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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Is that you, Ken?

Barbie made her debut in 1959, but her male counterpart Ken Carson, also known as the "Ken" doll, made his debut on March 13, 1961.  That's today!  Happy 51st birthday, Ken!
The Mississippi Library Commission holds, among many reference titles, titles on collectible antiques, figurines, and toys.  I hoped The Collecters Encyclopedia of Barbie Dolls and Collectibles would show the original Ken, and it did!
Check out the flop of hair on the first Ken updated to a slicked back hairdo (and a look of surprise)!


...but have you ever seen the "Now Look Ken" dolls, first made in Taiwan in 1976 (DeWein 108)?  Here are the first and second issues of "Now Look Ken," respectively (DeWein 108):


"Included were a brown hair brush and decal beard, sideburns and two moustaches" (DeWein 107).  What a treat! 

While this wasn't the last time they tried "real" hair on Ken, most of us can agree Barbie wore it (and still wears it) much better!

First Ken picture (DeWein 6)
Second Ken picture (DeWein 8)
DeWein, Sibyl and Joan Ashabraner. The Collectors Encyclopedia of Barbie Dolls and Collectibles. Paducah, KY: Image Graphics, Inc., 1992. Print.

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