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Life | Toys

10 Ken Dolls That Are So Bizarre You'll Wonder How We Ever Forgot Them

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We all know and love Barbie, she has been one of the most iconic toys for decades. And Barbie of course has her group of friends and family that help bring her world to life. Of course there is one special man who has always been a big figure in her life.

Ken Carson came onto the scene in 1961, and has been Barbie's boyfriend ever since. Well, I guess they broke up for a little bit in 2004, but let's pretend that never happened.

There have been a lot of version of Ken since he arrived in stores nearly sixty years ago, and honestly some of them are a little bit crazy. Trying to keep up with the trends isn't easy, especially when it takes several months or even years for a design to be completed and released to the public, so they have to try to imagine what will be popular in the future.

Sometimes there have been some really awesome dolls, but every once and a while there is a Ken doll that comes out that leaves us all scratching our heads. These are some of the most interesting and weirdest dolls that have been sold.

1. Shaving Fun Ken

That's right, the normally clean cut Ken got a little bit more rugged when he started sporting a beard. His JNCO-style jean shorts and baggy sweater kind of remind me of Travis from Clueless, but now every girl could live out their dream of... shaving their doll's face?

You would put on some shaving cream, run the razor under warm water and as you go over the beard it disappears for a while, leaving him date-ready. The beard comes back (probably as soon as it cools down) and then you'r ready to go again! He even comes with a visor, water bottle, hair brush and more. What an impressive toy.

He's currently selling for over $60 though, so it's not a cheap investment if you want a bearded Ken.

2. Butterfly Art Ken

Ken's ready in his summer beach wear complete with linen pants, mesh shirt and cord necklace to really make those butterfly tattoos pop. He came with a bunch of tattoos that you could use on yourself, or apparently on Ken too!

3. Earring Magic Ken

Earring Magic Ken is an interesting story because he actually became a little bit of an icon and the best selling Ken doll of all time.

He was developed after researchers learned that girls wanted Ken to look "cooler." They went with a purple mesh (I know, another mesh shirt), a purple leather vest, some highlights in his hair, black jeans and of course an earring. He also has a flashy silver necklace that matched his earring but was reminiscent of something a little bit more scandalous.

Whether it was intentional or not, Mattel had created a Ken doll completely outfitted in clothes that the "stereotypical gay man" would wear, or at least that's what Savage magazine said. They realized that the clothes he was wearing and the accessories he had were much more common in the gay community, and when they released their article the toy quickly became sold out everywhere.

It wasn't being purchased by children though, instead it was the new must-have collectible for gay men, but Mattel wasn't as happy about the association.

They didn't want people saying that Ken's necklace was sexual in anyway, so they had to remove him from the shelves. You can still buy some on Ebay though, and you can usually buy one for around $30. There are a lot of collectors out there who are always looking for one!

4. Mod Hair Ken

Is it just me, or does Mod Hair Ken look exactly like the actor Chris Pine?

This version of Ken was actually the first one to have the rooted hair. Before this, they all had plastic hair, but now they went all out with luscious locks you could brush for hours. They also wanted to give you a little bonus.

Mod Hair Ken actually comes with an adhesive beard you can stick on, or if that's not your style there are also sideburns and two separate mustaches to chose between.

5. Rappin' Rockin' Ken

Complete with a "Real rap beat boom box" Ken is ready to "dance with you to a jammin' beat" according to the box. The 90s Ken tried to become a rapper, but that did not last long.

6. Glitter Beach Ken

Ken is ready for the beach in yet another mesh top (this time a cropped one) and some very glittery short shorts. No one can say that Ken doesn't know how to make a statement.

He looks like he's already been at the beach for a while, he's got quite the tan going on! It really brings out that super cool surfer necklace he's rocking.

7. Cool Times Ken

Wearing cropped pants with checkered suspenders and a bright yellow shirt just continues to prove that Ken was a trendsetter doesn't it? He even comes complete with a slice of pizza so he's basically perfect.

8. Perfume Giving Ken

Perfume is I guess a pretty common gift, but it's strange that he's dressed in a full on tuxedo right? He's got a corsage and everything. He comes with "Real Barbie fragrance notepaper" so you can writer very tiny notes that smell like whatever Barbie's favorite perfume smells like.

9. Animal Lovin' Ken

Apparently this is the Ken doll that they used for inspiration in Toy Story 3, but I guess he didn't have his chimpanzee anymore. You probably shouldn't have kidnapped a chimpanzee Ken, but I'm digging that blue leopard print shirt!

10. Totally Hair Ken

Totally Hair Ken came with his own bottle of hair gel so you could help him tame that wild mop he's got going on. Also, please note the fact that his Velcro pants fasten to a sewn in patch that says his name. It's just nice that they put such attention to detail.  

Do you remember any of these Ken dolls from your childhood?

HT - How Stuff Works / Chicago Reader /