Mar 13, 2011

Barbie's toy-boy Ken turns 50
It was 1961 when twelve inches of moulded plastic hit the market and forever transformed the way that men measured up in the eyes of women. Two years after Barbie hit the scene, the American toy maker Mattel decided it was time to give her a boyfriend, and Ken Carson arrived.

17 things you didn't know about Ken

• Ken is named after the son of Mattel founders Ruth and Elliott Handler
• Ken is a Pisces - his "official birthday" is March 11, 1961
• Ken is two years and two days younger than Barbie
• Ken is from Willows, Wisconsin
• Ken stands 12" tall, 1⁄2" taller than Barbie
• In 1961, a Ken doll sold for $3.50
• The first Ken doll wore red swim trunks, sported cork sandals and carried a yellow towel
• In 1961, two versions of Ken doll were launched with "molded" plastic hair - blond and brunette
• In 1973, Ken debuted a new "real" rooted hairstyle
• Ken has a younger brother, Tommy (1997)
• Ken's best friend is Alan, the husband of Midge
• Ken met Barbie on the set of their first television commercial together in 1961
• Barbie and Ken broke up on Valentine's Day in 2004
• Ken received a makeover by celebrity stylist Phillip Bloch in 2006
• In Summer 2010, Ken made his big screen debut in Toy Story 3, which included more than 50 costume changes
• Ken has an official Facebook page and Twitter handle

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