Mattel recently revealed its most diverse line of Ken dolls yet. With three body types, seven skin tones, and nine hairstyles, Ken is being redefined for a new generation.On Tuesday, June 20, toy company giant Mattel unveiled the latest lineup for its Ken doll. The male doll has 15 new and diverse looks, including three different body types, seven ranges of skin tones, and nine hairstyles (man bun and all!). This makeover is part of Mattel's plan to make the Ken dolls appeal to today's younger generations and to add more diversity to its line of dolls. And we love it! [gallery columns="2" size="large" ids="2062,2063"] Ken's new looks come about a year and a half after Mattel introduced its new Barbie doll line, which includes a tall, curvy, and petite Barbie, as well as various skin tones and hairstyles. The new Barbie line was one of the company's first moves in diversifying its dolls in more than 50 years. So it's no surprise that Mattel's next move was to add more diversity to its Ken dolls! The Ken dolls aren't the only ones getting the makeover, however. These Ken dolls are part of the new Fashionistas line, which also includes new Barbie dolls. More than 40 new dolls, seven body types, 11 skin tones, and 28 hairstyles to add to the already expanding diversity of the doll! [caption id="attachment_17922" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Fashionistas[/caption] In a statement released by Mattel, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Barbie Lisa McKnight stated,
By continuing to expand our product line, we are reediting what a Barbie or Ken doll looks like to this generation. 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 History of the Ken Doll (1961-Present)Over the last five decades, the doll has gone through various transformations (mostly hairstyles) and job occupations. Let's dive into how the Ken doll has changed over the years. 1961 Ken was first introduced to the world as Barbie's boyfriend on March 11, 1961, at the American International Toy Fair. Standing at 12 inches tall, he had "molded" plastic hair -- available in blond or brunette -- and was dressed in red swim trunks. 1973 Ken didn't see a change in dress until 1973 when he moved to a more "natural" hairstyle that included straight or curly hair, as well as facial hair pieces (mustache, beard and/or sideburns). 1978 This was the birth of one of Ken's most iconic looks, Superstar Ken, which consisted of an electric blue-belted jumpsuit. [caption id="attachment_17963" align="aligncenter" width="247"] Photographer: Paul Jordan
[/caption] 1979 The following year, Ken traded in his jumpsuit for a more beach-style outfit. Sun Lovin' Malibu Ken even had a tan, with his trademark blonde hair and turquoise swim trunks. 1982 History is made as the first African American Ken doll is introduced, Sunsational Malibu Ken. 1984 Dream Date Ken made the perfect arm candy for Barbie. With a sleek black jacket and bow tie, gray pants, and a rose, he was ready for a fancy evening out! 1992 This Ken was all 90s, all the time. Rocking a new hairstyle and a 90s outfit, he even came with his own tube of styling gel. 1994 Echoing his original outfit, Ken donned the red beach trunks and stole a page from the hit TV show of the 90s, Baywatch. 1999 Looking like he stepped out of a boy band or stole an outfit from Brad Pitt's closet, Shave 'n Style Ken donned a scruffy look, blue jeans, and a white t-shirt. 2004 Ken and Barbie part ways and bring an end to their relationship. 2006 Ken announces that he wants Barbie back and steps out in a new outfit in hopes of winning her back. 2009 Ken helps Barbie celebrate her 50th anniversary at the New York Fashion Week. This marks the duo's first appearance together in years. 2010 Ken (and Barbie) appear in the film Toy Story 3 and goes through the many outfits he's collected over the years. 2011 Ken and Barbie get back together on Valentine's Day.
What do you think of the new Ken dolls? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!