It was announced a long time ago that Michael Keaton would be performing the voice of Ken in the new movie, with Jodi Benson (best known as the voice of Ariel in The Little Mermaid) returning from Toy Story 2 as Barbie. It was also announced that they would be main characters in this movie - unlike Toy Story 2, in which Barbie dolls played a very minor role.
Ever since then, people have been wondering what they were going to look like. I was especially anxious to see if Ken was going to look like a modern Ken doll. Luckily, he doesn't - it turns out he's 1988's Animal Lovin' Ken! He's literally identical to the real-life doll, right down to the buckle on his belt. (Check out the doll here on Keeping Ken.)
I'm excited to see that Ken plays a major role in the movie - and especially that he's somewhat of a "bad guy"!
As for Barbie - her luxurious aerobics outfit is, of course, taken from 1983's Great Shape Barbie...
Great Shape Barbie's hot pink sash is supposed to be tied in the front with tails hanging down, although the doll in this Mattel promo photo doesn't have the tails visible. The character model in Toy Story 3 is missing the tails, too, so her sash is more like a belt.
In fact, it looks like they added a belt buckle to it - which coincidentally (or maybe not coincidentally?) makes the overall outfit look even more like the turquoise dress with hot pink belt worn by the Tour Guide Barbie doll in Toy Story 2...
I wonder if they did that on purpose?
Her face has the exact look of a Barbie doll from around 1998/1999, using the 1976 Superstar™ Barbie® head.
The face looks very familiar, but I haven't figured out if it's taken directly from a real doll or not. It looks similar to the real-life Toy Story 2 Barbie doll shown above, but the make-up colors are different so it may not have been on purpose. (That doll doesn't have bangs either.)
The character model in Toy Story 3 looks much more like a real Barbie doll than the one used in Toy Story 2.
The level of detail in the new movie is mind-boggling - they reproduced the exact fabric textures on Barbie and Ken's clothes, and Barbie's hair even looks exactly like played-with Barbie hair!
By the way - there's going to be a tie-in giftset featuring Barbie and Ken dolls wearing the outfits from the movie! I can't wait to see what they look like! I wonder if they'll go to the expense of recreating the 1983 KenŽ head that was used on the original Animal Lovin' Ken? (Which, honestly, I wouldn't be that excited about because it's one of my least-favorite Ken heads of all time. )
• Fashionistas™ Ken®
• Toy Fair 2009: Part Three
• Happy Birthday, Ken®... And Barbie®... Plus, 50% Off at Toys R Us
• Toy Story 3 Barbie® and Ken® Giftset
• Toy Fair 2009: Part One|Featuring Barbie® and the Three Musketeers
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