1973 Mod Hair Ken

MOD HAIR KEN #4224

The brand new doll for 1973 was Mod Hair Ken, the first Ken since 1961 with ‘real’ hair. He also came with stick-on facial hair: a beard, moustaches and sideburns. He was mostly produced in Hong Kong, but some were made in Taiwan. Most came with a white plastic stand. A popular doll, he was still being sold (through the Montgomery Ward Christmas catalogue) in 1976. There are many variations in packaging, dolls and especially the fabrics used.

In Canada Mod Hair Ken was also known as Ken cheveux à la mode, in France as Ken à la Mode, and in Italy as Ken Capelli Veri.

When originally packaged, all Hong Kong-made Mod Hair Kens had their hair held into a wave by a strip of plastic. Some out-of-box Kens still retain a little of this wave, but usually they have been combed out. The most common Hong Kong-made version came with a mid-brown jacket with regular check and mid-brown slacks.

1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken accessories
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken (Large box version made in Hong Kong)
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken (Larger packaging made in Hong Kong)
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken in original packaging (Hong Kong)
Reverse of larger packaging made in Hong Kong

The slim packages marked Made & Printed in Hong Kong on the cover (like the one shown below right) came without a stand.

1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken (Slim packaging made in Hong Kong)
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken (Slim packaging made in Hong Kong)
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken (Slim packaging made in Hong Kong)
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken (Slim packaging made in Hong Kong)

According to the numbers printed on the box, this is the mail order version which would have been sent by Sears, JCPenney and Aldens.

1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken Mail Order version
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken Mail Order version

As well as the variation fabric jackets, some also came with lighter trousers.

1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken (Slim packaging made in Hong Kong)
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken (Slim packaging made in Hong Kong)

The jacket also came in a much lighter fabric.

1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken (Slim packaging made in Hong Kong)
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken (Slim packaging made in Hong Kong)

The two versions below are marked Made in Hong Kong Printed in U.S.A. on the cover, but it was actually only the booklet which was printed in the US. The boxes were all printed in Hong Kong (marked on reverse of packaging). The version below right uses a fabric with a much larger check for the jacket.

1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken (Slim packaging made in Hong Kong)
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken (Slim packaging made in Hong Kong)
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken (Slim packaging made in Hong Kong)
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken (Slim packaging made in Hong Kong)

This jacket has a noticeably different fabric from the others.

1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken (Slim packaging made in Hong Kong)
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken (Slim packaging made in Hong Kong)
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken (Slim packaging made in Hong Kong)
Reverse of slim packaging made in Hong Kong

The Mod Hair Kens made in Taiwan can obviously be told apart by their markings, but they do look different. Like other Kens made in Taiwan (Malibu Ken, Funtime Ken) they seem to smile more. Also, the Taiwan Kens have their hair pulled up over their foreheads – unlike the Hong Kong Kens, who, as mentioned earlier, have their hair fixed in a wave across the forehead.

1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken (Large box version made in Taiwan)
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken (Larger packaging made in Taiwan)
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken (Large box version made in Taiwan)
Reverse of larger packaging made in Taiwan

The Canadian version of Mod Hair Ken was also produced in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

KEN CHEVEUX À LA MODE #4224 ( Made in Hong Kong)
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken Canadian version (Made in Hong Kong)
KEN CHEVEUX À LA MODE #4224 ( Made in Hong Kong)
Reverse of Canadian packaging (Made in Hong Kong)

The Canadian version which was made in Taiwan must have had the shoes packaged separately, as the few NRFB versions I’ve seen all have Ken barefoot.

KEN CHEVEUX À LA MODE #4224 (Made in Taiwan)
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken Canadian version (Made in Taiwan)
KEN CHEVEUX À LA MODE #4224 (Made in Taiwan)
Reverse of Canadian packaging (Made in Taiwan)

1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken
Identification: ©1968 Mattel Inc. U.S. & For. Pat. Other Pat’s Pending Hong Kong
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken identification
Or: ©1968 Mattel Inc. U.S. & For. Pat. Other Pats Pending Taiwan

A sample of the stick-on facial hair which came with all Mod Hair Kens. The sideburns are my particular favorite.

1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken moustache
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken beard
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken sideburns

1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken variation belts
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken variation belts
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken variation dickeys
1973 #4224 Mod Hair Ken variation dickeys

KEN #1111

I have found no contemporary reference to this mute version (no pull-string) of New Good-Lookin’ Talking Ken. As the card is dated 1972, it was presumably sold in either late 1972 and/or 1973. He came with a clear plastic stand, and was simply called Ken.

1972-3 #1111 Ken in original packaging
1972-3 #1111 Ken in original packaging
1972-3 #1111 Ken in original packaging
1972-3 #1111 Ken in original packaging
1972-3 #1111 Ken original packaging
1972-3 #1111 Ken original packaging

BOOKLETS & CATALOGUES

From 1973 The Beautiful World of Barbie booklet
From 1973 The Beautiful World of Barbie booklet
From 1973 The Beautiful World of Barbie booklet
From 1973 The Beautiful World of Barbie booklet
From 1973 The Beautiful World of Barbie booklet
From 1973 The Beautiful World of Barbie booklet
From 1973-4 The World of Barbie booklet
From 1973-4 The World of Barbie booklet
From 1973-4 The World of Barbie booklet
From 1973-4 The World of Barbie booklet
From 1973 Mattel Toys Spring Introductions catalogue
From 1973 Mattel Toys Spring Introductions catalogue
From Mattel Toys 1973 catalogue
From Mattel Toys 1973 catalogue
From 1973 Sears Wish Book
From 1973 Sears Wish Book
From 1973 Sears Wish Book
From 1973 Sears Wish Book
From 1973 Sears Wish Book
From 1973 Sears Wish Book
From 1973 Eaton's Christmas catalogue
From 1973 Canadian Eaton’s Christmas catalogue
From 1973 Aldens Christmas catalogue
From 1973 Aldens Christmas catalogue
From 1973 Montgomery Ward Christmas catalogue
From 1973 Montgomery Ward Christmas catalogue
From 1973 Montgomery Ward Christmas catalogue
From 1973 Montgomery Ward Christmas catalogue
From 1973 JCPenney Christmas catalogue
From 1973 JCPenney Christmas catalogue
From 1973 JCPenney Christmas catalogue
From 1973 JCPenney Christmas catalogue
From 1973 Spiegel Christmas catalogue
From 1973 Spiegel Christmas catalogue
From 1973 Canadian Sears Wish Book
From 1973 Canadian Sears Wish Book
From 1973 Swedish Barbie booklet
From 1973 Swedish Barbie booklet
From 1973 Swedish Barbie booklet
From 1973 Swedish Barbie booklet
From 1973 German Barbie booklet
From 1973 German Barbie booklet
From 1973 German Barbie booklet
From 1973 German Barbie booklet
From German Mattel Spielzeug '73 catalogue
From German Mattel Spielzeug ’73 catalogue
From German Mattel Spielzeug '73 catalogue
From German Mattel Spielzeug ’73 catalogue
From 1974 Italian Barbie booklet
From 1974 Italian Barbie booklet
From 1974 French Barbie booklet
From 1974 French Barbie booklet
From 1974 German Barbie booklet
From 1974 German Barbie booklet
1973 French Barbie advertisement
1973 French Barbie advertisement
From 1973 French Noël Manufrance catalogue
From 1973 French Noël Manufrance catalogue