1984 Sun Gold Malibu Ken, Sunsational Malibu Ken, Crystal Ken, Safari Ken, Campin’ Out Ken, Great Shape Ken & Hawaiian Ken

In 1983 Mattel created three brand new racially-diverse head-molds for Ken. The Hawaiian/Hispanic head was only used for three dolls, but the other two appeared on many dolls over several years. The Caucasian head-mold was still being used up to 1990.

Kens from the 1980s are so abundant on Ebay that anyone who pays more than fifteen dollars for a regular NRFB Ken has been robbed. Obviously the European versions are much harder to find, but even they rarely sell for huge amounts. This means collecting 1980s Kens is really affordable. Although some are pretty tacky (Crystal Ken, please stand up), and most Kens with the twistable body may be fun to play with but not so great for adult display, there are still many great-looking ones with the classic Mod body.


SUN GOLD MALIBU KEN #1088

Sun Gold Malibu Ken was to come in all three new versions. The first to be released was the Caucasian blonde. In France he was also known as Ken Saint Tropez. All versions came with the identical swimsuit and accessories.

1984 #1088 Sun Gold Malibu Ken
1984 #1088 Sun Gold Malibu Ken
1984 #1088 Sun Gold Malibu Ken
1984 #1088 Sun Gold Malibu Ken
1984 #1088 Sun Gold Malibu Ken
1984 #1088 Sun Gold Malibu Ken
1984 #1088 Sun Gold Malibu Ken
1984 #1088 Sun Gold Malibu Ken accessories
1984 #1088 Sun Gold Malibu Ken
Identification: © 1968 Mattel Inc. U.S. & For. Pat’d. Other Pat’s. Pending Hong Kong.
1984 #1088 Sun Gold Malibu Ken
1984 #1088 Sun Gold Malibu Ken in original packaging
1984 #1088 Sun Gold Malibu Ken
Reverse of packaging
1984 #1088 Malibu Ken / Ken Saint Tropez (European version)
1984 #1088 Malibu Ken / Ken Saint Tropez (European version)
1984 #1088 Malibu Ken / Ken Saint Tropez (European version)
Reverse of European version

SUNSATIONAL MALIBU KEN

Sunsational Malibu Ken already existed as a Caucasian Superstar blonde and a unique rooted-hair black Ken. Mattel now released a painted-hair black version and a Hispanic version.

SUNSATIONAL MALIBU KEN #3849

1984 #3849 Sunsational Malibu Ken in original packaging
1984 #3849 Sunsational Malibu Ken in original packaging
1984 #3849 Sunsational Malibu Ken in original packaging
Reverse of packaging
1982 #3849 Sunsational Malibu Ken
1984 #3849 Sunsational Malibu Ken accessories

SUNSATIONAL MALIBU KEN #4971

The Hispanic Sunsational Malibu Ken comes with the regular single pair of sunglasses, but has the turquoise towel from Sun Gold Malibu Ken, presumably because the colour fits better to the shorts.

1984 #4971 Sunsational Malibu Ken
1984 #4971 Sunsational Malibu Ken
1984 #4971 Sunsational Malibu Ken
1984 #4971 Sunsational Malibu Ken
1984 #4971 Sunsational Malibu Ken
1984 #4971 Sunsational Malibu Ken
1984 #4971 Sunsational Malibu Ken
1984 #4971 Sunsational Malibu Ken accessories
1984 #4971 Sunsational Malibu Ken
Identification: 1088-0500 5 © Mattel Inc. 1968 Hong Kong.
1984 #4971 Sunsational Malibu Ken in original packaging
1984 #4971 Sunsational Malibu Ken in original packaging
1984 #4971 Sunsational Malibu Ken original packaging
Reverse of packaging

CRYSTAL KEN

Crystal Ken was also known in Canada as Ken Scintillant and in France as Ken Gala. There is an even rarer Mattel France version called Ken Super Gala, with the code #266.

