Two years ago Mattel made worldwide news when they announced that after 43 years as one of the world’s most popular couples, the perfect plastic pair was breaking up. Russell Arons, vice president of marketing at Mattel, said that Barbie and Ken felt like it was “time to spend some quality time apart.”
“Like other celebrity couples, their Hollywood romance has come to an end,” Arons reported, adding that the couple would “remain friends.”
During the separation, Barbie had a brief fling with a handsome newcomer, Australian surfboarder, Blaine (chosen by more than 2 million people worldwide who logged on to Barbie.com to help Barbie choose a new beau in 2004). However, after their two-year separation, Mattel Inc. announced today that Ken wanted to rekindle his half-a-century romance with his perky plastic paramour. Ken’s extreme makeover and romantic reunion with Barbie was announced just in time for Valentine’s Day.
“Ken has revamped his life — mind, body and soul,” states Hollywood stylist to the stars and Mattel consultant Phillip Bloch. “Everyone knows how difficult it is to change, especially when you’ve lived your life a certain way for more than four decades.”
Ken appears to have spent time buffing up in the gym as well as making time in his busy schedule for the salon. He makes his comeback wearing a beach outfit complete with board shorts and white t-shirt. Another new ensemble has Ken swagged out in today’s stressed denim jeans.
At today’s press conference unveiling the “new” Ken, Bloch said Mattel is going for a “worldly, European thing” and definitely wanted Ken to look “hot.” Savvy collectors know how often the final products do not look as good as the prototypes, but if the boxed Kens look as good as the prototype photos, Blaine will have some serious competition as Ken seeks to reclaim his gal!
Barbie publicist Lauren Dougherty said that while Barbie appreciates the new look Ken is sporting, “We’ll have to stay tuned to see whether these two will get back together.”
Mattel is hoping Ken’s makeover can revitalize the company’s overall fortunes. For nearly 50 years, Barbie has been at the heart of Mattel’s success. The company, based in El Segundo, California, remains the largest toymaker in the world. However, Mattel fears that Barbie’s squeaky clean image and virtually no electronic bells and whistles are turning today’s young girls off. Mattel’s fourth-quarter results in January showed an 18 percent decline in Barbie’s U.S. sales, although the doll is still the most popular toy in the world. The company said that in addition to “tweaking” the Barbie line this year, more dramatic changes will appear in 2007.
Local Barbie and Ken enthusiasts can join with other collectors at Shoneys, Bellevue, when the Belle Meade Plantation Belles Barbie Club holds their monthly meetings the first Thursday of every month. For more information call 662-6212 and leave your name and number on the voice mail or email email@example.com.
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