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Madeover Ken hopes to win back Barbie

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A new look for boy toy Ken is revealed.

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NEW YORK (Reuters) -- He's been to the gym, looks buff and stylish, and now Barbie's boy toy Ken wants to win back the doll he split from two years ago.

After a two-year separation, Mattel Inc. said Thursday that Barbie's long-time suitor wants to rekindle his decades-long romance with his plastic paramour.

Mattel is hoping Ken's return to retail stores can also revitalize the company's overall fortunes. In January, the company blamed sagging Barbie sales for sagging profits. (Watch how Ken blends Orlando Bloom and Matthew McConaughey -- 2:07)

"Ken has revamped his life -- mind, body and soul," Hollywood stylist and Mattel consultant Phillip Bloch said in a statement. "Everyone knows how difficult it is to change, especially when you've lived your life a certain way for more than four decades."

Mattel said in February 2004 that Barbie and Ken had split after 43 years because they wanted to spend some time apart.

Ken, who appears to have spent time in the gym and at the stylist, returns wearing a beach-wear ensemble complete with board shorts and white T-shirt.

For her part, Barbie publicist Lauren Dougherty said Barbie "appreciates the new look Ken is sporting. He really looks great. But we'll have to stay tuned to see whether these two will get back together."

At a press conference unveiling Ken, Bloch said the company was going for a "worldly, European thing," and "definitely wanted to be looking hot."

Mattel's fourth-quarter results January showed an 18 percent decline in Barbie's U.S. sales. The company said that in addition to "tweaking" the Barbie line this year, more dramatic changes would be made in 2007.

Copyright 2006 Reuters. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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