Last year, toymaker Mattel Inc. rolled out an expanded range of its Barbie fashion dolls which featured a greater range of body types and skin colors, to make the toy icon more inclusive.
Now it is doing the same thing for its Ken doll.
The new "fashionistas" line, which will go on the market later this year, features 15 new Ken dolls available in three body types: broad, slim and original.
There are even Kens available with freckles and hair styles including cornrows and a "man bun."
It's that last one that makes me wonder if Mattel is stretching just a bit far. A man bun, for those of you unaware of the phrase, is what it sounds like — with men's hair styled into a bun on the back on the head, similar to a woman's hair style.
Granted, these are "fashionista" dolls, but I wonder just how much demand there was for hipster Ken. (The man bun Ken featured on Mattel's web site also is wearing what Mattel calls "distressed denim" shorts and a patterned, button-up short sleeve shirt.) I'm also picturing the befuddlement of whatever mold maker was tasked with building the tooling for a plastic head with a man bun.
Or maybe this is just me showing my age. After all, a friend of mine noted that the glasses-wearing Ken in the new line really closely resembles his 17-year-old son, right down to the patterned shirt and glasses with dark plastic frames.