Barbie's boyfriend Ken gets a makeover: Man buns and new skin tones

(USA Today)--It’s taken decades, but Barbie’s boyfriend Ken is now getting a well-deserved transformation.

Tuesday, Mattel announced 15 new looks for Ken, including three body types: slim, broad and original. Yes, some Kens might come with dad bods instead of six packs. The doll will also be available in a variety of skin tones, eye colors and hairstyles. Man buns, polka-dotted tees and hipster glasses are all a part of the mix.

Ken has had some minor changes over the years (remember beard-growing Shaving Fun Ken?), but this marks his first major update in 56 years.

Some of the new $9.99 Ken dolls were available in select shops and online stores Tuesday, Mattel said, but will be widely available July 8.

Last year, Mattel made Barbie models more diverse, rolling out a variety of skin tones and body shapes available in tall, petite and curvy.

During that transformation, Barbie designers made it clear they were open to change. 

The new looks are an effort to reboot interest in the dolls. As more children cling to screens rather than traditional toys, Barbie sales are declining — down 13% in the first three months of the year compared with the same period a year ago, AP reports.

A live-action Barbie movie is slated for summer 2018, and originally was going to star Amy Schumer. The first-ever live-action adaptation for the Mattel toy is meant to serve as a "contemporary spin on beauty, feminism, and identity," issues Mattel has at times struggled to navigate, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

"By continuing to expand our product line, we are redefining what a Barbie or Ken doll looks like to this generation,” said Lisa McKnight, senior vice president and general manager of Barbie.

 

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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