CRYSTAL KEN #4898

1984 #4898 Crystal Ken
1984 #4898 Crystal Ken
1984 #4898 Crystal Ken
1984 #4898 Crystal Ken
1984 #4898 Crystal Ken
1984 #4898 Crystal Ken
1984 #4898 Crystal Ken
1984 #4898 Crystal Ken accessories
1985 #9019 Day-to-Night Ken
Identification: © Mattel, Inc. 1968 TAIWAN
1984 #4898 Crystal Ken in original packaging
1984 #4898 Crystal Ken in original packaging
1984 #4898 Crystal Ken
Reverse of packaging

The Canadian version was originally packaged as Ken Scintillante. This was presumably a spelling error copied from the Barbie packaging, as later versions were corrected to Ken Scintillant. The Canadian Barbie booklet makes the further spelling mistake of Ken Scintillate (see below). The packaging reverse of both boxes refers to Barbie & Ken Scintillants.

1984 #4898 Crystal Ken (Canadian version)
1984 #4898 Crystal Ken (Canadian version 1)
1984 #4898 Crystal Ken (Canadian version)
1984 #4898 Crystal Ken (Canadian version 2)
1984 #4898 Crystal Ken (Canadian version)
Reverse of Canadian packaging
1984 #4898 Crystal Ken (European version)
1984 #4898 Crystal Ken (European version)
1984 #4898 Crystal Ken (European version)
Reverse of European packaging

Between 1984 and 1986 the Kens produced under licence by Estrela in Brazil were called Bob. For more information see section Bob & Ken by Estrela Brazil.

1986 #105309 Noivo Bob
1986 #10.53.09 Bob (Brazilian version)
1986 #105309 Noivo Bob
Reverse of Brazilian packaging

CRYSTAL KEN #9036

I have read that this was a Toys “R” Us exclusive. This would help explain the 1984 box date and odd code number (which suggest he was released in 1985).

1984-85 #9036 Crystal Ken in original packaging
1984-85 #9036 Crystal Ken in original packaging
1984 #9036 Crystal Ken
Reverse of packaging

SAFARI KEN #4974

Safari Ken had an extremely limited release and is a very rare doll. In Canada he was also known as Ken au Safari. Notice how similar he is to the Campin’ Out Set Ken below.

1984 #4974 Safari Ken
1984 #4974 Safari Ken
1984 #4974 Safari Ken
1984 #4974 Safari Ken
1984 #4974 Safari Ken
1984 #4974 Safari Ken
1984 #4974 Safari Ken sneakers
1984 #4974 Safari Ken sneakers
1983 #4974 Safari Ken
Identification: 1088-0500 6 © Mattel Inc. 1968 Hong Kong.
1984 #4974 Safari Ken (Canadian version) in original packaging
1984 #4974 Safari Ken (Canadian version) in original packaging
1984 #4974 Safari Ken (Canadian version) original packaging
Reverse of Canadian packaging
1984 #4974 Safari Ken (European version) in original packaging
1984 #4974 Safari Ken (European version) in original packaging
1984 #4974 Safari Ken (European version)
Reverse of European packaging

(CAMPIN’ OUT SET) KEN #4984

This Ken was part of a larger set called the Barbie & Ken Campin’ Out Set. He is wearing a variation of the outfit worn by Safari Ken and the Fashion Classics outfit #2897. This set is dated 1983, so was presumably released in 1984, but I’ve found no printed evidence yet. It was possibly an Otasco store exclusive.

1984 #4984 Campin' Out set Ken
1984 #4984 Campin’ Out set Ken
1984 #4984 Campin' Out set Ken
1984 #4984 Campin’ Out set Ken
1984 #4984 Campin' Out set Ken
1984 #4984 Campin’ Out set Ken
1984 #4984 Campin' Out set Ken sneakers
1984 #4984 Campin’ Out set Ken sneakers
1983 #4974 Safari Ken
Identification: 1088-0500 6 © Mattel Inc. 1968 Hong Kong.
1984 #4984 Barbie & Ken Campin' Out set
1984 #4984 Barbie & Ken Campin’ Out set
1983 #4984 Barbie & Ken Campin' Out set
Reverse of packaging

GREAT SHAPE KEN

There are several versions of Great Shape Ken. He was also known as Enorm-in-Form Ken in Germany, Gymping Ken in Sweden, Ken Palestra in Italy and Ken Super Sport 2 or Ken en Superforme in France. The British and (similar dark green) Canadian versions have a different code number. In Canada the dark green version was called Exercise Ken and Ken s’entraîne and the regular version was called Ken en bonne forme. Mattel Spain produced their own version called Ken Ritmic. There are probably more South American versions, but the only one I have so far discovered is Ken Deportivo by Rotoplast in Venezuela. In the UK there was also a set with Great Shape Barbie, Ken & Skipper packaged together in a gift box. In 1986 Mattel US released a version of Great Shape Ken with the addition of a Walkman (see the 1986 boys section).

