Barbie’s boyfriend Ken gets diverse makeover

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NEW YORK – Barbie underwent a massive makeover in 2016 but, this year, is Ken’s time to shine.

On Tuesday, Mattel unveiled a collection of diverse Ken dolls. Barbie’s iconic boyfriend is now available in three body types – slim, broad and original – and seven different skin tones.

You can also choose from eight different hair colors, nine hair styles – including a man bun – and various eye colors. Fashion styles range from athletic wear to business attire.

Although 10 new Ken dolls ($9.99) arrive in stores Tuesday, five more will launch in the months ahead.

The new Ken dolls join Mattel’s Fashionistas line. Last year, Mattel rolled out a diverse Barbie line with four body types, seven skin tones and 24 hairstyles to more broadly represent diversity among Barbie fans.

“We are redefining what a Barbie or Ken doll looks like to this generation,” said Lisa McKnight, senior VP and general manager for Barbie, in a statement.

Mattel debuted the Ken doll in 1961. He wore red swim shorts and cork sandals. His look has since evolved over the decades.

In 2004, Ken “broke up” with Barbie. In 2009, he let out his wild side, sporting a fedora and a tribal print shirt. Mattel branded him as “Hottie Ken” during that time. The pair made up in 2011.

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