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.
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.
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: email@example.com
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.