1961-1967 VINTAGE

1961 #750 'brownette' Ken

1961 Flocked hair Kens including the 'brownette' Ken

HE’S A DOLL!™ – Mattel copyrighted this line to introduce Barbie’s boyfriend Ken in March 1961, through the trade magazines Playthings and Toys & Novelties and at the American International Toy Fair in New York. The first Kens were issued with

1961 The Outfits

There were nine complete outfits available for Ken in 1961: the basic wardrobe for a young undergraduate. All 1961 trousers have a visible YKK zip, but no popper/snap, and the Campus Hero, Dreamboat, and Saturday Date trousers all have turn-ups/cuffs. These

1962 Flocked hair Kens

During 1962 Mattel changed Ken’s original outfit and box design slightly. He now came with red sandals, plain red trunks or shorts, an unlabelled beach top, wire stand, and booklet. The towel was no longer included. These versions were only
1962 Sewn Sweater (or Pullover Sweater)

1962 The Outfits

In 1962 Mattel began to divide the clothing into Ensemble Paks; boxed like the outfits from 1961 and usually complete outfits with accessories, and Fashion Paks; smaller sets on card usually single fashion items or accessories. There are however several

1963 Painted hair Kens

To judge from the store catalogues and Kens found MIB from original owners, both flocked hair Ken and the new painted hair Ken were sold parallel during 1963, with flocked hair Ken eventually being discontinued by the end of the

1963 The Outfits

Several great new Ensemble and Fashion Paks were produced for 1963, mostly sports- and profession-based. It is almost as if Mattel were beginning to re-imagine Ken as a toy for boys. It is certainly worth noting that Ken’s Sailor and

1964 Ken and his buddy Allan

THE US-MADE KENS ‘Shorty’ Kens now also came with the new-style box inserts. The beach jackets were now usually labelled. Some ‘shorties’ have been found with the later markings on the rear (see further below), which means they were still

1964 The Outfits

1964 is arguably the best year for vintage Ken clothing. As well as loads of new regular outfits and accessories, Mattel also produced a Travel Costume Series and a Little Theatre Costume Series. Several earlier outfits were still being produced,

1965 Bendable leg Ken & Allan

From 1965 Mattel sold only the Japan-made version of the 750 Ken. That is to say, the ‘shorty’ Ken no longer appears in any catalogues, and I’ve never found a MIB ‘shorty’ with a 1965, or later, booklet (although their

1965 The Outfits

No new Fashion Paks were produced for 1965, but Mattel released some really lovely Ensemble Paks, including my all-time favourite Holiday. Some older outfits were slightly modified for 1965: Going Bowling and American Airlines Captain were given extras, Roller Skate
1966 #0750 Ken

1966-67 'Blushing' Kens

The new Kens produced for 1966 came with a painted blush. Allan was discontinued this year, so (as far as I know) there were no blushing versions of him ever made. KEN #0750 (blonde and brunette) Having never found a 750
1966 #1424 Business Appointment (Suit not included)

1966 The Outfits

The 1966 outfits are the most collectable and expensive of all, but not quite as well-cut as the earlier stuff. As well as having basic collars, the shirts for Summer Job, Best Man and Here Comes the Groom only have

1967 The Braniff International Pilot Uniform

Mattel produced no new items for Ken in 1967, but continued to sell off old stock in the US and Europe. The Braniff International Pilot Uniform was produced by Marx Toys (Louis Marx Co.). It was released in conjunction with
Andy by Eegee

Vintage Clones

The success of Ken encouraged the production of many ‘clones’, ie. cheap, superficially similar boy dolls, mostly made in Hong Kong. Some are obviously made to resemble Ken, while others are more original, though none came anywhere close to being
1961_786_Saturday_Date

Vintage Comparisons

IDENTIFYING VINTAGE WHITE SHORT-SLEEVE SHIRTS Ken’s white short-sleeve shirt first appeared in 1964. There are two versions of the shirt, and both of them came with and without label. 1. KEN IN SWITZERLAND. This shirt is extremely well-made, much like
1965 #1090 Ricky in original packaging

Ricky

Domestically Ricky was sold between 1965 and 1967 (In Europe he was still being advertised for sale in 1968). As with Ken and Allan, Ricky came with a beach outfit consisting of jacket, shorts and sandals. He also came with