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Ken News Feature Archive



2008 Line!



Wondering what on earth you'll wear for Halloween this year? Why not BE Ken® doll this year? These fabulous costume can be found at this link Male Costumes and Party Supplies.  The costumes resemble Live Action Ken (left) and Midnight Blues #1719 (right).  The wrist tags are priceless!!





2007 Line!


ASM Magazine at is again proving that they are the web to watch for Toy Fair 2007 information! New male dolls were shown that include a Prince doll shown in the Barbie as The Island Princess collection HERE and also HERE.  Next, a incredibly HOT Fashion Fever Ken doll is pictured HERE!!!  The Disney's High School Musical Troy and Gabriella Gift Set is pictured HERE and again HERE.  Finally, we see a male doll from the future real person Disney Movie, "Enchanted". This character's name is Robert Phillips and the actor in the movie who plays him is Patrick Dempsey of "Grey's Anatomy" fame. The movie is due to be in theaters in November 2007.  See pictures HERE and also HERE.

And here is a Toy Fair scoop (with LOADS of pictures) from BarbieZania of the Barbie Collector 2007 Doll Line!!



PICTURED ABOVE:  Aladdin doll from the Disney Princess Jasmine Aladdin Enchanted Tales Gift Set with the the new PTS arms.  RIGHT:  Disney Enchanted Princess Sleeping Beauty and Prince Phillip Gift Set at Target.

  Normally, I don't post news about the Mattel Disney dolls, but you have to hear this news...NEW arm molds are appearing on the male dolls! Matt sent me this picture of the new Aladdin doll from the Disney Princess Jasmine Aladdin Enchanted Tales Gift Set with the the new arms that are PTS (Point To Side) and are much more muscular than the old PTS arms that we haven't seen in ages!

I also saw these arms on the new Disney Enchanted Princess Sleeping Beauty and Prince Phillip Gift Set at Target.  I will probably get that set since Prince Phillip is my favorite Disney Prince.  He looks really good, her head is three times bigger than his, so she will have to go.

Hopefully we will see these arms make their way to Ken doll soon.  At least they are way better than the PTR (Point To Rear) arms we continue to see used.

Other male dolls include the Disney Movie, "Enchanted" Robert Phillips character doll (the actor in the movie who plays him is Patrick Dempsey of "Grey's Anatomy" fame).



Barbie as The Island Princess PRINCE ANTONIO Doll




PICTURED ABOVE:  Barbie as The Island Princess Prince Antonio Doll.

PICTURED RIGHT:  Here is what the Prince Antonio Doll might have looked like if he was produced with rooted hair, from the cover of this Random House Books for Young Readers.



Barbie doll stars in Barbieª as The Island Princess DVD that will be released on September 18, 2007. This time, Barbie¨ is shipwrecked on an island where she is brought up by an adorable red panda, a curious elephant, and a beautiful peacock. But when a handsome prince rescues her and brings her back to civilization, Barbie¨ must choose between true love and her animal friends.  This line was shown at Toy Fair 2007 HERE and also HERE.

The Barbie as The Island Princess Prince Antonio Doll does not use the Ken® trademark name and features molded hair, which hasn't been seen for awhile.  The head mold is marked "©2005 2006 MATTEL, Inc.", which makes it another NEW head mold and most likely means it is a molded hair modification of the 2005 Ken head mold used most recently on Beach Glam Ken

There is also a Barbie as The Island Princess Prince Antonio Doll AA doll which uses a new painted hair head mold!

I like the molded hair molds every once in awhile, and I really like this doll, despite other collectors grumblings.  And for you grumblers, I found this picture below of what the Caucasian version might have looked like with rooted hair (and the addition of a shirt with jewelry added under the tunic top) on the cover of Barbie as the Island Princess: A Storybook coming out as a Movie or Television Tie-In; Juvenile Fiction by Random House Books for Young Readers (pictured below).  The book comes out August 14, 2007 for $3.99.  Which version do you like better?




Also, as reported in my National Barbie Convention 2007 coverage, I received the Fashion Fever Ken (Second Edition) as a gift from BRAD, because I hadn't found him in my area yet.  He's totally hot with that Rooted Light Blonde/Light Copper Red hair color!  He was featured at Toy Fair 2007 pictured HERE!!!

There are also three new Fashion Fever fashions for Ken!

Ken Fashion Fever Fashion #L3385

Ken Fashion Fever Fashion #L3386

Ken Fashion Fever Fashion #L3387

Both of these dolls have been added to the Keeping Ken The Millennium Era 2 2006-Beyond page...and the fashions have been added to the Keeping Ken Fashion Frenzy! page.


Brad has sent me some great pictures of Disney's High School Musical 2 Troy Doll and Disney's High School Musical 2 Chad Doll.  In my search for these dolls, I found also a Disney's High School Musical 2 Ryan Doll. Brad says they appear to be on new bodies dated 1968.  The height is about like a Kevin doll, but the legs bend.  The hip connections appear to be like the current play line Barbie as they only move forward and back and not out to the side.  Not sure why the new dolls were made shorter compared to the first singing ones.  The arms pivot at the shoulder.  Toes are well defined. 

Will sent me this picture of a deboxed Ryan doll without the hat.  I have had several requests for a picture of Ryan without his hat thanks Will for providing one :) I've already chosen my favorite of this series and Ryan wins!

When I can find some time I will make a new page for this line of dolls!

SPECIAL REQUEST:  Disney's High School Musical 2 "Ryan" doll without the hat.  Photo courtesy of Will.




Also, at Target stores, The Groom Doll & Ring Bearer Doll gift set is also appearing.  I am unsure as to whether an AA version will also be available.  The Groom Doll is identical to the single version, and the Ring Bearer wear a fashion that is identical to The Groom.  This set also includes a child-size ring.  Thanks to all of you who alerted me about this set! This set is now listed on the Keeping Ken The Millennium Era 2 2006-Beyond page.

A generic, groom doll, called simply The Groom Doll that will not use the Ken® trademark name.  Two versions are available in Caucasian and Black (pictured below).  The prototype pictures of the Caucasian doll shows bent arms, but as you can see in the pictures below, he has the PTR arms.  Thanks to Claudia at for the pictures of the prototype dolls, these are available for pre-order on her site.  And again thanks to Brad for his contributions to this news and the FABULOUS photos of the actual doll in the box! The Caucasian doll has now been listed on the Keeping Ken The Millennium Era 2 2006-Beyond page.


PICTURED ABOVE:  The Groom Doll.


WIZARD OF OZ Barbie Collector

ALL of the new Wizard of Oz Barbie Collector Pink Label dolls are now available.  I found all of the dolls in the series (see story below) including the The Wizard of Oz™ Winkie Guard Ken Doll & Winged Monkey This particular doll was available later in mid-April 2007 exclusively at KB Toys and Toys R Us.  The Winkie Guard is featured on a Ken Sculpt with the new wickedly green skin tone as on the Wicked Witch of the West.  You can follow the links below to see the other WOZ Ken dolls.  The Ken dolls have also been added to the Keeping Ken The Millennium Era 2 2006-Beyond page.

Winkie Guard Ken is more expensive than the other dolls.  He was $39.99 at Toys R Us.

In case you were wondering, he is bald under that hat and he uses the newer Blaine head mold...and yes, he is green throughout.  This will be the first time this head mold has been used for a "Ken" brand doll.  Although the Blaine head mold is similar to the 2001 Ken Collectibles head mold, it is marked differently on the back of the neck (see table below).

2001 Ken Collectibles 2001 Blaine

TM/© 2001


TM/© 2001 MATTEL, INC.


PICTURED LEFT:  The Wizard of OZ Winkie Guard Ken doll.

The new Wizard of Oz Barbie Collector Pink Label dolls are now available.  I found all of the dolls in the series including the Winkie Guard & Winged Monkey (see above).  Look for the Winkie Guard & Winged Monkey in Mid-April 2007 exclusively at KB Toys and Toys R Us.  The Winkie Guard is featured on a Ken Sculpt with the new wickedly green skin tone as on the Wicked Witch of the West.  You can follow the links below to see the Ken dolls.  The Ken dolls have also been added to the Keeping Ken The Millennium Era 2 2006-Beyond page.  Also, I've added the Wizard of Oz™ Munchkins Kelly® Dolls and Tommy® Doll Gift Set to the Tommy page.  You may also follow this link to see the female dolls in the series:  Wizard of Oz 2006.


Wizard of Oz™ Tin Man Ken Doll


Wizard of Oz™ Cowardly Lion Ken Doll


Wizard of Oz™ Scarecrow Ken Doll






The HIGHLY anticipated Barbie Collector Platinum Label and  FAO Schwarz SSE Zac Posen Barbie and Ken Giftset has arrived! I took a picture of Ken as Zac to the right.  I will have a special report, more pictures and more info later here, and on the Keeping Ken Identifier Gift Sets page so check back soon!

Until then, you can see another interior picture including Barbie at the Zac Posen Barbie and Ken Giftset page.




Thanks to a little investigative work from Omar, he found this listing on this site for a listing for a new foreign version of Prince Ken doll.  The best translated description says (thanks to Charles):  "Barbie Prince Ken--A prince in royal garb with shining trousers and noble tunic with belt. He wears a crown, high boots, and has a rose for his Barbie Princess Sleeping Beauty."

The Prince Ken most likely goes together with Barbie as Sleeping Beauty.  Charles added this about the Barbie doll: 

It has an open/close eye feature like the 1998 Sleeping Beauty doll. The description says its eyes open and close with a rose-shaped wand, but I don't know if it's referring to the rose Prince Ken comes with or if the Barbie doll comes with one too. I can only find these dolls on German websites so I don't know what she's called in English, but in German she's called "Barbie als Märchenschlaf Dornröschen", which means "Barbie as [something] Sleeping Beauty". "Märchen" means "fairy tale" and "Shlaf" means "sleep". I don't know how that would be translated into English though.

Available starting from 48. KW. Price: UVP 12.99 EUR

Thanks for this news Omar and Charles!


PICTURED ABOVE:  Foreign Editions Barbie Prinz Ken (LEFT) and Barbie als Märchenschlaf Dornröschen (RIGHT).



Part of the 2007 play line is available now!! The new Beach Glam line will feature Ken and StevenBeach Glam Ken has now been added to the Keeping Ken The Millennium Era 2 2006-Beyond page.  I also located Beach Glam Steven and he has been added to the Steven page!

Thanks to Brad for his contributions to this news and the FABULOUS photos!



Thanks to Brad for his contributions to this news and the FABULOUS photos!

Finally...Ken has been added to the newly designed Fashion Fever doll line.  The new design features boxes instead of the tubes (minus stands) and the use of doll names again.  Two versions of Barbie plus Teresa, Ken, Summer, Nikki, and Raquelle. The boxes not only identify the dolls on the back, but give us a few words that describe their personalities. The Barbie and Teresa dolls are the most numerous, and there are only two units of Ken, Summer, and Nikki in the case pack. Ken is complete wearing a graphic hoodie, frayed leg denim jeans, black with metallic trim messenger bag, and slip on style sneakers.  The box is marked 2006, but this doll is part of the 2007 collection.

Not without controversy, the female dolls are now shorter in stature, making the heads look disproportionate to the new body size.  You can see a picture of the size difference her in this Fashion Fever Board discussion link:


BELOW:  2007 Fashion Fever Ken.  Photos by Brad.

These new 2007 editions are only appearing so far at Toys R Us, giving you a GREAT reason to get your play line dolls there instead of Wal-Mart.

Also, three new Ken Fashion Fever FASHIONS have been spotted! Here are the links from the Keeping Ken Fashion Frenzy! page:  Ken Fashion Fever Fashion #K8490, Ken Fashion Fever Fashion #K8491 and Ken Fashion Fever Fashion #K8492!


Zoila sent me this picture of the new Fashion Fever™ male doll she found at Wal-Mart.  He uses the newly introduced NEW LOOK KEN head mold with medium Skin Tone, Ash-Blond Hair, and Blue Eyes, and wears an abstract Eagle-Logo Sweatshirt, Dark-Blue Jeans with Contrast Stitching, & Black Work Boots. The box is marked as Mattel model #K2652. Copyright is 2006.

This doll has been added to the Fashion Fever page.



The Gold Label 45th Anniversary Ken doll is here!!  The classic Vintage reproduction doll...a 45th Anniversary Ken, that is a reproduction of a brunette Flock Hair Ken arrived today!!

I have taken some photos comparing him to my NRFB Vintage brunette Flock Hair Ken doll.  As you can see, Mattel did a nice job on the reproduction doll.  The only improvement could have been on the flocking pattern application on the sides above the sideburns (see the top photo).  My Vintage doll has a slight indentation in the pattern while the reproduction doll's is straight.  The box sizes are also very different The reproduction is much larger), and the graphics on the reproduction box don't "pop" as well as the Vintage box graphics.  The wristband is also a reverse coloration of the original.  More photos here:  45th Anniversary Ken.

