Mattel expands Fashionistas line with Ken makeover

Following in the well-heeled footsteps of Barbie, the toymaker's Fashionistas line has introduced new Ken dolls with varying body types and skin tones.
June 20, 2017

On the heels of announcing a corporate makeover strategy, Mattel is giving its popular Ken doll a new identity, too.

The US toymaker is expanding its Fashionistas line with 15 new Ken dolls, available online and at retailers across the US and Canada. Dubbed The New Crew, the lineup includes three body types–slim, broad and original–as well as seven skin tones, eight hair colors, nine hairstyles and modernized fashions that range from business attire to athletic wear. Additionally, Mattel has launched 25 new diverse Barbie dolls.

The updated Ken dolls come after the success of the toymaker’s Fashionistas line, which debuted in January 2016 with tall, curvy and petite Barbies. Mattel’s iconic doll saw sales rise by 23% to US$160.5 million in Q2 2016, after experiencing eight consecutive periods of sustained losses. Overall for fiscal 2016, the Barbie brand saw its worldwide sales climb by 7% to US$971.8 million, driven largely by the popularity of Fashionistas. (In this year’s first quarter, though, Mattel missed its sales expectations and saw Barbie’s worldwide gross sales decline 13% against Q1 2016.)

Mattel’s new five-pillar refocus will focus on building its Power Brands–including Barbie–into 360-degree connected systems of play and experiences.

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