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 serious competitors.


FLOCKED HAIR CLONES

BILL by Fab-Lu Ltd, like most early clones, looks like a zombie Ken. With his ghastly skin and staring eyes, it’s a wonder they managed to sell any of these dolls. He was at least given a decent wardrobe, packaged almost identically to Ken’s own. Like Ken, Bill was available in blonde and brunette.

"BILL" by Fab-Lu Ltd in original packaging
“BILL” (blonde) by Fab-Lu Ltd in original packaging
Beau Brummel
Beau Brummel by Fab-Lu Ltd
1960s 19th Hole outfit for Bill by Fab Lu
19th Hole by Fab-Lu Ltd

There are obvious similarities to the vintage Ken packaging, but note the differences on the reverse: Bill appears to be holding a cigarette.

Bill by Fab-Lu reverse of packaging
Reverse of packaging
From 1960s Fab-Lu booklet
From Fab-Lu booklet
From 1960s Fab-Lu booklet
From Fab-Lu booklet
From 1960s Fab-Lu booklet
From Fab-Lu booklet
From 1960s Fab-Lu booklet
From Fab-Lu booklet

Check out this website for more, wonderfully vitriolic, information about Bill and his girlfriend Babs: http://www.fondationtanagra.com/en/article/bild-lilli-and-the-queens-of-outer-space/page/enters-babs

MR. TEENAGER U.S.A. is another zombie-Ken. I have found three different box designs for this doll, and two different companies seem to have made him and his clothing range: Evergreen and Mego Corp. (including its subsidiary Princess Grace Doll Inc.). Whoever was responsible, they did a terrible job. Apart from the deathly doll, the clothing is extremely shoddy. I’ve seen much better homemade stuff from this period. I suppose they just hoped the patriotism angle would win over common sense. Even if it was all produced in Hong Kong.

Mr. Teenager USA by Evergreen
Mr. Teenager U.S.A. by Evergreen wearing his original outfit
Mr. Teenager USA in Tuxedo
Mr. Teenager U.S.A. wearing own tuxedo
Mr. Teenager U.S.A. outfits
Mr. Teenager U.S.A. outfits showing variations of packaging

PAINTED HAIR CLONES

FRED by Plasty (in Germany), the BEACH DOLL by Arkin A-OK Products, BOY DOLL and others, all resemble painted hair Ken. They are probably the exact same doll, produced in Hong Kong for different companies. In terms of longevity, Fred was the most successful Ken clone, certainly from Europe. Plasty was a German toy company who quite blatantly copied companies like Mattel, Hasbro and Mego for many years. Like Ken, Fred was periodically remodelled, and he survived into the 1990s. More information about Fred can be found in the other clone sections.

1960s Beach Doll by Arkin AOK Products Company
Beach Doll by Arkin AOK Products Company
1960s painted hair Ken clones
Fred (left) and unknown Ken clone
Boy Doll in original packaging
Boy Doll in original packaging

The earliest Plasty catalogue to feature Fred seems to be from 1966, a year after the release of his girlfriend Petra.

From c.1966-67 Plasty catalogue (Germany)
From c.1966-67 Plasty Petra & Fred brochure (Germany)
From c.1967-68 Plasty catalogue (Germany)
From c.1967-68 Plasty Petra & Fred brochure (Germany)

Of course there were some more original-looking boys too, like the dolls produced by established toy companies, such as Tammy’s brother TED (and her VHTF boyfriend BUD) by Ideal, or Sindy’s boyfriend PAUL by Pedigree in the UK. They had a great range of original and well-made clothing, but they are unfortunate looking, with odd ‘humanoid’ bodies. They look fantastic in the illustrations, but sadly the real dolls bear no resemblance. Despite their innovations (a version of Paul was released with rooted hair, and Pos’n Ted had bendable arms and legs) they were short-lived and, unlike Ken, did not get reinvented for the Mod generation. For more Paul info visit: http://www.oursindymuseum.com/paul.htm.

Tammy's Family Dad and Ted dolls in original packaging
1963-64 Tammy’s Family Dad and Ted in original packaging
Tammy's Family Pos'n Ted doll in original packaging
1964 Tammy’s Family Pos’n Ted in original packaging

Ideal even produced a competitor to Mattel’s Ricky (see section Ricky) in 1965 in the form of POS’N SALTY, who, unlike Ricky, had bendable limbs and came with sports accessories. Ideal also packaged this doll in a plain card box, wearing ‘patched’ T-shirt and jeans, and sold him as POS’N PETE.

