8 Ken dolls inspired by celebrities and their mixed reactions after the launch

One of the most famous dolls in the world, Barbie and her boyfriend Ken are not only just dolls for children but also representations/icons of the time. Since the celebrity Barbie doll with Twiggy’s likeness was launched in 1967, Mattel has introduced a number of iconic celebrity-inspired dolls. As a celebrity, having their own Barbie or Ken doll that is based on/looks like them is definitely a measure of popularity because only notable or historical figures are entitled to this honor. 

Celebrity dolls are also very welcomed by their fans who gladly open their purse to bring their stars home. Many young children make their dreams come true playing with their role model stars.  Like every other business, Mattel isn’t always successful. They sometimes unveil dolls which are a little bit creepy that make people shocked, or dolls that look like totally different figures. 

No matter what final results celebrities get in the end from Mattel, having a mini version of themselves still means a lot to them. Here are the 8 men celebrities who got their own Ken dolls. 

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Robert Pattinson 

The Twilight series starring Robert Pattinson became a huge hit across the world, and he was honored with his charming Edward Cullen doll in 2019.  

After the doll that was modeled on him was released, the reaction was very disappointing.  It was supposed to be a kind of nice-looking Ken doll, but it turned out to be something that fell short of expectations with its lack of handsomeness and details. 

Johnny Depp 

In 2011, Johnny Depp got his doll from Pirate of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. After the release of his doll, it felt like the real Captain Jack Sparrow just came out of the movie. The doll has really attentively captured the character’s featuring outfit and style.  

On a TV show, he once admitted that he used to play with Barbie dolls to test characters on his daughter when she was younger, and from playing he could develop some characters’ voices including Jack Sparrow.  

Ben Affleck

Batman doll, which has a likeness to Ben Affleck, was inspired by Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. His iconic black mask was removable so fans could play with both Bruce Wayne and Batman. 

Some of the fans were shocked that the Batman doll was launched by Barbie-manufacturing company which looked quite irrelevant to any kind of hero movie. 

David Bowie 

When Mattel released a new doll based on David Bowie in 2019, they described it as having “bold blue eyeshadow and a hairstyle inspired by Bowie’s 70s glam era”.  While it was a doll full of iconic Bowie-style as they described, many fans said it looked more like Cilla Black rather than David Bowie on social media. 


Nonetheless, the South Korean boy band BTS, also known as the Bangtan Boys has now become the most loved boy band in the world. No fans doubted that they deserved to have their own dolls. Their hairstyle and outfits were inspired by the scene in the music video of IDOL. 

One of ARMY said “You just pulled a hairy styles doll on us” on social media and most of the fans weren’t happy about the quality of the dolls.

The Wanted 

In 2012, British-Irish boy band The Wanted got their own dolls as they were a big deal in the early 2010s. The collection of dolls drew mixed reactions from their fans at the time. They have become meaningful ones, as one of the members, Tom Parker, tragically died aged 33 in March 2022 from a brain tumor.  

Chris Pratt 

When the movie Jurassic World succeeded the worldview of Jurassic Park perfectly, Mattel failed to copy Owen, played by Chris Pratt, the main character of the movie. Owen was a tough character in the movie, fighting the ferocious T-rex and protecting the children, the doll barely captured the characteristics. 

Prince William 

Mattel released the royal wedding dolls of Prince William and Kate Middleton to celebrate their first anniversary. 

Their costumes are beautifully captured outfits of the newlywed couple at Westminster Abbey. The dolls are in full wedding costumes perfectly copying the original. The Prince William doll is in his Irish Guards uniform as Colonel of the Irish Guards, while the Catherine Middleton doll puts on Alexander McQueen’s wedding dress.

These royal wedding dolls were highly appreciated as their wedding was placed in the world spotlight.  

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