Life + Style

Barbie Beau Gets a Makeover! Mattel Releases Diverse Ken Doll Lineup

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For a long time, there hasn’t been much diversity in the toy industry. For most children of color, finding a doll that looks like “you” in a sea of blond hair and blue eyes can be difficult and disheartening. However, Barbie decided to switch things up by adding some diversity to its line of dolls, including Barbie’s boyfriend, Ken.

Over five decades after the original Ken dolls were introduced, Mattel and Barbie announced a new line of dolls that adds diversity to the 58-year-old company. It was announced yesterday (June 20) that Barbie will expand its Fashionistas line with 15 new and diverse Ken dolls. The line will feature dolls with different body types, skin tones, and trendy clothing styles.

Fans of Barbie may remember back in 2016 when the toy manufacturing company introduced three new body types for Barbie including – tall, curvy, and petite. Along with the expansion in body type, Mattel and Barbie also introduced new skin tones, hairstyles, eye colors, and stylish clothing options to its Fashionistas line. Being that the brand always reflects the times, it was time to give Barbie’s boyfriend a little makeover.

The new line includes 15 new Ken dolls with seven different skin tones, eight different hair colors, three different body types (slim, broad, and original), modern clothing options, and nine hairstyles – including the “man-bun” and cornrows! However, the expansion doesn’t end there – Barbie is also releasing 25 additional diverse Barbie dolls.

“By continuing to expand our product line, we are redefining what a Barbie or Ken doll looks like to this generation,” Lisa McKnight, Senior Vice President and General Manager or Barbie said in a statement. “Evolving Ken was a natural evolution for the brand and allows girls to further personalize the role they want him to play in Barbie's world.”

Only a handful of the new Ken dolls are available in stores and online Tuesday (June 21), starting at $9.99. According to the Barbie website, select dolls will be available in fall 2017 and spring 2018.

Be sure to check out some of "The New Crew" in the gallery below!

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