Ken (Montgomery Ward's)
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Mod Hair Ken (Montgomery Ward's)
M#: 7234 BD: None HC: Same as above. C: Red shorts. A: (In a clear plastic bag marked "KOREA" black lettering) Light blue brocade with black lapel tuxedo jacket. Light blue ruffled dickey with attached black bow tie. Black slacks. Black net socks. Black loafers. (In a smaller clear plastic bag unmarked) Sheet of brown stick flock with mustache, beard and sideburns. NOTE: The carded packaged tuxedo outfit was sold separately as Get-Ups 'N Go Bridegroom #7836; also a Montgomery Ward's exclusive. Doll and contents were available through the 1974 Montgomery Ward's mail order catalog only, you would receive him packaged in a brown mailer with "STOCK NO. 7234" on the outside and a separate "store" catalog tracking sticker (colors vary). Inside the mailer is the doll dressed in the red shorts wrapped in two sheets of white tissue. One sheet of the white tissue is marked with a "MADE IN HONG KONG" yellow sticker with black lettering. There is no X stand or wrist tag included.
In 1974 it was back to the basics after a year of financial challenges for Mattel that started in 1973. Mod Hair Ken makes another appearance exclusive to Montgomery Ward’s catalog. Mod Hair Ken (Montgomery Ward's) #7234 is the same doll as the Mod Hair from 1973 with minor exceptions. Available through the mail order catalog only, Ken came packaged in a brown mailer with stock #7234 on the outside. Inside the mailer is the doll dressed in red shorts. In a clear plastic bag was a light blue brocade tuxedo jacket with black lapels, a light blue ruffled dickey with attached black bow tie, black slacks, socks, and shoes. This outfit is also sold separately, exclusively at Ward’s in 1974 as “Bridegroom” #7836 in the Get Ups ‘n Go line of Ken clothing. The sheet of brown flock stickers is also included, but no X stand or wrist tag.
While certainly not as flashy as previous boxed Ken gift sets like Red White 'N Wild Gift Set or Malibu Ken Surf's Up Gift Set available from 1969-1972 (from competitor Sear's), this is the only SSE to use the 1972 Ken head mold. Probably because it was a mail-order item only, Ken is packaged in a plain cardboard box wrapped in tissue with his outfit packed in clear plastic bags. The simplicity of the packaging made it easier to discard in 1974, and most of Montgomery Ward's Mod Hair Ken value comes from his box and marked tissue wrap and plastic bags. While the Brownette Flock Hair Ken will mark the first Ken SSE, Montgomery Ward's Mod Hair Ken will mark the fourth "Ken only" gift set. There will not be another until 1989's Flight Time Ken. While the Flight Time gift set is questionable of actually being a true Ken doll gift set per se, the boxed is marked that way.
Ward's Mod Hair Ken is one version of Ken that is VHTF. This version
relies on the box for most of its value. In fact, it makes it into my
personal top 10 rare Ken dolls to obtain (which is subjective, naturally). Almost impossible to obtain in NRFB or MIB condition, the
Montgomery Ward's Mod Hair Ken doll became even more sought after when
Montgomery Ward's closed all of their stores in 2001 after declaring
BELOW: The original shipping box for the Montgomery Ward's Mod Hair Ken is one of the most valuable pieces of this version. The shipping label below (on the outside of the box) shows that my doll came from the "Bellwood" store #1998. Notice the original price tag of $3.77!
BELOW: The box is also marked with a stamped stock number.
BELOW: The original cello wrap still in place around the head is a good indicator that the doll was never played with.
BELOW: Montgomery Ward's Mod Hair Ken.