When he debuted in 1961, Ken (legal name: Ken Carson) was a spindly, anemic fan of casual swimwear. Caity Weaver went deep into the valley (and design center) of the dolls to get an exclusive glimpse of Mattel’s new take on the all-American male.The decision to give him some depth marks a new chapter for men, and dolls who are men. “We want to make sure Ken reflects a friendly view of the world,” says Shore.)One way to make Ken more of a real-live man, Mattel decided, is to put him through a dramatic physical transformation. Think of this strategy as the ice-cream-ization of Barbie.
Diversity continues to roll out across brand content, marketing and product, including the Fantasy, Entertainment and Careers segments.
The new Fashionistas launch at retailers nationwide and "The New Crew" can be seen on For more information and images, please visit Mattel is a creations company that inspires the wonder of childhood.
In 2016, Barbie introduced three new Barbie body types – tall, curvy and petite – along with new skin tones, eye colors, hairstyles and countless on-trend fashions and accessories.
The Barbie brand has always reflected the times, so modernizing Ken is the next step in the brand's evolution to offer more diverse products.
These Ken dolls join the 100 diverse looks launched in the Barbie Fashionistas line in the last three years, making it the most diverse fashion doll line in the marketplace.
The new Fashionistas launch at retailers nationwide...
He’ll teach girls precisely how much taller than women men should be and (sort of) about the different ways men use the bathroom; Barbie’s Dreamhouse, a one-woman mega-mansion, features a single but quintessential nod to Ken’s existence: a toilet seat that lifts up.
“That’s very important for Ken from a girl’s perspective,” says Michael Shore, Mattel’s head of global consumer insights (it means he watches kids play with dolls).
Starting now, Mattel is re-imagining the all-American guy. Mattel has spent the better part of six decades teaching children that Barbie and Ken are white; that Barbie and Ken are sculpted like Hellenistic statues, only pornier, despite lacking genitals; that Barbie and Ken have friends—that some of their best imaginary friends are black—but that at the end of the day those friends are not quite A-list superstars like Barbie and Ken. Millennial moms declared Barbie out of sync with their values.