Man bun, cornrows and freckles: Barbie’s Ken gets a makeover
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Man bun, cornrows and freckles: Barbie’s Ken gets a makeover

Ken’s makeover was unveiled 18 months after Barbie. Expect different body types, varied skin tones, and hipster hairstyles.

more lifestyle Updated: Jun 23, 2017 09:59 IST
Agence France-Presse, New York
Ken doll,Barbie,Mattel
Popular to brand Mattel announced that the company is introducing 15 new looks for the male doll, Ken. (AP)

Ken, the all-American, muscular male with luxuriant hair, is getting a makeover. Barbie’s iconic boyfriend is breaking out 15 new looks, including man bun, cornrows and freckles. Times are changing and doll manufacturer Mattel is playing catch-up as it also battles to boost declining sales.

Ken’s makeover was unveiled 18 months after Barbie, the stereotypical blue-eyed blonde bombshell, was given three new body types -- tall, petite and curvy. Mattel’s Next Gen Ken will come in three body types -- “broad”, “slim” and “original,” seven skin tones, eight hair colors and nine hairstyles, 56 years after the first Ken doll hit the market.

The dolls extend Barbie’s Fashionista line, which now runs to 40 dolls, representing seven body types, 11 skin tones and 28 hairstyles, the company said. “We are redefining what a Barbie or Ken doll looks like to this generation,” said Lisa McKnight, senior vice president and general manager of Barbie.

“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,” she added.

The makeover is part of Mattel’s plan to make its dolls more diverse and try to appeal to today’s kids. (AP)

The man doll will also sport “modernized fashions” ranging from casual business attire to athletic wear. Ken dolls were shown on the company website Tuesday dressed in hipster-style checked shirts, denim shorts and skinny jeans. One wore heavy dark-rimmed spectacles.

Mattel’s announcement in January 2016 of the new curvy Barbie was welcomed as an acknowledgement, however belated, that women come in many shapes and sizes.

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First Published: Jun 21, 2017 13:23 IST