Aug 14, 2012

G.I. Joe and Ken

Introduced in 1964 to get boys used to the idea of fighting in Vietnam when they grew up, G.I. Joe is the bestselling boys' doll of all time (though he is marketed as a "movable fighting man").

He was cute, and since he was movable, you could have fun adventures with him, like have the bad guys force him and a buddy to kiss.















Unfortunately, when you took his clothes off, you got this:




Barbie's "boyfriend" Ken, introduced in 1961, was more fun.  He came wearing a swimsuit, with a natural-looking body that got more buff as time passed:


Unfortunately, no letter to Santa Claus or picture circled in a toy catalog ever produced a Ken doll.  Your sister or the girl down the block certainly had one, but she always wanted to play "Barbie and Ken at the prom."

If you were very lucky, she might let you play "Ken goes to the beach with his 'buddy' Allan while Barbie is out of town."  Note that the term "buddy" is in quotes on the box.

See also: The Big Men of American Tall Tales