MALIBU, Calif. (February 12, 2004) - After more than 43 years together, Hollywood's quintessential "doll" of a couple, Barbie® and Ken®, have decided to spend some time apart. Although Barbie® has befriended some of the world's most famous celebrities, from popular boy bands to super secret agent spies, Ken® always remained her #1 sweetheart. After all, Ken® has been Barbie® doll's biggest supporter for more than four decades, by her side from her early career as a teen fashion model to her recent turn as movie starlet. Their relationship was so revered that other successful celebrity pairings were often dubbed "Barbie® and Ken®."
The legendary romance of Barbie® and Ken began when they met on the set of their first television commercial together in 1961. Since then, their relationship has played out much like a Hollywood fairytale. Barbie® and her beau have captured the essence of romance so perfectly with their replications of classic characters such as Scarlett and Rhett ("Gone with the Wind") and Romeo and Juliet ("Romeo and Juliet") to more quirky roles such as Bond and Bond Girl ("James Bond") and Lily and Herman Munster ("The Munsters.") More recently, the dynamic duo played Arwen and Aragorn from "Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King." The picture-perfect pair's talent and love for one another can also be seen in three consecutively successful No. 1 movies: "Barbie of Swan Lake," "Barbie as Rapunzel" and "Barbie in the Nutcracker."
"Barbie® and Ken® have always been an extraordinary couple with so much on- and off-screen chemistry," said the pair's business manager, Russell Arons, Vice President Marketing, Mattel. "In fact, they just finished wrapping their fourth movie together, 'Barbie as The Princess and the Pauper,' which debuts this fall. And now they feel it's time to spend some quality time -- apart."
Since making her worldwide debut in a bathing suit on the Malibu shores in 1959, Barbie® doll has gone on to become a pop culture phenomenon, but not without her leading man cheering for her. Now that she's newly single, however, Mattel is marking the major transition with a whole new carefree and independent look reminiscent of her California roots. Sure to turn Barbie® doll's world upside down, her sassy and fun "Cali Girl doll" look debuts this Spring with engaging storylines, trendy accessories and great fashions that extend beyond swimsuits.
Although their future is yet to be set in "cement," one thing is for certain - Barbie® and Ken® will always remain the best of friends.
Mattel, Inc., (NYSE: MAT, www.mattel.com) is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of toys and family products, including Barbie®, the most popular fashion doll ever introduced. The Mattel family of toys and games is comprised of such best-selling brands as Hot Wheels®, Matchbox®, American Girl®, and Fisher-Price®, which also includes Little People®, Rescue Heroes, Power Wheels®, as well as a wide array of entertainment-inspired toy lines. With worldwide headquarters in El Segundo, Calif., Mattel employs more than 25,000 people in 36 countries and sells products in more than 150 nations throughout the world. The Mattel vision is to be the world's premier toy brands -- today and tomorrow.