Barbie & the Rockers…now with Ken

I always thought that Barbie & the Rockers was just a ripoff of Jem and the Holograms, but from what I have read online the relationship between these two properties is much more interesting. It seems that Hasbro, who made Jem took a box to a show in Hong Kong where it was somehow found by a Mattel employee, which might have given Mattel the idea to make a Barbie band product line.

I am not sure how true that is, but in the end Barbie was released first, probably because they had most of the dolls already made, but it was Jem that really made an impact on me with its animated series and it will always be the winner in my book save for one thing.

This wonderfully cheesy commercial that introduces Ken to the Barbie & the Rockers universe. Ken croons and rocks the guitar, while Barbie & the gang do their wild arm swings and young girls swoon. It is pitch perfect Eighties glam in every way and if they had just done 30 minutes of this commercial once a week as a TV series, I would have tuned in regularly.

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Garry Vander Voort

Editor/Podcaster at Retroist
The Retroist is like a BBQ on a bun without the bones. You're only human daddy. Chomp!
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