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Barbie and Ken split

February 13, 2004 13:10 IST

Two days before Valentine's Day, Mattel Corp has dropped a bombshell.

Plastic perfect couple, Barbie and Ken, will split after 43 years of romance.

The pair are breaking up to spend 'quality time' away from each other.

'Like other celebrity couples, their Hollywood romance has come to an end,' said the couple's 'business manager,' Russell Arons, vice-president, marketing, Mattel. Arons quickly added that the the duo 'will remain friends.'

The announcement is no joke. Mattel, which makes the dolls has been driven by business considerations.

Its new doll, Cali (as in California) Girl Barbie is scheduled to arrive in US stores soon.

Mattel feels it is important to reflect Barbie as a single woman, and so the Cali Barbie will wear board shorts and a bikini top, metal hoop earrings, and have a deeper tan.

Ken is being eased out of the picture and will now be 'just a friend,' to Barbie, Mattel claims.

Barbie, the most popular fashion doll in the world, met Ken on the set of a television commercial in 1961, says Mattel, and they have been inseparable ever since.

Barbie was 'born' Barbie Millicent Roberts in 1959 has been everything from a rock star to military medic. She is currently marketed in more than 150 countries and every second, three Barbie dolls are sold somewhere in the world.

Arons hinted that the separation may be partially due to Ken's reluctance to getting married. Another possible factor could be Barbie's career.

So what happens to Ken now?

Says Arons: 'He will head for other waves.'

Go figure that out.