Business Wars

Netflix vs. HBO. Nike vs. Adidas. Business is war. Sometimes the prize is your wallet or your attention. Sometimes, it’s just the fun of beating the other guy. The outcome of these battles shapes what we buy and how we live. Business Wars gives you the unauthorized, real story of what drives these companies and their leaders, inventors, investors and executives to new heights -- or to ruin. Hosted by David Brown, former anchor of Marketplace. From Wondery, the network behind Dirty John and American History Tellers.


episode 2: Hasbro vs Mattel - Boy Toy

It’s the 1960s and Hasbro is struggling. The pencil manufacturer turned toymaker hasn’t had a major success since Mr. Potato Head hit the shelves in 1952, and it’s starting to lose money. If the company doesn’t act fast, it’ll be headed for bankruptcy in no time.

Mattel’s “accessories sold separately” approach to Barbie has revolutionized the industry. Now Hasbro’s toymakers hope to replicate her success with a doll of their own—for boys. But first, they’ll have to get the green light from CEO Merrill Hassenfeld, who has one iron-clad rule about new toys: no dolls.

Meanwhile, Mattel’s about to roll out a hot new boy-themed toy of its own that will cement the company’s status as the world’s top toymaker.

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 2019-03-25  25m