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“Next Gen Ken:” Mattel releases new, diverse Ken dolls including some with man buns

(CBS) — Ken is following in Barbie’s footsteps and is getting a 21st-century makeover.

Mattel announced Tuesday the expansion of its “Fashionistas” line with 15 new Ken dolls, as part of an ongoing development to diversify both Barbie and Ken.

The new Ken dolls will feature three body types: slim, broad and original. The dolls will offer a variety of new hairstyles, including cornrows and man buns; eight hair colors and seven different skin tones. Ken will also be sporting new fashions: think skinny ties, plaid shirts and graphic tees. Ken hasn’t changed much since he was first introduced 56 years ago as Barbie’s blue-eyed, chiseled boyfriend – so in 2017 is was time for a fresh look.

Last year a similar makeover was done to the iconic Barbie doll. Mattel offered three new Barbie body types: tall, curvy and petite. The new dolls also offered new skin tones, eye colors, hairstyles and on-trend fashions.

“By continuing to expand our product line, we are redefining what a Barbie or Ken doll looks like to this generation,” said Lisa McKnight, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Barbie. “Evolving Ken was a natural evolution for the brand and allows girls to further personalize the role they want him to play in Barbie’s world.”

So you want to meet some the new Kens?

There are two “New Crew” Ken dolls with man buns.

One with a broad build…

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And one with a slim build…

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There is even a Ken doll with cornrows!

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And preppy Ken…

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A Ken who looks like he lives on the West Coast with freckles…

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A cool Ken wit a tapered afro…

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Among many more with different outfits, hairstyles, and skin and eye colors.

For a look at more of the new Ken dolls, check out the website.

Mattel is also introducing 25 additional diverse Barbie dolls. The new additions will join the 100+ diverse looks launched in the Barbie Fashionistas line in the last three years, according to Mattel.

Mattel Inc., based in El Segundo, California, said some of the new Ken dolls will be available for sale on its website Tuesday. All of them will be on store shelves by the holidays. The dolls cost $9.99 online, and most can be pre-ordered.


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