The classic Mod Ken clone doll continued to be sold by various companies as shown below, packaged as Harry in Germany, and Gary in the US (see also section Best Buy Clones & Clothing). Note that Harry is wearing the yellow track suit from the 1979 Montgomery Ward Christmas catalogue. Presumably Wentoys is the same company as Wenco, who sold many clone Papa and Udo outfits in Germany during the 1970s.
FRED BY PLASTY (GERMANY)
Without any catalogues as reference it’s difficult to be exact, but these Fred dolls seem to have appeared around the early 1980s. Despite Mattel moving on with a new-look SuperStar Ken, Plasty’s new Fred (like most other clones) has the classic Mod Ken look.
SHAUN BY MATTEL
Shaun (boyfriend of Starr) was a one-off doll by Mattel. He’s a kind of cross between mid-70s Shaun Cassidy and the Grease-inspired 50’s revival, with a bit of Mork from Ork thrown in. He was released with a small clothing range. He is constructed quite differently from Ken, more articulated and much skinnier, so his clothes are not really designed to fit Ken.
FASHION LABEL JEANS DOLLS
Jeans worn as fashion items (rather than workwear) had been around for a while, but by the late 1970s even designer labels were producing their own brand jeans. The early 1980s saw the appearance of Fashion Jeans Ken (see the 1982 boys section) and a few own brand dolls. The Jordache doll is by Mego and dated 1981. The Sergio Valente doll by Toy-Time Inc. was also available with dark skin – they were first produced in Hong Kong and later in China. Both the Jordache and the Valente dolls had extra outfits, as shown on the packaging reverse. The Sergio Valente packaging shows an outfit similar to Ken’s outfit Western Fringe!.
ROBERT & JOHNNY BY OCEAN DESERT SALES
The Robert doll is another obvious Mod Ken clone, but Johnny is one of the rare black boy dolls to be given a unique look. The packages are not dated, but I guess they are from the early 1980s from the design. I’ve seen both of these dolls with variation clothing.
By 1981 even Sears began offering their own clothing sets instead of selling genuine Mattel outfits (by this time the quality of Mattel clothing had become the same as, or worse than, that sold by most clone companies). The set of four outfits from the 1981 Sears Christmas Wish Book was sold by Totsy as Dollys Fashion, and the Flair For Him tennis outfit by Totsy (below, dated 1982) also appears on the same page of the 1981 Wish Book.
In 1982 Sears introduced their own boy doll called Craig, who was also sold by Shillman as Our Boy/Sport Club throughout the 1980s. Both are marked M & S Shillman Inc. on their backs.
JCPenney sold a clone version of the Shillman/Sears Craig doll called Rod. I’ve yet to find him in the catalogues, so presumably he was sold in the stores.