

    Hoping for a better experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Mattel full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Half-day Fridays were amazing. Really the best.
    Worked with some really wonderful people.

    Cons

    Support systems and job tools caused more issues than instilling efficiency. You spent more time trying to figure out the problem.
    Lack of understanding of technology.
    Lack of communication between groups.
    Politics and throwing people under the bus.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Rotation of people is great, but I feel like you lose institutional knowledge. I felt really marginalized working there. No one was listening to our suggestions and advice. I also felt lied to about several aspects of my position. Also, when you send an email saying that no one is getting raises so that no one will be laid off and then start laying people off, that's totally not "playing fair" with your employee's lives.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Run don't walk

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Mattel

    Pros

    Recognizable brand that is looking it's once reputable name.

    Cons

    Overrated. People act like working at Mattel brings prestige...but the word is getting out. If you can check your good morals at the door then you'll do well In an atmosphere with extreme politicking. It's not about the job it's about political gain. People who are there now are only doing what they can to hold on to their jobs because of looming layoffs. No leadership in place.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Manage instead of fostering a highly political, toxic, and ruthless culture

  9.  

    Mattel Interactive Barbie Team

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - International Producer in El Segundo, CA
    Current Employee - International Producer in El Segundo, CA

    I have been working at Mattel (less than an year)

    Pros

    Half day Fridays, slow work pace.

    Cons

    Corporate environment, non-innovative teams, process does not make sense, off shore development team and a bunch of old dogs that do not understand digital trends.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire people that have a vision and know how to develop, design and produce the latest in digital. Use internal teams to develop, do not use off shore when you have a company this size and keep current on the latest digital trends, classes your team can take and create some structure that make since, include all teams in brainstorming, have a goal in mind .. keep up with competitors.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Hit and Miss

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Mattel full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    I liked and respected the vast majority of the people that I worked with - it is a great group as individuals. Also, the half day Fridays are hard to beat.

    Cons

    Senior management is living in the last century - locked in their silo view of the enterprise. Although it is said time and again that Mattel's talent is highly valued by the company, it doesn't take long working there to realize that everyone, absolutely everyone, is a bad quarter away from being cut so that senior execs can make their bonuses. The amount of talent and technical memory that is ushered out the door is staggering!!!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Realize that senior management embodies the Peter Principle in action - they have all risen to their various levels of incompetence. This in and of itself is not a bad thing if it is recognized and used to continue questioning and growing. What makes it a big deal at Mattel is that it is so political that growth and progress don't seem to occur. On top of that, no one seems to be accountable. Senior management doesn't seem to trust that the majority of employees are trying to do the right thing. Instead they compete to advance their individual agendas for more control. The result is an organization with different groups pulling different directions - yes in many cases against itself!

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Used to be really good...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Mattel full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Overall, Mattel is a good company. Great benefits and amenities. Half day Fridays are hard to beat.

    Cons

    Too many politics, depends on which group you were working in, glass ceiling definitely exists. Don't have clear guide on what needs to be done to get promoted, investing too much on directors and VPs and not too much care for the "worker bees".

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest more on the people who actually do the work. Invest in better leadership.

    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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