Old versions of classic Ken dolls (file iage)
Social media claims that Barbie's boyfriend is pregnant lacks any Kenergy. Image by AP PHOTO

Barbie’s buddy is Kenough without pregnancy

David Williams May 1, 2024

The makers of Barbie have released a pregnant version of the Ken doll.


False. The claims are based on a story from a satirical website.

Claims that toy-making giant Mattel has released a pregnant Ken doll are being rebirthed almost two years after they were first debunked.

There is no such doll. The claim is based on a satirical news website’s article from 2022, which said Pregnant Ken was a “step forward for trans inclusion”.

The claims about Barbie’s companion have resurfaced in recent Facebook posts, with some aware of the satirical nature of its origins, while others are reporting it as fact.

“Mattel Introduces Pregnant Ken Doll, welcome to upside down clown world were (sic) up is down and wrong is right,” one post states

“Congratulations Mattel…..You’ve achieved your goals! Separating & confusing innocent children,” reads one of the comments.

A screenshot of one of the Facebook posts.
 The angst-ridden posts are based on a satirical website’s joke story. 

Many of the posts share a screenshot of an X post from 2022, which reads: “Apparently the new Barbie & Ken doll set shows Ken pregnant? Any parent buying this is a freak & isn’t suitable to be a parent. Sadly these toy makers have lost all decency & values & common sense.”

The online outrage can ultimately be traced back to a May 2022 story headlined “Mattel Unveils New Pregnant Ken Doll” on conservative Christian news satire website Babylon Bee, whose tagline is “Fake news you can trust”.

“This morning, Mattel announced the launch of a new Barbie-themed toy: a pregnant Ken doll. The move has been hailed as an exciting step forward for trans inclusion,” the article reads.

Babylon Bee posted an accompanying video in June 2022.

Some Facebook users at the time understood the satire, as seen here, while others took it more literally.

A screenshot of one of the Facebook posts.
 Some posts are using the claim to vilify transgender people. 

Reuters originally debunked claims of a pregnant Ken doll in June 2022, pointing out it originated on the satirical website.

The fact-check quoted a Mattel spokesman saying “a pregnant male doll is not a Mattel product”.

A search on Mattel’s website reinforces the fact it has not released a pregnant Ken doll.

AAP FactCheck has contacted Mattel for comment on the new round of claims on social media.

The Verdict

The claim that the makers of Barbie have released a pregnant version of the Ken doll is false.

The claim can be traced back to a story on a conservative satirical news website.

Toy maker Mattel confirmed it has not released a pregnant male doll.

False — The claim is inaccurate.

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