Saturday, March 11 / Monday, March 13, 1961: Ken doll

After two years on her own, the popular Barbie doll gets a boyfriend as Ken is introduced by Mattel Inc. at the American Toy Fair in New York. (While Mattel is marking the 50th anniversary on March 11, serious doll collectors prefer March 13, the date the toy fair opened, as the actual birthday.) Ken (last name Carson) was named after the son of Mattel's owners. "He's a doll!" the ads proclaimed.

* All about Ken (from www.barbiemedia.com): @
* Barbie and Ken quiz (via CNBC): @
* First TV commercial: @
* www.manbehindthedoll.com: @
* dollobserver.com (blog): @
* "Forever Barbie: The Unauthorized Biography of a Real Doll" (book by M.G. Lord): @

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