Dating Fun Ken

7 Sep

Having met my self-imposed project target late last weekend, I now feel like I can move on with some more posts. Here’s a great, great contemporary release – Dating Fun Ken. I have been stalking this Ken for a while now, and when Kewpie83 at Dollyconfessions posted about him, I suddenly decided that I was just going to go ahead and buy.

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I love contemporary Barbieverse dolls that hark back to older releases. Its interesting to see how the cliches of yesterday are made over into something fresh and contemporary and I also think that its like a little nod from Mattel to collectors too. Dating Fun Ken’s three wigs are reminiscent of Fashion Queen Barbie from 1963 and its a great twist to have given the three wigs to a male doll, although I think the marketing ideas behind both dolls might have been similar. In the early days of Barbie, I remember reading that girls weren’t expected to own more than one doll (in fact, on one occasion when a new model was brought out, an offer was made through which you could part exchange your old doll for a new one). Given this, a wigged doll would clearly provide extended interest by allowing the creation, in a very crude way, of three different characters. Three dolls in one! Of course, at the time the focus was on Barbie as clothes-horse, so what Mattel aimed to sell most of was the fashion packs. These days, little girls in the Western world tend to have multiple Barbies, the often-quoted figure being eight per girl-child. However, Ken is a much rarer bird, a fact which over the years has led many a proto-modder to sacrifice the golden locks of one of her dolls so that the others would have a kind-of male to take them on dates. Well, in Dating Fun Ken we now have three dates for the price of one! Clever old Mattel.

The doll himself comes with quite a few nice little props (concert tickets, chocolates, an iPhone, a watch) but I still don’t understand why he has to be so stiff-limbed. Mattel’s aversion to providing all new releases with Fashionista poseability worries me, as its an indication that sooner or later they will stop doing them and revert back to the old-style Barbie bodies. Anyway, his head at least can be posed and tilted. I find it interesting and rather amusing that this multi-personality Ken doll is described as “The Perfect Boyfriend” and I would love to think that this is done with tongue in cheek. However, I think its more likely designed to be consistent with the short pre-teen attention span in these matters. Remember back when you were considered to be in a long-term relationship if you’d been a couple for a fortnight?

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I was also interested to note that Ken has a molded-on crewcut under the wig, which really reminded me of the haircuts sported by very early Kens. Actually, I think I probably like this look better the wigs.

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6 Responses to “Dating Fun Ken”

  1. kewpie83 September 8, 2012 at 4:36 am #

    Thanks for the shout out! I think I’d have to agree– the crew cut looks the best to me. It is very reminiscent of the original Ken! Love the post, btw. It’s nice to see this doll ‘in use’!

    • barbielea September 9, 2012 at 9:27 pm #

      That’s OK Kewpie, and thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Maria September 8, 2012 at 11:24 pm #

    I think he looks like his very own split personality boyband! …..now theres an interesting back story! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. discodiva79 September 12, 2012 at 4:15 am #

    Genius idea! A different boyfriend at least 4 days out of the week! Love it!

    • barbielea September 12, 2012 at 8:35 am #

      Maybe they should produce one for the grown-up girls too … ๐Ÿ™‚

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