Putting Ken and Barbie in Perspective

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[Re: Los Angeles Times’ Feb. 11 article about Barbie’s Ken]

While growing up on Guthrie Circle in Beverlywood in the early 1950s, my older brothers and I were playmates with Ken and Barbie Handler, whose parents founded Mattel Toy Co. We cavorted at each other’s houses all the time. Their mom, Ruth (the mastermind behind the company), was usually at home supervising to make sure we didn’t drown in their indoor/outdoor swimming pool, which not only had a magnificent waterfall cascading into it but also a lobster pond to one side.

Mr. Handler was always hard at work in the office but would come home early on Fridays to help Ruth out with BBQs for us kids. The Handlers were wonderfully generous to their neighbors, showering us with gifts of their latest toy products.

The current press seems to be making Ken out to be Barbie’s boyfriend. In true life, Ken was Barbie’s brother.

Eric Jessen, Laguna Beach

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