The reproduction includes a certificate of authenticity as well as a "Ken" Collector Card, plus the box offers some nice text about Ken doll's history.  Inside the box top is an additional feature showing Ken dolls throughout each era.  This is an OUTSTANDING reproduction doll!! And this doll retails at only $25, so I recommend you get one while you can, as many collectors (like me) are buying in bulk! I will add this doll to the listings page soon.  My hats off to Bill greening at Mattel who has done an amazing job of recreating not only an amazing reproduction of Flock Hair Ken, but for presenting this doll in a completely tasteful way!! If there is just one doll that you must absolutely have this year, this one is it!

Pictured Left:  Vintage Flock Hair Ken doll.  RIGHT:  Reproduction 45th Anniversary Ken doll.  BELOW:  Side-by-side comparison showing the box size difference.

More exciting news... also due any day now is a Vintage reproduction gift set with another reproduction Ken and Barbie called Friday Night Dream Date™ Barbie® Doll and Ken® Doll Giftset, also a Gold Label vintage reproduction gift set.  This gift set features a blonde reproduction Flock Hair Ken and Ken doll's 1961 fashion Dream Boat a replica "Barbie Sings"" record folder including a CD reproduction of the original 45RPM record! This has now been listed on the Keeping Ken Identifier Gift Sets page.  Quick link for pictures at Friday Night Dream Date Gift Set (Barbie and Ken).

My first Friday Night Dream Date™ Barbie® Doll and Ken® Doll Giftset came SMASHED, courtesy of UPS.  The box was so damaged that Barbie was sideways in the box...but bless her heart she was still hanging on to that tray of milkshakes.  This, I guess, gave me the opportunity to order another one so I could keep the next one I ordered NRFB.  So I deboxed the smashed one for display and to listen to the replica "Barbie Sings"" CD reproduction of the original 45RPM record.  It alone was worth the purchase.  Who doesn't want to hear Ken doll croon (remember hew sings in this too).  Ken dolls fashion reproduction of Dream Boat #785 is well done, but I was a bit disappointed that the crease detail on the pants was missed.  Another HUGE disappointment is that the hat is attached to the doll's head, which in turn makes a small hole in the middle of Ken doll's forehead.  I know from hearing from the discussion on that matter that Mattel probably won't be attaching hats to doll's heads into the future, because in this one instance, it has pretty much damaged the doll, unless you plan on keeping the hat there.  Both of the sets I received have this noticeable hole where the needle holding the plastic attacher entered poor Ken doll's forehead.  But let's forge on from this mistake and take heed to this utterly FABULOUS reproduction, because these innocent flaws don't detract from the overall reproduction!

PICTURED ABOVE:  45th Anniversary Ken promo photo.  PICTURED RIGHT:  Friday Night Dream Date™ Barbie® Doll and Ken® Doll Giftset promo photo.



2006 Line!


Another male doll in the Fashion Fever™  line! A Fashion Fever Modern Trends Collection Doll  line is available in January 2006.  Collectors are disappointed to see that it isn't another version of Fashion Fever Kurt™...or even a new character like Blaine™ or even Ken®! Mattel doesn't include a name on the packaging (except for the trademark Barbie®) on any of the Fashion Fever™ Modern Trends Collection dolls.  This doll has been spotted at Wal-Mart and Target.  As you can see from the picture he has bottle blonde hair and is wearing a vintage paisley shirt with pearl snap buttons.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but he looks to be sporting a new style of boots too!

For more information with a listing, visit the Fashion Fever page!


PICTURED RIGHT:  New Fashion Fever™ Modern Trends Collection™  Doll.

HIS STYLE Fashions

The male doll fashion assortment pictured left are now appearing at Wal-Mart stores.  Thanks to Zoila Castilla for the large pictures of the actual fashions in their packages!  This news from Brad

"They are packaged like some past outfits and are not on a mannequin. They are labeled 'His Style' and a big 'Barbie' label is pasted on the front of the package. They do not say 'Ken' anywhere except on the very back where it says 'Fits most Ken dolls' in several languages. They look good overall and I am glad to get more than one outfit this year for Ken. Maybe since Ken is not back just yet they wanted to keep it under wraps until he does come back".

RIGHT/BELOW:  "His Style" fashions.  Clockwise:  His Style Fashion #J0528, His Style Fashion #J0530 and His Style Fashion #J0529.  Photos courtesy of Zoila Castilla.




2006 will be a year focused in bringing back Ken® doll to the Barbie® line, and hopefully a great marketing comeback for Mattel, who will be recognizing Ken doll's 45th anniversary in 2006.  After a marketing misstep in 2004 announcing the breakup of Barbie and Ken in a press release on 2-12-04 at Toy Fair titled "THE STORYBOOK ROMANCE COMES TO AN END FOR BARBIE® AND KEN®" (see Feature Story Archive 02.12.04), Mattel is deciding to bring Ken doll a new and improved way! Ever since the Barbie/Ken breakup and Barbie doll's pairing with new Aussie surfer dude boyfriend Blaine, collectors, the media and financial analysts have been critical.  In the annual 2005 January/February issue of Business 2.0 magazine, this marketing decision came in at #59 in the article "101 Dumbest Moments in Business". 

Russell Arons, vice president of marketing at Mattel (who made the breakup announcement in 2004), is again in charge of Ken doll's marketing.  On October 20, 2005, she made an announcement, only saying that fans might see big changes this spring.  "A makeover may be just what Ken needs to step back into the spotlight," she said.  Collectors, the media and financial analysts are hoping that Ms. Arons will have a little more brand loyalty this time around.  Mattel may be giving its Ken doll a turn in the spotlight with hints of a makeover on the horizon, but the toymaker's move to revamp Ken could end up bringing the focus back to Barbie.  I'm thinking that the new marketing strategy may be centered around the theme of Ken reappearing in 2006, just as handsome as can be, but with the "Do we think he can win her heart???" angle.  I do love the fact the Mattel is finally acknowledging that Ken has a fan base.  Ken's fans might see "some big changes in Spring 2006," Mattel said in a statement. The company did not offer specific details about the makeover, but personal stylists offered some suggestions. Among the changes they'd like to see are a better tan, an eyelid surgery that allows him to wink at his favorite lady and a more lean and defined physique.  Personally, the winking eye thing scares me...remember the 1980 winking eye Western Barbie doll?

Link to AP article:  Ken May Get Makeover, Try to Win Back Barbie

The marketing machine is already in the works with Ken doll making a splash on the predominately Barbie-only web.  A (very) fun game called "Give Ken A HOT New Look" lets you choose hair colors and styles, different style clothing, personalities and macho vehicles.  There is even career choices that include teacher, firefighter or veterinarian.  Looks like there will be no slacking off with the new Ken. 

Pictured Below:  One of my final choices in the "Give Ken A HOT New Look" game at



UPDATE:  To see a picture of Beach Fun Ken in the box, follow this link:  Beach Fun Ken

ABOVE:  The "new" Ken, styled-out and unveiled by premier Hollywood stylist, Phillip Bloch.  Celebrity stylist Phillip Bloch has created this one-of-a-kind Ken, decked out in a motorcycle jacket, to be sold for charity for $500 to the first lucky fan who signs on to on Feb. 14. 


This from Mattel about the Ken that was supposed to go on sale on the site: 
"Mattel has decided not to proceed with the ‘I ♥ Ken® doll Super Gift Set’ on February 14, 2006, as previously announced. For technical reasons, we concluded that we could not ensure that interested potential buyers all would have a fair opportunity to obtain this one-of-a-kind offering. Mattel will donate the full amount of the proposed sale price to the Atlanta Center for the Visually Impaired. The Ken® doll designed by Phillip Bloch will remain in the Mattel archives for now.

BELOW:  Hollywood stylist Phillip Bloch unveils Mattel's restyled Ken doll at the American International Toy Fair, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2006, in New York. (AP Photo/Dima Gavrysh)

Full article here:  A Makeover of a Romance

2-9-06 During the news conference this morning, timed to the opening of the American International Toy Fair in New York on Sunday, the new and improved Ken will emerge, restyled by a celebrity primper, Phillip Bloch, who has dressed Pierce Brosnan, Johnny Depp and Sean Combs.

Gone are Ken's outdated swimming trunks and dull T-shirts. Ken's new wardrobe will include cargo pants, a fitted suit with peak lapels and a motorcycle jacket. A facial resculpting, as Mattel calls it — Ken's first in more than a decade — will give him a more defined nose and a softer mouth.

"It's Matthew McConaughey meets Orlando Bloom," Mr. Bloch said in an interview.

BELOW:  Mattel's restyled Ken doll is introduced Thursday, Feb. 9, 2006 at the American International Toy Fair in New York. The world's No. 1 toy maker said Thursday it has given Barbie's boyfriend a makeover, calling him 'a changed man' who 'exudes a new sense of his own personal style.' Mattel, which reported lower fourth-quarter earnings last month on slowing sales of its Barbie dolls and Hot Wheels cars, said that Ken now sports two new looks: the first aimed at making a love reconnection with Barbie, including torn rough jeans and a weathered motocross leather jacket, and the second, reflecting his beach-boy roots, complete with sun-kissed hair. (AP Photo/Dima Gavrysh)

Ken doll gets some press in USA Today newspaper today (2-8-06) in an article is Lifestyles about upcoming popular toys.  Follow this link for a scan of the article:

USA Today Ken Doll Article 2-8-06

The picture in the article is the new Beach Fun Ken doll, not the New Look Ken (mentioned below).  For more information on Beach Fun Ken, this doll has now been added to the Keeping Ken The Millennium Era 1999-2005 page!

But more on the New Look Ken in this press release from Mattel (RIGHT).  He unveils himself  Thursday, February 9, 2006 at 11:00-11:30 a.m. in the Mattel showroom in New York!

ABOVE:  Beach Fun Ken doll!


Ken(R) Unveils an All-New Look, Sets Out to Win Barbie(R) Back

WHAT:         Two years after their headline-making break-up, Ken(R) 
              is making a dramatic play to win Barbie(R) back, leaving
              America wondering, "is a reunion in store in time for 
              Valentine's Day?" After months of working with 
              Hollywood's premier stylist, Phillip Bloch, and Mattel's
              design team, Ken's much-anticipated makeover will be 
              revealed to the world.  

              Over the years, Ken(R) has reflected the style of the 
              times, sporting a variety of sometimes questionable 
              "looks" including Mod Hair Ken(R) with reusable hair 
              pieces to give him a mustache, beard or sideburns; Sport
              & Shave Ken(R) with a beard marker that could be shaved 
              off with warm water; Disco Ken(R) with nylon white 
              pants, bronze mesh shirt and gold bow-tie; Rollerskating
              Ken(R) with satin shorts and leg warmers; Baywatch 
              Ken(R) with red beach trunks; and 40th Anniversary 
              Ken(R) who wore a classic black tuxedo.  

WHO:          The "new" Ken(R), styled-out and unveiled by premier
              Hollywood stylist, Phillip Bloch, whose clients have
              included Halle Berry, Jim Carrey, John Travolta, Sandra
              Bullock, Faye Dunaway, Salma Hayek, Nicole Kidman, Drew
              Barrymore and Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith.

WHEN:         Thursday, February 9, 2006
              10:30 a.m.           Media arrival time
              11:00-11:30 a.m.     Unveiling and photo opportunity

WHERE:        Mattel Showroom
              28 West 23rd Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues)
              6th Floor
              New York, NY

VISUALS:      --  Original Ken(R) dolls through the decades on display
              --  The "new" Ken(R)
INTERVIEWS:   --  Hollywood stylist Phillip Bloch
              --  Mattel Representative

BACKGROUND:   Since 1961, Ken(R) has been the ultimate "arm candy"...
              the strong but silent accessory to the glamorous
              Barbie(R) doll. And, just like his gal-pal Barbie(R),
              Ken(R) has a very active, colorful and exciting life.
              From astronaut to athlete to actor, Ken(R) has been a
              worldwide pop culture favorite for several generations,
              oftentimes reflecting the ever-changing styles and hot
              trends of each era.


ABOVE:  New Look Ken.

Here are some pictures sent from Robert R.  Thanks Robert! Robert said "I just picked up the "New Look Ken" doll at the Toys R Us in NY. I must say he look fantastic. They only had the one Ken doll and he was limited to only 5 per customer."

 "The New Look" Ken® doll sold out FAST! The doll was only available at the Toys R Us in NY Times Square for $17.99 on 2-10-06.  Even though it is a play line doll, it was extremely limited.

