If you've been wanting to get your hands on the long-haired, pink-tailed, harness-wearing, merman muscle queen version of Barbie's iconic bestie Ken, then you're in luck! We finally know the details of the special-edition doll's release, and how you can get your hands on it!
The doll first appeared on our radar late last year when Barbie's parent company Mattel launched their 2020 Barbie Signature Doll Design Showdown, an online poll where the long-running and inclusive doll brand's biggest fans got to vote to choose the next doll in Barbie's Signature line collection.
The theme for 2020 was merfolk, and the two options Barbie fans could pick from were the now-famous himbo Mer-Ken (officially named King Ocean Ken) and a classic blonde Barbie doll donning her own beautiful mermaid gear. (Both prototype dolls were created by Mattel designer Angel Kent.)
Obviously, Ken and his seashell harness ended up winning the fan-driven poll, and the final design of the doll just went live recently for pre-order on the Mattel Creations website! As expected, it'll cost you a pretty penny to take Ken home with you — his current retail price is $100 — and you have to be a member of the Barbie Signature club to order him. With memberships running at $9.99 a year, the total cost for Mer-Ken (before shipping, of course) will be around $110, but considering how unique and beautiful he is to look at, he'll make a great addition to any serious toy collector's shelf! Plus, his harness makes him an instant queer icon — more than he already is — in our books!
Though he wont physically be in your hands in time for the holiday season, with a tentative shipping date of June 1, 2022, you'll be able to play with Mer-Ken just in time for Pride Month next year!
"This mighty ocean-dweller enchanted Barbie fans and became the crowdsourced winning thematic to go from concept to doll," King Ocean Ken's official description reads. "Emerging from his aquatic kingdom, this collectible Ken merman doll wears gleaming rose gold-colored armor featuring a shell-encrusted breastplate, spaulder shoulder armor, and bicep armbands. His regal head adornments and iridescent fins are perfectly suited for a ruler of the sea, and articulation allows for endless posing possibilities."
The Barbie Signature King Ocean Ken Merman Doll is available for pre-order on the Mattel Creations website for $100, along with a $9.99 Barbie Signature Digital Membership. King Ocean Ken is expected to ship to customers on or before June 1, 2022!