Western Courier

Newest line of Ken dolls proves to be another delusion

Brandon Eckenrode

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Toys have come a long way since I was a child. Now when I say that, I get the image of a grandpa trying to talk without having his dentures fall out of his mouth and a couple of grandchildren anxiously awaiting “story time” at his feet. Seriously though, what have toys come to these days? I can’t say that toys like Tiddly Winks and Lincoln Logs were popular in my youth, but they were innocent. Currently, everything children play with is somehow related to guns and violence, and you start to wonder what these children are learning from their toys.Over the summer I saw a commercial for the newest line of Ken dolls. It was the Ken “Doctor to Date” doll, and while I watched the television screen with disgust, I wondered if we should start getting children ready for the real world through their toys by putting some realistic ones into their ever-so-crowded toy cabinets. Here are my ideas for the new lines of Barbie dolls that are sure to be “kid-tested, mother-approved.”

First on the assembly line is Barbie Road Rage. This mean-spirited little doll comes complete with a moving car and accessories. Accessories include a lead foot on Barbie to get past the slowest of drivers, retractable arm with flexible fingers to let other motorists focus in on how many fingers Barbie is holding up and, lastly, a voice box. Pull Barbie’s string and hear what Barbie has to say to the other motorists who get in her way. And for a limited time you can now get the Barbie car with an added bonus: Open the tiny glove box and oh yes, find the latest in hand-held guns to show the drivers who’s boss.

Next up are Corporate Barbie and Ken. Barbie is the CEO of a multi-million-dollar company and Ken is the secretarial assistant. Barbie takes things too far in one private meeting and Ken is crying “sexual harassment.” Ken comes complete with innocent-looking face, broken family and stained pants. Barbie comes with a powerful group of lawyers, deep pockets and cocky smile on her face. Once again, for a limited time only, you can now receive the evidence lined up in the case, which includes a taped conversation of Barbie overpowering Ken and broken office furniture from the struggle.

Last but not least in the new line of Barbie toys is one only for the Ken lovers out there – and we take a new approach to his appearance. We are going to move Ken up a few years till he is just over-the-hill and create Viagra Ken. Ken is a new man in this outfit with a year’s supply of Viagra, retractable pants to see the direct effects of the pill and, as an added bonus, we will give you the doctor nursing Ken due to the heart attack he has from using the pill. Notice Ken’s movable arm as he holds the pill in his hand; push the button, Ken pops the pill into his mouth and watch his smile grow.

Even though such versions of Barbie and Ken will most likely not make the stores by Christmas, you may want to sit back and see what children are playing with these days. Yes, toys are supposed to broaden children’s imaginations and allow them to use their creativity, but sometimes you wonder what the creators of these toys were thinking. “Doctor to Date Ken” – give me a break! Some of these toys may be diluting reality to these children and when they do need to finally face it, they will be looking for the Malibu Dream House and perfect evening gowns. As a concluding side note, with my toys … batteries are not included.

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
Newest line of Ken dolls proves to be another delusion