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Toy Tuesday: Mod Hair Ken with Facial Hair

February 26, 2013

Here we are again.  It’s Toy Tuesday.  That special time of the week that occurs on Tuesday.  When I feature a toy.  And that’s why I call it Toy Tuesday.

ScaryKenToday:  Mod Hair Ken with Facial Hair

But first, let me revisit with you a couple painful subjects.

(1) The Blogging Blahs and (2) Rainbow Horny Wings.

Ahem, the Blogging Blahs.  I’ve had a pesky case of them for the past three months now.

I’ve lost the will to write.

Not a case of Writer’s Block, mind you.

Oh, no, no, no.  Nooooo.

No performance problems here.  My creative noggin is as virile as the Brawny Paper Towel guy.  And I’d like to talk more about my hulking, mustached beast of a creative noggin, but now it’s on its way to hammer up some drywall.  Later, nogs.

So I bring up the Blogging Blahs because these past two weeks since I introduced Toy Tuesday, you all have lifted me up with your love and enthusiasm for flashback toys!

Dare I say, I want to write again?  I think so.

You all are the wind beneath my Rainbow Horny Wings!

Rainbow Horny Wings of course being my top secret toy pitch to Mattel that consisted of a hybridized winged unicorn.  “Anatomically impossible!” said Mattel.

Nothing is impossible, my friends.  Nothing.

So my sincere thanks for reminding me why I have this blog.

To remember things that you’ve forgotten.

And to remind the world that I invented the winged unicorn.

Today I’m reminded of a toy I don’t remember.  I remember playing with it.  Sooooort of.  But I don’t remember where.  Because I personally didn’t own this fine specimen of plastic testosterone.  So whether I played with it at a friend’s house or stumbled upon it in the hepatitis box in my doctor’s waiting room, I just don’t know.

Where have you been all my life, creepy man of a thousand disguises?

Where have you been all my life, creepy man of a thousand disguises?

But I know I played with it.  Him.  I played with him.  I played with Ken.  Oh my, yes I did — wink, wink, hubba-hubba, if you catch my drift, which you shouldn’t even bother to catch because I lack all imagination in that department.

You might be a little disgusted when I tell you that I remember the plushy feel of his Coloforms-style punch-out facial hair.

It wasn’t bristly.  It was soft, velvety and never rough against my skin.  Which was too bad since I needed it to itch my chicken pox.


Made from recycled AstroTurf from the Brady family’s back yard.

And if you think those scraps of facial hair were adhered only to his upper quadrant, you must think children are made of rose petals and smell of cinnamon with nary a snotty booger stuck to their bedposts.

And then you probably also believe this is Greg Brady’s friend Phil Packer.


And not just Peter in a Mod Hair Ken mustache.

Is it getting hot in here now?  Well it’s about to get hotter.

You think you know a person like Mod Hair Ken.

But you don’t ever really know anyone, do you.

Until you strip off the illusion — in this case, a polyester leisure suit — to unveil the truth.

Brace yourself.



It’s okay, Mod Hair Ken.


A lot of men have this.

Nothing to be ashamed of.

Perfectly normal.

Nothing that a couple of sideburns and a Fu Manchu patch can’t hide.

Mod Hair Ken, wherever you are, I raise my glass of Tang to you.


72 Comments leave one →
  1. February 26, 2013 6:00 am

    Oh, wow. A friend had this doll. She also had the Shaving Ken, which I have never seen since. All I can find now are the pre-hipster ones from 1996 that look like Ross Gellar.

    • March 5, 2013 2:31 pm

      Wasn’t Shaving Ken the one who perpetually had a five o’clock shadow and looked like just a hobo? I think my friend Katie had him.

      You nailed it on the Ross Geller lookalike thing.

      • March 5, 2013 2:37 pm

        He had a marker that you used on his face. His razor had a sponge on the end, and when it was dipped in water, the marks washed away. Kids these days have boring toys.

      • March 5, 2013 2:39 pm

        Yessssssssssssssss! You just opened up a tiny crevice in my brain where the sun hasn’t shined for years.

      • March 5, 2013 2:42 pm

        Now I’m just waiting for you to cover Stretch Armstrong. I know Tony had one. I just know it.

  2. February 26, 2013 6:07 am

    Those soft facial pelts set up a generation of little girls (and a few boys) for big disappointment as adults.

    “hepatitis box” – funniest thing I’ve read in a long time!

    • March 5, 2013 2:36 pm

      I heard you could also catch hepatitis from a toilet seat, but I think your safer bet would be a toilet seat.

      My husband’s shaving stubble feels like a brillo pad. So I stuck some Mod Hair Ken pelts to his face and we lived happily ever after.