This news from Michael J:  "I have not found out much info on what he looks like, but the TRU inventory finally has a listing for the new Ken doll.  In the listings, he is called New Look Ken, and he should retail for around $15- $17.  Unfortunately, he does not appear to be accompanied by any new male friends, or even an Af/Am counterpart.  However, we don't have to wait much longer to see him in stores.  Both the New Look Ken and the Beach Fun Ken should be arriving at TRU sometime within this month.  So hopefully Ken and Barbie will be back together again in time for Valentines Day."

I am really disappointed about the picture history discrepancies on the box.  Other Ken® collectors like Brad have noticed.  Brad said in an email to me that "Mattel used the wrong Ken in the Sun Lovin' Malibu Ken swimsuit in the 80's era picture.  They used the later darker Malibu with the MOD head instead of the Superstar Ken® head".  Like me, Brad was also not sure why they put the prototype 1961 Ken® in the black and white suit on the box.  Makes you wonder why Mattel doesn't check these things out before production...or consult with a Ken® collector who knows the history.

BELOW:  The back of the "The New Look" Ken doll's box.  Press the image for a larger picture.


This News from Marcus in Germany: 

"I was shopping today and got this set. It is very difficult to find and I think it is sold out.  I think this is one of the very rare Ken dolls with red hair. I like his color combination and his face paint. I didn't see this set at your site and wonder if you have any information about this set?? Isn't it available in the USA?? This set is part of the very popular Cinderella Collection from 2005, the box is dated also with 2005 and the dolls are made in Indonesia, orig. retail price is 38,-Euro."

Well I haven't seen this set available in the US...anyone else see it available here? Love that red hair!

PICTURED BELOW:  European exclusive Cinderella Collection Ken?

RIGHT:  Cinderella Barbie and Ken Gift Set.


TIME TO GET BACK INTO SHOPPING!! A new male doll appearing at Target stores for $12.99 is Barbie Rapunzel's Wedding Prince Stefan Doll.   (Which is completely different from Barbie as Rapunzel Talking Ken as Prince Stefan that was available in 2001).  Obviously, this doll is not a European exclusive.  Although he doesn't use the Ken® trademark name, he does feature a new head mold marked 2005!

RIGHT:  Barbie Rapunzel's Wedding Prince Stefan doll.


Superman Returns™ with a new chapter in the beloved saga. After a mysterious five-year absence, the Man of Steel comes back to battle evil and win back Lois Lane, the woman he loves. Ken® doll is the handsome, beloved superhero, Superman™. Includes a free poster for you.  Each sold separately. #J5289 ~ Superman Comics ~ $19.95

The first Ken doll for the 2006 play line is Beach Fun Ken in the Cali Girl™ play line.

Ken® as Superman 2006

First to appear in Australia, and now domestically at Toys R Us (April 2006) is Superman Returns Ken as Superman, releasing with Barbie as Lois Lane (sold separately) from Superman Comics! Please enjoy these pictures of both of the dolls sent from Barbara McCauley/Canberra, Australia!

For more information, this doll has now been added to the Keeping Ken The Millennium Era 1999-2005 page!

Pictured:  New Ken as Superman and Barbie as Lois Lane dolls!


There are two new "Barbie Brand" fashions models #J6676 and  # J0531 (pictured below).  If you remember, the #J0531 fashion was dressed on Beach Fun Ken at Toy Fair and features a plaid flannel long sleeve shirt, red t-shirt with appliqué, gray khaki pants and light gray tennis shoes.  I haven't located it in my area, but will keep you posted as to when I do find it.  I'm hoping that there we be several new fashions (at least two more) that come along with these two new ones! Thanks to Omar for this news, and Zoila for the pictures.

Also, there is a box variation of Beach Fun Ken appearing at stores without the yellow chipboard "The New Look" circle on the front cello.  This Beach Fun Ken (Box Variation) version is considered a variation since there is a subtle box change made after the initial production period of first version Beach Fun Ken.  I compared the boxes closely and this was the only change I saw, except for a stamped numerical code near the bar code on the variation version as well.  For those collectors out there who like variations, you might want to get both versions for your collection!

Pictured BELOW:  New "Barbie Brand" fashions #J6676 (left) and #J0531 (right).  Thanks to Zoila for the pictures!



I have been getting reports from European readers that Prince Derek in the Barbie in The 12 Dancing Princesses doll line is already showing up in stores.  He is now showing up domestically at Target and Wal-Mart stores.  This line is a tie-in with Mattel's new investor relation with Universal Studios (see related story here:  Universal Studios And Mattel Form Multi-Picture, Multi-Year Worldwide Marketing And Distribution DVD Alliance). 

Left is an actual photo Prince Derek, and you will find more pictures at Barbie in The 12 Dancing Princesses Prince Derek Doll now listed on the Keeping Ken The Millennium Era 2 2006-Beyond page.  Also, here is a picture of the black version:  Barbie in The 12 Dancing Princesses Prince Derek Doll AA.  I'll post an actual picture when I find this version.

I have to admit I was a little disappointed that the Ken® trademark name is not used for this doll, but from viewer comments, a bunch of you really like this doll!!



2005 Line!


ABOVE:  My Scene™ Mall Maniac™ Boys.


This line will be refreshed with a Beach Fun™ line that will include Beach Fun Ken, Beach Fun Blaine and Beach Fun Steven.

RIGHT:  Beach Fun Blaine doll.  BELOW:  Beach Fun Steven doll.  (Photos courtesy of Jim).

The MY SCENE boys are out at the mall with the girls, hitting up the coolest stores around! Dressed in trendy, urban outfits, they come with tons of fun accessories for a fun day of shopping. Both the My Scene™ Mall Maniac™ Boys (pictured left) and Girls are scheduled to release December 2005.


Fashion Fever™  

Here are some promotional pictures of the Fall 2005 Fashion Fever™ (Wave 3) doll line.  I am thrilled to see a male doll included in the wave! Early releases of this doll found at the Mattel Toy Store has this doll named "Kurt", and he looks like a brunette version of Blaine.  The girls names are listed as Barbie®, Kayla®, Drew™ and Teresa®.  More info and pictures when I find him in stores.  And without further ado...the most requested thing in the of the entire Fall 2005 Fashion Fever™ line that include Wave 2 and Wave 3.  I apologize for the quality of the pictures.  Follow this link:  Fashion Fever™ Fall 2005.

Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus

A new Barbie movie is set to release this year...Barbie 3D Magic of Pegasus Movie. Right now, look for Prince Aidan (CC and AA), the handsome adventurer from the new movie.  Prince Aidan dolls comes with a cute bobble-head friend.  Princess Barbie is the lead character from the movie, and the Princess Barbie doll (available in CC and AA) has a fashion transformation feature and comes with a beautiful wand.  Also, Rayla the Cloud Queen, the beautiful ruler of the Magical Cloud Kingdom.  Rayla the Cloud Queen doll wears a beautiful gown and comes with an adorable mini "flying" pony for her to nurture.  Other mini "flying" pose able ponies will be sold separately.  The dolls and ponies are all scheduled for release in June (no movie release date at this time, or images).

Note:  The Ken® trademark name is not used for this doll.  These dolls are now listed on the Keeping Ken The Millennium Era 1999-Beyond page:


Releasing now are the new My Scene Swapping Styles girls...Barbie, Madison and Nolee.  Each doll comes with three different fashions and hairstyles, so you can easily pop off one hairstyle and pop on another to create a totally different hair and makeup look. These dolls will be ideal for mixing and matching fashions and hairstyles to create unique looks for all three dolls.

Also, the My Scene Go Hollywood girls are being released now along with their DVD Movie.  This release includes Hudson, and his new movie star friend, Ryan!  The boys are dressed just like in the movie and all of the Hollywood dolls come with cool soft goods bags and all kinds of cool props like cameras and backstage passes.  I will have pictures up soon!


The Cali Girls are vacationing in Hawaii this May!  Aloha Cali Girls Barbie, Summer and Christie look hot in their trendy Hawaiian inspired outfits and hair. They have cool hair play features to create awesome look, and come with hair twisting mechanism, hair clips, hair beader, glitter hair extensions, floral hair accessories and a cool travel activity scrapbook.


Cali Girl™/Cali Guy™


Pictured Above:  The 2005 version of Cali Guy™ Blaine.

While the news for the new swimsuit line is bad news for Ken (it looks like the Cali Girl™ beach line will continue for another year, but Ken® doll will not be a part of it), things are looking great for Cali Guy Blaine™ as he and sister Summer™ will be added to the regular line.  Joining them for fun in the California sun is Cali Girl Barbie, Christie, Steven™, Lea™, and Teresa®.  Each doll have heads scented like suntan lotion, and the female dolls have new feet molds that are adorable (at least to me).  Ken® will not be part of the swim line for the first time in over 30 years.  These new 2005 versions are now appearing in stores, but I haven't located the Steven doll yet...but he is on my Christmas list.

Also in the Cali Girl™ line are Riding Club Barbie®, Summer® and Lea®, wearing their own trendy horseback riding fashions for their super-cool, adventurous, outdoor lifestyle. The girls are ready for long horseback rides in the canyon or a fast gallop along the beach at sunset with their laid back California look.  (There will be a new set of horses tied into the Cali Girl line).  Each doll comes with fashions and accessories for horseback riding. The dolls have heads scented like suntan lotion and come with lots of accessories.

And be sure to be on the look out for a SSE Cali Guy Blaine/Cali Girl Barbie Gift Set (pictured right) that has a box date of 2003.  I had to locate this gift set on eBay, since it is not sold locally in my area.  Many of you have reported that you found it at Sear's stores.  This two doll set is shrink-wrapped together with Barbie doll  Model #C6461.  The fashion pieces Blaine wears are accessory pieces identical to ones included in Model #C6792 Cali Guy™ Blaine®.  The doll is also the same.  If you like to collect each version, get this while you can!

I have also updated the Blaine page with all the new items, so check it out if you like!

Pictured Above:  Cali Girl™ dolls.  Check out Steven's hair! Photo courtesy of Markus from the Mattel Germany catalog.  Pictured Below:  Cali Girl™ Riding Club Barbie®, Summer® and Lea®.

Pictured Below: SSE Cali Guy Blaine/Cali Girl Barbie Gift Set.

Beautiful Bride™ Barbie® Doll and Handsome Groom™ Doll

I can imagine that the design process of this play line doll was heavily scrutinized, especially while trying to be compliant with the marketing department at Mattel.  Both Beautiful Bride™ Barbie® Doll and Handsome Groom™ Doll fill a consumer demand because let's face it, the main consumer of play line dolls like Barbie® to have a wedding.  After the heavily publicized break-up of Barbie® and Ken® in February 2004 (Feature Story Archive 02.12.04) the play line department was left with the task of promoting Mattel's brand loyalty.  The play line department had the Cali Girl™ line to channel the marketing strategy, but certainly there had to be some head scratching about what to do with other lines or versions like this.  The answer was to simply not name the male doll at all...which not only gives the consumer some options, but gives Mattel a bridge to walk over.  I'll give credit to Mattel for actually releasing these dolls, but I imagine they were thinking of their toy distributors, not their alienated play line collector.

So here we have what technically looks like a play line Ken® doll, but isn't named so.  I do take into account that yes, Barbie® "wedding" dolls are usually fantasies.  This subject was explored in a "Marital Miss", a Feature Story Archive 01.29.01.  But this Bride Barbie® doll is different because she's ready to take a walk down the isle...

Beautiful Bride™ Barbie® Doll

This glamorous bride is getting ready to walk down the aisle looking totally romantic. Beautiful long hair is braided at the crown and flows down in back with white flower hair accessories for the girl to wear and share. The fitted bodice rises above an exquisite full skirt with faux rhinestones. A choker of three strings of faux pearls, long white gloves and a full veil complete this gorgeous bridal ensemble

and the Groom doll is waiting at the altar...

Handsome Groom™ Doll

When the beautiful bride doll walks down the aisle this handsome groom doll wearing a modern black tuxedo with elegant detailing, will be waiting at the altar.

So what do you make of this decision? In one respect, I'm glad that Barbie® isn't marrying Ken®, but on the other hand I'm upset that Mattel isn't calling this obvious Ken® doll "Ken®" either.  It's a tough call, but one to go down in the history books as the example of the "New Coke" at Mattel.  I hope that Mattel goes back to the original "Classic" formula soon.

Above:  Prototype photos of Handsome Groom.  Below:  Prototype photos of Beautiful Bride Barbie®.  Click on the photos to enlarge.


This Fall new releases of the American Idol girls Barbie, Simone and Tori will hit the stores!  After making it to the finals, these girls are now full-fledged music stars!  Barbie and her friends "really sing" a cool new song!  You can sing along, too, with your own microphone.   The dolls come in "celebrity" outfits with accessories to "get ready" to perform.  Included will be a microphone with sound speaker. Slated for fall release as well is the American Idol (Global Idols Internationally) Recording Studio!  This fab new Playset allows kids of all sizes to truly sing and record their own songs, just like a real Idols star!

