March 13 – Ken Day

Posted on March 13, 2014

Fans of Barbie dolls recently celebrated Barbie Day, the anniversary of her 1959 introduction to the world. Well, today is Ken Day. I assume (but could not confirm) that the Ken doll was unleashed on the world on this date in 1961.

Ken is Barbie's boyfriend. Like Barbie, he is forever young and constantly reinvented (for example, the original Ken had felt hair, but from 1962 on he has been sporting lower-maintenance plastic molded hair). Ken's “into” everything – he's had at least 40 careers, although his career-hopping is dwarfed by Barbie's 78+ careers! 

It is not at all clear, however, if he is “into” getting married. In 2004, after decades of being boyfriend-girlfriend, Barbie and Ken split up but (according to manufacturer Mattel) remained friends. In 2011, again according to Mattel, Ken launched a massive campaign to get Barbie back. It seems to me that it couldn't have been that “massive,” however, because by Valentine's Day (2/14) of that year, the power couple was reunited.

It's almost scary to read about Ken in Wikipedia. I guess it stands to reason that someone has come up with his last name and the names of his father and younger brother; but, then, why doesn't his mother have a name? Also, who knew that Barbie and Ken met on the set of a TV commercial, or that Ken loved inventing gadgets?

Another thing I didn't know: Ken was in Toy Story 3, and he was wearing a different outfit in every scene of the movie! (You just don't see Woody and Buzz Lightyear changing clothes and accessories that often!) A groovy look at Ken's life was released on You Tube to help pump interest in the movie. 

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