Barbie Designer was a Pervert?

Filed under: In The News

toy monster bookMattel's beloved Barbie will turn 50 on March 9th and already the stories celebrating her life and style are popping up on the Web. But, according to a new book, there are hidden secrets in the fashionable, anatomically-impossible doll's past that aren't so pretty.

Jerry Oppenheimer's Toy Monster: The Big, Bad World of Mattel reveals that Barbie's designer, Jack Ryan, was a "full-blown seventies-style swinger" with "a manic need for sexual gratification." Oppenheimer claims that Ryan often patronized call girls and streetwalkers and preferred his women busty and blond, just like Barbie. In fact, Ryan's friend, Stephen Gnass, says that even Barbie herself was a target of Ryan's perversion. "When Jack talked about creating Barbie . . . it was like listening to somebody talk about a sexual episode, almost like listening to a sexual pervert . . ."

The book includes details of the lives of Barbie and Ken's namesakes - the children of Mattel founders Ruth and Elliot Handler. Apparently Ken Handler was not exactly proud of his plastic image and was mortified to discover the doll had no genitalia whatsoever. And for those who have long suspected that Ken is gay, Oppenheimer provides confirmation. Despite marrying and fathering three children, Oppenheimer insists that Ken was a closeted homosexual who was diagnosed with AIDS in 1990. Ken died in 1994, but his obituary makes no mention of the disease.

The book is scheduled for release next month and promises to be a fascinating look at the dark side of the toy business. Just don't leave it laying around where the kids can see it!

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.