The Ken Doll ( item # 750) came to life in 1961 as Barbie Dolls boyfriend and he was an instant hit as Barbie fans wanted her to have a companion. The first Ken Doll had flocked hair in either blonde or brunette, blue eyes and he was 12 inches tall. The Ken doll came wearing red swimming trucks, sandals and had a yellow beach towel. With time and age the hair became thin and fell out of Kens head leaving many of these dolls with bald heads.
The following year, 1962, a second Ken Doll was released with molded hair that was painted either blonde or brown; he too was released wearing red bathing trunks with sandals and a red and white striped beach jacket. He also came with a collectible wardrobe of clothes that would carry him thru many years. Ken number one is referred to by collectors as item number 750, or number 1 Ken or Fuzzy Headed Ken. His Patent was: Ken R Pat.Pend. c MCMLX by Mattel, Inc.
In 1963 a new and improved Ken was produced, he was a little shorter and more movable. 1964 saw Ken undergo more changes which seen him return to his original height. This year also seen the Ken Doll released as King Arthur in The Limited Edition Dolls.
In 1965 Ken was released as Bendable Leg Ken which made him more lifelike. Then Ken moved into the Mod Era with his beautiful Barbie Doll. In 1966 Ken was discontinued and then re-vamped in 1968 as Talking Ken Doll (item #1111) and yet again in 1969 as Talking Ken with a completely new look, he was very adult looking now, his body was muscular and he came with a complete new wardrobe as his earlier wardrobe of clothes from the early 60’s did not fit him anymore!
In 1970 Good Looking Ken (item #1124) was produced, and in 1971 Action Ken Doll (item #1159) hit the Barbie doll scene, he came out wearing groovy gold and a wild psychedelic shirt and vest. He still had molded brown hair and stood out in the doll crowd! 1971 saw Sun Set Malibu Ken ( item #1088) and Live Action Ken On Stage (item #1172) released, and in 1972 Walk Lively Ken (item #1184)and Busy Ken (item #3314), Talking Busy Ken ( item #1196) were introduced. All these dolls came dressed and with accessories.
In 1973 The Ken Doll finally received a head of real rooted hair for the first time he was known as Mod Hair Ken (item #4224) and came with a collection of moustaches, side-burns and beards that could be stuck on. This made collectors of Ken very happy and many were sold as a result of the new hair style!
In 1974 Sun Valley Ken (item #7809) was introduced along with Mod Hair Ken (item #4234), and then in 1975 came Gold Medal Skier Ken (item #7261) and Free Moving Ken (item #7280).
The Ken Doll was released in 1975 as The Now Look Ken (item #9342) and Malibu Ken (item #1088).
1978 Ken was back as SuperStar Ken (item #2211) and a duo set of SuperStar Barbie & SuperStar Ken (item #2422). 1979 came Sun Lovin’ Malibu Ken (item #1088), and in 1981 came Western Ken (item #3600), Roller Skating Ken (item #1881) and Disco Ken (item #3208). In 1982 Ken was All Star Ken (item #3553), Fashion Jeans Ken (item #5316) and Sunsational Malibu Ken (item #1088).
In 1977 The Ken Doll underwent his biggest changes and with a new face, body and wardrobe, he was known as Superstar Ken and was very popular.