April 2001

  Keeping Ken  Keeping Ken Value Guide  Keeping Ken Value Guide Secondary Market Report Archive


Special Secondary Market Report 4-29-2001

For a look back on my Secondary Market Report for past updates, please visit the Keeping Ken Value Guide Secondary Market Report Archive.

I'll start the report this update with the glaringly obvious fact that Ken doll's secondary market value is indeed on the rise.  And what a rise and ride! For older collectors, this is welcome news, while the "newish" Ken collector is faced with higher prices to start their collection.  As an "older" collector, I was astounded to see Ken dolls in each category almost double in value from the price I paid just three years ago.  The value database is working like a dream, and although it requires a lot of data entry, I am confident that I am providing accurate Ken doll values.  This update reflects data entered from 9/00 to 4/01.  You may notice I am now including the update increase/decrease value along with year-to-date increase/decrease from the first 8/99 publication.  This way you can compare values from 8/99 to 4/01.  I am also providing you with a Keeping Ken Value Guide Secondary Market Report Archive, so you can see how accurate (or in some cases "non accurate") my predictions are.  This was added to let you know I'm human and don't mind sharing my short comings.  They are predictions after all, and I hope most of you enjoy my openness to share them with you.  (Thankfully my predictions were good on for the last update).  As always, here are some Ken versions to look out for, and some you may want to avoid! The data base created for this page will have added updated entries by the next value update in 10/01.   Percentage calculations will appear by each item, if there is an existing value.

The most positive activity was seen in more recent Ken dolls available and also in African American Ken versions in the "My First Ken" line.  The Vintage and Mod Era categories also showed steady increases.

The most obvious increase in secondary market value activity with this update, is in Ken dolls available in the very recent past.  Notably, Ken dolls box dated 1997-1999.  While the dollar amount may seem minimal, the percentage of increase tells the story.  Stand-outs included Cool School Ken +27.3, Dr. Ken & Little Patient Tommy +19.8 (the Dr. Ken & Little Patient Tommy African American version showed a decrease however) Florida Vacation Ken +31.3, Cool Lookin' Ken +18.8. Hawaii Ken First Issue +26.6 (Hawaii Ken Second Issue +11.1) and the big winners were Shave 'n Style Ken +39.7 with  Shave 'n Style Ken African American +7.1 and Pearl Beach Ken +50.  Who would have guessed that the most recent Ken versions would have shown so much positive increases?  While analyzing these results, I attribute two major factors in their increase.  One is supply and demand.  There was simply not enough supply to meet the demand of each version made by Mattel; for collector or consumer.  I base this assumption by the supply available (especially during peak sales times).  I also attribute it to the growing Ken collector base.  Unless you're living under a rock, the Ken collector base is growing at a steady pace.  Most new collectors are adding these recent dolls to start their collection.  I did the same when I started to collect.  It was easier to find the recent Ken dolls, then start dabbling in the other Eras.  I think it is harder for the new Ken collector to find these "old stock" Ken dolls in stores like I did.  So the new collector must resource other areas like eBay, which drives prices higher.  Some words of advice:  "Buy it now".  Unless Mattel increases production of Ken vs., Barbie dolls (which seems unlikely) I can only see this trend continue.  One to watch is Rainbow Prince Ken, which will follow this trend.  Rainbow Prince was too new to report on in this update, but by the next update I predict it will be the same story all over again! While underproduction is good value wise, I would like to see Mattel raise their productions levels slightly higher or produce more versions.  I think most of us would like to see the latter happen! 

I predicted last time that AA Ken versions would be the HOT item NOW, with Ken collectors adding both versions to their collection to make it complete.  I missed on this prediction in the recent editions, but the older AA Ken dolls showed increases.  Notably the My First Ken AA '91 showed a huge increase.

In the Vintage category, most Vintage Kens were at a price lull, with no major leaps or bounds.  This was a pattern that continued from the last value update in 3/00.  This update showed a slight value increase  The original Flock Hair Ken Brownette stayed the same while the Blonde and Brunette versions were +2.3.  The Painted Hair Ken and the Painted Hair Shortie Ken also increased in the single digits.   The Bendable Leg Ken is still commanding the highest price and had the best increase +5.1 and up +13.  In the volatile market the Dressed Box Ken dolls provide, they remained steady with the harder to find outfits determining their value structure.  I think it is finally safe to purchase a Dressed Box, but they are certainly the most risky investment.  They are affected by supply and demand, and the supply has not been so plentiful since the last update.  You may want to consider buying in a more affordable price range, but I give the Dressed Box dolls credit for creating so much drama each update. 

I felt  Mod Era Ken dolls would become a stronger exciting category, and predicted most prices would increased for the more popular versions.  In fact, it was my "pick" category.  The Mod Era has seemed to level itself off since the last update.  The New Good Lookin' Ken is still a leader in this category, but I predict it will level off in the coming months.  How far can this version go? The Mod Hair Ken actually showed a decrease this update, but is still +25.6.   The Now Look Ken showed a slight increase, and is still +16.5.  Most of the Malibu line showed slight increases as well as the Live Action Ken and the Baggie Ken dolls.  I felt that the two stand outs were going to be the The Sun Set Malibu Ken and the Malibu Ken White Box, which only increased in single digits.  I was surprised to discover that the more common version of the Malibu Ken Pink Box was up a respectable 26%.  This doll is representative of the "birth of the Pink Box" after all, and maybe collectors are realizing this fact.  One to watch is SuperStar Ken 1977 who is on the rise.  You can't lose with this doll!   I predicted that Walk Lively Ken, would be in the $200 price range by this year.  He only went to $160, but I still think he will continue to increase.  I predicted in the 8/00 update that we would see a rise in the Talking Ken dolls.  While that wasn't apparent in the last update, it is now.  Get a Talker before the prices raise anymore! While in a price lull, the Mod Era category is still increasing, if only slightly.

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