He's A Doll! Newsletter August 2010

2010 Club Exclusive Items Announced

He's a Doll! will offer 3 club exclusive items for 2010 membership.  Our second item is a t-shirt designed by member Andrea Rossi and will be available to order in OCTOBER.  You can order right now until November 13, 2010 on the Yahoo member board.  Due to popular demand, we are offering two Women's cut shirt sizes along with regular Men's/Unisex size shirts.  This wonderful colorful graphic designed by Andrea is sure to turn some heads! Don't delay and get your orders in before the deadline! The yearly club t-shirt is a very popular item with members!

Later this year we will have a Ken doll exclusive fashion.  More information on the fashion when it becomes available.

Club Member Contest In September
 Look forward to a club member month-long contest to begin in September.  Details will be posted soon on the Yahoo member board!
FIRST Club 2010 Exclusive Item Now on SALE!

The first of three He's A Doll! 2010 Club Exclusive Items...A Ken Stik-Withit Note Cube (pictured right) is now on sale!

This 2.5 x 2.5 x 2.5 Stik-Withit Note Cube is fully branded in the official
"Ken" cyan blue color and features the new Ken doll silhouette! Limited to 1 per one-time ordering. Orders will be accepted from 2010 He's A Doll! club members only! HURRY, quantities are EXTREMELY limited! Act, fast! We will update you when they are sold out!

Simply fill out the ORDER FORM located in the "files" section of the YAHOO member site!

Letter FROM the Editor:

by Micheal Rose-Newsletter Editor

Pictured Above:  Barbie Fashionistas Ken "Hottie". 
The Ken® trademark name is not used on the doll box but he is referenced as Ken in Mattel listings. 

Hey Club Friends…This is a new feature I’ve been thinking about adding to the newsletter.  There are many discussions out there in the world of Ken, and I am always eager to hear everyone’s opinions.  So what I’m going to do each newsletter is to write about a subject I’ve heard discussed about Ken and give “MY” opinion.  I will then open it up to you all…the REAL experts…to either agree or refute.  Then I will take all the feedback and let you know how everyone weighed in in the following newsletter.

 This month’s topic is “What Makes Ken?!?”

 When you go to the store and see a new Mattel doll on the shelf…and his name on the package is Kurt, or Ryan, or Darren, or anything other than Ken….but he is made by Mattel and for all intents and purposes has the same components as previous dolls who were called “Ken” do you still call him a Ken Doll??!?!  Me, I say Heck yeah!  As far as I am concerned there are three types of dolls out there.  Ken’s, Fashions, and Action Figures (A.K.A. Joe’s)…If it’s made by Mattel I call it a Ken…even the named dolls like Mattel’s James Dean, or Darren, or James Bond, or even the Star Trek Ken…to ME, these are all Kens!  I don’t think it’s laziness…it’s just the way I organize the dolls in my mind.  The Fashion Royalty dolls would be the most popular of the Fashion Doll, and the Action Figures include Blue Box, Dragon, Hot Toys, etc.

Pictured Above:  (left) S.I.S. Darren doll and (right) Fashion Fever Kurt doll.

What do YOU think?  Is Darren a Ken doll?  If not…what is he?!?!?  I’m looking forward to everyone’s responses.  Please send them to me, Micheal Rose at GessHu100@aol.com and I will crunch the numbers for the next newsletter!

Thanks for reading!!!

Toy Story Ken

by Omar Syed-Newsletter Committee

“I’m not a girl’s toy! I’m not! Why does everybody keep saying that?”

When news of Toy Story 3 released in December 2009 and January 2010, most fans were thrilled because it meant another dose of Woody, Buzz and the rest of the toys we’ve known since 1995. Ken collectors were more than pleasantly surprised to note that joining the computer generated cast was Ken- that’s right, our own blue eyed boy Ken Carson! Fans speculated on what would he look like, how would he behave, and most importantly, would Pixar do justice to our “manly role model”

Thankfully, there’s little for Ken collectors to worry about since Ken guru Jef Beck spearheaded Ken’s appearance for the film. Ken’s look, modeled on 1988’s Animal Lovin' Ken, though picked out by Lee Unkrich, was taken directly from Jef’s site, along with Ken’s 27 outfits which span the decades from Ken’s initial conception (Ken in Switzerland #0776) to more modern times (Cool Times Ken) and everything in between and beyond, including the very hard to find 1991 Cool Career Fashion #2952 Rock Star carded outfit. Though a few articles of clothing were modified (Ken’s 1961 In Training shorts were color swapped to be white with red hearts instead of red with white hearts), all were taken from Jef’s site with his own first hand input. In fact, Jef’s name comes under the Special Thanks section at the end of the film.