Speaking of recycled names, Simone and Tori as two of the would-be divas going up against Barbie in the upcoming American Idol™ line.  Weren't there supposed to be three finalists with Barbie in that line?  Wouldn't a male doll be logical?  Is there a new victim of Mattel's male doll massacre?  Maybe I'll have better news later in the year?

American Idol® 

Click on the photos to enlarge.

American Idol® Barbie® doll takes a chance and auditions for American Idol® where she meets two new friends. At the show finals they experience the exciting process of making their dreams come true, together. Barbie® doll and her pop sound have been a major hit, but is it enough to win? Barbie® doll is dressed to perform in a cool denim outfit with EverFlex™ body and comes with a karaoke machine that plays “Oops I did It Again”, an extra performance outfit, a backstage pass, and CDs with CD case.

American Idol® Simone™ doll takes a chance and auditions for American Idol® where she meets two new friends. At the show finals they are so excited for each other. Barbie® doll’s new friend, Simone™ is into rhythm and blues and a popular choice, but can she take home the prize? Dressed to perform in a funky fringe outfit with an EverFlex™ body, Simone™ comes with a karaoke machine that plays “Ladies Night”, an extra performance outfit, a backstage pass, and CDs with CD case

American Idol®  Tori™ doll takes a chance and auditions for American Idol® where she meets two new friends. At the show finals they are so excited for each other! Tori™ and her rock ‘n’ roll sound make her a favorite, but does she have what it takes to win? Dressed to perform in an edgy rocker outfit with EverFlex™ body. Tori™ comes with a karaoke machine that plays “What I Like About You”, an extra performance outfit, a backstage pass, and CDs with CD case.

Barbie will have some new friends and incarnations in the upcoming year! Marvel Comics Elektra has been released as well as characters from the Archie's Comics (Betty and Veronica). Barbie teams up with new friends in 2005 with Barbie Loves Shrek in February, Barbie Loves Mickey Mouse releasing in March and Barbie Loves Winnie the Pooh scheduled for June release!


Barbie® Fantasy Tales - Prince Ken® - Tea Party Doll

It turns out that there will be a new domestic release Ken® doll coming out this year.  I am breathing a HUGE sigh of relief!  Mattel will be issuing all of the video fairy tale characters in tea party versions, and Tea Party Prince Ken will be the sole male joining the likes of Tea Party Rapunzel, Tea Party Odette, and Tea Party Clara.

Barbie® Fantasy Tales Tea Party Prince Ken® (pictured right and below) and Barbie Fantasy Tales Tea Party Prince Ken AA  are both Toys R Us exclusives.  Hat's off (or should I say "crowns" off) to Toys R Us for having a Ken® doll exclusive!



Barbie Princess Collection Enchanted Ball Doll (European Edition) (pictured below) is a foreign market exclusive, spotted at Toys R Us in Germany.  The eyebrow painting is truly unique on this doll, which is one of the reasons I highly recommend you find him! I acquired mine from Germany.  Note:  The Ken® trademark name is not used for this doll.

Enchanted Ball Ken®




Happy Family

Another bit of disappointing news for Happy Family fans...The play set that was to release is canceled and the Happy Family Line has been dropped as well.

Although the line has been officially discontinued, there are some items that will be released that are in keeping with the Happy Family Line. Like the "Play All Day Nursery" set, (pictured left).


The Play All Day Nursery Set and a Kitchen Set (I don't know what it's actual name is yet) will both be releasing at the same time.  Both come with Midge and baby.  But they are releasing under the "Forever Barbie" umbrella instead of Happy Family.

Recently this month (July '05) I also noticed a Midge and baby set in a play line box.

Pictured Left:  Play All Day Nursery set.

 The My Scene™ guys are ready to celebrate Nolee™ doll’s birthday with the rest of the My Scene™ Club Birthday™ girl dolls. In their cool, trendy new outfits, the guys were sure to wow all of the girls at the club! male dolls in this line included My Scene™ Hudson™, My Scene™ River™ and My Scene™ Sutton™.

It’s Nolee™ doll’s 16th birthday, and the My Scene™ gang is throwing her the coolest birthday party of the year. Even Lindsay Lohan is in on the fun – girls can look inside the My Scene™ Club Birthday™ dolls’ boxes to win a chance to meet the hottest teen star in person! My Scene™ Club Birthday™ dolls are dressed in the latest trendy glam fashions and each one comes with a different birthday present for Nolee™. Dolls include two hip outfits and lots of cool accessories plus cool body jewels as a gift for you!  My Scene™ Lindsay Lohan Instant Win Game available in U.S. and U.K. only.

No pics are available yet for Chelsea & Nolee.

Check out the NEW 2005 My Scene™ FASHIONS here: MY SCENE™ 2005 Fashions

My Scene Club Birthday

PICTURED LEFT:  My Scene Club Birthday Barbie and RIGHT My Scene Club Birthday Madison.

PICTURED BELOW:  My Scene Club Birthday are scheduled to release December 2004.  Left to Right, Hudson, River and Sutton!


Click on the photos to enlarge.


Also, releasing later this year, are My Scene Miami Getaway (pictured left) and My Scene Day&Nite.  A new girl, Courtney will be introduced in Miami Getaway, but so far there is no mention of which, if any, of the boys will be releasing with them.  You'll notice the name "Courtney" is a Mattel recycled name.


Pictured Left:  My Scene Day&Nite dolls.  Photo courtesy of Markus from the Mattel Germany catalog.

Pictured Above:  My Scene Miami Getaway Girls.

Click on the photo to enlarge.

Pictured Above:  My Scene™ Miami Getaway™ Kezie ®and Vespa® GIifset.

My Scene™ Miami Getaway™ Kezie ®/Delancey™ and Vespa® Gift set...The My Scene™ dolls love jetting around town on their hip Vespa® scooters! Wearing the trendiest new clothes, the girls’ outfits and purses even match the cool graphic fusion designs on their Vespa® scooters. Kenzie® and Delancey™ dolls each come with a matching Vespa® scooter, handbag and helmet.


These two gift sets will be releasing in December.


Don’t miss out on your chance to get two new dolls, Ken® doll as Legolas, and Barbie® doll as Galadriel from the first movie in the trilogy, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Unlike the original Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Gift Set (Barbie® and Ken® as Arwen and Aragorn) gift set, these phenomenal dolls will be sold separately so you can purchase just one or get both!

Ken® doll as Legolas and Barbie® doll as Galadriel will be part of the HOLLYWOOD series of dolls is available now at, Toys “R” Us and, through authorized Barbie® doll dealers, in the Barbie® Collector catalog, and online in the shop.  I received my doll last week, and you can find more info on the Keeping Ken The Millennium Era 1999-Beyond listing page.  This doll is a CE and does not fall into the new edition numbers color coding system.  I'm not really a LOTR fan, but had to have this edition of Ken as Legolas!

Pictured Right:  Ken® doll as Legolas.


Ken doll as Legolas in The Lord Of The Rings:  The Fellowship Of The Ring

Son of Thranduil, King of the Elves of Mirkwood, Legolas was a master archer offering protection to the group. Tall and fair, bright-eyed and noble, Legolas was unforgettable. Ken® doll as Legolas will be equally unforgettable in his wonderfully detailed costume, long flowing blond hair, and pointed ears. He even comes with a decorated bow and several arrows, perfect for protecting against unwanted danger!

© MMIII New Line Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved. "The Lord of the Rings" and the names of the characters, items, events and places therein are trademarks of The Saul Zaentz Company d/b/a Tolkien Enterprises under license to New Line Productions, Inc.




Barbie Collectible edition numbers will become easier to identify in the near future as Mattel will introduce a color coding system to the boxes the dolls are packaged in.  This color coding system will make it easier for the collector to figure out how many units were produced, and how limited the doll really is.  I don't have all the edition numbers, but each color is reflecting a change to the current criteria that was announced in 2000. 

Beginning in 2000, Collector Edition dolls were produced in quantities greater than 35,000, and Limited Edition dolls were produced in quantities limited to 35,000 or less worldwide.  Mattel clearly defined both Collector Edition (including the Children's Collection category) and Limited Edition dolls as ones designed for collecting and displaying, and come in showcase packaging that includes a doll stand and Certificate of Authenticity.

Pictured to the right is a "cheat sheet" to help you understand the old vs. new collector vocabulary as well as the package color code categories.  A slick pink, silver, gold or platinum band on the box will indicate the tier.




2004 Line!

Cali Guy™  Blaine™ doll is the new guy for Barbie®

Above:  Cali Guy Blaine.

Above:  Cali Guy Blaine doll is featured in the Cali Girlzine.  Click the link for a close-up photo.

The voting is over for you to choose who Cali Girl™ Barbie® will date at  Five different choices were available:  Life partner Ken®, who's portrayed as "sweet and fun, loves to surf", Steven "Super easygoing, into nature" or newcomers Blaine™ who is "So totally cute, great at sports" or Diego™, "Terrific swimmer, digs new adventures".  All four guys appear in the "Cali Girlzine"!   It's no surprise that Blaine™ doll won the popular vote at, and will now fill Ken® doll's shoes as Barbie® doll's new "boyfriend", with Mattel promising "they're gonna have the raddest times together!"

There was another choice as well...having Cali Barbie® "stay single".  All of the voting choices were neck-to-neck, with over a million votes recorded.

The vote, like the Cali Girl™ PR campaign follows a carefully crafted script that teeters on making a big splash or belly flopping.  Mattel has now started a advertising campaign on television featuring the Cali Girl™ dolls.  Like  simmering pots, Ken® collectors have been sitting on the stove wondering where this campaign of terror will lead, and after viewing the brief commercial, at least in my case, the pot has finally boiled over.  Time will tell if this type of advertising will play well with the core market, which is really what matters most to Mattel. 

We already know Cali Guy™ Blaine® likes a dare...after all his  fave saying is "Dare me?"  Will he dare to compare?

Cali Guy™ Blaine®

Moving to Southern California has turned out to be surprisingly awesome.  The people are totally cool and laid back and it is a good fit for my extreme sport lifestyle.  I can hit the waves at sunrise, the rails at noon and get in some dirt biking or rock climbing before sundown.  It's the ultimate! Today was no exception. 

Jumped into my 4x4 this morning and hit the waves with my surfing buddies at sunrise.  We caught some pretty radical rides.  At one point I looked back to shore and caught my sister with some friends heading into the surf.  I couldn't take my eyes off the blonde.  It's not like me to hang around my baby sister and her friends, but something about her was different.  I mad a note to self to casually meet up with them later. 

I spotted them at the boardwalk cafe drinking smoothies.  She was definitely a babe! My sister gave me a strange look as I headed toward the table with my friends.  We hung out for a couple minutes, long enough for me to learn her name.  I think I might have to spend more time with my sister.

As I jumped back into my 4x4 and headed up the coast for my home, my mind kept drifting back to those beautiful blue eyes.

Cali Guy™.  A state of cool.

I found Blaine at K's Merchandise for $14.97, well worth the price for the extra clothing and accessories.  The Ken 2001 head mold used for Blaine.  This head mold was last used on the following Ken dolls:

Tango Barbie & Ken Gift Set, James Bond 007 Barbie & Ken Gift Set, Jude Deveraux "The Raider" Barbie® & Ken® Gift Set, The Waltz Barbie® & Ken®  Gift Set, Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Gift Set (Barbie® and Ken® as Arwen and Aragorn).

But their is one slight difference.  The head mold has been slightly enlarged, which has set off a firestorm with collectors.  All of the dolls in the Cali Girl™ line (with perhaps the exception of Summer™ who may use a brand new head mold) use existing head molds, not new ones.  They still have the correct earlier dates/markings on the backs of their heads, but they are obviously larger.  Could existing molds been enlarged? Larger heads in general seems to be a trend with Mattel.  From My Scene Fashion Dolls (which are much larger), the Kelly® brand line (which are/were disproportionate), the relatively new Stacie™ line (larger again), and now, the general play line dolls.  Take note that the The Barbie® as The Princess and the Pauper dolls will also have slightly enlarged heads as well, including Ken® as King Dominick™ and Julian™ the Tutor

And, at the time of this writing, there is gossip that perhaps some dolls in the Barbie® Collector™ line may also feature the enlarged heads.  This is purely speculative.

So what is causing the firestorm of negativity towards the enlarged head molds? You can probably thank the Kelly® line for the current situation.  Collector's remember what they don't like, give it a name, and frankly give their opinions.  The fact is, most collectors are disapproving of the change in size.  And like most conversations that are sharply divided, this one isn't.  It's pretty clear that most collectors won't accept this change in the play line, and especially in the Barbie® Collector™ line.

