Full Story OF Dream House

Over the past few years, I’ve slowly begun to tell my father’s story to friends and family and social media followers, and documented it with a podcast series.  But the story lends itself better to a visual medium and now I’m developing it as a limited television series. Here is an overview – much of which will be covered in upcoming podcast episodes, including interviews with many who were eyewitnesses to Jack’s extraordinary life:
  • Jack’s work at Mattel designing their best selling toys including Barbie, Hot Wheels and Chatty Cathy
  • The Castle in Bel Air where he lived, threw outrageous parties, and dabbled in social engineering
  • Jack’s upbringing, his “boy genius” days, and time at Yale
  • Jack’s war with Mattel, how he won, but at a tremendous cost to his physical and mental health
  • The extraordinary women in Jack’s life – brilliant real life Barbie Dolls, and his marriages to five of them – including Zsa Zsa Gabor
  • His post-Mattel inventions including a breathing Teddy Bear
  • Jack’s ultimate demise – his suicide
Jack Ryan, designer of The Barbie Doll, Hot Wheels, Chatty Cathy and many other Mattel blockbuster toys, lived a wildly successful, controversial and high-profile lifestyle but was ultimately defeated by his own inner demons.
In 2009, “Toy Monster,” by NY Times bestselling author Jerry Oppenheimer, chronicled the more salacious side of Mattel – with a large portion devoted to Jack Ryan. In an editorial review Oppenheimer remarked, “There were many jaw-droppers and shockers that surfaced during my research. One especially was the vicious feud between Jack Ryan, the Father of Barbie, and Ruth Handler, the co-founder of Mattel, over who conceived and developed the company’s best-known and biggest-selling toy, Barbie.”
“During the course of my research, I discovered that Jack Ryan was the key person to bring Barbie into the world, but that Handler, after Ryan’s death, dismissed and denigrated his major contributions, taking all credit for the iconic doll. After Ryan committed suicide, Handler wrote an autobiography and etched her story in stone that Barbie was all her idea from start to finish, and that myth has since been perpetuated. For the first time Toy Monster gives Ryan’s side of the previous untold story, and flips the birth of Barbie 180 degrees.”
While Oppenheimer’s book is well-researched, and seeks the truth about what actually happened, there is much more to the story of Jack Ryan that I am in the unique position to disclose because I’m his daughter and I lived it. I have eye witness accounts from people who were there…but most importantly, I’ve tested the interest by building a Facebook group with 1200 people, all organically, begging me to release more information.