This Feature Story appeared in the Keeping Ken Ken News! on January 26, 2002.

Keeping Ken  Ken News Feature Archive 

Ken Doll Sales 2001-Toys R Us Sales Report by Mike J.

This is Mike J. checking in with my interpretation of the best-selling KenŽ dolls for 2001. My information is based upon sales of the dolls at Toys R Us, and my information is limited to the Northeast region of the country, but I feel that the info would give a fairly accurate portrait of the success of the Ken dolls nationwide. This was an interesting year. Although Mattel introduced a measly four KenŽ dolls into the BarbieŽ play line this year, they made up for it by continuing to produce some of the dolls introduced in 2000. Also, either Mattel or the TRU buyers wised up this year and made an effort to keep KenŽ dolls on the toy store shelves throughout the holidays. There were some days when KenŽ was AWOL, but every shipment that arrived at the store had at least a couple of cases of KenŽ dolls, and we received a huge shipment of KenŽ Fashion Avenue™ outfits that kept us well supplied thru the holidays. This was the first year that we did not run out of KenŽ dolls two weeks before Christmas. Here's hoping that 2002 proves to be even better.

Best Selling KenŽ Doll 2001

BarbieŽ in the Nutcracker KenŽ as Prince Eric

The "Nutcracker" line proved to be a big hit with the public, so it's not surprising that the top-selling KenŽ for 2001 was Barbie in the Nutcracker Ken as Prince Eric / Barbie in the Nutcracker Ken as Prince Eric AA. By Christmas Eve, all of our Nutcracker dolls were gone.

Pictured Right:  Barbie in the Nutcracker KenŽ as Prince Eric and Barbie in the Nutcracker KenŽ as Prince Eric AA.

Second Best Selling KenŽ Doll 2001

Wizard Of Oz KenŽ (Assortment)



The second best-seller was a holdover from last year; actually three holdovers. The Wizard of Oz male doll assortment was the Nutcrackers' only real competition. It appears that kids still go crazy for Dorothy & Co.


Pictured Right:  Wizard Of Oz KenŽ dolls.

Third Best Selling KenŽ Doll 2001

Swim Buddies KenŽ and Tommy™

Third place is nearly a three-way tie. The presumed winner is another holdover from 2000; the Swim Buddies Ken & Tommy gift set. Last year, I complained that the Swim Buddies set had been released too late in the year to capitalize on the summer holidays.  Luckily, the set was widely available throughout 2001, and was extremely popular during the summer, even without a lot of advertising. However, the Swim Buddies got some stiff competition from Movie Date Ken and Movie Date Ken AA, which always seemed just a tad close to overtaking sales of KenŽ & Tommy™. The third contender for third place is a bit of a surprise. In terms of actual units sold, Surf City Ken beat out Movie Date and the Swim Buddies by a wide margin. But the Surf City dolls are sold close to cost, so ultimately the Swim Buddies made more profit overall.

Pictured Left:  Swim Buddies Ken and Tommy Gift set..

Least Popular KenŽ Doll 2001

Rose Prince KenŽ

As one can tell by these results, the Rose Prince KenŽ was the least popular KenŽ doll in the play line. The Nutcracker Prince and 2000's similar Rainbow Prince made the Rose Prince redundant, which is probably why there is no new Prince in this year's line so far. They should try something different, like a Prince Ken in shining armor, or an 'enchanted' Prince with masks to turn him into the beast or the Frog Prince.