Barbie Wiki

Ken Carson is a character who was introduced in 1961 as Barbie's boyfriend. He was created by Ruth Handler, and she probably named Ken after her son Kenneth Handler.[1][2]


Ken was born on March 11, 1961, when the first Ken doll was released. According to Barbie Vlogs, Barbie moved to Malibu, California from Willows at age 8 where she met Ken who lived in the house in front of her. In Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures, he is shown to attend Golden Beach High in Los Angeles.[3]

Ken has had styles, careers, and friends over the years. Ken's original backstory was that he met Barbie in 1961 on the set of their first television commercial together. The couple fell in love and started dating.[4] Barbie broke up with Ken on Valentine's Day in 2004.[5] To impress Barbie, Ken got a makeover from stylist Phillip Bloch in 2006.[6] Barbie and Ken got back together in 2011.[7]

In 2010, Ken starred in Toy Story 3. The same year he created his Facebook page and Twitter account. In September 2010, he appeared at New York City's Fashion's Night Out.[8]


Ken was introduced as Barbie's boyfriend on March 11, 1961, at the American International Toy Fair. He had molded plastic hair at the time.[9] He was given rooted hair for the first time in 1973.[10] Ken's younger brother Tommy was introduced in 1997.[11]

In 2001, Ken starred in Barbie in the Nutcracker, the first animated Barbie movie. He played King Eric, who was turned into the titular Nutcracker by the Mouse King. Ken went on to star in many more animated Barbie movies, playing a different role each time.

In 2004, Barbie and Ken broke up on Valentine's Day.

In 2009, Barbie and Ken attended the New York Fashion Week to celebrate Barbie's 50th Anniversary. It was their first appearance together in years.[12]

In 2010, Ken appeared in Toy Story 3. Social media pages for Ken were launched on Facebook and Twitter.[13] In anticipation of his 50th anniversary, Ken would have more of a presence in the animated movies.[14] Ken starred in the 2010 animated movie Barbie: A Fashion Fairytale.

Ken received a makeover in time for his 50th anniversary on March 11, 2011. The makeover was to make Ken look more modern. His new appearance was inspired by Justin Bieber and Zac Efron, and his body was more muscled.[15] A reality competition web series named Genuine Ken: The Search for the Great American Boyfriend began airing on Hulu in early 2011. While the show was airing, people voted on for Barbie and Ken to get back together, so they rekindled their relationship on Valentine's Day 2011. In spring 2011, Ken starred in the animated movie Barbie: A Fairy Secret, a sequel to 2010's Barbie: A Fashion Fairytale.

In 2015, Barbie began vlogging and Ken was featured in some vlogs.

Ken did not appear again as himself in a movie until 2017's Barbie: Dolphin Magic. Ken went on to appear in the animated series Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures, and the animated movies Barbie: Princess Adventure, Barbie: Big City, Big Dreams, the animated series Barbie: It Takes Two, and the animated movies Barbie: Epic Road Trip (the first interactive Barbie movie) and Barbie: Skipper and the Big Babysitting Adventure.

In 2017, Ken dolls were released with diverse body types.[16]

In 2023, the live-action Barbie movie was released. There were several Kens in the movie, but the main Ken was played by Canadian actor Ryan Gosling.


Ken is described to be confident, intuitive, considerate, loyal, supportive, compassionate, and a dreamer.[17]