12 Sep

I’ve wanted a new-style Ken for a little while, but not enough to pay full whack for him. When I found a sale including this Ken, who is the companion to the contemporary Bride doll, I decided to take the plunge.

Modern Ken - to go with I Can Be Bride BarbieGroom Ken 2011

On the plus side, modern Ken is not frightening, the way some of the old-style Kens were (even though 80s Barbie didn’t look much like a teenager to me, 80s Ken often looked older than her by a country mile, and some models made me think of a well preserved middle-aged playboy). On the minus side, I think that modern Ken can sometimes look a bit bland and ill-defined, like a well-toned Pillsbury Dough Boy. I’ve noticed this especially with the Fashionista boys, who sometimes seem muddy-eyed and pale. However, as I’ve never seen one of these boys in the plastic, maybe its just that they photograph badly.

My Ken is OK – he’s simply painted, but I don’t think he looks as under-defined as some of the others. Unfortunately he’s rather wooden as he doesn’t have bending arms or legs, but his head is nicely posable. He’s younger, he looks like he could actually be a contemporary of Barbie’s rather than her scary Uncle. I also think Mattel have perfectly captured the boy-band vibe with this Ken – if he could lip-sync, he’d probably do quite well on X-Factor.

Lastly, a note about Barbie Bride herself. I was sorely tempted to buy her as well, mostly for one very interesting feature. Her left hand (but not her right) moves at the wrist so she can show off her new wedding ring and make it shine. Having worked in offices for years, I’ve seen this move – the diamond flash – more times than I can remember, and I am impressed and amused that Mattel have immortalised it in plastic.

Ken Groom 2011 packaging


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