Keeping Ken  Ask Keeping Ken Archives  Keeping Ken Ken News! 



Please submit questions to and have them answered here.  Due to the volume of mail received, I cannot respond to individual e-mails sent to "Ask Keeping Ken".


For previous columns, visit the Ask Keeping Ken Archives

Q:  I read in the newspapers some time ago about a KenŽ doll that was dressed in a BarbieŽ doll fashion, packaged and sent to a store.  It was a production error.  The people who purchased it donated it to the Smithsonian and it is on display.  Can you give me more information about this doll?


A:  I've been asked this question several times and finally ordered the book The Museum of Hoaxes by Alex Boese that had the answer.

In July 1990 Carina Guillot and her then twelve-year-old daughter, Jocelyn, wandered into a Toys R Us in Florida while visiting relatives.  They spotted the doll pictured left, which appeared to be a My First Ken #9940 doll dressed in a purple tank top and lace apron over a polka-dotted skirt; instead of the standard KenŽ costume that came with this doll.  Mrs. Guillot's first reaction was Oh my God, now we have a crossed-dressed KenŽ.

Being avid BarbieŽ collectors, both women thought they had something unique and special.  They took the doll to store personnel and it was examined to confirm whether the seal was intact.  Toys R Us employees confirmed that it appeared to be a valid, untampered Mattel product.  The women bought the doll and took it home.

Within days, news of the doll have reached the public media who dubbed the doll "Cross Dressing KenŽ".  The doll was featured in newspapers, radio and TV programs The Arsenio Hall Show and The Joan Rivers Show.  Mattel had no explanation, except to say that the doll might have been a production error.  A collector offered the Guillots $2,000 for the doll, which was quite a markup from the $8.99 original price.  Reportedly, someone then bid $4,000.  Both offers were turned down.

The speculation finally came to an end when a Toys R Us night shift employee named Ron Zero admitted that he had dressed the doll as a prank, and had then carefully resealed the package with white paper glue.  "We always did crazy things like that" Zero explained.  Four days after his confession, Toys R Us fired Zero.

The "Cross Dressing KenŽ" doll was never displayed at the Smithsonian museum.


Q:  I found your name on the internet and after looking at your website it seemed as though you may know the answer to this question. I recently found an outfit at a garage sale that I was wondering if it had any value. It is in the unopened gold colored pack and across the top it says:  Mattel Logo BEST BUY FASHIONS  Not recommended for children under 3 and then in the upper right it has the Ken logo with the name BRAD below it.  It has the original price sticker above this that says 1.99.  The number of the outfit appears to be 7224 (It says this inside a small white circle).

The outfit is a pair of white pants with red and blues vertical and horizontal lines , there is a red fleece like jacket and what appears to be maybe a white dickey. It says fashion shoes sold separately below it and up the left side it says (Copyright Symbol) 1972 Mattel, Inc. Hawthorne,Calif, 90250 MADE & PRINTED IN KOREA. Manufactured for Mattel, All rights reserved. Package U.S. Patent Pending.

What would be it's value?


A:  You happen to have one from that era that is a little more desirable to the Ken collector, probably because you don't see it as often as other fashions available at the same time. I have pictured Ken wearing the fashion on the left.

For example, Best Buy Fashions #7225 and Best Buy Fashions #7227 from the same year are more common and easier to find, while your fashion isn't as easy to find. The rarest versions from this year include Best Buy Fashion #7226 and the #9000 series that are Sear's store exclusives.

Even though the package may be marked 1972, your fashion was available for sale in 1975. The cards were probably all printed in 1972, when the first Ken/Brad fashions were produced. I'm more in tune with the value of the dolls, but I would say the value, because it is unopened would be anywhere from $17-$35.