      • March 5, 2013 3:43 pm

        That’s gotta be a good look for Mr. Angie! Nothing like having little tiny beards and mustaches stuck all over ones face.

        By the way, I sent you a comment reply; you (and all my other anniversary commenters) have won your choice of prints. Send me your mailing address and which drawing suits your tastes.

  3. February 26, 2013 6:26 am

    Oh I do so love a man who can look like Jesus any old time, don’t you?

    And I’m with Dave on the “hepatitis box” — and also the scratching your chicken pox with the stuff.

    Glad you feel like hanging again, Angie. We miss your, ummm, smile.

    • February 26, 2013 6:46 am

      Exactly what I thought when I first saw him. Hey, look ma, it’s Jesus!

      • Rosie permalink
        February 26, 2013 9:52 am

        Didn’t every guy look like Jesus in the 70s?

    • March 5, 2013 2:38 pm

      Would we call that a smile?

      Barbie would never settle for less than Jesus. We should know this about her by now.

      • March 5, 2013 4:04 pm

        “Smile” seemed like a warm, fuzzy way to describe it, Angie.

        And I think that Barbie expects all her men to walk on water. (You know somebody will follow up with “don’t all women?)

  4. UKYankee permalink
    February 26, 2013 6:41 am

    He must have been the pre-cursor to Shaving Ken. I never had a Shaving Ken. But I REALLY wanted one! Imagine that all you needed to do was wet a sponge and shave (wipe) his beard off. They should have followed up with a Shaving Barbie. A Barbie with body hair…SUCH a good idea!! Dark body hair of course. Everybody knows she’s not a natural blonde.

    • March 5, 2013 2:41 pm

      Judging by comments here, I think Shaving Ken was a well sought after man. Sounds like he would’ve given Mod Hair Ken a run for his mod hair money.

  5. February 26, 2013 6:52 am

    Toy Tuesday is a great idea. I had a series planned with all the dolls I’d loved before. I covered the Cabbage Patches a month or two or so ago and then mostly forgot about the series. Way to go remembering Tuesday! It’s brilliant! And so is Ken with his awesome side burns. And his dickie. My father had a mustache and side burns when I was little. But not a dickie. At least I hope not.

    You should also go with your idea of Rainbow Horny Wings. I like the slightly demonic look of that pony. You’ve got a market there, what with all the demon children.

    • March 5, 2013 2:44 pm

      I’m fairly certain I read that Cabbage Patch Kid post and commented on it. I recall I felt it in the universe that somewhere “the Kids” were being discussed and the powerful magnetic current pulled me right over to your blog.

      This is the exact opposite response that occurs when the discussion turns to dickies.

      • March 5, 2013 2:46 pm

        Anytime someone mentions the 80s there is a disturbance in the Force. Or something.

  6. February 26, 2013 7:17 am

    My, I can’t imagine why that left the market. Do you think moms got tired of finding Ken’s beard in inappropriate places? Very excellent, Angie.

  7. February 26, 2013 7:19 am

    It was the 70s. Men still sometimes wore dickies. They were on the way out, and by the 80s it was all over for this unfortunately named article of clothing.

    • February 26, 2013 10:36 am

      Well you can still buy Lil Dickies (blue jeans) at Farm supply stores. The name doesn’t seem very macho for some reason?

      • March 5, 2013 2:50 pm

        Adding an “ie” to virtually anything makes it seem less aggressive and imposing.

    • March 5, 2013 2:49 pm

      Somehow I think Richard Nixon was to blame.

      I think it’s sad how dickies were ushered out with the 70s and then the 80s brought us “sweatshirts with the sewn-in polo shirt collars.” Don’t we learn from our past mistakes?

      • March 5, 2013 6:09 pm

        I’m hip to blaming Nixon.

  8. February 26, 2013 8:01 am

    I remember my first Ken doll with the plastic hair. I still have it, but someone (I don’t know who) cut off his fingers. My poor poor Ken.

    • March 5, 2013 2:53 pm

      Oh no, Ken! Nooooo! Well, he obviously wouldn’t bow to the threats if he wouldn’t talk.

      My daughter bit off her favorite Barbie’s fingers while watching TV. There’s just no excuse for that behavior.

  9. February 26, 2013 8:31 am

    Somehow I completely missed out on this flexibly hirsute version of Ken. I don’t know whether to feel relieved or deprived. Whatever I feel, I feel it no longer (?) thanks to you, Awesome Angie, and your fabulous Toy Tuesday!

  10. February 26, 2013 9:00 am

    Whew! (fanning myself) and just when I thought I might faint dead away by the sight of Peter! You pulled out the Dickie! (that came out all wrong, didn’t it?)

