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 one popper (at the collar), rather than the usual two. Grumbles aside, there are some great outfits here, though finding them is becoming increasingly difficult. This isn’t helped by online sellers listing fake and clone items as genuine Ken, so be very careful before spending a lot of money.


THE ENSEMBLE PAKS

TIME TO TURN IN #1418

1966 #1418 Time To Turn In
1966 #1418 Time To Turn In
1966 #1418 Time To Turn In
1966 #1418 Time To Turn In
1966 #1418 Time To Turn In
1966 #1418 Time To Turn In
1966 #1418 Time To Turn In 'electric' shaver
1966 #1418 Time To Turn In ‘electric’ shaver
1966 #1418 Time To Turn In in original packaging
1966 #1418 Time To Turn In in original packaging

TV’S GOOD TONIGHT! #1419

1966 #1419 TV's Good Tonight!
1966 #1419 TV’s Good Tonight!
1966 #1419 TV's Good Tonight!
1966 #1419 TV’s Good Tonight!
1966 #1419 TV's Good Tonight!
1966 #1419 TV’s Good Tonight!
1966 #1419 TV's Good Tonight! accessories
1966 #1419 TV’s Good Tonight! accessories
1966 #1419 TV's Good Tonight! in original packaging
1966 #1419 TV’s Good Tonight! in original packaging

JAZZ CONCERT #1420

1966 #1420 Jazz Concert
1966 #1420 Jazz Concert
1966 #1420 Jazz Concert
1966 #1420 Jazz Concert
1966 #1420 Jazz Concert
1966 #1420 Jazz Concert
1966 #1420 Jazz Concert accessories
1966 #1420 Jazz Concert accessories
1966 #1420 Jazz Concert
1966 #1420 Jazz Concert in original packaging

SEEIN’ THE SIGHTS #1421

Some period advertising shows Seein’ the Sights with a red tie, but despite even being shown like that in the Barbie booklets and Mattel catalogues for 1966, this was almost certainly never part of the set. The tie is not mentioned in the written description in the Mattel ’66 catalogues, it does not feature in all US (or in any European) advertising, and I’ve yet to find a tie in a NRFB version. It was merely used as a ‘serving suggestion’, much like the extra clothing often shown with Campus Corduroys.

1966 #1421 Seein' the Sights
1966 #1421 Seein’ the Sights
1966 #1421 Seein' the Sights
1966 #1421 Seein’ the Sights
1966 #1421 Seein' the Sights
1966 #1421 Seein’ the Sights
1966 #1421 Seein' The Sights accessories
1966 #1421 Seein’ The Sights accessories
1966 #1421 Seein' The Sights in original packaging
1966 #1421 Seein’ The Sights in original packaging

SUMMER JOB #1422

1966 #1422 Summer Job
1966 #1422 Summer Job
1966 #1422 Summer Job
1966 #1422 Summer Job
1966 #1422 Summer Job
1966 #1422 Summer Job
1966 #1422 Summer Job accessories
1966 #1422 Summer Job accessories (Tie has replacement elastic)
1966 #1422 Summer Job in original packaging
1966 #1422 Summer Job in original packaging

KEN A GO GO #1423

The Ken A Go Go shirt has a total of eight buttons: six down the front and one on either side. The ‘Beatles’ wig is very difficult to find, but unfortunately not particularly convincing. The outfit looks much better displayed without the wig.

1966 #1423 Ken A Go Go
1966 #1423 Ken A Go Go
1966 #1423 Ken A Go Go
1966 #1423 Ken A Go Go
1966 #1423 Ken A Go Go
1966 #1423 Ken A Go Go
1966 #1423 Ken A Go Go accessories
1966 #1423 Ken A Go Go accessories
1966 #1423 Ken A Go Go with 'Beatles' wig
1966 #1423 Ken A Go Go with ‘Beatles’ wig
1966 #1423 Ken A Go Go 'Beatles' wig
1966 #1423 Ken A Go Go ‘Beatles’ wig
1966 #1423 Ken A Go Go in original packaging
1966 #1423 Ken A Go Go in original packaging

BUSINESS APPOINTMENT #1424

1966 #1424 Business Appointment (Suit not included)
1966 #1424 Business Appointment (Suit not included)
1966 #1424 Business Appointment (Suit not included)
1966 #1424 Business Appointment
1966 #1424 Business Appointment
1966 #1424 Business Appointment
1966 #1424 Business Appointment accessories
1966 #1424 Business Appointment accessories
1966 #1424 Business Appointment
1966 #1424 Business Appointment newspaper
1966 #1424 Business Appointment in original packaging
1966 #1424 Business Appointment in original packaging

BEST MAN #1425

The genuine bow tie is made of the same fabric as the cummerbund (note that the cummerbund has red elastic at back). The bow tie originally came with a regular rubber band, which usually perishes, even when kept MIB, so any bow ties sold online with white ‘knicker’ elastic are almost certainly fakes (see bottom of page for more information). The trousers are made of a cotton twill, with a distinctly different piping down the leg from Ken’s regular Tuxedo trousers (see section Vintage Comparisons for more details).

