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 cross-overs and exceptions, like Rally Day below.
For more information and many more detailed photographs see THE VINTAGE KEN® BOOK.
THE ENSEMBLE PAKS
RALLY DAY #788
THE YACHTSMAN #789
In 1964 The Yachtsman was reissued with the addition of a cap (see section 1964 The Outfits).
TIME FOR TENNIS #790
The polo shirt below left has the regular deep neckline, but some versions have a polo shirt with a much shallower neck line. A NRFB example can be seen in THE VINTAGE KEN® BOOK. Some out-of-box cardigans for sale online look as if they have a ‘variation’ grey trim, but this probably just the result of excessive washing.
THE FASHION PAKS
Some of these clothes were only ever available as single Fashion Pak items, and some also appeared in other Ensemble or Fashion Pak sets. There are several variations, but mostly very slight. These items were produced for a couple of years, so there could be slight fabric variations, but it could equally just be the effects of repeated washing and/or fading with time.
The Fashion Paks shown below obviously only originally included the items shown in the MOC versions. Any extra items or accessories are merely to enhance the photos.
I have a version of this Blazer with variation buttons, which can be seen in THE VINTAGE KEN® BOOK.
PATTERN PRINT SHIRT
The version below is either a slight variation or just the exact same shirt, which has changed through prolonged exposure to direct sunlight.
Again, the version below is either a slight variation or the same shirt which has faded over time.
Ken’s white polo shirt usually came without label (Time For Tennis, Fraternity Meeting), so the one shown below was possibly sold as a Fashion Pak item. It must have been extremely rare though, as I’m yet to find a version MOC. It is more likely to have been a regular tennis t-shirt which was given a label by mistake.
SEWN SWEATER, RED or PULLOVER SWEATER
SOLID COLOR SPORT SHIRT
WHITE DRESS SHIRT
This Windbreaker has been found with collar and cuffs in the same colour as the jacket itself. This may be a genuine variation, or just the result or excessive washing. An example can be seen in THE VINTAGE KEN® BOOK.
BARBIE & KEN GIFT SET #892
The Barbie & Ken Gift Set obviously also contained a Barbie doll and her clothing. In some early advertising the set is shown with a red cap for Ken. The earliest advertisements also show it with the original 1961 flocked hair Ken with shorts and towel.
As the boxes are dated 1962 I doubt it ever came with the 1961 Ken. The original set as I know it included a blonde or brunette flocked hair Ken (initially the ‘thick-brow’ Kens and then later the ‘thin-brow’ versions – see 1962 Flocked hair Kens) wearing his 1962 (unlabelled) ‘cabana’ beach outfit, and with the clothing shown here. The short green socks would only appear for sale once more (with the 1966 Ensemble Pak Summer Job). The set was still being sold in 1964, so later versions came with a painted hair Ken.
BOOKLETS & CATALOGUES
The illustration for Sleeper Set is still the one from 1961 showing the pajama top with short sleeves, like the prototype.
In 1962 Mattel even produced sewing kits with outfits for Ken.
Dreamboat and Campus Hero were mixed up in the GMC catalogue below, and Sleeper Set is called Sleeper.
If Annual or Spring Summer issues have toys at all, they tend to show only items from the previous Christmas. In the 1963 Spiegel Spring Summer catalogue Time For Tennis is incorrectly described as Tennis Time.
The #892 Barbie & Ken Gift Set was still being sold in 1964, though now came with a painted hair (Japan-made) Ken.
The Fashion Pak items were available in 1962-63. The Ensemble Paks were available as follows.*
RALLY DAY (1962-1964)
THE YACHTSMAN (1962-1964) (Until 1968 in Europe)
TIME FOR TENNIS (1962-1965) (Until 1968 in Europe)
* Based on information taken from US and European Barbie booklets 1961-1968, Mattel catalogues from 1962-1968, and Mattel Employee Order Forms 1965-1967.
REVERSE OF PACKAGING
All Ken Ensemble Paks and the larger Fashion Paks were illustrated on the reverse. Apart from a slight alteration to the written information on reverse during 1962, these designs remained the same until the introduction of Ken’s Buddy Allan in 1964. Booklets were always included, even with the smallest Fashion Pak item, and obviously varied according to year.
In 1964 the Ensemble Paks were packaged in a new box featuring Allan on the reverse (see section 1965 The Outfits, bottom of page), but the earliest packed outfits for 1964 still came in the original packaging, shown below.
THE KEN LABEL
Genuine Ken clothing was labelled. From 1961-1964 the labels were marked Ken™ BY MATTEL. From 1964 onward there was a new label, which read Ken® ©MATTEL INC., though the earlier version can still occasionally be found on Ken clothing right up to the Fashion Originals in 1972.
All single Fashion Pak items were labelled, but larger sets usually only had one or two labelled pieces. This is most noticeable with the trousers. If Ken’s trousers were part of an outfit (like the Ensemble Pak Going Bowling or the Fashion Pak Soda Date), they were not labelled. The only exceptions are the outfits containing knitted pullovers (Campus Hero, Mountain Hike, Hiking Holiday), in which the labels are found in the trousers/shorts. As another example, the orange hooded top from Ensemble Pak Ken Skin Diver #1406 was not labelled, because there was a label in the trunks. But, the same top released as the Fashion Pak Sweatshirt did have a label.