Valentine's Day Surprise! Barbie and Ken are officially back together

One of America’s most epic romances is back on: Mattel is announcing today that, after shocking the world with their break-up in 2004 and rekindling their love on the set of last year’s blockbuster Toy Story 3, Barbie and Ken have decided to give love another chance after seven years apart. The pair’s plastic love is red-hot once again, just in time for the most romantic of holidays, Valentine’s Day. Yesterday, Barbie hinted that something might be in the works on her Facebook page with the status update: “Who knows…maybe I’ll have a Valentine this year.” Early this morning, Barbie changed her status on Facebook to “In a Relationship.”

EW called up Mattel to get a little context on the news. “They were reunited as costars, as you know, on the set of Toy Story 3,” explains Lisa McKnight, vice president of marketing at Mattel. “As we like to put it, they found they were kind of missing each other. They had a lot of fun together. Now a little time has passed since the shoot and all the premiere noise around the movie and all that good stuff, and I think they both realized that they’re made for each other.”

In case you’re unfamiliar, here’s a quick refresher on the couple’s storied romance: Barbie and Ken met on the set of their first commercial in the spring of 1961. They were together and happy — winding their way through the sometimes-hilarious¬† trends of the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s — before tragedy struck on Valentine’s Day in 2004: The couple surprisingly announced that they were going to spend time apart, and Barbie began dating the charming Australian surfer Blaine. In 2006, Ken made a play for Barbie’s heart again with a Hollywood makeover and while it scored him big points with Barbie, the two just remained friends. Their casting in last year’s sequel Toy Story 3, however, brought them back together, and things began to rekindle for the pair, leading to today’s announcement. The full story of the couple getting back together has been well documented.

So was their seven-year split just a blip on the radar for these star-crossed lovers? “To be fair to them, they have been together for about 43 years, so you know, I think everyone needs a break,” says McKinght. “So they took a little break and had fun out on their own and were certainly out and about, but I think ultimately, again, they were destined for each other.”

Die-hard Barbie and Ken fans were apparently clamoring for the pair to get back together, according to Mattel. “In 2004, we certainly got a lot of feedback when they did break up,” McKnight says. “People were devastated and we made the evening news and it was crazy. More recently, when people saw them together again on the set of Toy Story 3, people were really pushing for them to get back together again. We got a lot of formal petitions from brand fans, Barbie fan groups, asking for them to get back together. I think there was one group that sent in a three-page letter, expressing how they felt and how they never should have broken up in the first place and they’ve just got to be reunited. So there’s a lot of passion there. They really are the sort of ultimate ‘it’ couple. So everyone’s rooting for them to get back together.” A poll that Mattel has been running on found that fans were more than in favor of them reuniting, with the Love-O-Meter results reading “Give Him a Chance!” yesterday afternoon.

As you might guess, this reunion is a total marketing move for Barbie/Mattel, and they’ve taken the opportunity to put out a new product, the Barbie and Ken Gift Set, which you can see above (with a few word-bubbled embellishments from EW). The set hits stores today, Valentine’s Day, and is just $5.

Are you all glad to see Barbie and Ken back together? Did you even know they were officially broken up? Are they really back together for good this time? Sound off below.

Tanner on Twitter: @EWTanStransky

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Comments (90 total) Add your comment
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  • TayMads

    Wow. An actual article about two TOYS getting back together. They talk about Barbie and Ken like they are real….I didn’t realize it was that serious. They’re plastic!! Lol

    • Greg

      You mean they aren’t real?! Next thing you’re going to tell me is that the Easter Bunny isn’t real either.

      • Bethany

        Just one travesty after another!

    • Tom

      I worry about you TayMads.

    • KFed

      So this page is a commercial, right? Don’t you have to declare that?

      • Kerri

        The 2nd to last paragraph states it’s all marketing. And very fun marketing at that. I’m enjoying the stroll down memory lane.

    • TayMads

      Um….I actually checked this before hitting submit and commenting on it….and I corrected it. I know they aren’t real. That’s what I said. That’s weird…

    • Auds

      TayMads: Don’t be such a hater, this is a SERIOUS news story! LOL

  • Meaghan

    Well now I finally understand why there are Ken billboards all over LA.

  • gigi

    Best.Article.Ever.! Too funny. Glad they are back together. I saw Ken on the red carpet with a Brat. She was way too young for him. Barbie keeps it classy.

    • Bete


    • miss k

      Everyone knows Bratz dolls are the sluts. She was probably a paid escort.

  • Amy

    I love this. Barbie and Ken forever! :)


    I had actually brought my palm to my face when I read “Barbie changed her status on Facebook to ‘In a Relationship.'”

    The fact that this is longer than most articles on is just sad.

    • Kate

      Me too!! I have been cutting them some slack lately with the big overturn in staff, but I guess I shouldn’t be if someone had time to sit around and write this!

      • downtown diva

        Maybe it was a story since there’s a connection to Toy Story 3. And it is Valentine’s Day today so…

        But Ken needs a hair makeover.

    • Allison

      Maybe you should take the stick out and lighten up. It’s a freakin joke you clown.

  • Darth_Phoenix

    Any evidence to those Barbie-GI Joe affair rumors?

    • Lisa London

      Now, that I’d like to see!

    • juju

      He’s too short for her.

  • Color Me Impressed

    First The Suburbs winning album of the year, now this?! This is a great day!!!

  • Luca

    She’s totally a beard

    • Shannon

      My thoughts exactly.

  • rockatansky

    And I thought it was stupid caring about real-life celebrities breaking up or hooking up … wait, some of them are filled with plastic too …

  • James The Greatest

    Wow, Mattel is really milking the Toy Story connection here, huh?

  • Leigh

    This has to be the funniest thing I’ve read in a while. Props EW, props.

  • John boobs

    This is by far the most useless information of the century , thanks America you’ve done it again.. Expressed your stupidity.

    • Wottadoosh

      John Boobs is just bitter that America did it first.

    • Riley

      Honestly, just has real as half the crap out there about celebrities.

  • MCS

    I am so glad this exists. How cool that people take this so seriously, and I had know idea that Toy Story 3 was seriously considered part of the (dare I say it) Barbie canon.

  • Geo

    I hear Ken took his mother to the Oscars last year and is trying to get Barbie to join Scientology.

    • Buffy Freak


    • Mia

      I just totally laughed aloud at work.

      • Lisa London

        I totally laughed out loud on the bus at that comment!

  • Sarah

    Bahaha. This article is too funny. I can rest easy now that I know Barbie and Ken have rekindled their relationship. :)

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