1966 #1425 Best Man
1966 #1425 Best Man
1966 #1425 Best Man
1966 #1425 Best Man
1966 #1425 Best Man
1966 #1425 Best Man
1966 #1425 Best Man accessories
1966 #1425 Best Man accessories
1966 #1425 Best Man in original packaging
1966 #1425 Best Man in original packaging

The shirts from Best Man #1425 and Here Comes The Groom #1426 came with either silver or clear pearl buttons.

Best Man shirts with silver (left) and clear buttons
Best Man shirts with silver buttons (left) and clear buttons
Here Comes The Groom shirts with silver (left) and clear buttons
Here Comes The Groom shirts with silver buttons (left) and clear buttons

HERE COMES THE GROOM #1426

1966 #1426 Here Comes The Groom
1966 #1426 Here Comes The Groom
1966 #1426 Here Comes The Groom
1966 #1426 Here Comes The Groom
1966 #1426 Here Comes The Groom
1966 #1426 Here Comes The Groom
1966 #1426 Here Comes The Groom
1966 #1426 Here Comes The Groom
1966 #1426 Here Comes The Groom accessories
1966 #1426 Here Comes The Groom accessories
1966 #1426 Here Comes The Groom in original packaging
1966 #1426 Here Comes The Groom in original packaging
1966 #1426 Here Comes The Groom variation waistcoat
1966 #1426 Here Comes The Groom variation waistcoat
1966 #1426 Here Comes The Groom variation waistcoat
1966 #1426 Here Comes The Groom variation waistcoat

MOUNTAIN HIKE #1427

1966 #1427 Mountain Hike
1966 #1427 Mountain Hike
1966 #1427 Mountain Hike
1966 #1427 Mountain Hike
1966 #1427 Mountain Hike
1966 #1427 Mountain Hike
1966 #1427 Mountain Hike accessories
1966 #1427 Mountain Hike accessories
1966 #1427 Mountain Hike in original packaging
1966 #1427 Mountain Hike in original packaging

The sweaters which came with Hiking Holiday and Mountain Hike have no labels, so genuine shorts all have a Ken label sewn inside. The clone shorts (below right) are quite similar at first glance, but notice the difference in size and stitching. Note too that the genuine shorts fasten with popper and zip (the clone shorts have popper only).

1965-66 genuine Mattel Ken shorts (left) and vintage clone shorts (right)
1965-66 genuine Mattel Ken shorts (left) and vintage clone shorts (right)

BOOKLETS & CATALOGUES

1966_Fashion_Booklets
1966 Fashions and Playthings booklets
From 1966 Fashion Playthings book 4
From 1966 Fashions & Playthings book 4
From 1966 Fashion Playthings book 4
From 1966 Fashions & Playthings book 4
From 1966 Fashion Playthings book 1
From 1966 Fashions & Playthings book 1
From Mattel Preview '66 World of Barbie catalogue
Mattel Preview ’66 World of Barbie catalogue
Mattel Toys 1966 catalogue
Mattel Toys 1966 catalogue
Mattel Toys 1966 catalogue
Mattel Toys 1966 catalogue

The pre-Christmas catalogues were still selling items from previous years.

From 1966 Western Auto order catalogue
From 1966 Western Auto Spring Summer order catalogue
From 1966 Spiegel Fall Winter catalogue
From 1966 Spiegel Fall Winter catalogue
From 1966 Sears Christmas Wish Book
From 1966 Sears Christmas Wish Book
1966 Montgomery Ward Christmas catalogue
1966 Montgomery Ward Christmas catalogue
From 1966 Aldens Christmas catalogue
From 1966 Aldens Christmas catalogue
1966 Spiegel Christmas catalogue
1966 Spiegel Christmas catalogue
1966 Spiegel Christmas catalogue
1966 Spiegel Christmas catalogue
From 1966 John Plain catalogue
From John Plain book for 1967

Mattel also produced European booklets and brochures but, rather than using illustrations, the European versions had photographs. The titles of the outfits are often quite different. For example in German Here Comes the Groom is called Auf der Rennbahn (At the Races).

1966 German Barbie brochure
1966 German Barbie brochure
1966 German Barbie brochure
From 1966 German Barbie brochure
1966 German Barbie brochure
From 1966 German Barbie brochure
1966 German Barbie brochure
1966 German Barbie brochure
1966 Swedish Barbie och hennes vänner Brio brochure
1966 Swedish Barbie och hennes vänner Brio brochure
1966 Swedish Barbie och hennes vänner Brio brochure
1966 Swedish Brio brochure
1966 Swedish Barbie och hennes vänner Brio brochure
1966 Swedish Brio brochure
1966 Swedish Barbie och hennes vänner Brio brochure
1966 Swedish Brio brochure
1966 Swedish Barbie och hennes vänner Brio brochure
1966 Swedish Barbie och hennes vänner Brio brochure

The almost identical BRIO brochure in Danish is for Barbie og hendes venner.

