Sometimes an interview opportunity comes along that we simply cannot turn down. Such was the case when Mattel Inc. offered The Varsity a one-on-one chat with Ken, popular plastic toy and ex-boyfriend of Barbie. Never mind that Ken is, as best we could determine, both a small plastic doll and a fictional character: Mattel assured us that as part of his campaign to rekindle his romance with Barbie (the pair split in 2004), he was making himself available for phone interviews with select press. Fictional or not, Ken’s place in popular culture is so immense that we leapt at the chance, and on February 4, a man claiming to be Ken phoned the Varsity offices.

THE VARSITY: Well Ken, I was really shocked when I heard you and Barbie broke up. I mean, if you can’t make it work, what hope is there for the rest of us?

KEN: You know what? So was I. But, y’know, I think all power couples have their ups and downs, and, yeah, it was unfortunate, but now I know that I definitely want her back.

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TV: How did the separation come about, if you don’t mind me asking?

K: It was her decision, but, as I was saying, we were a power couple, we were together for over forty years. When we met on our first commercial we did together it was love at first sight. We had an amazing relationship, but I think that… I think there was a lot going on, a lot of pressure, y’know, work-related, travel-related. It’s so difficult with her busy schedule, my busy schedule. I mean, the amount of jobs we both have, the different careers — I mean, I think she had 85 different careers when we were together…

TV: And you’ve had 40 or so?

K: Yes.

TV: Okay. Now, do you think Barbie will take you back? What sort of grand gestures do you have planned?

K: Honestly, we were made for each other. Although we’re plastic, our love is real, and that’s something that’s important for everyone to know. […] Some of the grand gestures — first of all, I’ve got ads; I’ve got my billboards; I’m going to different places in malls to create awareness, get people knowing I’m looking for her. I was at LG Fashion Week looking for her, because she usually goes, she’s got her fashion line.

TV: You broke up in around 2004. Have you been seeing anyone since then? I dunno, Stacie perhaps?

K: Yeah, I… nothing serious, but I’ve been the ultimate bachelor for the past couple of years. And now I’m ready to be the ultimate boyfriend again.

TV: How about Skipper? Did you have anything going on with her?

K: Uh, no, nothing serious there.

TV: I guess she’s only, like, 14, right?

K: Yeah, she’s a bit… a bit young.

TV: Well, y’know, you’re only as old as you feel, is what I say.

K: Well, yeah, exactly, I mean, I feel young, I look young — like, life in plastic’s great. But I am turning fifty soon.

TV: I don’t very often get the chance to talk to someone as famous as yourself, so I was wondering if I could take this opportunity to ask: boxers or briefs?

K: Uh… boxers.

TV: Okay. Three favourite movies?

K: Oh… wow… three favourite movies, let’s see…you’re the only one who’s ever asked me what my three favourite movies are. Let’s see…[ten second pause]…let’s go with the… something… can I say the Godfather trilogy? We’ll go with that. We’ll go with… some… comedy? Let’s say the lighter side of me likes Wedding Crashers. And, last but not least by any means, my romantic side: Love Actually.

TV: Excellent. Do you follow politics? Because I was wondering what you make of the current crisis in Egypt.

K: Um…yeah, yeah, I am following, and I mean…y’know, I could say some comments, but I think that that’s not something I want to comment on right now. I think right now I just want to focus on the quest to get Barbie back. I mean, I think that’s a…

TV: Well, I guess I shouldn’t ask my pro-life or pro-choice question then, either…

K: Oh, really? [Laughs] That’s, uh, y’know… pro-life or pro-choice, we really wanna get into the political debates… uh, well, y’know, being Ken, I would definitely be, y’know, in Malibu, be more liberal on these kind of issues. So, I think, in general, it’s more of a pro-choice.

TV: If I could ask you one more political question, I mean, seeing as you are plastic I don’t know how much this applies to you, but: Barack Obama’s healthcare plan. Since you’re more liberal-minded, is that something you would support?

K: Um… yeah. I definitely… y’know, we all see the situation with the American healthcare system, so that’s something that… I mean, Barbie’s a doctor. I was not, but I did serve in the army and the navy and the police, so, y’know, just dangerous jobs, and I think something that’s really, really important is a good healthcare system.

TV: Because you’ve been together for so long, I was wondering: do you have a specific type? Y’know, sort of… thin… blonde… white… whatever?

K: Over the past couple of years during my bachelorhood, being the ultimate bachelor again, I had no type. There is not a specific at all. But now, I’ve come to the realization that my type is Barbie, because my plastic heart is [for] one doll. So, I only have eyes for her right now.

TV: I have one last question, and it’s kind of sensitive, and I want to talk about this man-to-man. I think it’s fairly public knowledge that you don’t have genitalia, and I was wondering if that played a role in your break-up?

K: I think that I have been an icon for so many years of being the ultimate boyfriend, of being romantic, confident, well-dressed, articulate, so you could take me anywhere — great arm candy, if that’s what you’re looking for. So, I think that that doesn’t really play a role, just because I am still such an icon, right? It’s great to be me. Great to be Ken.