A perhaps inside joke in the film is that this particular Ken has never met a Barbie before. In fact, he calls himself a Guy’s Toy, and a role model- a manly, role model. If this Ken was owned by a little boy, rather than a little girl, I surmise that the inside joke is that this Ken belonged to Jef (or an unseen character inspired by Jef). Lee talks more about it in an interview- Look on the Sunnyside (insight into Ken with Lee Unkrich)- Video

As for Ken’s being a manly role model, he gives a rousing interview on his own terms- Groovin with Ken- Video

What would a movie be without toy tie-ins? Mattel’s initial attempts at a movie tie-in were dismal, with Ken looking nothing like his onscreen counterpart, and nothing like the original Animal Lovin’ Ken. Die hard fans of both Toy Story and Ken were urged by Unkrich to find the original Animal Lovin’ Ken doll MIB (which resulted in skyrocketing Ebay prices) but a simpler (and probably much cheaper) solution was to find any blue eyed, brown haired Ken with the 1983 headmold and the 1968 bent arm body and simply redress him in one of the many, many outfits showcased in Toy Story 3.  Example 1 and Example 2.

Thankfully, a newer headmold was created for the Made For Each Other giftset, seen in the following two links-

Movie accurate Ken with other TS Collection toys- Mold 1  Movie accurate Ken sculpt- Mold 2 (Pictures courtesy of Sli|||nky from Pixar Planet).

However more than Ken’s appearance is his demeanor, characteristics and personality, well played out by Michael Keaton (Batman, Mr. Mom, Beetlejuice). Some fans were worried that like his appearance in as Dogberry in Kenneth Branagh’s Much Ado About Nothing, would Keaton play Ken as Beetlejuice. Thankfully, Ken comes off as a strong, regular guy, much like many of those fans who collect and customize him. Keaton’s voice appears also in a few stints of dating tips from Ken-

Ken’s Dating Tips #48-Video  Ken’s Dating Tips #31-Video  Ken’s Dating Tips #24- Video

Of course, where would Ken be without Barbie. Though some of us might pair him with other dolls, Mattel has always purported that Ken and Barbie were America’s Sweethearts, as seen in the following clips-

Buzz Flies- Video  Meet Ken- Video


Convention 2010 - The Centerpieces

by Dr. Jon Baltrunas, ICRS-Newsletter Committee

Many of those in the club were unable to attend the recent Barbie convention in Cleveland.  While there were many fun events and meeting, chances to shop, etc., what they missed most was the opportunity to see the awesome centerpieces that are created each year by talented members of the Fan Club!  Here is a description of those works of art:  A quick brief description of the two main centerpieces is that they were mascots for the convention theme. The dolls were designed by Edge of 17, repainted by Melissa Windham, wearing outfits designed by Steve Skutka. The third night’s banquet dolls were designed and donated by various doll artists of varying types of talents.

The first dinner’s centerpiece was a Rocker Ken. He came with a metal girded stage with three clip lights. The doll was a Blond Mohawk "Harley Davidson Ken" with a repainted face and rooted eyelashes covered by black sunglasses. He wore a long black "Matrix" type coat with blue arrows pointing off each shoulder. Under the coat he had a sleeveless purple leopard shirt, lime green pants, turquoise belt with diamond shaped rhinestone buckle, and Harley Davidson black boots. His other accessories were a Black kepi cap with a blue arrow pointing forward and a white and black guitar with a black guitar strap.

Pictured Below:  Rocker Ken centerpiece from the 2010 NBDCC.

The second night’s centerpiece was the black haired "Harley Davidson Barbie" again designed by Edge of 17, repainted by Melissa Windham, wearing outfits designed by Steve Skutka. She comes with a living room of furniture which included: a white sofa with two matching pillows, a white cabinet with drawer, a grey and crystal coffee table, a black crystal chandelier with a wire hanger, and an EXCLUSIVE black "Pop Life" side chair. She wore a hot pink halter top, a turquoise scarf, a black mini skirt with a turquoise belt with diamond shaped rhinestone buckle, hot pink fishnet stockings, and near thigh high white vinyl high heeled boots. Her accessories were: pink and white earrings and a set of pink and white bracelets with turquoise painted fingernails.

