Cornrows, man buns, and glasses: Oh my! On Tuesday, toymaker Mattel announced it has expanded its wildly successful Fashionistas line of dolls to include 15 amazingly diverse updates to the classic Ken doll, Barbie's totally platonic boy bud and sometimes husband. Say hello to three new body types, a wider palette of skin shades, and yes — you can now get a Ken doll with a man bun. What a time to be alive. Where can you buy the new Ken dolls? You can order the new Ken dolls at the Barbie website, but don't expect them to arrive in your mailbox right away.
Given how ridiculously awesome and popular these have already become in just the day since their release most are backordered or available for pre-order until July 8. That said, you might be one of the lucky ones to score one of these diverse new Ken dolls at other retailers online, including Toys "R" Us, Target, Kmart, and Walmart. Eager shoppers who need to get their man bun Ken doll right now will need to check each site to see if and when they'll have the new Ken dolls in stock at brick and mortar stores. Patience, I know. I, too, am ready to get my hands on a couple for my son.
So, what exactly do these new updates for Ken include? According to Mattel, Ken now comes in three body types — broad, slim, and original — taking a cue from the much appreciated and long overdue addition of curvy, petite, and tall Barbie body types. There are also now seven different skin tones, along with eight hair colors and nine hairstyles. And, as would be expected of a Fashionistas line dubbed "The New Crew," some modern menswear looks for Ken, with everything from beach casual to startup workplace.
Seriously, check these bad boys out:
Confession: I never realized how much I needed a Ken doll with a fade in my life until now. Also, can we talk about those silver high tops because OMG silver quilted high top sneakers. I genuinely cannot handle how freakin' cool these new Ken dolls look.
In a statement, Barbie Senior Vice President and General Manager Lisa McKnight said,
By continuing to expand our product line, we are redefining what a Barbie or Ken doll looks like to this generation. 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.
Mattel's move to modernize and diversify the Ken doll into the miniature-sized man of the millennial generation is important. But it's important, too, to emphasize that Ken dolls are not exclusive to play time for girls, as McKnight noted in her statement. It's just as important for boys to see realistic representations of men beyond superheroes, video game mutants, and half-robot hybrids. Don't get me wrong: I love a good superhero toy franchise as much as the next geek mom, but it's nice to see Mattel taking a step toward realism, and ultimately celebration in the diversity of the male form — with a generous dose of some serious style.