My wife forwarded me an article about the “Ken” doll turning 50, this coincided with my own recent 50th birthday. I was never into dolls; the closest thing we boys played with was the little green army men. You got a whole bag of them for a dollar…and if you shot them in to the sky on the back of a bottle rocked, or didn’t retrieve one after a dirt cave in at the sand box it was no big deal. But my sisters had Barbie and Ken dolls, and there was hell to pay if you hid one or attempted to see if they would fit in the toilet.
I always assumed “Malibu Ken” was a California native, turns out Ken Carson was from Willow Wisconsin…heck who knew? Like many of the serious cyclist Ken was hairless and Aerodynamic (if you know what I mean?) and does in fact fit part of the way down a toilet…but only part of the way.
Ken didn’t in fact turn 50 recently…he was seen in a commercial 50 years ago this month, but was at least old enough at the time to drive a Barbie dream car. This would mean he is really in his late 60’s and that officially means Barbie was the first cougar. That’s right Barbie was on the scene two years ahead of Ken…and reached the beach prior to Ken’s arrival from Wisconsin.
The Love affair lasted 45 years, before a guy from down-under named Blaine …threw another shrimp on the Barbie. Poor old ken with no working man parts discarded for a guy with an accent. I hope he had a pre-nup and got the dream house, Jeep Wrangler, Winnebago, or one of the Harley’s the two were sporting as the manufacturer used product placement in their selling of this American icon.
So Thanks for the Ken is 50 references “Honey”…but remember if Barbie was so popular why did you have to buy her friends? P.S. If Ken is in his late 60’s that would mean Barbie is pushing 70. We all talk about branding now like we marketing gurus made it up. These dolls suggest someone learned about marketing to millions while we were in diapers.
So thanks to my lovely wife for pointing out that Ken and I came in to the world at nearly the same time, but despite the fact he is an American Icon and I am not...I'll continue to try to brand myself while Ken is relegated to a shoe box under the bed.