Entertaiment

Mattel gives Ken a makeover: Cornrows, beefy bod and new skin tones

Mattel gives Ken a makeover: Cornrows, beefy bod and new skin tones

Brace yourself, Barbie. Ken's kicking some brand new flava!

The company had a rocky start to 2017, with a 15 percent drop in sales in the first quarter; sales of Barbie were down 13 percent.

He's been overshadowed by Barbie for decades, but now Ken is finally getting some attention.

"We are redefining what a Barbie or Ken doll looks like to this generation", Lisa McKnight, senior VP and general manager for Barbie, said in a statement.

So if Cactus Cooler Ken and his man bun isn't your speed, perhaps Plaid On Point Ken and his close-cropped hair is more to your liking.

Mattel is introducing 15 new looks for the male doll, giving him different skin tones, body shapes and hair styles.

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As far as body types go, Ken will be available in "slim" and "broad" as well as his original size, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The El Segundo, California-based company also announced new Barbie looks Tuesday, including one with a almost shaved head and another with an Afro.

According to Barbie history, Ken and Barbie met on the set of a TV commercial in 1961 and have been inseparable ever since. He has always stood half an inch taller than her.

The two original versions had him sporting molded plastic hair in either blond or brown and wearing red swimming trunks and cork sandals. Also, the fashion looks suggest Ken hangs out in a pretty lax workplace; the clothes are office casual at best, beach bum at worst. A live-action Barbie movie is in the works for next year, with hopes that the big-screen flick will spur doll sales as well.

The company is betting that girls growing up in the digital age will buy this new $10 Ken doll with all his tactile trendiness and diverse options instead of a pricey new tech toy.


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