    When I first saw Ken, I immediately thought of Ron Burgandy.

    Oh, Angie. Dear sweet Angie. Your words really speak to me. I thank you for this post.

    • March 5, 2013 2:58 pm

      Peter Brady wearing a dickie and press-on sideburns. Do anything for you? And I realize the censors will shut me down now.

  11. February 26, 2013 9:17 am

    That second picture on the right in the catalog is Mod Hair Psychologist Ken and he’s trying to hypnotize me. He’s saying “you are getting sleepy…you are in my power…when I snap my fingers you will approach my dickie…” That catalog description is pretty complete and it doesn’t mention the dickie at all. Do you think it was one of those “dickie sold separately” deals? I think that’s about as many times as I can get away with saying dickie in a comment without starting to look weird, so I’ll sign off now. Dickie, dickie, dickie,dickie…

    • March 5, 2013 2:59 pm

      Mod Hair Psychologist Ken likes to talk a lot about dickies and how, in dreams, they might be represented by flower stems.

  12. Rosie permalink
    February 26, 2013 9:47 am

    I totally had one of those, or rather, my brother did and didn’t want it. His beard felt like the fuzzy part of corduroy. Ken’s beard, not my brother’s. My brother didn’t have a beard. He was 10. My brother was 10, not Ken.

    • March 5, 2013 3:01 pm

      Yes, but your brother could’ve had a beard at 10. Sitting there among piles of stick-on fuzz — he obviously wasn’t thinking creatively enough.

  13. February 26, 2013 10:03 am

    That last photo reminds me – creepily – of a blind date I once had. He probably had a dickie too, but I thankfully didn’t find out whether his turtleneck went all the way down.

    • March 5, 2013 3:05 pm

      It’s obvious that cardigan sweater collectors like you are repulsed by dickies. Indeed, wearing a cardigan sweater is like making a statement, like saying, I have buttons and the means to show you right now that I’m not wearing a dickie.

  14. February 26, 2013 10:07 am

    If punch-out astro turf facial hair doesn’t lift you up, nothing will.

    That dickie is breathtaking. I’m so happy right now.

    • March 5, 2013 3:08 pm

      Sure, mustache comebacks are all fine and good, but pardon me if I decide to keep waiting for the dickie train to roll back in the station.

  15. Tony permalink
    February 26, 2013 10:33 am

    My G.I. Joe dolls went bald tending to both my chicken pox and poison ivy. Then I’m sure they ended up as donations to the children’s clinic and that box you affectionately referred to, sis.

  16. February 26, 2013 11:14 am

    AAAUUGH!! Reliving the most traumatic event in my adolescence right now, in which I was forced to wear a DICKIE for my high school graduation photos. Which ended up in the yearbook. AND on the wall of my high school forever more. Thanks for bringing that up, Angie. Thanks a whole damn lot.

    The only saving grace is that my Eyes of Damnation will live on for eternity:

    • March 5, 2013 8:36 pm

      Dana, that is so precious! What a treasure you have there! I would never guess that was a dickie you’re wearing. I was thinking a sewn-in collar, maybe, but dickie? No, never.

  17. February 26, 2013 12:23 pm

    I remember the shaving Ken (not mine, but the commercials for it looked super-cool!), but this one is even better!

    • March 5, 2013 6:08 pm

      I bet Shaving Ken and his manly sponge razor could kick Mod Hair Ken’s ass. Mod Hair Ken shaves himself by peeling off stickers. How humiliating for him.

  18. February 26, 2013 1:24 pm

    What? WHAT??? I have never before heard of this fantastic specimen of a man. My ken doll was all plastic with no hair or dickie!! Where is the justice for a young innocent girl? Why did all the other girls get to play with Ken’s hair and dickie? Where is MY dickie?

    (If this comment is ever read out of context, my career in politics is over before it starts).

    • March 5, 2013 8:11 pm

      Dickies by and large get you into trouble.

      Take that however you’d like.

      Including that.

      I forgot the question.

      • March 5, 2013 8:18 pm

        I’m not exactly sure what we were talking about, but for some reason I’m a little flushed all of a sudden.

        Faux sticky hair and dickies. Wow.

        Wait, what?

  19. February 26, 2013 3:32 pm

    This must be where Ben Affleck drew his inspiration. He looks just like hairy Ken. I`d never heard of a Dickie before. But Ken with a hairy Dickie- oops that came out all wrong. Hairy Ken with a Dickie. I miss the 70`s.

    • March 5, 2013 3:23 pm

      I’m rather embarrassed to say “dickie” around a person who’s never heard of a dickie before.