So where does that leave the minority of collectors that actually like the change? Well, I have to pose that question to myself, because I'm (in what seems to be) in the 1% of collectors that really like the change.  My opinion certainly isn't going to win me any popularity contests...that's for sure.  The new "bigger" heads don't bother me. The new dolls heads are only slightly larger than the existing dolls. There isn't much difference. I have mixed the new Cali Girl™ dolls with first edition Cali Girl™ dolls and they look fine together.  I think it's a great change; one I view as a product enhancement.  I did a face-off test by comparing #1 Cali Barbie® to #2 Cali Barbie®. Personally, I prefer #2 much better.

The "Lemonhead" Kelly® dolls are (were) a different story.

Once you accept (or get over) the "enlarged head" ordeal, Cali Guy™ Blaine® (yes, Cali Guy™, not Cali Girl™) doll lives up to his highly anticipated debut! The hype was right. He is certainly a "looker".  What did you expect? Mattel used their very best Ken® doll head mold, and the end result is a no-brainer.  No wonder Cali Girl™ Barbie® is drooling...Cali Guy™ Blaine® looks way more attractive than Cali Girl Ken, who got stuck with a 1990 Ken® head mold.  Both dolls however have one thing in common; they have the horrible PTR (Point To Rear) arms.  (Sorry, but it seems the more we complain about these arms, the more we see them.  Maybe we should stop complaining).

Above:  Cali Girl™ Ken® (Left) and Cali Guy™ Blaine® (Right).  Who would you date?

The first thing I noticed after deboxing was Cali Guy™ Blaine® doll's fashion ensemble.  It's really nice.  Not to harp on cargo shorts in general, but Mattel has produced several versions for Ken® and My Scene™, and this time they finally got them right.  The fabric is so nice I wish I had a pair in my size.  Some of the pieces are standard, while others, like the board shorts with real stings to tie at the waist, hint at detailing.  The simplest fashion piece, a skull cap, proves to be the most thoughtful.

As the Cali Guy™/Cali Girl™ story (drama) continues, let's hope we see a second edition of Cali Guy™ Ken®, and a first edition of Cali Guy™ Diego.  While I have my reservations about the storyline, I think the Cali line is refreshing and exciting.  It is exactly what the play line should be, which is exactly why I'm learning to accept "changes" along the way.  Like most Ken® collectors, I love the play line, especially one that includes Ken® doll.  Right now, I'm willing to be the spectator and a good sport.  While Ken® doll's on the injured (makeover) reserve list, let's let Cali Guy™ Blaine® doll be the replacement Quarterback for awhile.  Mattel can rebuild Ken®.  They did back in 1968-1969. 

I'm really looking forward to Ken® getting back into the game by story end.  Besides, Ken® is what really holds the "team" together.

For more info on Cali Guy™ Blaine®, please visit the updated Blaine page.


Barbie® as The Princess and the Pauper Ken® as King Dominick™ and Julian™ the Tutor

Barbie as The Princess and the Pauper.  This year, get ready to see Barbie in a whole new way! America's favorite fashion doll is set to sing for the first time as she takes on the dual roles of princess and pauper in her own lyrical twist of the classic story. Straight from the new movie is Serafina, Princess Annaliese's loyal companion. With animated cat-like movements and more than two minutes of speech, this fluffy friend takes inter-ACT-ing to new heights as a new technology allows her to sing along and react to the movie as it plays on TV.

Barbie® isn’t the only one playing dual roles! With two outfits to choose from, Ken® can play both the king and the tutor from the movie. Ken® as King Dominick™ and Julian™ the Tutor.

Pictured Above:  Barbie® as The Princess and the Pauper Ken® as King Dominick™. 


Another The Princess and the Pauper Gift Set is appearing at Mattel Toy Stores and briefly at target stores.  The Barbie as The Princess and the Pauper/Princess Anneliese and Julian Wedding Gift Set features Julian, Annaliese and a flower girl Kelly® sized doll

Julian and Annaliese are dressed in the wedding outfits that are available for sale separately in The Princess and the Pauper line.  This set is similar to the Princess Anneliese & Erika Gift Set that is at TRU.

Julian has blonde hair and the same head and body as Barbie as The Princess and the Pauper Ken as King Dominick doll.  The Julian doll is similar to the blonde doll pictured in the promotional picture below.  The gift set also includes the fashions both dolls are dressed in the promotional picture below (dolls in the front).  The appearance of a Julian doll answers a lot of questions to why a blonde doll appeared so prominently in all the marketing in stores, while only a brunette doll as King Dominick with a Julian fashion was available for sale.

Thanks to Brad B for this news!

Pictured Right:  This Princess and the Pauper PRINCESS ANNELIESE AND JULIAN WEDDING GIFT SET.

Pictured Below:  Mattel The Princess and the Pauper promotional picture.


Barbie as The Princess and the Pauper Ken as King Dominick and Barbie as The Princess and the Pauper Ken as King Dominick AA are now appearing in stores ($19.99).  (Both Caucasian and AA versions are available).  Ken comes dressed in the King Dominick outfit (burgundy jacket & knickers, white shirt w/ascot, and a white & gold vest) with crown, "holding" a gift box with a tiara on top. The package includes the Julian outfit (white shirt, blue & gold vest, and navy knickers) with a book & pink rose. There is one pair of gold vinyl boots to share between the two outfits.

Both versions feature the enlarged head molds.  The Caucasian version uses an enlarged 1997 Ken head mold while the AA version uses the 1991.97 Modified Jamal, with new markings "1991-1997" for the enlarged version.  I have begun to list these enlarged head molds separately on the Keeping Ken/Ken Parts Department page.

Also, Barbara in Canberra, Australia sent these two photos below of the fashions connected with the line.

More info about Barbie® as The Princess and the Pauper Ken® as King Dominick™ and Julian™ the Tutor on the Keeping Ken The Millennium Era 1999-Beyond page.

Above:  Erika & King Dominick fashion.  Below:  Princess Anneliese & Julian fashion.

ABOVE:  Picture art from Fairy Tale Prince Ken's box shows (from top) Nutcracker Barbie, Rapunzel Barbie and Swan Lake Barbie.



And if your still bewildered, all your questions are summed up in box text that says, "Relive the Beauty..."

Whatever the story is behind Fairy Tale Prince Ken, one thing is for certain, finally the Princess Barbie® dolls can quit wondering if "some day my Prince will come".  He may not be the original, but at least last minute Holiday shoppers might have a chance to find their Prince as well.  And besides, Fairy Tale Prince Ken carries two wedding rings (on a white satin pillow)...secretly cementing the deal that he's just as good (or better) than the originals.

Barbie Fairy Tale Collection Ken as the Fairy Tale Prince™AA is also available!


RIGHT:  Fairy Tale Prince Ken.  For more info, see the Keeping Ken The Millennium Era 1999-Beyond page. 




PREVIOUS NEWS:  After three years of proven sales and sell-outs, could Mattel finally be realizing that they may have under produced 2001's Barbie in the Nutcracker Ken as Prince Eric, 2002's Barbie as Rapunzel Talking Ken as Prince Stefan and 2003's Barbie® of Swan Lake Ken® as Prince Daniel? Is Mattel finally realizing that Ken® doll is a hot commodity during the Holiday season? Will the glass ceiling of production levels for Ken® shatter? Is this the turning point Ken® collectors have been yearning for? Will we get even MORE versions of Ken® in 2004? Sorry, I'm getting carried away... 

Barbie Fairy Tale Collection Ken as the Fairy Tale Prince™

It took three years, (and we'll of course have to wait till next Holiday to see), but I think Mattel finally has noticed Ken® during the Holiday.  Which might explain why Mattel has produced a new companion Ken doll to go with the last three Barbie® Holiday play line dolls from 2001-2003 (and three new, less elaborate versions of them).  Previously listed as "Happily Ever After Ken®", Barbie Fairy Tale Collection Ken as the Fairy Tale Prince™ (pictured below) is available on the domestic and foreign market, and one things for certain, this is a stand-in version in case you missed out on the sell-out dolls from previous years.  That's made obvious from the box art pictures of Nutcracker Barbie®, Rapunzel Barbie® and Swan Lake Barbie®.  By changing his sash color, he is the new stand-in for the sold-out version of the original companion Prince Ken® doll to these Princesses.

The Barbie Fairy Tale Collection Ken as the Fairy Tale Prince™AA has finally found it's way to Iowa! I have now added this doll to the Keeping Ken The Millennium Era 1999-Beyond page listings!



Barbie Princess Collection Ken as the Fairy Tale Prince (Foreign Edition)


On the foreign market, the Barbie Fairy Tale Collection Ken as the Fairy Tale Prince™ (see above) is changed slightly and paired with three different Barbie® as Disney Princess characters.

Called the "Princess Collection" instead of the "Fairy Tale" collection, the Barbie Princess Collection Ken as the Fairy Tale Prince (Foreign Edition) is awesome! I received mine from Markus, my collector friend in Germany.  The Princess dolls are ballet dancers, so I assume that Ken® is their ballet partner. 

The costume is pretty standard, and yes, he has the straight arms, but I really like him, (mostly because he has two-tone rooted blonde hair).  Don't be expecting any accessories inside the box, what you see is what you get.  There's something about obtaining the foreign edition dolls that make them special as well, so partner with your overseas friends to add this Ken® to your collection!

For more info, see the Keeping Ken The Millennium Era 1999-Beyond page. 

LEFT:  Let's dance!  Barbie Princess Collection Ken as the Fairy Tale Prince (Foreign Edition).


BELOW:  K-Mart SSE Route 66 University Ken®.


Route 66 University Ken®

K-Mart is still holding in there as a corporation and again  brings Ken collectors another exclusive store special edition (SSE) for a second year.  And things just keep getting better with a SSE Route 66 University Ken, with unique features that are making K-Mart SSE Ken® dolls must haves!

Have you been dreaming about another rooted red-haired Ken doll? Well, check that off your wish list and wake up, because your dream just became a reality.  While it may be a dark shade of auburn, it's definitely a shade of red, and like you, I have been waiting for this hair color to find its way to Ken doll's head again.  This edition marks the third rooted auburn Ken doll produced.  The history of this hair color for Ken is rare.  On painted hair Ken dolls, only a hand full have been produced:  1968's Talking Ken and Talking Ken Spanish (New Good Lookin') Orange/Aqua Outfit,  and 1969's New Good Lookin' Ken.  Then jump to 1988 with Animal Lovin' Ken and SuperStar Ken 1988.  In the nineties we saw auburn hair for both versions of 1991's Rappin' Rockin' Ken (Short Hair) and Rappin' Rockin' Ken (Long Hair).  It was also used in combination with another color (two-tone color) for 1993's Western Stampin' Ken.

The first rooted version of Ken with auburn hair appeared in 1998 for Cool Lookin' Ken (still one of my favorites) and then on 1999's Harley Davidson Ken (Second Edition).  Now we have a third version...and what a great Ken doll!

K-Mart's first editions Route 66 Adventure Ken and Route 66 Adventure Ken AA appeared in 2002, and were the first Ken dolls to appear marked with the year 2002 on his box.  (For a related story on these dolls, visit The Man Behind The Doll presents Adventure Ken and Adventure Ken AA page).  One unique feature of the Adventure Ken included thick-sole lace-up shoes in an olive drab color, and the Caucasian version had an interesting hair style.  Route 66 University Ken sports another unique shoe color; raisin color boots, which I have never seen before.  K-Mart also expands on Route 66 University Ken doll's character.  We find he is a university student studying computer graphic art.  I am unsure if an AA version will be available, so if you see it let me know!


    2004 Ken® Fashions!

ABOVE:  2003 Ken Fashion #C1350



It appears that it is the end of the line (literally) for the Fashion Avenue™ brand name that started (for Ken) in 1996.  The packaging structure for the 2004 line remains the same as the late 2003 line (see related story below), but the sides are now a multi-color print design with the new "Barbie®" logo on the top of the card.  The words "Fashion Avenue™" don't appear on any of the packages, making it easier for Mattel to generically distribute product globally.  The Fashion Avenue™ brand is being replaced by the Fashion Fever brand.  Even though we were assured Fashion Fever was a separate entity and would not affect Barbie® doll's fashion line, it appears Fashion Fever will be expanding in 2005 and Fashion Avenue will be discontinued after all.  Other than the Ken® fashions I don't know if any other new Trends, Beat Street, etc will be releasing before year's end.

A new tuxedo fashion had appeared for Ken® (pictured left), which was part of a Royal Fashions line.  The quality fabric used for the tuxedo makes it one of the best tuxedo fashions ever produced for Ken® doll! Top-notch! You'll have to look on the Barbie® peg in stores however, because this fashion is included with Barbie® doll's dressier gown line.  I am extremely happy to see a Ken® fashion intermixed with a Barbie® line fashion! I hope this tradition continues.

