Atlantic Canada — The ubiquitous Ken doll: every little girl had one growing up, and now Mattel is at last unveiling a more “attainable” male companion for Barbie.
“We want to show little girls, especially in Atlantic Canada, that realistically they’re never going to land a fit, tanned, well-dressed mate who loves to go shopping with them and accompany them to fancy events,” said Mary MacDonald, a Mattel representative.
“We feel it makes sense to ease girls into the idea of a more…unidealized Ken — a man who has let himself go, is rapidly balding, spends hours in the basement playing World of Warcraft, and is heavily interested in conspiracy theories to a degree that’s disturbing to Barbie and her friends.”
The “Conspiracy Theory Ken” doll comes with a mini pack of smokes, a beer bottle, and a laptop computer with which he can waste entire nights researching already debunked myths on everything from the “staged” moon landing to the Reptilian invasion to the emergence of “black helicopters.”
“In his free time — which is ample as he’s unemployed — this Ken will not cook an elegant meal for Barbie or tell her that her hair looks pretty…heck no!” said MacDonald. “He’ll be playing WoW or Warhammer and scarfing an entire Dominos pizza before passing out on the little plastic couch in the dollhouse.”
Mattel tested a version of this new Ken on groups of little girls from all over North America. Only in the Maritime provinces of Canada was he well-received.
“Girls everywhere snubbed this version of Barbie’s mate, until we let little New Brunswickers and Nova Scotians and Islanders get their mitts on him,” explained MacDonald. “Perhaps even under the age of 10, Maritime girls already have lowered expectations? They see this version of masculinity modelled in their fathers, brothers, uncles — and they’ve come to accept that this is just how men are. That’s my theory, anyway.”
Mattel eventually plans to give Conspiracy Theory Ken accessories such as a little tinfoil hat so he can protect his thoughts from alien invaders, a creepy poster of an anime character, and a card allowing him to buy medical marijuana for his imaginary glaucoma.