  20. February 26, 2013 4:37 pm

    oh, sigh…gotta love a man in a…dickie! I never had a Ken doll…but this handsome devil could have been a game changer for me :)

    • March 5, 2013 3:25 pm

      He’s a stallion disguised as the boy next door. The dickie of course gives him away.

  21. February 26, 2013 5:00 pm

    I feel like I’ve been robbed of a childhood by never playing with Mod Hair Ken. I just had Yellow Paint on Plastic Head Ken.

    • March 5, 2013 3:12 pm

      I’m no great “stylist to the stars,” but I always thought Plastic Head Ken would’ve benefited from some plastic stick-on mutton chops.

  22. February 26, 2013 7:31 pm

    Loving this! Ken doll with a dickie. My girlhood fantasy is shot all to heck. So…why is it that my Mod Hair Ken doll didn’t come with a chest patch? I love me a man with a good fuzzy chest, you know, Tom Selleck or James Brolin style. Would totally enhance the ‘stache, and I’m betting Barbie would be impressed.

    PS — So glad to see you still got it, girl! You truly are the 80’s trivia Diva Extraordinaire.

    PPS — I typed this on an iPad so will apologize in advance for such errors. I always find them after the fact. Cheers, lady.

    • March 5, 2013 8:29 pm

      Shannon, I am not a bit surprised that you’re a hairy-ape-man kind of gal. But you know, if you weren’t, you might note that hair makes good compost.

      • January 18, 2014 8:09 am

        I’m burying this comment in the hopes that you are still alive and kicking…maybe even sleep-deprived. Really, I’m hoping that no news is good news and that’s it’s all about the juggle these days, ’cause that is the best reason to be away. Cheers, Angie!

      • January 22, 2014 1:34 pm

        Aw, Shannon! So good to hear from you! All is well with me…maybe I’ll have to throw up a post to show everyone I’m alive and kicking, even if it’s because I’m held up by coffee. Let’s talk soon…I got nothing better to do ;)

  23. February 26, 2013 9:37 pm

    I think I have the blogging blahs too… plus a touch of writers block. :( MUTTON CHOPS!

    • March 5, 2013 3:14 pm

      Unfortunately, at this time there is no known cure for the blogging blahs, Kim — but fuzzy stick-on mutton chops have been known to relieve the symptoms.

  24. February 27, 2013 10:13 am

    Wow, that toy is kind of messed up but I wouldn’t expect anything less from the 70s (or 80s?) I’m glad that you explained it was colorform material because I was curious how you could reuse stick-on facial hair.

    Speaking of colorforms, do colorforms! Also, I don’t know what it was called… but it was like colorforms except made of felt. Just felt shapes that you stuck on a felt background. I might be the only one that remembers that.

    • March 5, 2013 8:18 pm

      Jill, my sunday school had felt boards with felt shapes you stuck on them. Was that just “sunday school in a box” dreamed up in a church basement type of thing? Maybe we weren’t lucky enough to have this creation available in our toy stores.

      My Holly Hobby Colorforms were the best thing to happen to me circa 1982.

      • March 6, 2013 9:35 am

        I don’t know who made those felt cutout things but we had one that was ballet dancers. The background was black, the dancers were white shapes, and then there were all different kinds and colors of tutus and stuff. It was pretty sick.

        My favorite colorforms were the Gremlins.

      • March 24, 2013 8:42 pm

        Just think of all the fun those dancers could’ve had with Mod Hair Ken’s facial hair. Or something?

  25. Le Clown permalink
    February 27, 2013 6:15 pm

    I should come here more often. I really should.
    Le Clown

    • March 5, 2013 3:15 pm

      Le Clown, I don’t get out much either. I regret that as I just know you and I would be as thick as thieves in a pair of inappropriately-placed stick-on mutton chops.

  26. February 28, 2013 6:52 pm

    So. Much. Awesome.
    It just makes me feel better about life knowing that particular Ken doll existed. Exists.

    • March 5, 2013 3:21 pm

      Thank you — I can tell that you really feel this in your bones since you bear the photo of a Chia Pet.

  27. April 2, 2013 1:50 pm

    You and Ken have just made my day. Ken’s dickie embarrassment would have been eased, no doubt, had he been acquainted with my Barbie wannabe Dawn dolls.

    • April 7, 2013 8:01 pm

      I’ve heard that Mod Hair Ken has always had a thing for short, low profile women. Enter Dawn.

      Interesting when a toy marketing pitch centers around calling out its much more popular competitor.

  28. April 28, 2013 6:17 pm

    Is that Jesus?!

  29. Ari permalink
    October 22, 2013 1:43 pm

    I had this doll and loved it. Whenever I’ve tried to describe it to people, they think I dreamed it up. Hahaha, in a strange twist of fate, he resembles my husband.

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