Ken gets makeover: Cornrows, beefy bod and new skin tones

This photo provided by Mattel shows a broad body-style Ken doll, wearing eyeglasses. Mattel announced Tuesday, June 20, 2017, that the company is introducing 15 new looks for the male doll, giving him new skin tones, body shapes and hair styles. The makeover is part of the toy company’s plan to make its dolls more diverse and try to appeal to today’s kids, many of whom would rather pick up an iPad than a doll. Barbie received a similar overhaul more than a year earlier. (Courtesy of Mattel via AP)


NEW YORK (AP) — He’s been overshadowed by Barbie for decades, but now Ken is finally getting some attention.

Mattel is introducing 15 new looks for the male doll, giving him different skin tones, body shapes and hair styles. The makeover is part of the toy company’s plan to make its dolls more diverse and appeal to today’s kids. Barbie received a similar overhaul more than a year ago.

Ken will be sold in three body shapes: “slim,” ”broad” and “original.” He’ll have modern hairdos, such as cornrows and man buns, and come in seven different skin tones. He’ll also be sporting new fashions: think skinny ties, plaid shirts and graphic tees. Ken hasn’t changed much since he was first introduced 56 years ago as Barbie’s blue-eyed, chiseled boyfriend.

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

Mattel Inc., based in El Segundo, California, says some of the new Ken dolls will be available for sale on its website Tuesday. All of them will be on store shelves by the holidays.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.