The Ken doll has remained (largely) unchanged since his inception into Mattel's Barbie line more than five decades ago. That is to say, he has had many styles of outfits and accessories, but Ken himself has been the same blue-eyed, white, dome-haired dude forever. That is all about to change.
Mattel today has announced that 15 new Ken dolls will be made available starting today. They will have two different body types: "slim" and "broad". The "original" body type will still be available as well. He will also have six new hairstyles, including cornrows and the ever popular man bun. I don't know, the one above looks eerily like Jared from Subway, which is not exactly a good thing. From a press release by Mattel:
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.
"By continuing to expand our product line, we are redefining what a Barbie or Ken doll looks like to this generation," said Lisa McKnight, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Barbie. "Evolving Ken was a natural evolution for the brand and allows girls to further personalize the role they want him to play in Barbie's world."
The line includes 15 new Ken dolls with three body types, seven skin tones, eight hair colors, nine hairstyles and modernized fashions, ranging from casual business attire to athletic wear. The brand is also introducing 25 additional diverse Barbie dolls. These dolls join the 100+ diverse looks launched in the Barbie Fashionistas line in the last three years.
This all comes on the heels of them doing a similar thing last year with Barbie herself, making her with four different body types and all kinds of different, modern hairstyles. That was a giant hit, with Mattel seeing a 7% increase in doll sales afterwards, so this is a natural next step. And just like Barbie, these are all actually Ken, not a friend or anything. While this seems like a pretty cool idea to me, Twitter is having a field day with it all. The man bun is an especially easy target:
Anyway, these will be hitting stores in July and are available for preorder right now on the Mattel Barbie Shop webstore.