Tammy's Family Bud doll in original packaging
1965 Tammy’s boyfriend Bud by Ideal in original packaging
1965 Pos'n Salty by Ideal
1965 Pepper’s friend Pos’n Salty by Ideal in original packaging

Note that the bendable version of Ted predates Mattel’s bendable leg Ken and Allan dolls by a year.

From 1963 Sears Christmas catalogue
From 1963 Sears Christmas catalogue
From 1964 Sears Christmas catalogue
From 1964 Sears Christmas catalogue
1965 Ideal Tammy catalogue
1965 Ideal Tammy catalogue
From 1965 Sears Christmas catalogue
From 1965 Sears Christmas catalogue
1965-7 Paul by Pedigree UK
1965-7 Sindy’s boyfriend Paul by Pedigree UK
1965 Seaside #13M02
1965 Seaside #13M02 by Pedigree UK
1967 Ship Ahoy #13m11
1967 Ship Ahoy #13M11 by Pedigree UK

As well as their regular line, Pedigree produced a cheaper clothing range under the name Mam’selle. I’ve seen a Mam’selle catalogue showing a total of five outfits for Paul, all of which are now extremely hard to find.

Mam'selle String Set DR450 for Paul by Pedigree
Mam’selle String Set DR450 for Paul by Pedigree
Mam'selle Group Gear DR475 for Paul by Pedigree
Mam’selle Group Gear DR475 Gear get ups for Paul by Pedigree

In France there was JACKY (boyfriend of Mily), produced by French toy company GéGé. He came boxed with a basic underwear set. So far I’ve only managed to date him through catalogues from 1965-66, but I’ve seen several different box designs and many outfits, so he must have been sold for quite a few years. Jacky’s outfits are beautifully made, with a wonderful range of quality fabrics.

Jacky by GéGé France
c. 1965-66 Jacky by GéGé France
From 1966 French Mily & Jacky brochure by GéGé
From 1966 French Mily & Jacky brochure by GéGé

Back in the US, Plastic Molded Arts (P.M.A.) produced two boys called RONNIE and TOMMY. Tommy features in the 1964 Sears Christmas catalogue. L. Davis Textiles Co. Ltd (Davtex) produced two similar dolls called DON and RICK. Don (boyfriend of Suzette) features in the Canadian Simpsons Sears catalogues for 1964 and 1965, with a large clothing range. All these dolls look similar, with their side glancing eyes and short blonde hair.

Tommy by Plastic Molded Arts (P.M.A.)
Tommy by Plastic Molded Arts (P.M.A.)
1960's Outfit for Tommy by P.M.A.
Outfit for Tommy by P.M.A.
From 1964 Sears Christmas catalogue
From 1964 Sears Christmas catalogue
Ronnie by Plastic Molded Arts
Ronnie by Plastic Molded Arts (P.M.A.)
Don (boyfriend of Suzette) for Simpsons Sears
Don (boyfriend of Suzette) for Simpsons Sears Canada
Suzette and her friends boy's hockey outfit for Simpsons Sears Canada
Suzette and her friends boy’s hockey outfit for Simpsons Sears Canada

Don’s clothing range included copies of Campus Hero, Tuxedo, The Yachtsman, Fun on Ice, Dr. Ken and Ski Champion.

From 1964 Simpsons Sears Christmas catalogue
From 1964 Simpsons Sears Christmas catalogue
From 1965 Simpsons Sears Christmas catalogue
From 1965 Simpsons Sears Christmas catalogue
Advertisement for Suzette & Don
Advertisement for Suzette & Don
Rick by Davtex
Rick by L. Davis Textiles Co. Ltd. (Davtex)
Davtex Doll markings
Davtex doll markings

The 1964, 1966 and 1967 Aldens Christmas catalogues feature an identical clone called BOB (boyfriend of Babs or Betty), who came with his own wardrobe.