GREAT SHAPE KEN #7318

1984 #7318 Great Shape Ken
1984 #7318 Great Shape Ken
1984 #7318 Great Shape Ken
1984 #7318 Great Shape Ken
1984 #7318 Great Shape Ken
1984 #7318 Great Shape Ken
1984 #7318 Great Shape Ken
1984 #7318 Great Shape Ken accessories
1984 #7318 Great Shape Ken
Identification: © 1968 Mattel Inc. U.S. & For. Pat’d. Other Pat’s. Pending Hong Kong.
1984 #7318 Great Shape Ken in original packaging
1984 #7318 Great Shape Ken in original packaging
1984 #7318 Great Shape Ken original packaging
Reverse of packaging
1984 #7318 Great Shape Ken (Canadian version)
1984 #7318 Great Shape Ken (Canadian version)
1984 #7318 Great Shape Ken (Canadian version)
Reverse of Canadian packaging

Note that the variation below doesn’t just have a missing yellow stripe to his t-shirt – his face paint is quite different, with oddly slanted eyebrows.

1984 #7318 Great Shape Ken (Canadian version)
1984 #7318 Great Shape Ken (Canadian variation)
1984 #7318 Great Shape Ken (Canadian version)
Reverse of Canadian variation packaging
1984 #7318 Great Shape Ken (European version)
1984 #7318 Great Shape Ken (European version)
1984 #7318 Great Shape Ken (European version)
Reverse of European packaging
#7318 Ken Ritmic (Spainish version)
#7318 Ken Ritmic (Spanish version)

GREAT SHAPE KEN #7310

1984 #7310 Great Shape Ken
1984 #7310 Great Shape Ken (British version)
1984 #7310 Great Shape Ken
1984 #7310 Great Shape Ken
1984 #7310 Great Shape Ken
1984 #7310 Great Shape Ken
1984 #7310 Great Shape Ken
1984 #7310 Great Shape Ken accessories
1984 #7310 Great Shape Ken
Identification: © 1968 Mattel Inc. Hong Kong
1984 #7310 Great Shape Ken (British version)
1984 #7310 Great Shape Ken (British version)
1984 #7310 Great Shape Ken (British version)
Reverse of British packaging
1984 #7310 Exercise Ken (Canadian version)
1984 #7310 Exercise Ken (Canadian version)
1984 #7310 Exercise Ken reverse of Canadian packaging
Reverse of Canadian packaging

KEN DEPORTIVO #51-(0246?)

1985 #51-(0246?) Ken Deportivo (Venezuelan version)
1985 #51-(0246?) Ken Deportivo (Venezuelan version)
1984 51-0246 Ken Deportivo (Venezuelan version)
Reverse of Venezuelan packaging

HAWAIIAN KEN #7495

1984 #7495 Hawaiian Ken
1984 #7495 Hawaiian Ken
1984 #7495 Hawaiian Ken
1984 #7495 Hawaiian Ken
1984 #7495 Hawaiian Ken
1984 #7495 Hawaiian Ken
1984 #7495 Hawaiian Ken
1984 #7495 Hawaiian Ken
1984 #7495 Hawaiian Ken
Identification: 1088 0500 5 © Mattel Inc. 1968 Hong Kong.
1984 #7495 Hawaiian Ken in original packaging
1984 #7495 Hawaiian Ken in original packaging
1984 #7495 Hawaiian Ken original packaging
Reverse of packaging

NECK MARKINGS

© 1983 Mattel Inc. These markings are to be found on every regular Great Shape Era Ken, including the Kens produced by Mattel Spain (and presumably by Mattel in France and Mexico).

