KEN & FRIENDS: MALE FASHION DOLLS & CLOTHING FROM 1961-1987
1977 The Outfits
1977-78 were hit-and-miss years for Ken clothing, a kind of in-between fashion period, which doesn’t quite achieve its own clear identity. Despite the appearance of SuperStar Ken in 1978, for me, the Superstar era doesn’t really begin until 1979, when there was a greater coherence in design. Still, there are a few gems here, including one of my all-time favorites, Get-Ups ‘N Go #9744. All outfits were produced in Korea. Again, I’ve just added shoes to the Best Buy Fashions for the photos.
BEST BUY FASHIONS
BEST BUY FASHIONS #9700
BEST BUY FASHIONS #9701
BEST BUY FASHIONS #9702
BEST BUY FASHIONS #9703
BEST BUY FASHIONS #9704
BEST BUY FASHIONS #9705
SEARS STORE EXCLUSIVE BEST BUY FASHIONS
Like all Best Buy Fashions sold between 1976-1978, these are dated 1975 on the packaging, so, without any printed reference such as a Sears store guide, I’m relying on the received wisdom of other collectors that they are indeed Sears exclusives from this year.
BEST BUY FASHIONS #2057
BEST BUY FASHIONS #2058
BEST BUY FASHIONS #2059
BEST BUY FASHIONS #2060
SEARS EXCLUSIVE FASHIONS #2064
Sears also sold Best Buy Fashions 9701 and 9702 together as a set, through the Wish Book and presumably in their stores packaged as FASHIONS.
GET-UPS ‘N GO / FASHION ORIGINALS
The Get-Ups ‘N Go outfits for 1977 and 1978 were available in two kinds of packaging: the regular squarish format pack, and a new slimmer design pack with cut-out ‘hook’. This new pack became the standard design for Superstar era outfits 1979-1982. In Europe they were also packaged as Fashion Originals.
GET-UPS ‘N GO Bright team for the travel scene / FASHION ORIGINALS #9744
GET UPS ‘N GO A very deluxe tux / FASHION ORIGINALS #9745
FASHION ORIGINALS #9929
This Fashion Originals outfit and the one below were European releases, and are now quite difficult to find.
FASHION ORIGINALS #9930
REVERSE OF PACKAGING
The Get-Ups ‘N Go outfits from 1973-1978 and the Best Buy Fashions from 1974-1978 are all blank on reverse. The Fashion Originals from 1977 were packaged in a yellow box, with the same illustration from the previous year on reverse.
BOOKLETS & CATALOGUES
In 1977 Best Buy Fashions and Get-Ups ‘N Go outfits slowly began to include booklets for the first time. The booklet for 1977 shows prototypes of Best Buy Fashions #9701 and 9705, with full-knit sleeves. As you can see above, versions were produced like this, but are very rare, possibly because the threads inside the sleeves get caught on his hands when dressing, making the sweaters very easy to damage.