From 1964 Aldens Christmas catalogue
From 1964 Aldens Christmas catalogue
From 1966 Aldens Christmas catalogue
From 1966 Aldens Christmas catalogue
From 1967 Aldens Christmas catalogue
From 1967 Aldens Christmas catalogue

ANDY or DAN by Eegee came in two versions. One has simple molded crew-cut hair, but the second version is slightly more unique, with his quiffed hair. Dan came in red Ken-like shorts, but as Andy he would originally have had a white cardigan and black and white knit swimsuit, rather oddly combined with sports socks and shoes. The crew-cut version seems to have come without the cardigan. There were at least four extra outfits available for Andy, as shown in the 1963 catalogue below.

Andy by Eegee
Dan by Eegee
Andy by Eegee
Dan by Eegee
Andy by Eegee
Dan by Eegee
Dan by Eegee in original packaging
Dan by Eegee in original packaging
Andy by Eegee
Dan/Andy by Eegee markings
Andy by Eegee in original packaging
Andy by Eegee in original packaging
c. 1963 Andy Eegee (crew-cut version)
Andy by Eegee (crew-cut version)
From united catalogue 1963
From 1963 catalogue (Similar to Coop and Atlas-United catalogues)
Andy pajamas by Eegee (Brooklyn)
Andy pajamas by Eegee in original packaging

The dolls below are all very similar to each other, possibly even produced by the same factory and packaged by various companies as desired in the US. These are the ‘Dime Store’ dolls, the cheapest of all.

Bobby and Janie clone dolls
Bobby and Janie dolls by Larami Corp.
Ted and Dolly clone dolls
Ted and Dolly dolls
On the Beach clone doll set
On the Beach set
Dr. Ben and one of his nurses by Elmar
Dr. Ben and one of his Nurses by Elmar
Dan the Carpenter doll
Dan the Carpenter
Jackie by Hadson
Jackie by Hadson

Ken was not the first teen-age boy doll, but, like Barbie before him, he literally changed the mold of ‘teen’ dolls. An obvious example of this is Uneeda’s BOB doll, sold exclusively at the US chain store Grants (W.T. Grant Co.). See how the 1962 version Bob (below right) has transformed from the standard boy doll opposite into a tall slender youth, with a body almost identical to Ken.

Early Bob by Uneeda for W.T. Grant Co. in original packaging
Bob by Uneeda for W.T. Grant Co. in original packaging
1962 Bob by Uneeda for W.T. Grant Co.
1962 Bob by Uneeda for W.T. Grant Co.
Bob outfit/accessories made for W.T. Grant Co.
Bob outfit/accessories made for W.T. Grant Co.
Bob outfit/accessories made for W.T. Grant Co.
Bob outfit/accessories made for W.T. Grant Co.

There are also clone versions of Allan and Ricky. Sadly I have no information concerning the companys who produced them, or how they were originally dressed and packaged.


CLONE CLOTHING

M & S Shillman, Premier Doll Accessories Inc., Toy Doll & Novelty Company, Progressive Doll Accessories, and Dolly Fashions Inc. etc. all sold clothing and accessories from similar, mostly Brooklyn-based, New York addresses, so were probably the same company working under different names. (Eegee who produced Andy, also based in Brooklyn, was highly likely part of the same company too). Some clothing is identical to Ken’s genuine wardrobe, and some more original. They were presumably all produced during the mid to late 1960s.

Toy Doll & Novelty Co. sets
My Dollies Fashions by Toy Doll & Novelty Co.
K-707 3prs Shoes by Dolly Fashions Inc.
K-707 3prs Shoes by Dolly Fashions Inc.
Progressive Doll Accessories Corp. sets
Progressive Doll Accessories Corp. sets
Hat by Premier Doll Accessories Inc.
Hat by Premier Doll Accessories Inc.
Premier fashions
Premier Doll Accessories Inc. sets
12" Teen Age Boy accessory sets by M&S Shillman
12″ Teen Age Boy accessory sets by M&S Shillman
12" Teen Age Boy accessory sets by M&S Shillman
12″ Teen Age Boy accessory sets by M&S Shillman
12" Teen Age Boy accessory sets by M&S Shillman
12″ Teen Age Boy accessory sets by M&S Shillman

This Shillman outfit is called Campus Caper. It is one of two versions, the other having a red jersey and grey slacks. Shillman produced their own clone doll called Mr. Teen. This outfit is possibly from his collection. There were certainly several outfits produced under the title Mr. Teen Tailored Fashions.