Pictured Below:  Rocker Barbie centerpiece from the 2010 NBDCC.

Now for the fun stuff: If you attended the first dinner you, as a table guest, received the two outfits and all accessories that both Ken and Barbie were wearing in three gift boxes. There was also a raffle for a few extra centerpieces to a few lucky tables (less than 20). My brother won that raffle and his doll is not the Blond Ken but is a Brunette Ken (Derrick?) without the Mohawk hair cut. As soon as he is unpacked he has promised me pictures of his doll. 

If you attended the second night’s dinner you received a Red Sofa with one pillow and a black and crystal coffee table, and a clear crystal chandelier. Again a few lucky tables were given raffle chances for one person to win a Red Chair, a Pink Crystal Chandelier, or a White Chair. All these prizes were carefully recorded as they were picked up so that only the winners could get them. The Rocker outfits are not marked but the Furniture is marked with a little white tag underneath that says Rockers Convention 2010 in black letters.

Finding Ken

by Micheal Rose-Newsletter Editor

Pictured Above:  Made For Each Other Barbie and Ken Giftset.

Fashionista Sporty Ken (aka Ryan?) - The second in the series, I’ve seen him this week in Toys R Us AND in Target…Here he is online:




Happy Shopping!....Oh, and if you find a reasonable Tango Barbie and Ken set…let me know…I’m going CRAZY looking for it!!!

There is one thing I like to do almost as much as I like collecting Ken and his friends…and that’s to SHOP!!  As a member of several doll collecting groups I often see posts regarding how difficult it is to find a particular Ken doll.  Well, I’ve done a bit of research and, while I can’t guarantee availability by the time you read this, I can tell you where you can find several of the “HOT” Kens today:

Toy Story 3 Ken - Toy Story 3 Made For Each Other - Let’s face it…we all saw the movie and are kicking ourselves for not having obtained the original Animal Lovin’ Ken from 1988.  Mattel has decided we can ONLY purchase the remake of this doll as a set with Barbie from the movie.  They are still available here (Just follow these handy links):

Amazon.com Toys R Us Wal-Mart
This is sold out online, but this page gives you the option to seek a local store to find your guy!
Deal of Day Target

Animal Lovin' Ken - Ok, you REALLY want a shot at the original….here are the results from a current Ebay search:  eBay

Toy Story 3 Ken - Toy Story 3 Ken Loves Barbie - Not the doll from the movie…but, he IS cute and he comes with a tiny Barbie doll!  If you get Barbie loves Ken, you’ll get a tiny Ken doll!!!:  Amazon and eBay

Toy Story 3 Buddy Packs - These have been VERY difficult to find, and they come in several variations.  It is interesting to note that this is the first EVER product where you can more easily find Ken than Barbie!  I have several of each (Get ready friends for Christmastime!  LOL)  I find that if you go back to Toys R Us, Target, and Shop Rite, you’ll find that they have been replenished several times already…but while Target still carries them at $6.99, Shop Rite has gone up to $10.99, and Toys R Us has gone up to $12.99.  I’m not sure about Walmart and Kmart (Two other places where I’ve found them) but prices and availability varies all over the place.   Kmart - Had to put this one in...never saw I before…it has Astronaut Barbie!!

Mad Men Kens - OK, technically they aren’t NAMED Ken…but without heads is there REALLY a difference?!?!?!?

Barbie Collector Amazon eBay

Plastic Winchester Theater

by Topher Franz-Newsletter Committee

Chances are pretty good that if you are reading this you have at least a passing interest in Mattel's twelve inch plastic icon named Ken Carson. For nearly half a century people have invited him into their homes for a wide variety or reasons. Whether as a fashion accessory for some "girl's toy" to that of a rare collectible, never to be removed from his box. Ken has always been quite versatile. 

Mattel has even cast him in the role of movie memorabilia. We see Ken portraying a wide range of characters as varied as Rhett Butler is from Captain Kirk and as far apart as Superman is from the Cowardly Lion.

Well Mattel has no monopoly on creative license because you will never guess what I found on the Internet It's called, "PLASTIC WINCHESTER THEATER".

