Tag Archives: Ken

Equal time for the man

Who knew, as we fêted Barbie on her 52nd birthday, that Ken’s 50th was the same day? Poor guy, always in the shadow of the diva.

In 1961, when Mattel decided that Barbie should not be alone and needed a companion, it created Ken.

Ken, you've come a long way, Baby.

I learned that Ken turned 50 when I opened Sunday’s Parade magazine, which arrives at my house on Saturday. So watch for it tomorrow and open it to Page 5, where you’ll see half a dozen Ken hair styles from the early sixties, when his hair was painted on, to the modern metrosexual do of 2010. For a sneak preview, visit Parade for a click down Memory Lane.

It should come as no surprise that, just as Barbie has eluded the texture of middle age, so has her younger man. While his coif and togs have changed with the times, he’s still as smooth as ever. Would that we all be composed of soft vinyl rather than mottled human flesh. In 50 years, Ken sprouted nary a hair from the neck down and remains as hairless as ever, even on his back and the insides of his ears and nose.

The end of the brief article asks, “Who knows what the next 50 years will bring?”


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Filed under Beauty and Fashion, Marketing/Advertising/PR

Toy with me

Last weekend my husband and I, sans child, went to see Toy Story 3.

Somehow I managed to miss 1 and 2, even though our son was six when the first one came out; perhaps these were part of a guys’ night out.

Friends and family members who remember what an awful time I had when our son left for college in 2006 made sure I saw Toy Story 3 and that I brought along plenty of Kleenex.  Used every last one.

We weren’t the only childless adults in the theater, which is a testament to this particular series of Pixar animated films and, I dare say, to the therapeutic effect of being surrounded by toys for two hours.

Until we got to the heartbreaking part where Boy leaves Mom, I enjoyed re-living my own childhood through the animated toys. 

I had practically every one of those classic toys.  Those I did not, my brothers or cousins or friends did.  Someone in our family, perhaps grandparents, had the old cymbal-slapping monkey.  My brothers had the See ‘n Say The Farmer Says, as did our son.  I like to think of that one as onomatopoeia machine.  I loved the telephone on wheels that googled its eyes when you pulled it along on its string.  I also had a doll in about as good of shape as Big Baby, abused by love.  I had a few Barbies, but not Metrosexual Ken.  Oh, and who can forget Slinky Dog?

After seeing the movie, I went up to our attic, where a few of our son’s old toys have retired, and to the basement, where the old books and games are, to apologize for sending them there.  I pulled some fire engines off the shelf and rolled them to a make believe emergency–big pileup of Matchbox cars–and paid overdue homage to some other old friends.

One fellow who was never banished to Floors 3 or B was Pippo, a sock monkey named for the series of Helen Oxenbury books we enjoyed so much.  He still lies on our son’s bed, mainly to keep alive the childhood spirit of the room in the absence of our boy, now grown and living out of state.  I suppose Pippo is our Woody.

I think I’ll see if my husband wants to play Candyland tonight.  We can call it a playdate with destiny.


Filed under Family and Friends, Movies, Television and Radio, Reading