Happy Birthday Ken

Ken’s birthday often gets lost in the hype of Barbie’s I suspect but today, 11 March, Ken will turn 62. Like Barbie Ken has gone through many changes during his life and he carries his years very well even though I don’t like some of his current fashion choices in hairstyles and clothing.

Ken has had an on and off again romance with Barbie. For the first few years they were inseparable. They wore coordinated outfits and often double dated with Midge and Allan. Ken went Mod when Barbie did, sporting longer hair and even facial hair. Then, after the Mod Era Ken seemed to disappear for a while before returning with a new face sculpt and new arms. Some years later Mattel announced that the two were no longer and item and Ken went off the market. You can’t keep a good doll down though. Ken came back for his 50th anniversary year and Barbie said “Yes”. We are not clear as to what she said yes to as they did not get engaged or married. I haven’t even seen a Barbie wedding dress in a few years.

I think that Mattel are largely to blame for Barbie’s lack of interest in Ken. All they ever give him to wear are tuxedos and beach wear. She probably looks back fondly to the days when Ken came to pick her up for a date in a suitable outfit.

Some of these Ken’s belong to Naomi, a few of them are mine. Most of them have been restyled to suit our tastes. Some of the pictures are pretty old, in some cases ten or fifteen years, and were taken in Naomi’s old toy room in Oatlands. I haven’t included Allan, Steven, Ryan or any character dolls except for 90210 Brandon, Fashion Fever Kurt and a Blaine or two. See if you can spot them. There is a prince or two included but not necessarily the one you would expect.

Ken is definitely more than Barbie’s toy boy or accessory.



  1. There are some great Kens here. I like the leather jacket clad group. You are right though, it is difficult to get normal streetwear rather than just tuxedos and beachwear. Then there is the body size differences. I have Action Men and they have huge hands which won’t go through long sleeves.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You and Naomi have a great collection of Ken dolls. It’s so nice to see Ken dressed in a variety of outfits. Mattel seems enamoured of shorts. Or maybe Ken just doesn’t get out much. It would be nice if Mattel would produce some jeans, casual and dress pants for Ken. Your Modern Circle Ken and the 2012/13 Fashionista Ken are my favourites.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ken gets about one outfit for ten of Barbie’s I think but it wasn’t always that way. Look at the original Barbie and Ken catalogues and he had a great range of outfits. Naomi has spent a lot of time and money outfitting her guys. Most of their clothes come from eBay sellers now as Mattel rarely makes anything we can use.


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