'Barbie, we may be plastic but our love is real'

ken_barbie.top.jpgThe celebrity toy-couple that shocked the world with their split after 43 years together could be reuniting this year, but only if 'Sweet Talkin' Ken' succeeds in wooing Barbie back. By Parija Kavilanz, senior writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Ken is on a mission this year. He wants Barbie back.

He's sporting a new Justin Bieber-like look, and a new name: Sweet Talkin Ken.

And he's not holding back in his quest to woo Barbie back -- by Valentine's Day.

Here's the scoop.

Don't be surprised if you see billboards in New York and Los Angeles with Ken professing his renewed love for his ladydoll, declaring "Barbie, you are the only doll for me."

Even better, " Barbie, we may be plastic but our love is real."

Ken and Barbie fans may also have picked up on the famous exes flirting on Facebook, or noted that Ken checked in on Foursquare at the famous Magnolia Bakery in New York to get special cupcakes for his favorite girl.

Ken's thinks he's the ultimate boyfriend but Barbie fans will have to wait a few more weeks to find out if he succeeds in his quest.

Breakup that rocked the world: Ken and Barbie shocked their fans -- and the world -- when the doll world's "golden couple" went splitsville in 2004.

The couples' romance began 50 years ago when they met on the set of their first television commercial together in 1961.

When they unexpectedly split, their PR reps said both Ken and Barbie needed to spend "some quality time apart."

Even celebrity dolls' relationships can crack under the constant glare of the media.

More skeptical observers called it a very clever publicity stunt aimed at reviving sagging sales of Mattel's (MAT, Fortune 500) most iconic brand.

Barbie was slowly but surely getting knocked off the toy shelf by her funky hip-hop nemesis at the time -- Bratz dolls.

So Mattel needed to spice up Barbie's game. What better way to do that than through a carefully crafted split up with Ken?

It brought Barbie a lot of attention.

Mattel repositioned Barbie as a single, independent woman and used the split with Ken to extend the Barbie brand to clothes, perfume and other merchandise that would also appeal to older consumers.

Did the gimmick pay off?

Barbie sales in the United States have improved over the last few years. Now maybe if she decides to take back her "arm candy," Ken could help Barbie become this year's queen of dolls. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,804.71 -238.19 -1.40%
Nasdaq 4,422.09 -71.30 -1.59%
S&P 500 1,946.16 -26.13 -1.32%
Treasuries 2.40 -0.10 -4.19%
Data as of 8:27pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.82 -0.23 -1.35%
Ford Motor Co 14.59 -0.20 -1.35%
Facebook Inc 76.55 -2.49 -3.15%
Apple Inc 99.18 -1.57 -1.56%
Cisco Systems Inc 25.03 -0.14 -0.56%
Data as of 4:03pm ET

Sections

In the last five years, pumpkin sales have risen 34% as people demand pumpkin in everything from beer to beef jerky. More

Facebook's chief product officer issued an apology to Sister Roma and the drag community on Wednesday for its flawed 'real name' policy. More

New York City launches a comprehensive site for all things related to its digital tech scene, Digital.NYC. More

For these seniors, the best retirement is not to retire. From a 102-year-old Wal-Mart worker to an activist park ranger, these workers have stayed on the job well into their golden years. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.