Ken Doll 1st Edition was produced in early March 1961, and he was introduced to the world as Barbie’s boyfriend. The 1st Ken doll had a nice “boy next-door” face with blue eyes and short flocked hair, usually in the hair colors of blonde, brown or brunette. Barbie was truly smitten with Ken from the moment they met!
He is dressed in red swimming trunks with a white strip on each side of the thigh. He comes packaged in a white box with pictures of barbie and ken fashions printed on it. Also printed on the box is “Ken Barbie’s Boyfriend.” Packaged with Ken was a pair of sandals, a bright yellow towel, a doll stand for him to pose on and a pink Barbie and Ken fashion booklet.
Today this booklet is very hard to find and is very valuable and collectible if you do find one. Most were destroyed in children’s play or over years of wear and tear.
Just like the new Barbie dolls of 1961, Ken is also wearing a wrist tag that says “Genuine Ken By Mattel.” These tags, if still on an original, vintage boxed doll, give validity to the dolls authenticity.
He was manufactured as Ken Doll # 750. Or number 1 Ken Doll to collectors.
Later in the same year, Ken also was released with a red and white jacket, this replaced his yellow towel, which today (the yellow towel) is rare and hard to find in good condition. The pink fashion booklet was changed to a blue one. So again, the pink booklet today is as rare as hens teeth!
When looking for an original, vintage Ken doll of 1961 you need to check for the registered trademark on the dolls bottom. Reproduction dolls (in later years) do not have this authentic trademark.
The Ken Doll 1st Edition in mint condition today would command many hundreds of dollars as he is highly collectable to doll collectors everywhere, and is very rare, thus hard to find.
Ken doll, Barbie’s boyfriend, has his 50th birthday celebration this year……. Happy Birthday Ken!