Vintage Ken

ケンとGIジョー/KEN and JOE 


Vintage Ken wore military uniforms earlier than GI Joe.

shown above is complete 1963 vintage Ken outfit #797 Army & Airforce. you can see a class mark which is printed on the left sleeve of the shirt, the mark suggests his military rank “corporal”. I use Japanese GI Joe site as a reference. Thank you so much joefig san!

I have been collecting and researching vintage Ken dolls for years and I would love to know especially his background in Japan in the 1960’s. I have found a few informations about him so far, GI Joe was sometimes mixed in the stories I have heared.

In U.S, GI Joe was released by the U.S toy maker Hasbro in 1964. he was also introduced in Japan in 1966. attached below is a Japanese pre-release feature of GI Joe from Jan 1966 Japanese toy magazine.

According to the pre-release article, “sample doll of GI Joe was ready in Feb 1964”. difinitely vintage Ken was wearing his military uniforms:navy, army and airforce at the point. Ken wore military uniforms earlier then GI joe.

vintage Ken’s 1963 military uniforms were already produced as a formal products by the end of 1963. I feel a little sense of superiority to this fact becuase I am a big fan of him.

Some informations which I have found/heared suggests Japanese girls did not buy boy doll and Japanese boys preferred GI Joe in the 1960s. I wasn’t even aware that GI Joe was made in Japan though, now this fact makes me really happy:GI Joe’s early clothes and accessories were produced in Japan.

The sentence, written in the end of the article(in Japanese) is the most surprising thing to me:A Japanese dressmaking school, they had recieved a bulk order from The U.S American toy company, their students made various small-sized military uniforms as a “SIDE-JOB”.

I have no idea what system this is and I had never heared these before. Is this a famous fact to GI Joe collectors? I think thier wages might had became a school fees though..did they recieve another wage? I would like to ask someone who knows in detail.


上の画像は1963年のケンの衣装、#797 Army & Airforceのコンプリート。1着のユニフォームに陸軍(army)と空軍(airforce)の2通りに着せられるアクセサリと、着せ方が判るカードがセット。



Two air force Kens. left:1963 #750 painted hair Ken, his hair and eyebrows has been repainted by good1dave. right:1966 #1020 blushing bendable leg Ken.











「生徒たちが学校で内職をする」というシステムがよく判らないのですが、これはGIジョーのコレクターには知られている話なのでしょうか? 内職の給料は生徒たちの学費の一部になったり、学費以外にも給料をもらえたのでしょうか?