1960s Campus Caper outfit by Shillman
Campus Caper outfit by Shillman
1960s Campus Caper outfit by Shillman
Campus Caper outfit by Shillman
1960s Campus Caper outfit by Shillman
Campus Caper outfit by Shillman

Below are seven Mr. Teen Tailored Fashions by Shillman: Formal Tuxedo (K-12), Pajama Set (K-1), Ivy Leaguer (K-11), Dapper Dan Set (K-2), 2 Trench Coat sets (K-7) and Surburbanite Set (K-8).

Mr. Teen Tailored Fashions by Shillman
Mr. Teen Tailored Fashions by Shillman

Another company who produced under different names was Ardee/Supreme Fashions. They produced Mr. Kent and Dapper Dan fashions with several great accessories.

Mr. Kent At the Beach by Supreme Fashions
Mr. Kent At the Beach by Supreme Fashions
Mr. Kent At the Beach by Supreme Fashions
Mr. Kent At the Beach by Supreme Fashions
Mr. Kent Trenchcoat by Supreme Fashions
Mr. Kent Trenchcoat by Supreme Fashions
Mr. Kent Collegiate by Ardee
Mr. Kent Collegiate by Ardee
Mr. Kent Boating by Ardee
Mr. Kent Boating by Ardee
Mr. Kent Boating by Supreme Fashions
Mr. Kent Boating by Supreme Fashions
Dapper Dan At Home by Ardee
Dapper Dan At Home by Ardee
Dapper Dan Baseball by Ardee
Dapper Dan Baseball by Ardee
Mr. Kent Bedtime by Supreme Fashions
Mr. Kent Bedtime by Supreme Fashions
Dapper Dan White Tuxedo by Ardee
Dapper Dan White Tuxedo by Ardee

Totsy Manufacturing Co. Inc., based in Holyoke Massachusetts, produced a large range of boy doll outfits and accessories, under various titles. Note the sets containing clones of Business Appointment hat, coat & gloves. Some accessories by Totsy appear almost identical to those sold by Shillman.

My Dolly Needs (shoes) by Totsy
My Dolly Needs by Totsy
Debonaire Boy Doll Clothes by Totsy
Debonaire Boy Doll Clothes by Totsy
Debonaire Boy Doll Clothes by Totsy
Debonaire Boy Doll Clothes by Totsy
Flair Boy Fashion by Totsy
Flair Boy Fashion Doll Clothes by Totsy
First Date Boy Doll Clothes by Totsy
First Date Boy Doll Clothes by Totsy
Dolly's Boyfriend Continental Fashions by Totsy
Dolly’s Boyfriend Continental Fashions by Totsy
Play Fashion by Totsy
Play Fashion by Totsy

Peggy-Ann Doll Clothes Inc. from Springfield Massachusetts produced at least one male doll (the charmingly named Happening Hank) and several outfit sets.

Boy Doll Accessories by Peggy-Ann Doll Clothes Inc.
Boy Doll Accessories by Peggy-Ann Doll Clothes Inc.
Pajamas by Peggy-Ann Doll Clothes Inc.
Pajamas by Peggy-Ann Doll Clothes Inc.
2 Varsity Styles coats by Me-Too
2 Varsity Styles coats by Me-Too
Tony Fashions by Frederick Atkins International Ltd.
Tony Fashions by Frederick Atkins International Ltd.

The three pieces below were all found loose, so unfortunately I’m unable to identify them, but they are all obvious copies of original Mattel items.

Clone versions of Ken's polo shirt, jeans and clock
Clone versions of Ken’s polo shirt, jeans and clock

The 1964 Western Auto Christmas catalogue is interesting, as it shows a genuine Ken sold in direct connection with clone clothing, the earliest I have so far discovered. The mention of “luggage-style cases” and an outfit called Campus Caper, suggests that these outfits are Mr. Teen Tailored Fashions by Shillman, as shown further above.

From 1964 Western Auto Christmas Gifts catalogue
From 1964 Western Auto Christmas Gifts catalogue

There is so little information available online about Ken clones and clone clothing. The clothing appears for sale online constantly, but usually out-of-box, making it impossible to know which items belong together, or fit to which doll. The information above is just a tiny glimpse into the clone ‘underworld’, and I readily admit that I’m no expert. If anyone can provide extra information and/or photos, feel free to contact me: contact@somethingabouttheboy.com. Some more information about Ken (and Barbie) clones can be found on this website: http://www.kenbarbieclones1960s-1990s.com.