Mattel Spain and Mattel France exclusives

Mattel France and Mattel Spain both produced their own versions of several regular Kens (as well as Derek and the Heart Family Dad) throughout the 1980s. Mattel Spain even produced their own clothing. The French Kens are marked Made in France or © Mattel Inc. 1968 France on their backs. The Spanish Kens are marked © 1968 Mattel Inc Spain or are unmarked. They were packaged in unique boxes, and the French ones were often given unique code numbers. They are shorter than regular Kens, the French ones looking quite similar, but usually with waxier skin. The Spanish versions are noticeably different, always using the Mod straight-arm body-mold, and having almost naively painted faces.


MATTEL SPAIN / CONGOST

Mattel in Spain initially worked with the Spanish toy company Congost, during the late 1970s and early 1980s. The pictures below show the regular guy on the left, compared to the Mattel Spain version on the right. My Spanish versions aren’t all complete; obviously Tropical Ken would also have originally had a lei, and Ken Diamantes would have had a complete outfit (as shown in the boxed version below). There are some missing here, including Ken Ritmic (Great Shape Ken), Ken Music (Music Lovin’ Ken), and undoubtedly others I’ve yet to discover.

1983 #4077 Dream Date Ken
1983 #4077 Dream Date Ken / Ken Gran Gala
1986 #1020 Tropical Ken
1986 #1020 Tropical Ken / Ken Tropical
1986 #2428 Derek comparison
1986 #2428 Derek
1987 #1719 Jewel Secrets Ken comparison
1987 #1719 Jewel Secrets Ken / Ken Diamantes
1983 #4077 Ken Gran Gala (Spanish version)
1983 #4077 Ken Gran Gala
1983 #5839 Ken Super Sport
1983 #5839 Ken Super Sport
1985 #9019 Ken Día y Noche (Spanish version)
1985 #9019 Ken Día y Noche (Spanish version)
1985 #9110 Ken Nautic (Spanish version)
1985 #9110 Ken Nautic
1986 #2250 Ken Destellos (Spanish version)
1986 #2250 Ken Destellos
1987 #1719 Ken Diamantes (Spanish version)
1987 #1719 Ken Diamantes
1987 #3173 Derek (Spanish version)
1987 #3173 Derek
1987 #3131 Ken (Spanish version)
1987 #3131 Ken

Mattel Spain also produced their own versions of many outfits, using different fabrics and construction techniques. Some were similar, others quite different. The outfits were given alternative names, but kept the original code numbers. The shoes are made of hard plastic, but are unmarked. Mattel Spain Ken labels are stickers.

The pictures below show the regular outfit on the left, compared to the Mattel Spain version on the right.

1985 #9114 Twice As Nice Comparison
1985 #9114 Twice As Nice / Vestuario Gran Prix
1985 #9116 Twice As Nice comparison
1985 #9116 Twice As Nice / Vestuario Disco
1985 #9117 Twice As Nice comparison
1985 #9117 Twice As Nice / Vestuario Club
1986 #2691Rockers Fashions
1986 #2691 Rockers Fashions / Vestuario Rock Stars
1987 #3311 Ready To Wear / Pret-A-Porter comparison
1987 #3311 Ready To Wear / Vestuario Casino
1987 #3311 Casino (Spanish version)
1987 #3311 Casino (showing Ken ‘sticker’ label)
1985 #9115 Vestuario Chandal (Spanish version) in original packaging
1985 #9115 Vestuario Chandal in original packaging
1985 #9116 Vestuario Disco (Spanish version)
1985 #9116 Vestuario Disco in original packaging
1985 #9117 Vestuario Club (Spanish version)
1985 #9117 Vestuario Club in original packaging
1987 #3307 Moda Tokyo (Spanish version)
1987 #3307 Moda Tokyo
1987 #3311 Casino (Spanish version)
1987 #3311 Moda Casino

Many more photos of the Mattel Spain/Congost items I have can be seen in the other sections from 1983-1987. Si usted tiene la información (por ejemplo, un catalogo) sobre Mattel Spain/Congost Ken de los años 80, por favor hágamelo saber: contact@somethingabouttheboy.com


MATTEL FRANCE

There is even less information to be gathered about the Kens made by Mattel in France. They produced a unique Ken called Ken Cérémonie (see also 1983 Boys section), but certainly also produced their own versions of Crystal Ken (Ken Super Gala), Day-To-Night Ken (Ken Super Club), Sport & Shave Ken (Ken Loisirs), Super Sport Ken (Ken Sport Super Danse), Sea Lovin’ Ken (Ken Super Regate), Music Lovin’ Ken (Ken Super Tempo), Derek, and at least one Heart Family dad (Schooltime). The Mattel France versions usually have unique code numbers.

1980 #638 Ken Loisirs (French version)
1980 #638 Ken Loisirs
1983 #693 Ken Cérémonie
1983 #693 Ken Cérémonie
1983 #241 Ken Sport Super Danse (French version)
1983 #241 Ken Sport Super Danse
1985 #6251 Ken Super Regate (French version)
1985 #6251 Ken Super Regate
1985 #6255 Ken Super Club (French)
1985 #6255 Ken Super Club
1983 #693 Cérémonie Ken
From 1983 French #693 Ken Cérémonie
1985 #6255 Ken Super Club identification
From 1985 French #6255 Ken Super Club
c.1988 from French Heart Family dad
From c.1988 French Heart Family dad

These items rarely appear for sale online and are seldom found complete or in good condition. They are totally under-researched, and even French and Spanish Barbie websites hardly mention them. If you can provide any images or information please write to me at: contact@somethingabouttheboy.com.