Barbie and Ken: Back together on Valentine's Day

ken_barbie.top.jpgThe celebrity toy-couple who shocked the world with their split after 43 years together have reunited. By Parija Kavilanz, senior writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Ken was on a mission this year. He wanted Barbie back he succeeded ... on Valentine's Day.

Ken and Barbie's Facebook status now says "in a relationship."

And that's not the only thing that's been updated.

The new Ken is sporting a new Justin Bieber-like look, and a new name: Sweet Talkin Ken.

Ken didn't hold back in his quest to woo Barbie back.

Fans saw 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 recently, or noted that Ken checked in on Foursquare at the famous Magnolia Bakery in New York to get special cupcakes for his favorite girl.

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 that she has taken back her "arm candy," Ken may 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 17,279.74 13.75 0.08%
Nasdaq 4,579.79 -13.64 -0.30%
S&P 500 2,010.40 -0.96 -0.05%
Treasuries 2.59 -0.04 -1.60%
Data as of 10:07am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Yahoo! Inc 40.93 -1.16 -2.74%
Microsoft Corp 47.52 0.84 1.80%
Bank of America Corp... 16.95 -0.09 -0.53%
Oracle Corp 39.80 -1.75 -4.21%
Facebook Inc 77.91 0.91 1.18%
Data as of Sep 19

Sections

Law enforcement officials say Frank Tamayo was the middleman in a $5.6 million insider trading scheme that involved him eating pieces of paper to cover up the crime. More

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has given more money than many western nations. More

It's really good to be Larry Ellison. The Oracle founder is stepping down as CEO, so maybe he'll have more time to enjoy his glamorous life. More

As Occupy Wall Street goes on its debt-abolishing tear, thousands of people across the country are begging them to forgive their loans. 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.