Barbie is getting a makeover
Look out, world. Barbie’s beau, Ken, has had a makeover, and people on social media can’t decide whether they’d swipe right on him.
It’s the man bun, right?
While Barbie has changed up her look many, many times over the years, her plastic boy toy hadn’t dramatically updated his in years. So Mattel did it up big, creating 15 new-look Kens that go on sale on its website Tuesday, with more coming for the holidays.
Ken now comes in seven different skin tones and three body shapes – “slim,” “broad” and “original” recipe.
Sorry, pops. Many people have already dubbed the thicker, broader-bodied Ken the “dad bod.” Slim Ken has more delicate arms and a thinner waist.
And about that hair: eight colors and nine hairstyles in all. Ken went and got himself a man bun, and cornrows, and one blond style that looks like Justin Bieber cut his own hair with kiddie scissors.
Ken’s been shopping at Urban Outfitters, too. Check out the thin tie and graphic tees.
Wait. Has Mattel been invaded by millennial body-snatchers?
“By continuing to expand our product line, we are redefining what a Barbie or Ken doll looks like to this generation,” Barbie senior vice president and general manager Lisa McKnight said in a press release.
“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.”
Worldwide sales in the company’s Barbie division went up 7 percent from the previous year after Mattel introduced a new, diverse crop of Barbies in January 2016, according to the Chicago Tribune.
But first-quarter sales fell 15 percent this year, the Tribune reported.
New Ken dolls will definitely help, Jim Silver, chief executive and editor in chief of the toy-review website TTPM.com, told the Tribune.
“I’m not going to say it’s a game changer, but is it a piece of the puzzle? Yes. … The play pattern is that for every six to eight Barbies (a child) has, they generally have one Ken.
“So if you have a Ken kids aren’t interested in, that could affect sales. What’s happening needed to be done. They needed to do this. It’s the next step.”
Judging by reaction on social media Tuesday, that next step is a whopper. Adults can’t decide how they feel about this new crop of Kens and have baptized it with snark.
It’s the man bun, right?
Some people noticed what the new Kens don’t come with.
No, not man parts – facial hair.
“We want to do beards,” said Robert Best, senior director of Barbie Design, told the Tribune. “Facial hair is definitely a thing. There’s going to be changes that we keep pushing, but you have to launch with something. It’s progress, not perfection.”