Barbie fans might be shocked to learn that the Ken doll has both a middle and last name — and that he’s named after a real person.
In fact, Barbie herself is named after a real person.
Ken’s full name is Kenneth Sean Carson, and he was named after the son of Barbie creator Ruth Handler, who also co-founded Mattel with her husband Elliot.
The companion doll to Barbie first hit shelves in March 1961 — making him a Pisces, just two years after Mattel first released the iconic Barbie doll.
The creation of Ken came in response to complaints written to Mattel that Barbie was a single woman, thus making the male doll her counterpart.
The very first Ken doll sported a red bathing suit and cork sandals, looking ready to hit the beach from the start.
However, the original Ken claimed to be nothing like the beach-bum doll named after him.
“Ken doll is Malibu,” he told the Los Angeles Times in 1989. “He goes to the beach and surfs. He is all these perfect American things.”
Kenneth Handler didn’t do those things. He “played the piano and went to movies with subtitles. I was a nerd—a real nerd.”
Ken is sold at 12 inches tall — half an inch taller than his girlfriend.
Barbie — whose full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts — was named after Handler’s daughter Barbara, Kenneth Handler’s sister.
The iconic plastic doll made her debut on March 9, 1959 — yes, also a Pisces — a means to allow girls to play with a doll that could represent their future beyond the traditional role of a stay-at-home mother.
Ken has a last name — Barbie fans shocked to learn doll’s full moniker. Ken has a last name — Barbie fans shocked to learn doll’s full moniker