A 50 Year Romance: Barbie + Ken

It all started in the spring of 1961. Ken Carson was new on the scene and love was in the air…

One of the most iconic and beloved couples of all time, Barbie and Ken are synonymous with EPIC romance. Wherever Barbie happens to be, Ken isn’t far behind. Best known as Barbie doll’s Prince Charming, arm candy and stylish counterpart, Ken is also known as confident, considerate, and of course, the ultimate boyfriend for every occasion. And just like any true romance, their love story is one for the ages—complete with headline-grabbing breakups, trendsetting styles and a love that has endured over five decades.

First introduced at the American International Toy Fair as Barbie doll’s boyfriend, Ken doll arrived on the scene March 11, 1961, standing 12-inches tall and sporting his now famous “molded” plastic hair. He was dashing and different from any other doll on the shelf with his red bathing suit trunks, yellow beach towel and sandals. A few weeks following the fanfare of his global debut, Ken met Barbie for the first time on the set of their first television commercial together. As soon as he laid eyes on the blonde beauty, it was love at first sight. The rest as they say, is history.

ROMANCE BLOSSOMS…

Thrust into the spotlight as America’s most fashionable “first man,” Ken and his leading lady took center stage as the power “It” couple. Together, this dynamic duo has been a constant reflection of the times—sporting each decade’s trendiest fashions and hairstyles plus launching careers that inspired generations of fans.

During the 70s, the couple stepped out together with the grooviest hairstyles of the decade as Quick Curl Barbie and Superstar Ken. One of their most instantly recognizable looks, Sun Lovin Malibu Barbie and Sun Lovin Malibu Ken made sun-kissed tans all the rage. Throughout the ,80s, the couple continued to set trends with their big hair and flashy style as Dream Date Barbie and Dream Date Ken. Barbie and Ken concentrated on their acting and professional careers throughout the ,90s, starring in 10 movies together. They also tried on new roles as Olympians, pilots and dancers—never losing sight of their adoration for each other. It wasn’t until the new millennium that it would all change for Ken.

THE BREAKUP

On Valentine’s Day 2004, after more than 43 years together, Hollywood’s quintessential couple decided to spend time apart. Creating a worldwide sensation, Barbie began dating Blaine, an Aussie surfer who charmed his way into her heart. However, proving that true love stays in your heart forever, Ken made a big play to get Barbie back in 2006. He enlisted the help of celebrity stylist, Phillip Bloch to impress Barbie with a “Hollywood makeover.” Although Ken scored big points with Barbie for the effort and new look, the two dolls remained just friends.

ON AGAIN?

After several low key, behind-the-scenes years, Ken decided it was time to step out in a big way in 2010. In the spring of that year, Ken reignited his mass pop culture appeal with his critically acclaimed self-portrayal and starring role in Toy Story 3. Ken was back as the ultimate bachelor. He became a social media butterfly with new profiles on Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare and the inspiration for an all-new digital reality series, “Genuine Ken: The Search for the Great American Boyfriend.” Everyone’s favorite male fashion doll even got the Big Apple buzzing as he made special appearances during Fashion’s Night Out.

With all the hype, newfound fame and attention, Ken hopes at least one pair of baby blues is watching him. An inspired romantic, Ken believes in true love…and that this epic love story is far from over.

 

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  1. Desiree

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