Feb 9, 2006

Barbie and Ken reunite

But it's really just a publicity stunt to resuscitate Barbie's lagging sales. And the new Ken sounds like a wanker.
In February 2004, as every 5-year-old knows, Ken and Barbie called it quits. According to Mattel, which says it relies on customer feedback on its Web site to shape the Barbie-Ken narrative, Barbie was wooed away by an Australian surfer named Blaine.

Ken, heartbroken, traveled the world in search of himself, making stops in Europe and the Middle East, dabbling in Buddhism and Catholicism, teaching himself to cook and slowly weaning himself off a beach bum life.

During the news conference this morning, timed to the opening of the American International Toy Fair in New York on Sunday, the new and improved Ken will emerge, restyled by a celebrity primper, Phillip Bloch, who has dressed Pierce Brosnan, Johnny Depp and Sean Combs.

Gone are Ken's outdated swimming trunks and dull T-shirts. Ken's new wardrobe will include cargo pants, a fitted suit with peak lapels and a motorcycle jacket. A facial resculpting, as Mattel calls it — Ken's first in more than a decade — will give him a more defined nose and a softer mouth.

"It's Matthew McConaughey meets Orlando Bloom," Mr. Bloch said in an interview.

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