Diversity is slowly but surely touching aspects of everyday life, and Mattel, Inc. is one company who has embraced the concept in recent years. Last year, the company unveiled a new batch of Barbies, with curvier, taller, or more petite frames to encompass all shapes and sizes of the human body. Now, people are satisfied with the diverse Barbie, but they want to see a new and improved Ken doll. Instead of a perfectly chiseled, muscular companion for Barbie, why not throw in some different body types instead of one uniform look? El Segundo-based Mattel started selling their newest Ken dolls today, with some Dad-bod frames, to slender frames, to a cornrow hairstyle or a trendy man-bun look. In addition, the line will include seven different skin tones.
While Ken has changed up his look through the past fifty-six years, Barbie has been a little more diverse in appearances. This is one of the many ways the company has been trying to portray diversity through their work. Mattel will include the sale of the Ken dolls with the overall Barbie sales. Last year, sales rose 7% after the new Barbies were added. The new line of dolls is “definitely going to help,” Jim Silver said, the chief executive and editor in chief of TTPM.com, a toy-review website. “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.”
Like most of the designs in the past, the additions will still appear doll-like, with long legs and bigger heads than a traditional human body. The changes are most noticeable in a line-up of Barbies, where one can compare the frames side-by-side. The new dolls will have a variety of fluctuating waistlines, some wider, some more petite. As for skin tones, there are options all the way from pale skin to dark skin. There are even some additional freckles sprinkled on some of the dolls. While there are no bearded, bald, or tattooed Ken dolls yet, the company hints that there may be some to come. However, today there are fifteen new, diverse Ken dolls up for sale.