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.
Sailing in Foreign Territory!
Ken® went seaside, but remained stateside during the spend-free days of 1993. The Sea Holiday line along with the Sea Holiday Cruise Ship, was produced for the foreign market, but also available exclusively right here in the US. FAO Schwarz carried the line in stores and in their catalog. Versions of Barbie®, Midge® (with a Diva™ head mold) and Ken® were extravagantly dressed; with matching extravagant prices. A price well worth the detailed costuming and extras! To satisfy the masses, the Barbie version was available in Toys R Us stores as a shared exclusive. What makes this line so interesting though, has to be the Barbie Sea Holiday Cruise Ship. FAO Schwarz listed the ship for $140 in their 1993 catalog, making most people wonder, what's up with that ship anyway? The ship's "amenities" included a fold-out dining area with deck chairs, pool and bedroom vanity. The "smoke stacks" were actually two drinking cups, an umbrella became a drinking straw and best of all, it had a working blender...and we're not talking Barbie® sized! The front of the Captain's station (the blender) could be mixed any libation, for sail on the high seas! Like all great originals this ship was repackaged in 1994 as "Barbie® Dream Boat" and sold for more than half of its original price. But like all good ships, the original is still highly prized and decidedly more collectible, simply for the additional glitz and glamour it originally provided. Most people like to brag (if not for being embarrassed) that they spent $140 for a blender.
Who Am I Anyway?
Sea Holiday Ken (Box Date 1992) is dressed in a white Captain's uniform with gold lapels. When he's not busy guiding the ship, he is packaged with nautical print drawstring swim trunks, to enjoy the ship pool. With painted brunette hair, eyebrows and blue eyes, he is quite a appealing version of Ken®, while not actually being Ken® at all...or is he?
Sea Holiday Ken® uses the "Modified Alan®" head mold, which is just what it is; a modified version of the 1991 Alan® head mold. The modified part, of course, is the molded hair. While Alan® has combed-back longer hair, the modified mold is a shorter-haired version. Starting in the year of 1991, through present, both head molds continue to be used. Recently, the Alan® is used on 1998's Florida Vacation Ken® and the modified Alan on 1999's Hawaii Ken®. So does Ken® lose his identity in collector's eyes? Yes and no. Yes with the Alan® mold, but no with the modified version. My take on the whole "double-take" is the modified version was created to decipher Ken® from Alan®. Wedding Day Alan® was introduced for his one time stint in 1991. By 1992 he appeared again as Rappin' Rockin' Ken® and Roller Blade Ken®. Both of these versions can ALSO be found with the modified Alan® had mold. Was Mattel giving us a choice? Then in 1993, the Alan® disappears and we see only the modified in four versions, including Sea Holiday. Mysteriously in 1993, we are given the head mold choice again...Alan® or modified Alan® on Sparkle Surprise Ken®. Obviously Mattel can't decide on a winner either, as both head molds are used to present day. So why does the modified Alan® decipher Ken® from Alan®? Simply because it is a modification. The way most collectors view it, it was modified to be used as Ken®.
M#: 5474 BD: 1992 HC: Painted Brunette. C: White pants. Navy blue with white pattern and gold stars shirt s/s. Gold bow tie. White waiter length jacket with gold lapels. A: Navy/white and gold swim trunks. White with gold trim vinyl captain's hat. White loafers.
ABOVE: You could purchase this glamorous Barbie® Sea Holiday Cruise ship, for $140.
ABOVE: Sea Holiday Barbie® doll appeared on the foreign market, on FAO Schwarz store shelves exclusively and "shared" with Toys R Us. BELOW: Drinks anyone? Sure, in this real working blender!