All I can tell you is that the young lady responsible goes by the name Anteka. What started as a whimsical fan tribute for the TV show "Supernatural" has blossomed into a cyber- photo-story of epic proportion.

I have not been able to contact her for an interview but from what she has shared online I have gleaned that five years ago she rescued, from a Good Will Thrift store, three naked dolls. I have identified, (With the help of Jef Beck's Keeping Ken site) that the boys in question are "Olympic USA Skater Ken" circa 1997, "Beach Fun Ken (the New Look) circa 2005.  These two dolls portray Sam and Dean Winchester. The third doll I believe is a circa1996 "Big Brother Ken" who represents the brothers' gruff and unshaven father, John.  Two brothers who travel across the United States searching for and destroying all sorts of hideous creatures like evil Witches, evil Vampires, evil Zombies, and even evil Care Bears.

If you enjoy seeing Ken dolls being played with, PWT is a clever and delightful guilty pleasure. There are five seasons of adventure so you will find yourself going back again and again.

You can find her amazing site HERE!



Meet The Members

Every month He's A Doll will feature a fellow club member so while distance may separate us, the internet and our Ken collecting won't!

If you are interested in being an upcoming Featured Member, please contact Micheal Rose, Editor at

Featured  Member:

Jim Tolan

1) What made you decide to join He’s A Doll?

I have been a member and been involved with the Windy City Collector’s Barbie Doll Club for several years now, and I’ve always enjoyed my Ken dolls, so I thought it would be fun.

2) What sparked your interest in collecting male dolls?

When I began, I was actually collecting various action figures and not dolls.  But, one day, my friend and I wandered down the Barbie aisle in Toys-R-Us.  Keep in mind, this was back when the Barbie aisle was ALL Barbie, on both sides, and was incredibly overwhelming in the stock on the shelves, and the glass collector doll displays, etc.  I found a Caboodles Barbie that day that I fell in love with for her silky blonde hair and rainbow-colored fashion.  As I began slowly collecting Barbie, it just made sense to collect the Ken dolls as well.  Since they weren’t produced as often, or in such abundance, it seemed easier (and cheaper) to collect the male dolls.  As I learned more details about the dolls, I found I shared my birth year with Ken doll as well, so there seemed to be a kinship.  Or, maybe I should say “Ken-ship!”  LOL  I have also enjoyed adding other male dolls to my collection over the years, for added variety.

3) How long have you been collecting?

I started collecting in 1995.

4)  How many dolls do you have in your collection?

Way too many to even count.  I really need to get them more organized.

Pictured Below:  A small part of Jim's collection.

5)  Which ones are amongst your favorites?

I picked up a vintage “Live Action” Ken doll on Ebay a few years ago, near complete.  I had this particular Ken doll as a boy and I was happy to add it to my current collection.  It’s like having some of my past and childhood back.

6)  What doll purchase was most exciting for you?

The “Live Action” ken doll mentioned, as well as a Matt Trujillo Ken doll.  This doll is also a particular favorite of mine.

Pictured Above:  Jim's Matt Trujillo (Artist) Doll.

7)  What doll - or doll items - do you not own, that you would love to have in your collection?  (i.e. consider your ultimate acquisition or “Holy Grail” of dolls)

I would love to add a “Pop Life Ken” doll to my collection.

8) What doll or accessory are you currently looking for?

Anything that is interesting and different.

9) What do you do when you’re not collecting dolls?

I also enjoy watching movies, reading, and working so I can afford my collecting habit.

10) If you could be any doll, which doll would you be?

The Ken doll in the picture below.

11) What other things do you collect (if applicable)?

I still collect Barbie doll (more selectively these days) and also various Tonner Fashion dolls.


Cooking With Ken®--Fun with Soda!

Wondering what to prepare for a great meal if you are as busy as I am? Just get up a bit earlier before you go to work and rediscover your crockpot.  I can ASSURE you if you make this EVERYONE will think you spent all day.

Crock "Pop" Chicken

Easy crockpot chicken recipe with cola and ketchup.

INGREDIENTS (Serves 4-6)

  • 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 pounds chicken pieces, breasts, etc.
  • 1 small bottle ketchup (1 cup)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 can your favorite brand of cola, or Dr. Pepper®


Combine all ingredients in the slow cooker; cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
Serve over rice, noodles, or potatoes.