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1961 Ken Doll

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Ken doll was introduced two years after Barbie doll debuted in 1959. History of Ken Doll included below photo.
1961 Ken Doll

1961 Ken Doll

Courtesy of Mattel
Ken doll is Barbie doll's on-again, off-again boyfriend. Ken doll was introduced as Barbie’s arm candy in 1961. Starting out with nine outfits, a skinny frame and fuzzy crew cut.

Ken Doll Facts

The Ken Doll was introduced at the American International Toy Fair as Barbie doll’s boyfriend on March 11, 1961. Ken doll was 12 inches tall, had “molded” plastic hair (blond and brunette) and came dressed in red bathing suit trunks with a yellow towel and sandals. Ken Dolls full name is Ken Carson (named after Ken Handler, son of inventor Ruth Handler).

Ken Doll's hair has been nine different colors over the years including auburn, black, blond, brown, brunette, light brown, red, two-tone and yellow. In 1973, Ken Doll's hair changed from plastic molded hair to a more “natural” style. 1973's Mod Hair Ken doll introduced his first ever rooted hair style. The doll came with either straight or curly hair as well as additional facial hair pieces including a mustache, beard and/or sideburns. The 1992, Totally Hair Ken sported a retro 70s look, it was a rooted hairstyle and came packaged with a tube of styling gel.

In 1982, Sunsational Malibu Ken doll was the first African American Ken doll introduced, and came sporting a rooted Afro hairstyle. The first African American Barbie had been introduced in 1980.

In 2004, during a Mattel publicity campaign, America’s sweethearts call it quits. Ken and Barbie® announce they were breaking up. However, two years later it was announced that Ken was going to try and win Barbie back.

More on Barbie Doll, Ken Doll, Ruth Handler, and Mattel

The History of Barbie DollsShopping for a Ken Doll?

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