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Ken Wants Barbie Back

Girl Power: Jay Cochran - 2005.10.21

EL SEGUNDO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 21, 2005--A year and a half after the shocking split of the world's most quintessential "doll" of a couple, sources say Ken(R) is determined to win back his lifelong love, Barbie(R). Single since their very public breakup in February 2004, America's favorite "arm candy" has recently been seen in Los Angeles, talking to A-list celebrity stylists Phillip Bloch and Illya Knight and stoking speculation that he is in search of a new "look." In fact, Hollywood observers who have recently noticed some subtle changes in Ken(R) say that he might finally be trying to get on equal fashion footing as his style-setting former flame Barbie(R).

While insiders confirm that Ken(R) and Barbie(R) have remained friends and that they have both adjusted to living independently, reps for the two remain tight-lipped. Russell Arons, personal manager and publicist for Ken(R) at Mattel, will only say that he is looking forward to a busy year and that his fans might see some big changes in Spring 2006. However, she hinted that "a makeover may be just what Ken(R) needs to step back into the spotlight," and she also admitted that Ken(R) is more relaxed and refreshed lately thanks to a much-needed break. A rep for Barbie(R) would not confirm or deny any rumors related to the fashion diva's personal life, including any speculation about her relationship with Ken(R).

Since rumors of possible makeover for Ken (R) started swirling in Hollywood, a frenzy of interest and commentary has been sparked among personal stylists and relationship gurus to the stars.

"Ken is one of those guys that has too much of one style. You have to be able to change it up these days - be able to go to from Oscars to Emmys to hanging out with the homeys. Be versatile like J. Lo," said Phillip Bloch, stylist to the stars. "Ken was looking a little pale. He needs a tan. I'm a big fan of a tan."

Steve Altese of Us Weekly's Fashion Police dished, "He should possibly consider eyelid surgery. The Ken I know hasn't blinked in 20 years. I'm a little concerned. Maybe he could just have one eye worked on so he can wink at Barbie."

Celebrity fitness trainer Oscar Smith also weighed in: "Every woman loves a man with a great body - not too skinny and not too muscular. The ideal body for men is a lean and defined physique that shows their masculinity without being overwhelming!"

To give Ken(R) more pointers on how he should look and what he should do to get Barbie(R) back, today, his biggest fans and foes - girls logged on to Barbie.com(SM) - began to voice their opinions. And if history is any guide, Ken(R) will have no problem reinventing himself to slip back into the role of one of America's most popular hunks, while, at the same time, hopefully getting a second chance with his first love.

Ken(R) - Leading Man in Every Decade

Ken Carson(TM) was first introduced at the 1961 American International Toy Fair, and that same year he and Barbie(R) met on the set of their first television commercial together. Their on- and off-screen chemistry was undeniable, and soon Ken(R) became America's most fashionable "first man" alongside his leading lady. They starred in numerous chart-topping movies together, and their legendary romance became so revered that other successful celebrity pairings were often dubbed "Barbie(R) and Ken(R)."

From astronaut to athlete to actor, Ken(R) has led an exciting life and has been a worldwide pop culture favorite for several generations. Mattel's design and development team is continually identifying trends for Ken(R) that relate to the lives of children across the U.S. For instance, in 1961, the first-ever Ken(R) doll sported a crew cut, the popular hairstyle at the time, and went "Mod" a few years later with new face sculpting in 1969 and rooted hair in 1973.

In the 1970s and 1980s, Ken(R) took up rollerblading, joined the California suntan craze with sporty beach attire, and boogied to the disco craze with jumpsuits, large sunglasses and gold jewelry.

In the 1990s and 2000s, Ken(R) focused on his careers as a businessman, baseball player, explorer and rock star. He and Barbie(R) co-starred in four chart-topping movies between 2000 and 2004. In February 2004, Ken(R) split from Barbie(R), when she left him for Australian surfer, Blaine(R). The very public break-up played out in the tabloids all year and made headlines worldwide. What's next for Ken(R)? Only time will tell if a complete overhaul can bring new life to an old flame.

About Mattel

Mattel, Inc., (NYSE:MAT, www.mattel.com (https://www.mattel.com)) is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of toys and family products, including Barbie(R), the most popular fashion doll ever introduced. The Mattel family is comprised of such best-selling brands as Hot Wheels(R), Matchbox(R), American Girl(R) and Tyco(R) R/C, as well as Fisher-Price brands (www.fisher-price.com), including Little People(R), Rescue Heroes(R), Power Wheels(R) and a wide array of entertainment-inspired toy lines. With worldwide headquarters in El Segundo, Calif., Mattel employs more than 25,000 people in 42 countries and sells products in more than 150 nations throughout the world. The Mattel vision is to be the world's premier toy brands -- today and tomorrow.

BARBIE and associated trademarks and trade dress are owned by Mattel, Inc. (C) 2005 Mattel, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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