TYPE: Doll
DIMENSIONS: Doll measures 12 x 4 3/4 inches (30.5x12 cm.)
COMPONENTS: Accompanied by clip-on earrings and small pamphlet.
CONDITION: In original board and plastic box; original bands attached to back board. Some soiling and corner tears to box and sliding cover.
NOTES: Manufactured by Mattel.
ITEM ID: 4759

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Earring Magic Ken Doll

Year: 1993
Decade: 1990s
Century: 20th (1901-2000)

Created as a companion to the Earring Magic Barbie doll, Ken caused an immediate sensation. In 1993, Mattel Toys put out a new ‘cooler’ Ken doll based on what little girls suggested he look like for modern times–which were the homoerotic pop fashions and imagery on MTV. The (possibly) clueless designers did not understand the symbolism of the rave wear with which they outfitted him: mesh shirt, lavender Gaultier vest, tight jeans, two-tone spiked hair, single earring, and a giant cock ring necklace.

The doll caused a sensation and prompted one of Dan Savage’s funniest articles on 22 July 1993: “When you’ve made it to the aisle of Toys R Us, your movement has arrived…Queer Ken is the high water mark of, depending on your point of view, either queer infiltration of popular culture or the thoughtless appropriation of queer culture by heterosexuals.”

It became a sensation and the best-selling Ken doll of all time. Now a scarce collectible and a fun mile marker in gay popular culture.