Keeping Ken EUROPEAN EDITION STEVEN™ DOLLS!
by Mike J I
also have some information regarding the European issues of Steven™ and
Christie®. In 1991, I spent about a month in England on a study
program. Naturally, I did some shopping around London. At the
famous London toy store, Hamleys, and at a UK Toys R Us in Woking, I came
across the Wet and Wild dolls (as in Wet 'n Wild Ken
which was available in Canada), which were called Aqua Magic dolls in
Europe (Aqua Magic Ken®
pictured left). The boxes depicted Barbie®,
and Marina (i.e. Kira) but at both Hamleys and TRU.
I also saw Christie® and Steven™. Only Teresa was missing. Christie® and Steven™ were both packaged in English only boxes with the Wet and Wild name (Wet 'n Wild Steven), and showed the full lineup on the backs of their boxes, while Barbie®, Ken®, Marina, and Skipper® were in the usual 4 language European boxes with the Aqua Magic name. At first, I thought that the dolls might have been a mixed up shipment, but not after I found them in two locations. I now believe that the dolls might have been an early test to see how well the ethnic dolls would sell, and that they were rerouted from the U.S. to England for this purpose. (Hence the different boxes) At any rate, it’s good to see that more ethnic dolls are being sent overseas.
Previous published story below.
Above: European booklet featuring Skate Date Steven™, not Skate Date Ken® AA. Photo courtesy of Kat.
|Last month I reported on Concert Date Steven
being available in Sweden. This doll was only available as Concert Date Ken AA
domestically. I have now been notified that a Skate Date Steven™
has been spotted in Germany. Domestically, only a Skate Date Ken AA
was available. Markus from Germany reports that he "read about
Concert Date Steven™" here at the Keeping Ken News! He said
"the new AA Skating Date Ken® is available in Europe as Steven™ this
year!! Markus found his Skate Date Steven™ doll at Toys R Us in Enschede
(Holland). Markus wrote "I don't know why
Mattel makes different names for this doll, I think now Christie® has a
boyfriend - not only Barbie®!!!!"
I have European contacts trying to get both of these versions for me. It's interesting that Mattel has decided to make the AA versions of Ken® dolls Steven™ for the European market, but not domestically...something that I personally wanted to see changed in the play line. Teresa™ looks pretty lonely back there (pictured below) standing by the VW Bug. Maybe if we keep telling Mattel, they will realize that she needs a Hispanic boyfriend!! Anyway, get a hold of your contacts, because these Steven™ dolls will probably turn out to be highly collectible!
Here is a little trivia about the availability of Black Mattel Barbie® line male dolls from Markus: Do you know that Movie Date Steven™ was the first official black male doll in Europe since Free Moving Curtis in the 70´s??? Only Toys R Us in Germany had a beach Steven™ in the 90´s as a special edition! It is so difficult to find black dolls here in Europe - particularly in Germany, Austria, Swish and Poland. I hope I find Steven™ in Holland, Mattel had a very limited number on this doll in Europe.
Below: European booklet featuring Concert Date Steven™, not Concert Date Ken® AA. Photo courtesy of Kat.