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

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