2004 Ken® fashions are dated 2003.  I have now added them to the Keeping Ken Fashion Frenzy! page:  2004 Ken Fashion Avenue #B8227, 2004 Ken Fashion Avenue #B8228, 2004 Ken Fashion Avenue #B8229, 2004 Ken Fashion Avenue #B8230 and 2004 Ken Fashion Avenue #B8232.  You'll notice that the letter/numeric sequence that "B8231" isn't represented.  Will there be a sixth fashion?

had to outsource to Canada, but I FINALLY got the late 2004 line of Ken Fashions! I never saw these available in my area, but I have heard that USA collectors found these mostly at K-Mart stores for a very brief time.  I found a few more of them at a KB Toy outlet store for $1.88!  I have added them to the Keeping Ken Fashion Frenzy! page, but here are some quick links:

2004 Ken Fashion Avenue #C3992 2004 Ken Fashion Avenue #C3993 2004 Ken Fashion Avenue #C3994 2004 Ken Fashion Avenue #C3995


TWO Trend combo Barbie/Ken fashions have been located.  The latest Barbie Trend Fashion #C3332 includes "Super Surf & Skate Styles" for Barbie and Ken. Barbie Trend Fashion #C3328 has box text that says "STRIKING bowling looks for Barbie® & Ken® dolls!" You'll have to locate and get this fashion because the shoes for Ken doll are cool colors (to look like bowling shoes)! I don't list the combo fashions on the Keeping Ken Fashion Frenzy! page, but thought you may want to see them.

New Tommy™ doll  fashions have also been added to the Tommy page:  Kelly® Fashions #C3321 and Kelly® Fashions #C3322!



2003 Line!


For the fourth quarter, worldwide gross sales for the Mattel brands unit grew 2 percent to $1.07 billion, but sales for the Barbie brand slipped 5 percent.  "Results for the year were mixed. While sales in the U.S. were below expectations, we continued to grow internationally, improve profit margins and generate significant cash flow," Robert A. Eckert, Mattel's chairman and chief executive, said in a statement.

The toy industry is facing several challenges amid a wave of retail consolidation and pressure on toy sellers to lower prices to remain competitive. Consumer buying habits are also having an impact on the market.

During the last holiday season, consumers waited longer to begin their shopping or simply bought gift cards, Eckert said. In previous years, a wider holiday shopping window gave retailers incentive to restock shelves during the holidays.

"We believe what we saw this holiday season represents a secular shift," Eckert told analysts.

Prices fell dramatically during the holidays and some retailers cut back on promoting some of Mattel's key product lines to remain competitive.

Mattel is hoping to build more value into their toys to discourage retailers from selling them below cost, Eckert said.

"We don't expect 2004 to be unlike 2003, or said another way, we expect the business environment will continue to be a challenge," Eckert said.

"For Barbie, particularly in the U.S., the trends have not been good for several years now and that's caused us to rethink our strategy and to retool the whole brand," said Eckert. "We have lost market share in dolls over the last couple of years and we want to work very hard to regain that momentum."

Mattel said it is modernizing Barbie for 2004 by piercing her ears, giving her trendy clothing like Ugg boots, and hiring some new people to manage the brand.  Mattel will emphasize making Barbie more contemporary to better reflect current youth culture.  "Barbie and Ken may have gone the way of J.Lo and Ben," said Eckert. Company officials declined to elaborate.  He added, "She's using instant messaging to stay connected to her game. Her ears can be pierced. Her car has a working CD player."  The next American International TOY FAIR takes place Sunday, February 15 - Wednesday, February 18, 2004 in New York City at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and showroom locations in the Toy District.  Will Mattel unveil their new modernization of Barbie and Ken dolls?

Mattel will focus more on "story" Barbie lines, and in recent years Swan Lake, Rapunzel, and Nutcracker Barbie dolls have been winners as much for the loads of accessories -- like DVDs and horse-drawn carriages -- as for the doll itself.  Eckert also plans to rely less on one-off Barbie dolls, like "'Cheerleader Barbie,' or 'Barbie's got a new plaid outfit' ... those things just didn't work well," he said.

Last year Mattel launched a line of hip-hop fashion dolls called "Flavas" in a move to appeal to girls who have outgrown Barbie and supplement another Barbie spin-off called My Scene.  Both dolls are part of a move to compete with MGA Entertainment's popular Bratz doll, which had been gaining market share in the fashion doll segment.

My Scene™ has grown into a strong brand, but sales of Flavas have been so disappointing that Chief Financial Officer Kevin Farr said there will be no Flavas going forward and it is being replaced by other ideas.  "Every year we have products that work well and products that don't, and simply said, Flavas was one of those that didn't work well."

Despite lagging domestic sales, Barbie outsold her nearest competitor 2-to-1 in 2003, generating more than $3.5 billion in retail sales worldwide, Eckert said.

The Waltz Barbie® & Ken®  Gift Set

(June 2003) Elegance in motion, the couple glides seamlessly in three-quarter time.  Dressed in a flowing ball gown, Barbie is lost in her partner's embrace whirling across the dance floor.  Her gown is an exquisite pink chiffon and charmeuse dress, lavishly embellished in marabous.  Her gown is accented with a beaded necklace and pink crystal-like earring studs.  Ken is as handsome as ever dressed in his classic tux.  Together, they are unforgettable!

Jude Deveraux "The Raider" Barbie® & Ken® Gift Set

(August 2003)  This gift set capitalizes on the strong base of romance novel fans and has a strong  tie to a best-selling romance novel, The Raider, written by Jude Deveraux.  This gift set is the first gift set to feature Barbie and Ken as romance novel characters.  Barbie is featured wearing a violet blue dress that falls off her shoulders with long blonde tousled hair.  An overskirt of periwinkle chiffon is pulled up at the left hip to reveal a very full underskirt of violet blue jacquard.  Complete with a sash of teal iridescent chiffon and a small bouquet of flowers, Barbie is just stunning!  Ken is brown, long side swept hair and comes wearing a sheer white cotton shirt, tight black pants accented with a black belt.



Fashion Insider Ken Doll Giftset

Part of the fashion model collection this gift set features Ken. Ken comes wearing classic boxers and has a great suit to boot!
July 2003


1 modern circle™ Collection


1 Modern Circle™ Ken®


July 2003

More information was released about the secretive 1 Modern Circle® line that is due this year.  This looks to be a fantastic, well developed line that will feature a reproduction of the 1961 Flock Hair Ken head mold.


The doll line centers around Barbie®, (or BMR™) Hollywood's latest power player who "shot to the top of the independent film world in record time".  The line takes place in Hollywood, where Modern Films™ recently leased office space on the lot of an undisclosed major Hollywood studio.  It seem that "Barbie Millicent Roberts® is set to helm the company's latest production. Together, with her team of trusty assistants, she's sure to take the film world by storm."  The line also hints at "romance on the horizon. But whether the romance will be a smashing success or horrible heartbreak is anyone's guess! After all, this is Hollywood, and lives are changed overnight. In the blink of an eye, dashed hopes become tomorrow's next big thing".

The line promises that we will meet the other dolls in the line, and "if you enjoy love, mystery, and intrigue as much as we do, you'll keep your eyes on this developing storyline!"

1 Modern Circle™ Ken® doll is a passionate set designer whose style reflects his line of work. Featuring the vintage face sculpt, his hair has been updated to a more modern style with highlights framing his face. He wears dark denim jeans and a leather-like jacket over a green turtleneck. He carries with him a portfolio containing two drawings of his set designs.


Barbie® of Swan Lake Ken® as Prince Daniel

Barbie® of Swan Lake Ken® as Prince Daniel AA

August 2003



*Foreign Edition Flower Surprise Ken

A must have for your Ken® doll collection! I purchased mine from Singapore at  Not only is he nicely done, the 1997 Ken® head mold is ball-jointed (love that) and he has bent arms.  Mattel just keeps improving the facial painting on Ken® dolls who use the 1997 Ken® head mold!  The accessories are far better than we see in domestic versions.  The multi-color flower bouquet is wrapped in prismatic color cello and tied with pink ribbon.  A pink plastic box of chocolates is also included with lid.  Like his domestic tuxedo-clad counterparts, the black tuxedo is a one piece that has a white shirt with three black buttons (the shirt is the dreaded sleeveless variety) with an attached pink cummerbund and bow tie.  The matching black tuxedo jacket has peak lapels and includes a pink and multi-color net handkerchief in the left breast pocket that becomes a corsage for Barbie® doll.  Inside the box is a 2003 six month foreign languages calendar booklet (January-June) that pictures play line dolls in the 2003 line.  All of the dolls pictured are also domestic line dolls except for the Flower Surprise™ dolls and a Barbie® doll that is yet to be identified.

*James Bond 007 Gift Set

Off on another electrifying adventure, Ken® doll steps into the role of James Bond, as debonair as any of the five actors who portrayed the master spy on screen. His midnight blue suit is an authentic re-creation of the classic tuxedo worn by Bond and designed by the renowned clothier Brioni. He carries a sleek briefcase, packed with top secret papers for his latest MI6 assignment.
Barbie® doll is the perfect "Bond girl" in a fabulous ensemble created by Lindy Hemming, the Academy Award®-winning designer enlisted for the 20th Bond film. A fabulous golden lace gown and striking red shawl lend cosmopolitan glamour, while her indispensable "cell phone," strapped discreetly to her thigh, awaits the "call" to action.

© 1962-2002 Danjaq, LLC and United Artists Corporation. "James Bond", "007", "007 Gun Logo", "Gun Barrel / Iris" logo, "Silhouette" logos, "Fortieth Anniversary" logo and related James Bond Trademarks are Trademarks of Danjaq, LLC, Licensed by Eon Productions Limited. All rights reserved.

*Skate Date Ken and Skate Date Ken AA

Ken is ready for inline skating for every season. In the spring or summer, Ken can roll along with skates that have working wheels. For winter skating, just pop off the wheels and pop on the skating blades for ice skating. Ken comes dressed in pants that tear away to shorts and a cross-seasonal scarf for two different fashion looks. He even comes with an extra pair of skates for Barbie. Includes Ken doll, shirt, pants/shorts, scarf, helmet, one pair of boots for Ken with ice skate blades and wheels, one pair of boots for Barbie with ice skate blades and wheels, two cardboard magazines and cardboard coffee cup.



2003 Ken® Fashion Avenue !

Press the picture to enhance, or choose a link.

"Checks & Balances"  Fashion Avenue #56871-0580

Who says Accountants are boring? A pop of royal and light blue color checks ought to liven up Ken® doll's blue chips, and gold prices are looking good, especially in attached ties.  Navy pants and tassel loafers add a bit of comfort to Ken® doll's busy day at Mattel, Inc.  Analyzing all those pie charts are easier on Ken® doll's laptop computer, and he can always back them up on his chipboard floppy discs.  Mattel keeps Ken® so busy, its handy to have a chipboard palm pilot to keep appointments organized! 

"Saturday Matinee" Fashion Avenue #56872-0580

Ken® calls Barbie® on his black cell phone at the last minute to surprise her with personalized "Ken®" and "Barbie®" tickets (set aside just for them) for the matinee production at the community theater.  Ken® picked up a gift to bring along for Barbie® (something already wrapped in a chipboard present).  Ken® picks out a flashy magenta color jacket with ribbed knit sleeves to wear, along with a pair of sporty cement color pants.  He throws on a pair brown lace-up shoes and is out the door!


"Pop Solo" Fashion Avenue #56873-0580

Included in the new line is another music inspired Ken® fashion.  It's another great look for the boy band member who is finally going solo.  That "boy" would be Ken®, and his fashion is "live"!  The best part of the fashion is the pleather pants and interesting black cowboy boots! Chipboard "Ken®" concert poster and backstage pass are also included, which match the appliqué on the short-sleeved base ball t-shirt.  A cordless headset microphone is ready to slip on Ken® doll's head, right in time for the live performance.  This fashion is jammin'!

"Moleskins At The Mall" Fashion Avenue #56874-0580

Hands down, this fashion IS fashion! The combination of the dark denim jacket paired with moleskin material pants (in the "in" color camel) makes this fashion my favorite in the collection.  You'll love the stitching details of the jacket and the wider cut of the pants.  Accessories include a black flip cell phone and a surprisingly masculine colored shopping bag.  A "Ken®" magazine is also included picturing Ken® dressed in Fashion Avenue "Snow Play " #25752-24278-0980 (from 1999) on the cover to read in case Barbie® doll takes too long in the dressing room.


I found ALL five late 2003 KEN® FASHION AVENUE™ fashions at Target.  These five fashions represent the second half of the 2003 line.  The early 2003 fashions came out early in the year.  (See above).  The late 2003 fashions feature new packaging and are marked with a 2002 date.  I don't know if it was intentional, but you'll notice that yellow is a prevalent color used in the new line.  This collection really didn't capture any current trends for a time stamp.  