1966 Danish Barbie og hendes venner Brio brochure
1966 Danish Barbie og hendes venner Brio brochure
1966 Belgian Ebiex Mattel booklet
1966 Belgian Mattel/Ebiex booklet
1966 French Jouets rationnels Mattel booklet
1966 French Mattel/Jouets rationnels booklet
1966 Belgian Ebiex Mattel booklet
From 1966 Belgian Mattel/Ebiex booklet
From 1966 French Mattel Jouets rationnels booklet
From 1966 French Mattel/Jouets rationnels booklet
From 1966 French Mattel Jouets rationnels booklet
From 1966 French Mattel/Jouets rationnels booklet
1966 Italian Mattel EG (Editrice Giochi) booklet
1966 Italian Mattel/EG (Editrice Giochi) booklet
From 1966 Italian Mattel EG (Editrice Giochi) booklet
From 1966 Italian Mattel/Editrice Giochi booklet
1966 French Jouets Rationnels advertisement
1966 French Barbie advertisement
1966 French Barbie advertising feature
c.1966 French Barbie advertising feature
1966 Belgian Barbie advertisement
1966 Belgian Barbie advertisement
From 1966 German Das Schöne Spielzeug catalogue
From 1966 German Das Schöne Spielzeug catalogue
From 1966 Dutch Het Speelgoedboek toy catalogue
From 1966 Dutch Het Speelgoedboek toy catalogue

COLLECTORS BEWARE!

As collectors are prepared to pay high prices, many online sellers claim they have rare items or outfits which, on closer inspection, are clone or even homemade clothes. The Best Man outfit is a prime example, as there were several similar clone outfits produced. Someone even listed a white clone pullover (exactly like the one shown below) on Ebay as a “rare Mountain Hike variation”, and actually sold it (after many bids!) for a huge amount of money. Fake Business Appointment hats and gloves are regularly listed as genuine. Rival brands like Totsy, Premier and Shillman produced masses of similar clothing and accessories (see section Vintage Clones).

From left to right: Hiking Holiday #1412, white clone pullover, Mountain Hike #1427
3 sweaters from left to right: Hiking Holiday #1412, white clone sweater, Mountain Hike #1427
Genuine 1966 #1424 Business Appointment gloves
Genuine 1966 #1424 Business Appointment gloves
Clone gloves (by Shillman & Totsy*)
Clone gloves (by Shillman & Totsy*)

The genuine Business Appointment hat is oval with a wide brim. It is made of soft felt, and has a thin hatband. The piece for the head is like a half-sphere, with a single, elongated dent in the top. This is the only true Mattel hat.

After I first began exposing Ebay fakes on my original blog, sellers continued listing the fake hats (like the one below right) as genuine, but did start to mention the “missing hatband”. This deception still regularly occurs.

Genuine 1966 #1424 Business Appointment hat
Genuine 1966 #1424 Business Appointment hat
Clone hat (by Premier*)
Clone hat (by Premier*)

The newspapers below are all genuine Mattel, but belong to completely different outfits and decades.

1966 #1424 Business Appointment
Original 1966 Business Appointment newspaper
1976 #9167 Get Ups 'N Go
From 1976 Ken outfit Get-Ups ‘N Go #9167
From 1982 #3777 Fashion Collectibles
From 1982 Ken outfit Fashion Collectibles #3777

The Best Man bow tie is made of the same fabric as the cummerbund, and came with a regular thin rubber band, like all genuine Mattel neckwear from 1962 on (see directly below). This usually perishes with age, even with NRFB versions, so the genuine bow tie is almost never found with the band still attached. Clones can easily be spotted by the white ‘knicker’ elastic used. They are also usually longer than the genuine Mattel tie, and made of a cheaper, slightly brighter fabric.

1965 genuine Mattel Ken ties
Genuine Mattel Ken ties showing original rubber bands
Genuine 1966 #1425 Best Man bow tie
Genuine 1966 #1425 Best Man bow tie
Vintage clone bow tie
Clone bow tie (probably Shillman*)

* See section Vintage Clones.

EBAY CASUALTIES

Despite my best efforts it seems there are still collectors who don’t know the difference between the clones and the genuine Mattel items. In September 2016 the Ebay auction below containing a clone hat, clone gloves and the 1982-version newspaper sold for more money than some genuine NRFB Business Appointment outfits.

Screenshot showing Ebay auction with clone and fake Business Appointment pieces
Screenshot showing Ebay ‘Business Appointment’ auction with clone hat and gloves and the 1982-version newspaper

The ‘Best Man’ auction below sold at over 200 dollars in December 2016, despite the fact that the only genuine Best Man piece is the jacket. The shirt, bow tie and cummerbund are all clone pieces, and the trousers are from Ken’s regular 787 Tuxedo.

Screenshot from Ebay 'Best Man' auction with clone shirt, tie, cummerbund, and regular 787 Tuxedo slacks
Screenshot from Ebay ‘Best Man’ auction with clone shirt, tie, cummerbund, and regular 787 Tuxedo slacks

It doesn’t surprise me that some sellers are totally dishonest when there’s a lot of money to be made. What does surprise me is that so many collectors are still so ill-informed that they will pay hundreds of dollars for clone items (which when listed correctly as clone pieces, do not fetch more than a few dollars).