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Keeping Ken Archives
Q: I read
in the newspapers some time ago about a KenŽ doll that was dressed in a
BarbieŽ doll fashion, packaged and sent to a store. It was a
production error. The people who purchased it donated it to the
Smithsonian and it is on display. Can you give me more information
about this doll?
I've been asked this question several times and finally ordered the
book The Museum of Hoaxes by Alex Boese that had the answer.
In July 1990 Carina Guillot and her
then twelve-year-old daughter, Jocelyn, wandered into a Toys R Us in
Florida while visiting relatives. They spotted the doll
pictured left, which appeared to be a My
First Ken #9940 doll dressed in a purple tank top and lace apron
over a polka-dotted skirt; instead of the standard KenŽ costume
that came with this doll. Mrs. Guillot's first reaction was Oh
my God, now we have a crossed-dressed KenŽ.
Being avid BarbieŽ collectors, both
women thought they had something unique and special. They took
the doll to store personnel and it was examined to confirm whether
the seal was intact. Toys R Us employees confirmed that it
appeared to be a valid, untampered Mattel product. The women
bought the doll and took it home.
Within days, news of the doll
have reached the public media who dubbed the doll "Cross Dressing KenŽ".
The doll was featured in newspapers, radio and TV programs The Arsenio
Hall Show and The Joan Rivers Show. Mattel had no
explanation, except to say that the doll might have been a production
error. A collector offered the Guillots $2,000 for the doll, which
was quite a markup from the $8.99 original price. Reportedly,
someone then bid $4,000. Both offers were turned down.
The speculation finally came
to an end when a Toys R Us night shift employee named Ron Zero admitted
that he had dressed the doll as a prank, and had then carefully resealed
the package with white paper glue. "We always did crazy things
like that" Zero explained. Four days after his confession, Toys
R Us fired Zero.
The "Cross Dressing KenŽ"
doll was never displayed at the Smithsonian museum.
found your name on the internet and after looking at your website it
seemed as though you may know the answer to this question. I
recently found an outfit at a garage sale that I was wondering if it
had any value. It is in the unopened gold colored pack and across
the top it says: Mattel Logo BEST BUY FASHIONS Not
recommended for children under 3 and then in the upper right it has
the Ken logo with the name BRAD below it. It has the original
price sticker above this that says 1.99. The number of the
outfit appears to be 7224 (It says this inside a small white
The outfit is a pair of white pants
with red and blues vertical and horizontal lines , there is a red
fleece like jacket and what appears to be maybe a white dickey. It
says fashion shoes sold separately below it and up the left side it
says (Copyright Symbol) 1972 Mattel, Inc. Hawthorne,Calif, 90250
MADE & PRINTED IN KOREA. Manufactured for Mattel, All rights
reserved. Package U.S. Patent Pending.
What would be it's value?
A: You happen to
have one from that era that is a little more desirable to the Ken
collector, probably because you don't see it as often as other
fashions available at the same time. I have pictured Ken wearing the
fashion on the left.
For example, Best
Buy Fashions #7225 and Best Buy Fashions
#7227 from the same year are more common and easier to find,
while your fashion isn't as easy to find. The rarest versions from
this year include Best Buy Fashion #7226 and
the #9000 series that are Sear's store exclusives.
Even though the package may be marked
1972, your fashion was available for sale in 1975. The cards were
probably all printed in 1972, when the first Ken/Brad fashions were
produced. I'm more in tune with the value of the dolls, but I would
say the value, because it is unopened would be anywhere from