Mattel is trying to top 2001 and 2002's Ken® doll's casual clothes offerings in three of the fashions #B3221, #B3222 and #B3223.  I was impressed with #B3221 the most, probably because it was something that someone would actually wear.  The burnt sienna color cords paired with the charcoal knit top looks great.  #B3222  peaked my enthusiasm mostly because of the interesting tan/brown distressed pants, and I really liked the top that it was paired with.  #B3223, however, will probably be the most talked about of the three casual offerings.  There's really a lot to say about it.  While I know most of you don't like Ken® doll's name emblazed on his clothing, it really doesn't bother me as much as the pants the name is appliquéd onto.  These pants can only be associated with someone stuck perpetually in the 1980's.  I don't think that even a store like "Hot Topic" would have any success peddling these, (but they may peak Rocker's Ken attention).  Truly way off the fashion mark, give this fashion credit for the conversations that will ensue about it.

I wasn't really impressed with Ken doll's business attire #B3220 either, expect maybe for the use of color.  The designer was right on the mark with the use of yellow, which has overtaken red as the "power" color in Businessmen's attire.  I'm probably just disappointed that we still haven't gotten an entire suit, and I've been waiting since 1997, which was the last year that Ken doll got a new suit in 1997 Fashion Avenue #18099-18103.  My quote when reviewing the 2002 line: "The first thing I noticed right away is there is no suit fashion for Ken® in the new 2002 Ken® Fashion Avenue™ line.  I'm still passionate about this subject and I'll keep mentioning it until Ken® gets another Fashion Avenue™ suit!"

"Metro Camo" Fashion Avenue #56875-0580

Straight from the "Young Men's" department, this fashion puts the "h" in "hip"! Try the straight-cut camouflage pants on a Ken® doll and you find they  lay lower on the waist for that right-at-the-moment fit.  Ken® doll's navy/gray dip dye tank t-shirt matches the pants just enough without creating a "matchy" feel.  The lace-up medium blue and gray sneakers bring this fashion together! Portable CD player with headphones are included, as well as chipboard "Ken®" CD and matching magazine.  This urban styled outfit will give Ken® doll a fresh, younger appeal.

To see a closer look at the accessories with this fashion follow this link:  Ken Fashion Avenue #56875 (Accessories).



All in all, when comparing these five new offerings to previous KEN® FASHION AVENUE™ outfits, they really don't compare.  For example, the 2002 line had charm with the continuation of an earlier 2001 Ken® Fashion Avenue™ line that showcased music.  2001's Fashion Avenue #29683-0980 "In The House Fashion, was followed by two new music related fashions, #56351 Hip Hop Style™ and #56352 On Tour™.  I wrote, "Obviously, the tradition of showcasing current trends is still important at Mattel, and I think that the cool edge design of the two music related fashion captured that tradition".  2003's line has lost this intensity, along with the charm.

Also missing are the basic "must-have" fashions.  The casual 2003 fashions don't come close to the great design of the 2002 "date" fashions.  2002's two date outfits did (my quote again) "double duty with one being serious (#56348 Date At 8:00), and the other casual (#56347 Friday Night Movie).  Both date fashions were my two favorite fashions of the collection, and believe it or not, I preferred the casual "Abercrombie" look of the casual fashion over the "Gap" look of the dressier fashion.  But both date fashions are "right on target" for the type of date Ken® would go on!"

Even the late 2001 line featured Fashion Avenue "Campus Cool" #52592-0980 and #56350 Campus Man™, which in my opinion quote "continues the "Ken® on campus" theme.  The whole campus theme brings back thoughts of Campus Hero #770 in spirit, but #56350 Campus Man™ captures what Freshman college guys might wear when they buy their back-to-school clothes at the beginning of the year.  Eventually the jeans would become faded and that poplin shirt would probably get traded in for the ease of a knit t-shirt.  Finally, Ken doll's "get-away" fashion #56349 Adventure In The Tropics™ surprised me because it has pants instead of shorts.  I was pleasantly surprised that Mattel did not include any shorts in the entire 2002 Ken® Fashion Avenue™ line.  I think the short  and swim fashions should be saved for the Ken® Fashion Favorites™ line."

Obviously, I had a lot to say about how pleased I was with both the 2001 and 2002 KEN® FASHION AVENUE™ fashions.  I was inspired and noticed the attention to details.  Both lines had charisma.  The late 2003 line doesn't inspire or impress.  It seemed that Mattel had elevated the KEN® FASHION AVENUE™ line to a point of satisfaction with consumers and collectors.  Unfortunately, the late 2003 line has brought us back to a place we don't wish to revisit.  Hopefully, Barbie® doll's "Beat Street™" fashion line designers can lend a hand for Ken® doll's fashions in 2004!


KEN® Fashion Avenue #B3219

A pair of light blue with blue/navy/yellow/white tropical print jam length shorts is paired with a pieced blue with white sleeve t-shirt with yellow/white chest stripe.  The only really special feature of this fashion is a red surfer image on the front of the shirt.  It also includes blue sunglasses, visor and sandals.

KEN® Fashion Avenue #B3220

Black pants set off a bold white/lt. blue/blue/navy/yellow stripe shirt that has an attached navy tie with yellow dots.  Accessories include black glasses and shoes.

KEN® Fashion Avenue #B3221

My favorite of the five, this fashion features burnt sienna color cords paired with a charcoal w/orange, yellow, tan and white chest stripe knit long-sleeve top.  Accessories include gray shoes, portable CD player w/headphones and silver glasses.


KEN® Fashion Avenue #B3222

My second favorite fashion, mostly because of the interesting tan/brown distressed pants.  They are paired with a light blue thick mesh top with silver ribbon down front and red "K" appliqué jacket.  Light yellow-green boots, light blue glasses and water bottle are also included


New fashions are marked just "Ken®", but are similar to the Stylin' Looks™ fashion line from previous years.  The packaging is now international, and has the same product number #68040, which has been used since 1995.  Using the same product code year after year makes it confusing, but at least the packages are marked with a year to tell you when they were released.  The new package is marked 2002.

2002 Ken Fashions #68040

2002 Ken Fashions #68040

2002 Ken Fashions #68040

2002 Ken Fashions #68040

KEN® Fashion Avenue #B3223

These dyed effect aqua cuffed pants w/yellow "KEN" appliqué down right leg are to die for (literally)...A pieced white/yellow t-shirt with "01" appliqué pull this interesting outfit together.  Yellow sunglasses, black boom box and white shoes are also included.




2002 Line!

LE Fashion Doll Series

*Tango Barbie & Ken Gift Set

Barbie® and Ken® make a sizzling couple as they dance the Tango in Latin-inspired outfits. Barbie® doll’s fitted red dress with plunging neckline accentuates her every move with dangling red fringe and hanging black and pink feathers. Black net stockings and black heels add a racy touch, while hot pink three-quarter length gloves and dangling rhinestone earrings complete the ensemble. Her upswept brown hair is adorned with a pink rose and feathers, and in her mouth, she clenches a single rose given to her by her partner, Ken®. With rooted hair and rugged-looking facial hair, Ken® makes a dashing companion. He’s dressed in pinstriped pants, red collared shirt, and six-button vest that features a black and red floral pattern on back. A matching tie, black shoes, and a silvery watch chain complete his outfit.  FAO Schwarz Exclusive


*Concert Date Ken® and Concert Date Ken AA

Mattel has brought us from the "cool" line to the dating pool.  The "cool" line, which began in box date 1996 (and ended in box date 1999), featured such dolls as Cool Shavin' Ken, Totally Cool Ken (Casual), Totally Cool Ken (Suit), Cool Lookin' Ken and Cool School Ken.   The "date" line seems to be picking up where the "cool" line ended.  It is hard to determine whether Mattel conceived the "date" line with 1996's Great Date Ken, but it seems that the date line is here to stay.  Mattel has created other Ken® date dolls in the past, but not so close together.  If this is a new Ken® series, you'll want to dive into the dating pool for the newest Concert Date Ken doll.  He's the latest date in the Barbie line, and second in the "date" series following Movie Date Ken and Movie Date Ken AA.  This "series" is quickly becoming a favorite with me.  I love the fact that there is no matching Barbie®.  This essentially makes Ken® carry the series on his own without the help of Barbie® doll.  Movie Date dated Flower Power Barbie®, and Concert Date dates Spot Scene™.  Look in your local store and you will see that these dolls are displayed separately, not together.  

If it is head molds you thrive on, Concert Date is for you.  At first glance I thought this was the1997 Ken® head mold, but it is indeed the 1990 Ken® head mold.  This head is seeing a lot of activity lately and was just used for Barbie in the Nutcracker Ken as Prince Eric this year and previously on Cool Lookin' Ken and Prince Ken (Sleeping Beauty's) (both box dated 1998).  It may look familiar, but look what they did with it! Concert Date Ken's hair color can best be described by a Barbie® collector because Ken® has never had this color of rooted hair.  The color is referred to as "ginger" and is a cross between brown and blonde.  The head is completely bald surprise when you lift up the back flap.  It is rooted to the neck line and cut accordingly.  What makes this Ken super cool is his flip bangs which stand straight up in front, and in opinion, make this doll ultra cool.  You will also notice that Concert Date has brown eyes, not the standard blue.  Gone is the "cartoonish" look of the eye painting on this head mold as seen on Big Brother Ken & Baby Brother Tommy (box date 1996).  The eyes are painted much smaller.  The combo of hair and eye color is awesome! For all the greatness, newness and fulfillment the head mold will provide, the rest of him will fall short of most Ken doll collector's expectations.

I was let down with the rest of the "package".  First of all, Concert Date has  PTR (Point To Rear) arms, which is different from the publicity photos from Mattel (pictured above).  Personally I think these arms should be left for the swim line...or discontinued entirely.  I prefer the bent arms, and I think I speak for a lot of us out there.  Concert Date's black shoes fell off as soon as I deboxed him.  I think if he had some socks it would of solved this problem.  It seems that our sock griping has not been noticed.  You'll find out that your shoes will immediately fall off too.  I base this assumption on fact:  I deboxed three different Concert Date Ken® dolls and the shoes fell off before I even got the wires off.  SOCKS please!

The navy cuff pants are cute, but not with that tonal green on green shirt which is ill-fitting as you try to move the arms.  In the publicity photo (and on the back of the box) Concert Date is shown wearing dark denim pants with cuff.  I wish they had stuck with the prototype and used the denim pants instead of the navy blue pants in the produced version.  The shirt has "87-63 K-B" on it.  I assume the "K" is for Ken® and the "B" is for Barbie®, but can you guess what the "87-63" means? A prize will be rewarded to the most thoughtful answer.

I really wasn't concerned about the costume.  I really liked this Ken® doll and had already envisioned him in Fashion Avenue "Power Move" #52594-0980.  He'll looked great in about anything else except what he is dressed in.

A Ken® collector request has been answered! It comes in the form of Concert Date Ken® AA! Just recently, Barbie® Collectibles™ unveiled 40th Anniversary Ken AA with rooted hair.  This head mold, which debuted an AA version of Ken® with rooted hair, is available again this year.  The best news is it is in the less expensive play line for the second showing.

You may remember that I collected your "Ken® Wish Lists" last Christmas, here at Keeping Ken.  An African American version of Ken® with rooted (not molded) was requested by several Ken® "wishers".  I think it is very exciting to see that Mattel not only delivered on the promise, they also made it available in the play line.  Start thinking up your new wish lists soon! I can tell you the most requested "wish" is to add Ken® doll into the "Dolls Of The World" series, which has been replaced with the "Princesses Of The World" series.  

So, shall we wish for Ken® to be represented as a "Prince Of The World"?  There are lots of emails STILL expressing interest in a Vintage reproduction. I would like to see Mattel use the 1996 Ken® head mold (Harley Davidson Ken) next year in the play line.  I think it is only fair if the Barbie® "Mackie" head mold can cross over to the play line, the 1996 Ken® head mold should too!

Concert Date Ken® AA uses a modified Jamal head mold with new markings.  It is marked ©1991.97 MATTEL INC. and is used for a second time on this doll (first used for 40th Anniversary Ken AA this year).



Barbie doll became an overnight movie sensation in 2001 with her award-winning, top-selling debut video, "Barbie in the Nutcracker." Now the screen will sparkle once again with the fall 2002 premiere of "Barbie as Rapunzel." A contemporary twist on the classic fairytale, Mattel's screenplay casts Barbie as Rapunzel, a courageous, imaginative girl who is locked away in a tower and magically paints her way to a life of freedom and love.

While "Barbie in the Nutcracker" introduced girls to classical ballet and music, Rapunzel's exciting adventure encourages girls to unleash their creativity and introduces them to the world of fine art. "Barbie as Rapunzel" will continue to engage girls in the Brand in a fresh exciting way, while touching girls with the inspiring message that where there is love, imagination and determination, anything is possible.

The full-length, motion-capture CGI video will be accompanied by a colorful world of characters, accessories, and licensed products - all of which reflect the story's magic and beauty.

