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Ken Out to Prove He May Be Plastic, but His Love Is Real

There's nothing like a celebrity romance to stir up a little publicity, especially when the star in question is very public about his affections.

Source: barbiemedia

Right now, there's one celebrity stud that has been spotted flirting with his ex on Facebook, and has even plastered his intentions on billboards in New York and Los Angeles as well as in an ad in Us Weekly.

Who? None other than Ken Carson, the doll who has been at Barbie's side for nearly five decades.

You may remember that the iconic couple called it quits in 2004, but have remained friends since their break-up, according to the folks at Mattel.

As Mattel prepares to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Ken doll, the company is staging an effort to prove that Ken truly is the ultimate boyfriend as he woos back Barbie.

The messages on Facebook, as well as the billboards and print advertising is only part of the campaign.

Ken checked in on Foursquare on Tuesday at the Magnolia Bakery in New York City to customize a cupcake for his sweetheart. The cupcake won't be available at Magnolia for customers until Friday, but the creation combines all of Barbie's favorite favorite flavors and colors, it is "vanilla and chocolate, very sparkly, very pink, and inscribed with a special message" from Ken.

But the road to romance is not smooth. As fans on Facebook have seen, Ken spotted Barbie on dating Web site Match.comtoday.

No doubt fans of the dolls will be watching the story unfold over the next few weeks, looking to see what other steps Ken will take to win Barbie back. The effort comes just in time for both Valentine's Day and the upcoming Toy Industry Association's Toy Fair event in New York.

Magnolia Ken
Source: Mattel
Magnolia Ken

Barbie has a strong following on Facebook with more than 1.7 million fans tracking posts to the page. Ken trails behind with more than 26,000 fans. But it's likely this campaign will help to drive traffic to his page, and drive those numbers up.

In addition to the campaign, Mattel has introduced "Sweet Talkin' Ken" a new Ken doll that can record up to five seconds of sound, and play back the message in either Ken's voice, its original sound or a high-pitch voice. The doll sells for $19.99 and features a new look for Ken that is reminiscent of Justin Bieber.

This new story line is latest push that Mattel has made ahead of Ken's anniversary to build buzz about the Ken brand.

Last year, Ken had a very prominent role in Pixar's "Toy Story 3," which received an Oscar nomination for best picture on Tuesday, and he is expected to be part of some new animated DVD movies that will be released this year. Late last year, Mattel also launched an online reality series called "Genuine Ken: The Search for the Great American Boyfriend."

This online reality show as well as the Facebook page are largely targeted to grown-up fans of the brands, many of whom may be parents themselves.

After fifty years in Barbie's shadow, it is about time that Ken stepped into the spotlight.

Oh, and if you want to test your knowledge of Ken and Barbie trivia, we've pulled together a quiz.

Questions? Comments? Email us at consumernation@cnbc.com

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