The launch of the Malibu Ken doll in 1982 was a significant moment in the history of Barbie and Ken’s evolution.

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With the upcoming release of the live-action Barbie movie starring Margot Robbie, many fans of the iconic doll are taking a closer look at her history and evolution. One important part of Barbie’s history is the introduction of Ken, her boyfriend, and his evolution over the years.

In 1961, just two years after Barbie’s debut, Mattel introduced the first Ken doll. He was named after the son of Mattel co-founders Ruth and Elliot Handler and was intended to be Barbie’s boyfriend. For many years, Ken remained a Caucasian doll with a blonde crew cut, blue eyes, and a muscular build.

It wasn’t until 1982 that Mattel introduced the Malibu Ken doll, the first African-American version of the Ken doll. The Malibu Ken had a darker skin tone, black hair, and a more athletic build. This was a significant moment in the history of the Ken doll, as it marked a step forward in terms of diversity and representation.

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Over the years, Mattel has continued to introduce new versions of the Ken doll, including different ethnicities, body types, and hairstyles. In recent years, there has been a growing emphasis on diversity and inclusivity in the toy industry, and Mattel has been at the forefront of this movement.

The upcoming Barbie movie, directed by Greta Gerwig, promises to be a fresh take on the iconic doll and her world. While details about the movie are still scarce, it’s clear that the filmmakers are committed to exploring new aspects of Barbie’s history and evolution.