By Allen Voivod
Barbie® debuted to worldwide acclaim on March 9, 1959. Two years and two days later, she would meet an extraordinary certain someone – a handsome young teenage gentleman named Ken Carson! And their lives would never be the same. Six decades later, Ken® doll still holds a special place in Barbie® doll's heart, and we're celebrating his debut with the Barbie® Signature Ken® 60th Anniversary Doll.
As the story goes, hundreds upon hundreds of Barbie® Fan Club letters poured into Mattel headquarters in Barbie® doll's early days, from fans who wanted Barbie® to have a boyfriend. Mattel gave the fans what they wanted, releasing the first Ken® dolls on March 11, 1961. Barbie®, of course, was named after Ruth and Elliot Handler's daughter, Barbara; Ken was named after their son, Kenneth.
"I did not own a Ken as a child, but when I started to collect vintage Barbie my late teens, of course I needed a #1 Ken," says Barbie® Signature designer Bill Greening. "I have some very minty examples in my current collection." Yet another reason why Bill was a perfect choice to design this doll!
In honor of that fateful day in 1961, when the world's most iconic couple was born, Barbie® Signature has created a vintage reproduction of the original Ken® doll, while using the modern Silkstone® doll body. Ken® wears his classic beach look – a pair of red cotton swim trunks with a white stripe and stylish brown beach sandals with red straps. He sports flocked, sunshine-blond hair; a yellow terry cloth towel; and a "Genuine Ken®" wrist tag, for the complete nostalgic experience.
"Based on his original commercial, you can see how he helped extend story lines for children, Bill notes. "Ken and Barbie went on dates, to the beach, the dance, etc. Barbie was no longer 'Solo in the Spotlight,' so to speak."
The 60th anniversary Ken® Doll is part of our Gold Label® series of dolls and will retail for $50.00 in the online shop. When he debuts, there will be a limit of two (2) dolls per person, so as many Ken® fans as possible – and Barbie® fans, too! – can add him to their collections. (This limit is subject to change at a later date.)
It's worth noting that the Barbie® 60th anniversary doll sold out in our online shop back in 2019. If you got that doll, then you've got to get this Ken® doll to complete the iconic pairing, right? And if you missed out on that Barbie® doll, then be sure you don't let this opportunity pass you by. Get the Barbie® Signature Ken® 60th Anniversary Doll in the shop right now!