Bulletin
Investor Alert

June 20, 2017, 4:20 p.m. EDT

Barbie’s boyfriend, Ken, gets a makeover — look for the man bun and the dad bod

Diversity and diversification are part of the story as Mattel gives Ken new skin tones, body shapes and hairdos

new
Watchlist Relevance
LEARN MORE

Want to see how this story relates to your watchlist?

Just add items to create a watchlist now:

  • X
    Mattel Inc. (MAT)
  • X
    Target Corp. (TGT)
  • X
    Hasbro Inc. (HAS)

or Cancel Already have a watchlist? Log In

By Sally French, MarketWatch


Mattel

Ken has a “dad bod,” perhaps fittingly, as he’s been on the scene since the early ’60s. That’s not all. Barbie’s longtime boyfriend also has a “man bun.”

In fact, Mattel Inc. /zigman2/quotes/209819189/composite MAT -2.59% on Tuesday announced a set of 15 new Ken dolls in an effort to modernize and add diversity to the Barbie lineup. Ken now comes in three different body types — slim, broad and original — plus seven skin tones, eight hair colors and nine hairstyles, including corn rows and the man bun. He’s also got a new wardrobe, complete with skinny ties and plaid button-ups.

“Most of the new Ken dolls and accessories are available for preordering now through the Barbie website and are slated to become available on July 8, though some accessories won’t arrive till this fall. Some of the dolls are already available in store at locations including Target /zigman2/quotes/207799045/composite TGT +3.29%   and Toys R Us. The dolls start at $9.99.


Courtesy of Mattel

Barbie has received similar makeovers in recent years. In January 2016, Mattel announced that it was adding both curvier and more petite Barbies to the lineup. Those changes were part of an attempt to address concerns that Barbie’s traditional tall, slim and blonde look was out of touch with today’s children and the type of doll that girls now want to play with, according to the Wall Street Journal. In 2015, new Barbie skin tones, facial structures and hairstyles had been rolled out, creating the most diverse lineup that Mattel has given to the Barbie line since it was introduced in 1959.

Mattel has undertaken other attempts to turn Barbie more progressive, including the creation of a President Barbie — with a female vice president, no less.


Courtesy of Mattel

Mattel, which also makes the Hot Wheels and Fisher-Price toy lines, has struggled in recent years to maintain healthy sales in the iconic doll brand.

Rival Hasbro /zigman2/quotes/201249319/composite HAS +0.07% , which in 2016 secured the rights to develop dolls based on Disney princess characters, including those in “Beauty and the Beast” and “Frozen,” passed Mattel in quarterly revenue for the first time since 2000.

Mattel shares closed lower by 2% Tuesday after UBS cut its share-price target to $26 from $29. The stock is down more than 37% in the past year; the benchmark S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.48% is up nearly 17% over that period.

/zigman2/quotes/209819189/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 9.21
-0.25 -2.59%
Volume: 4.56M
May 29, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$3.19 billion
Rev. per Employee
$167,069
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207799045/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 122.33
+3.90 +3.29%
Volume: 8.71M
May 29, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
22.67
Dividend Yield
2.16%
Market Cap
$61.16 billion
Rev. per Employee
$209,322
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201249319/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 73.51
+0.05 +0.07%
Volume: 1.64M
May 29, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
22.41
Dividend Yield
3.70%
Market Cap
$10.07 billion
Rev. per Employee
$848,083
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime
US : S&P US
3,044.31
+14.58 +0.48%
Volume: 4.38B
May 29, 2020 5:14p
loading...

Sally French covers drone technology and serves as a social media editor for MarketWatch in San Francisco. You can follow her on Twitter @SAFMedia.

Get news alerts on Mattel Inc. — or create your own.
This Story has 0 Comments
Be the first to comment
More News In
Industries

Story Conversation

Commenting FAQs »
Link to MarketWatch's Slice.