Mattel Introduces New Diverse Ken Dolls; Hopes To Reverse Sales Slump

Mattel introduces new skin tones, body shapes and hair styles.

Mattel recently added 15 new Ken Dolls to its Fashionistas line, giving Ken a much-welcomed update. Do you prefer the original Ken or are you a new fan of any of his new styles?

On top of that, the dolls are sporting six new hairstyles, including a man bun and cornrows, and they now come in a total of seven skin tones.

While the broad-shouldered Ken dolls are an improvement, it does feel like there could be additional bodies represented apart from just broad and slim.

“We are redefining what a Barbie or Ken doll looks like to this generation, ” said Mattels Lisa McKnight, who oversees the Barbie line.

Ten of the new trendy Ken dolls are available as of today while the rest will be released by the company over the next few months.

Given that this makeover of Kens is all about inclusivity, and making sure that more people can see themselves and relate to the dolls, a Ken with a man bun really isn't such a rotten idea idea.

The nation's largest toymaker Mattel announced on Tuesday that they will be producing new versions of Ken - Barbie's lifelong companion - and these new Kens will have a slightly different look.

Ken, Barbie's faithful boyfriend of 56 years, is now catching up.

Does Barbie want Ken to be slim or hunky?

The move comes after Mattel expanded its Barbie range at the beginning of 2016.

The dolls also feature seven different skin tones, the range of eye and hair colours, nine hairstyles and modern fashion looks including the man bun and corn rows hairstyles.

Mattel debuted the Ken doll in 1961. This mirrors the new tall, curvy and petite body types introduced for Barbie dolls a year ago.

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.

  • Salvatore Jensen