KENDOLL: FIRST PURCHASES

A story about another boomer buying up his past! It dawned on me one day, as I liked dolls, and vintage 60’s and menswear, that one outfitted KEN would be a great find. I’m not sure where the idea came from, but once in my head… where might I find KEN in Toronto? The “Harbourfront Antique Market” was the most likely location and I went that same day after work (why wait?). Eureka, there was one dealer who had a few old Barbies, and one bald KEN, but, he was not the one I remembered, and as he was not in great shape and was far too expensive and so, he was not purchased. The dealer did however have several of the little booklets of dolls and clothes which I did remember (as a little kid I had had a Barbie, and loved looking at that little booklet)! First purchase. This got the ball rolling!

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Now I knew I wanted to own one perfect, dressed, KEN doll. Where would I find him? I was going to New York soon, on my sort-of-annual Christmas trip; stores, windows, the Rockettes, etc. For sure there would be one there! I wasn’t going to leave finding KEN up to chance though. I had recently had a computer put on my desk at work, which I didn’t use much, especially beyond the work it was intended for, it terrified me. Somehow through my desire I overcame some of the fear! I had heard about a collector site call “E-Bay” (still very new at the time), where I found 2 pages of “Vintage KEN”, with about 50 items listed in total (I told you it was new!). With further searching, I discovered a couple of websites devoted to collecting Barbie, where there was a little bit of info on KEN, and, a listing for a shop called 40/50/60 in New York. I bought nothing on E-Bay but instead waited until I got to New York, and although Chelsea, where 40/50/60 was located, was on a later days list, I couldn’t wait, and made it to the shop late in the afternoon on the first day. There, behind the counter and up on the shelf was “KEN”, the blonde-molded-hair, straight-legged one I remembered, wearing “DREAMBOAT”, all in mint condition (I had learned my auction terms). Although there was “TUXEDO” NRFB, and some loose clothes in zip-locks, HE was all I needed. KEN stood guard on the nightstand for the duration of the trip. This one perfect “KEN” was all I needed, or so I thought…
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