KEN & FRIENDS: MALE FASHION DOLLS & CLOTHING FROM 1961-1987
1986 Tropical Ken, Dream Glow Ken, Music Lovin’ Ken & Great Shape (Walkman) Ken
The Rockers collection began this year. All information about the Kens and Dereks from this series can be found in the section 1986-87 Derek & Ken Rockers. During 1986 production of dolls moved from Hong Kong and Taiwan to Malaysia, so these Kens can be found with either markings.
Tropical Ken was released domestically as a Caucasian and a black doll. In Canada he was also known as Ken Sous les Tropiques, and in France as Ken Tropiques. Mattel Spain produced their own version and Rotoplast in Venezuela made a version with the more articulated body-mold. Mattel Mexico called their version Ken Malibu. The fabric used for the lei can vary, even with the regular US Kens.
TROPICAL KEN #1020
My Mattel Spain version below is missing his lei, but he does have his original shorts. Like the other Mattel Spain Kens for 1986, he has no markings on his back.
TROPICAL KEN #1023
DREAM GLOW KEN
Dream Glow Ken was available domestically as a Caucasian and a black Ken. In Germany he was also known as Zauberglanz Ken, in Italy as Ken Luce di Stelle, in France as Ken Féerie, and in Canada as Ken Eclat de Rêve. In 1988 (box date) he was repackaged in a very limited edition as Party Ken. Mattel Spain produced their own version called Ken Destellos which, like the Mattel Spain Ken Tropical above, has no markings on his back or bottom. There was also a Ken Sueño de Estrellas version produced by Rotoplast in Venezuela with darker skin, the Derek head-mold and a variation fabric outfit. Mattel Mexico also possibly produced a Ken Star Destello Mágico version as companion to their Barbie.
DREAM GLOW KEN #2250
I haven’t yet found any printed reference to this Party Ken, but the only NRFB versions I’ve discovered so far were sold in Australia.
DREAM GLOW KEN #2421
DREAM GLOW KEN #51-0277
MUSIC LOVIN’ KEN #2388
Music Lovin’ Ken was released in Canada, Europe and Mexico. In France he was also known as Ken Tempo or Ken Super Tempo, in Germany as Music Ken, in Italy and Spain as Ken Music, and in Canada as Ken Melomane. Only the Canadian version describes his personal stereo as a “Walkman”, so presumably Mattel only had the Walkman name rights for North America. The Mattel Mexico version is called Ken Sport Music, and has the more articulated body-mold.
GREAT SHAPE KEN #7318
In the US Great Shape Ken was now repackaged with a Walkman.
BOOKLETS & CATALOGUES
The Spanish Mattel promotional material and packaging mostly used stock photos, even though their dolls look quite different from the regular versions. The real Spanish Dream Glow Ken is pictured in the catalogue of the Spanish department store El Corte Inglés.
The ONLY AT SEARS tag between the Music Lovin’ dolls certainly suggests that they were Sears exclusives.