Ken: All He Wants is a Shave

As someone who put her Barbies through all sorts of mental and physical challenges in the 80s (on any given day Barbie could be found driving her eponymous vehicle with a pair of pants on her head or trying to break out of a prison fashioned by a shoe box), I'm not sure why I find Shaving Fun Ken Doll slightly disturbing. All he wants is a clean shave -- or a stylish goatee. Is that too much to ask?

My resistance to Ken who shaves may stem from the fact that I now parent a three year old boy who has zero interest in any toy that isn't actively chasing bad guys or zooming towards "infinity and beyond." There's no way my little guy would have the patience -- or dexterity -- required to relieve Ken of his stubble . . . unless I put a cape on the plastic dude and charged him with the task of rescuing Barbie from some unfortunate fate.

But if I dig deeper, I find that my cynicism surrounding this particular Ken has more to do with the way he's marketed. Shaving isn't fun. Everyone knows that.  It can be useful or meditative or a good time to make the day's to-do list -- but fun, it is not.

There's something dishonest about this Ken and his creative facial hair. Yet, he's got nothing on Sweet Talking Ken Doll.

- Marisa