Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Mod Ken - Part 1

Part 1
Barbie's had a super-cool MOD wardrobe. Francie's Mod style is beyond compare and well documented.  Both are well-loved by collectors all over the world. Mattel's amazing marketing campaign of Barbie and Francie, pushing their new MOD look and wardrobe, made sure every little girl knew about it.  Even little Chris, Tutti's friend, got into the Mod Act with her Fun-Timers Gift Set.

But what about Ken?  I've not seen many articles or even that many mentions of Ken in the mod years.

So I thought I would do a little series on some of Ken's mod outfits.   Maybe Ken couldn't go out in a loud mini-skirt like Barbie, or wear a see-through vinyl raincoat like Francie or Skipper.. but he could rock that Mod style in his own way.

First, let's start with a little bit of history.

Ken disappeared from the market for a while, when Barbie was busy going Mod and getting a serious makeover.  Where did he go?  What was he doing?  Why did he leave?  I guess it's irrelevant what Ken was up to, but let's just say he went from this:

To this:

Okay, so maybe Ken had been working out for a few years!

Anyway, "old Ken's" clothes were way too small for "new Ken."  Even his shoes were too small. He needed a whole new wardrobe, and he got it!

Breakfast At 7 #1428
Here's Breakfast at 7 (#1428), Ken's brand new 1969 pajamas set.  I've been longing for this set since I saw it at a flea market years ago when I was just a kid.  I didn't buy it, because the tag was missing, and back then there wasn't reliable identification of Ken clothes from this era, so I didn't know it was actually a Mattel product.  Someone else bought it and I was kicking myself ever since, but I've picked up several pieces of the outfit since then.

One thing that pictures don't show and doll book/website descriptions don't mention is the actual feel of the fabric.  The orange robe is kind of fuzzy.  The other items are all cotton feeling.. the slipper is some sort of faux leather fabric and is pretty stiff.  They have cardboard glued in-between, so don't get them wet.  Everything else is pretty washable, in my opinion.

My set isn't in the best shape, obviously, and also it's got some issues (and could use a press.)  I'm missing a slipper, the elastic on the shorts is all stretched out and the cord on the razor is missing. This razor was included with many Ken outfits from the early 1960s to around 1972.

Anyway I think it's a keen set, and I really love doll pajamas for some reason.

I think it's convenient to tell you where the outfits are tagged.  This outfit is tagged on the robe only.  Also can you see the furry texture of the robe?

It's also fun to note that the yellow and orange check fabric showed up in other outfits that were made from destashed fabric by Mattel...such as in PAK items that can be found in any number of fabrics, and in at least one European Tutti outfit.

If you are lucky enough to find an unknown outfit in this fabric.. you can be assured it is a Mattel product!

Here's Breakfast at 7 pictured in the 1969 booklet that came with outfits.

OH!  One last word of caution.  All Kens from the Mod-era have bendy legs.. so putting on pants can be a big pain.  You'll often find pants ripped for this reason.  If you are having trouble dressing Ken, some baby powder on the legs can help pull those pants up,

Anyway, that's all for now, I'll be sure to update some more about Mod Ken soon. :)

Night Ken!

Click here for MOD KEN PART 2

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