Ken® doll as Prince Stefan

Girls will fall in love with playing out the romance of "Barbie as Rapunzel" with Ken doll as the charming Prince Stefan. And, the beautiful fairytale will magically come to life with Prince Stefan Ken speaking three different phrases to Rapunzel Barbie. With "Rapunzel, let down your hair," "Rapunzel I love you," and several sounds from the story, Ken doll's talking feature will romance girls and Rapunzel Barbie alike. Wielding a sword and shield, the majestic prince dons a stately ensemble that includes beige satin pants, a blue satin coat embellished with gold brocade trim, gold boots and a regal crown.

Kelly® & Tommy(TM) dolls from "Barbie® as Rapunzel"

Kelly and Tommy dolls - a huge success in the "Barbie in the Nutcracker" doll assortment - will make enchanting additions to the Rapunzel doll collection. Each of the four little dolls in the assortment is dressed for the masked ball, the exciting climax of the "Barbie as Rapunzel" story. These adorable younger siblings to Prince Stefan each have a fun princess or prince theme to allow girls to play out the magic and royalty of "Barbie as Rapunzel." Kelly® doll blossoms as the Petal Princess(TM) in a darling pink dress with roses and a princess hat. Melody® doll takes flight as an Angel Princess(TM) in a white dress with wings and a halo. Lorena® doll sprouts beautiful feathers as the Peacock Princess(TM) in a blue dress with beautiful "feathers" and Tommy(TM) doll stands regal and stately as the Barbie as Rapunzel Tommy as Li'l Prince and Barbie as Rapunzel Tommy as Li'l Prince AA in his ornate, blue and gold prince costume.

*Palm Beach Ken® and Palm Beach Steven

For those of you who like the 1990 Alan® head mold, here  is your chance to find it again in the inexpensive swim line.  This head mold has not been used on a domestic doll since Florida Vacation Ken in (box date) 1998.  When comparing the two dolls together you will find many similarities, but I prefer the eye painting on the Florida Vacation compared to Palm Beach.

The Palm Beach line introduces "Lea®" a new Barbie®/Ken® friend.  She will replace Kira® who is the current Asian American friend.  The girls  in this line are receiving a lot of notice for their "always dressed" look.  Their swim trunks are painted on, but Ken® and Steven™ have swim trunks made of real material.  Palm Beach Ken® doll's accessories are made of cardboard...even the towel.  The sheet of cardboard punch-outs may vary with each doll, but I found the Lea® and Ken® have the exact same things.  Interestingly, Lea's were already punched out for you while Ken's were still on a sheet.  Ken® and Lea®'s "magazine" has Christie® on the front.  If you find the accessories differ from doll to doll, let me know.

Probably the first thing you will notice about Palm Beach Steven™ is his light skin tone.  I have never seen this skin tone color used for an African American male doll in the Barbie® line, but correct me if I am wrong.  

This from Mike J at TRU:  [I wanted to] let you know that my store finally got in the Palm Beach Steven™ doll. He is rather interesting. To begin with, he is the first Steven™ made with the lighter skin tones that we have seen on several of the Christie®/Black Barbie® dolls. Secondly, and most oddly, he has heavy eye makeup, and painted-on eyelashes. I noticed that the Barbie in the Nutcracker Ken as Prince Eric AA had heavy eye makeup, but I figured that wasn't unusual for a ballet dancer, even though the white version was less made-up. But now, the Palm Beach doll comes along, and the eyelashes and eye makeup look rather effeminate.


After weeks of searching, I finally located all six of the new Ken® Fashion Avenue™ fashions! I have to admit that for me, the new Ken® Fashion Avenue™ line is something I anticipate seeing more than a new version of Ken®! Working in the clothing industry myself, I love seeing the clothing Mattel has designed just for Ken®! 

The first thing I noticed right away is there is no suit fashion for Ken® in the new 2002 Ken® Fashion Avenue™ line.  I'm still passionate about this subject and I'll keep mentioning it until Ken® gets another Fashion Avenue™ suit! However, I do like each and everyone of the new fashions, and found that there is a prevalent theme continuing from the 2001 Ken® Fashion Avenue™ line.  The early 2001 Ken® Fashion Avenue™ line showcased Fashion Avenue #29683-0980 "In The House Fashion, and it seems that Mattel wants Ken® doll to continue to be a music sensation with two new music related fashions, #56351 Hip Hop Style™ and #56352 On Tour™.  I find this concept completely charming.  It speaks to the core consumer, who probably would like Ken® doll to become their "Boy Band" dream date for Barbie® doll.  I felt that these two fashions are a reflection on current trends, which is exactly what Mattel's Barbie® doll fashions have always represented.  Obviously, the tradition of showcasing current trends is still important at Mattel, and I think that the cool edge design of the two music related fashion captured that tradition.

The other four fashions are basic "must-haves".  The two date outfits do double duty with one being serious (#56348 Date At 8:00), and the other casual (#56347 Friday Night Movie).  Both date fashions were my two favorite fashions of the collection, and believe it or not, I preferred the casual "Abercrombie" look of the casual fashion over the "Gap" look of the dressier fashion.  But both date fashions are "right on target" for the type of date Ken® would go on!

The late 2001 line featured Fashion Avenue "Campus Cool" #52592-0980 and #56350 Campus Man™ continues the "Ken® on campus" theme.  The whole campus theme brings back thoughts of Campus Hero #770 in spirit, but #56350 Campus Man™ captures what Freshman college guys might wear when they buy their back-to-school clothes at the beginning of the year.  Eventually the jeans would become faded and that poplin shirt would probably get traded in for the ease of a knit t-shirt.  Finally, Ken doll's "get-away" fashion #56349 Adventure In The Tropics™ surprised me because it has pants instead of shorts.  I was pleasantly surprised that Mattel did not include any shorts in the entire 2002 Ken® Fashion Avenue™ line.  I think the short  and swim fashions should be saved for the Ken® Fashion Favorites™ line.

For larger image, press on the photo or link.

Fashion Avenue "Friday Night Movie" #25752-56347-0980

This Abercrombie & Fitch inspired date fashion was my favorite new fashion, probably because it mixes a denim jacket with athletic pants and sneakers.  Accessories include soda glass and pepperoni pizza with mushrooms.  It must be a "date-in", because a video cassette tape and remote control are included.

Fashion Avenue "Date At 8:00" #25752-56348-0980

A Gap inspired date fashion for a date away from home with a lot of class!  The brick red wool sweater blends well with the midnight blue pants and lace-up oxfords.  Accessories include a cell phone, glasses and a money clip with cash.  Of course the fashion includes the latest issue of Ken® doll's favorite  magazine, "Stylish!"

Fashion Avenue "Adventure In The Tropics" #25752-56349-0980

This crisp casual vacation fashion will keep Ken® doll looking cool in the warmest climate! The tropical island print shirt mixes well with the linen look pants and sandals.  Ken® must be enjoying the balmy tropical breeze aboard a cruise ship, because the fashion includes a cruise ticket as well as a passport and "Travel" magazine.  The ship must be docking, because Ken® brought his sun glasses and is ready to take some pictures with his camera!

Fashion Avenue "Campus Man" #25752-56350-0980

Ken® wears his new back-to-school clothes on campus.  The aqua/navy plaid shirt matches well with his dark denim jeans and navy sneakers.  Ready for class, he carries his "Mathematics" and "Geometry" books and two spiral notebooks.  He'll need that ruler for class and the lock to lock his locker.

Fashion Avenue "Hip Hop Style" #25752-56351-0980

This style is inspired by main stream Hip Hop fashion providers like Ecko, Akademiks, Enyce and Fubu to name a few.  The rinsed jeans feature yellow thread stitching and are wide enough at the bottom to fit right on his "kicks" (the new thick ribbed sole sneakers).  The yellow Nehru collar windbreaker has a long faux zipper and true to the style, has the "Ken® Sport" logo where it will be noticed for label consciousness.  Also included is a portable CD player with headphones and an extra "Jam Session" CD that has 10 tracks.  A "Hip Hop" magazine is also included to keep up on the newest release, and the best titles!

Fashion Avenue "On Tour" #25752-56352-0980

Probably the most imaginative of the six new outfits is this "Pop Star" fashion inspired by Boy Band members.  While mall stores like Wet Seal appeal to the female Pop Star wannabes, Mattel pulls together a look that has "boy" written all over it! The low-rise gray slacks have a clean waist line and look great with the royal blue "Ken" logo poplin shirt with silver "buttons".  The newer style lace-up black shoes go perfectly with this ensemble.  Ken comes equipped with everything he will need while he is on his Pop Music Concert tour, including a poster, cell phone, nutrition bar and sunglasses so he won't be spotted by his adoring fans.

2002 Ken® Stylin' Looks Fashion Line!

For an expanded image, press the link below each picture!

2001 Stylin' Looks Fashions #68040

Out of the four new styles, you'll find that this outfit is most like past fashions for this line.  The "denim" shorts will be familiar along with the same cut shirt in a new pattern and color.  The sandals are the newer slide style.

2001 Stylin' Looks Fashions #68040

This one is my favorite of the four.  The v-neck shirt is nice "normal" pastel colors.  Notice that the shorts have attached pull strings, which add a trendy, fashionable touch.  The sandals are the brown "Teva" style.

2001 Stylin' Looks Fashions #68040

Check it out, Ken now has cropped shorts! The olive color of the shorts utilizes military inspired themes, which is right in style in current menswear lines.  They also have an ultra trendy on-the-calf length.  This is so in style with men's short styles! The baseball t-shirt is back in style, but the appliqué is not.  Oh well, I like the "Ken" appliqué (in case some other doll decides to raid his closet).  The shoes are the older tennis shoe style in white.

2001 Stylin' Looks Fashions #68040

Yes, another basketball outfit, which now confirms that this is Ken doll's favorite sport.  This quote of the Keeping Ken BB from "justtwoguys":  "The # 32 outfit is terrific only because that is Karl Malone's NBA# from the UTAH JAZZ! yahooooooo We love you Mattel!" This outfit is orange/royal blue combo with royal blue hi-tops.


2001 Line!

*Barbie in the Nutcracker Ken as Prince Eric  and Barbie in the Nutcracker Ken as Prince Eric AA
July 2001

These dolls will be released in conjunction with the release of Barbie's FIRST full-length motion picture in the fall (direct to video).  This movie will be made with CGI motion--it is NOT a cartoon--Barbie looks real!  Choreographed by Peter Martins from the New York City Ballet.

Play line Ken® as Prince Eric in the Barbie® in the Nutcracker series of dolls is now appearing in stores.  This Ken® is pretty standard with the 1990 Ken® head mold with same rooted on the top hairstyle.  There is also an African American version of this doll with the Jamal head mold.  With all the new head molds and hair rooting, we were bound to see the return of both of these head molds some time this year.  I was disappointed with this doll, but that's ok because I looking forward to Artisan Entertainment's Family Home Entertainment (FHE) division's distribution of "Barbie® In The Nutcracker", the first ever full-length feature film for Mattel's Barbie® brand.  The movie hit stores on October 2, 2001.  For the full story go here.


You can "transform" Ken® into the Nutcracker with an included mask and hat (and to also hide that hair rooting on the 1990 head mold) making the doll a little more festive.  I had hoped because of the additional marketing involved with this line, that this Ken® would have been a little more imaginative.  I was really surprised to see the 1990 Ken® head mold used for this doll, especially since he retails for $19.99.  Ken® can dance with the help of an included frosted white plastic dance stand doll holder, which becomes useless unless you also purchase the Sugarplum Princess Barbie® doll.  She comes with the dance stand that this piece will attach to.  I found that this marketing decision to be a poor one.  Not that I am nitpicking on the accessories, but how else can you view it except as another glaring reminder that Mattel is still promoting Ken® as an accessory to Barbie®? Ken® as Prince Eric in the Barbie® in the Nutcracker makes that point very clear.  I also feel that the consumer may be put off from buying the Ken®, especially if he doesn't have the features the Barbie® doll has at the same price.  No Barbie® equals no dancing for Ken®.

*Tales of the Arabian Nights 

Item #50827 Barbie Collectibles/Magic & Mystery Collection Limited Edition 

July 2001

Ken as the Sultan is Barbie doll’s dashing companion. He wears a red tunic with golden and turquoise trim over billowy golden pants. A blue and purple sash ties at his waist and serves as a place to rest his trusty sword. His colorful turban shines with a faux ruby and is topped with a golden plume.

Item #50722 40th Anniversary Ken and #52967 40th Anniversary Ken AA Barbie Collectibles/Anniversary Dolls Collector Edition June 2001 

*Photographer Ken Canada

Ken is a registered trademark of Mattel, Inc.   These pages are neither affiliated with, nor a representative of Mattel, Inc.   Material provided on these pages do not in any way reflect the opinions of Mattel, Inc.