1984 #7318 Great Shape Ken
1984 #7318 Great Shape Ken
1985 #1020 Tropical Ken (Spanish version)
1985 #1020 Tropical Ken (Spanish version)

BOOKLETS & CATALOGUES

From 1984 World of Fashion booklet
From 1984 World of Fashion booklet
From Mattel Toys 1984 catalogue
From Mattel Toys 1984 catalogue
From Mattel Toys 1984 catalogue
From Mattel Toys 1984 catalogue
From Mattel Toys 1984 catalogue
From Mattel Toys 1984 catalogue
From Mattel Toys 1984 catalogue
From Mattel Toys 1984 catalogue
From 1984 Mattel Wish List catalogue
From 1984 Mattel Wish List catalogue
From 1984 Service Merchandise Toy Wish List Sale catalogue
From 1984 Service Merchandise Toy Wish List Sale catalogue
From 1984 JCPenney Christmas catalogue
From 1984 JCPenney Christmas catalogue
From 1984 Spiegel Christmas catalogue
From 1984 Spiegel Christmas catalogue
From 1984 Montgomery Ward Christmas catalogue
From 1984 Montgomery Ward Christmas catalogue
From 1984 Sears Wish Book
From 1984 Sears Wish Book
From 1984 Sears Wish Book
From 1984 Sears Wish Book
From 1984 Canadian Sears Christmas Wish Book
From 1984 Canadian Sears Christmas Wish Book
From 1984 Canadian Barbie booklet
From 1984 Canadian Barbie booklet
From 1984 Canadian Barbie booklet
From 1984 Canadian Barbie booklet
From 1984 Canadian Barbie booklet
From 1984 Canadian Barbie booklet
From 1984 Dutch Barbie booklet
From 1984 Dutch Barbie booklet
From 1984 French Barbie booklet
From 1984 French Barbie booklet
From 1984 French Barbie booklet
From 1984 French Barbie booklet
From 1984 French Barbie booklet
From 1984 French Barbie booklet
From 1984 French Mattel Preschool Toy catalogue
From 1984 French Mattel Toy brochure
From 1984 French Mattel Preschool Toy catalogue
From 1984 French Mattel Toy brochure
From 1984 French Mattel toy brochure
From 1984 French Mattel toy brochure
From 1984 French Noel 84 Jouets catalogue
From 1984 French Noel 84 Jouets catalogue
From 1984 Swedish Barbie booklet
From 1984 Swedish Barbie booklet
From 1984 Swiss Barbie booklet
From 1984 Swiss Barbie booklet
From 1984 Swiss Barbie booklet
From 1984 Swiss Barbie booklet
1984 German Barbie Journal
From 1984 German Barbie Journal
1984 German Barbie Journal
From 1984 German Barbie Journal
1984 German Barbie Journal
From 1984 German Barbie Journal
1984 German Barbie Journal
From 1984 German Barbie Journal
From 1984 German Barbie booklet
From 1984 German Barbie booklet
From 1984 German Barbie booklet
From 1984 German Barbie booklet
From 1985 German Barbie Journal
From 1985 German Barbie Journal (Book 1)
From 1984 German Jelmoli catalogue
From 1984 German Jelmoli catalogue
From 1984 Italian Mattel catalogue
From 1984 Italian Mattel catalogue
From 1984 Italian Mattel catalogue
From 1984 Italian Mattel catalogue
From 1984 British Argos catalogue
From 1984 British Argos catalogue
From 1985 Mattel Toy Department Store catalogue
From 1985 Mattel Toy Department Store catalogue

THE JAPANESE KENS

The Japanese Kens were produced under license from Mattel, but have little to do with Ken as he exists in the rest of the world. In true Japanese comic-book style these Kens have those huge scary ‘cute’ eyes, and look more like boys (or even girls) of eight, rather than eighteen. There are obviously collectors out there who like them, as they sell for huge amounts of money, but personally I think they are creepier than Chucky, so you won’t find any pictured here!

Mattel licensed two Japanese companies – Takara from 1984 to 1986, and Ban Dai from 1986 to 1989. Ban Dai Kens are usually marked Ma-Ba on the boxes (MAttel + BAn Dai). There are several Takara and Ma-Ba Kens, and Takara also produced several outfit sets, but I don’t have any exact information, as they aren’t obviously coded.