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Mattel
Mattel

Diverse Ken Dolls Now Come in Different Body Types, Skin Colors

Mattel
Mattel

Ken dolls are getting a makeover for the modern era. The Huffington Post reports that Barbie’s other half will now be available in different body types, skin tones, hair colors, and styles.

The Barbie Fashionistas line—which added a more diverse range of Barbies in 2016—will now include Ken dolls that come in three body types (“slim,” “broad,” and “original”), seven skin tones, eight hair colors, and nine different hair styles (including a man-bun). Now, boys and girls can play with Barbies that look more like real people, who might sport cornrows, have a larger body, need glasses, or just be more inclined to wear flannel than the original Baywatch-bod Ken.

Four different Ken dolls advertised on the Barbie website
Barbie/Mattel

The update comes in the wake of competing toy companies debuting dolls with realistic body types and different skin colors. While Barbie is still an icon of the toy world, dolls (both male and female) like Lammily come in measurements that are based on average humans, without Barbie’s impossible proportions. Though the effect is not clear-cut, some studies have suggested that Barbie’s unrealistic looks could make girls less satisfied with their own bodies.

After years of getting flak for promoting gender stereotypes and insane beauty standards, Mattel has been trying to widen its appeal with moves like adding new skin tones and, in 2015, collaborating on an ad that showed a boy playing with Barbies for the first time.

If Barbie is getting a makeover to help her reflect how people look in real life, Ken can’t only come in one (clean-cut Caucasian beefcake) form. Even if that means we have to accept Man-Bun Ken.

[h/t The Huffington Post]

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Cahoots Malone
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Revisit Your Favorite '90s Screensaver With This Free Game
Cahoots Malone
Cahoots Malone

In the '90s, a significant amount of computing power was devoted to generating endless brick mazes on Windows 95. The screensaver has since become iconic, and now nostalgic Microsoft fans can relive it in a whole new way. As Motherboard reports, the animation has been re-imagined into a video game called Screensaver Subterfuge.

Instead of watching passively as your computer weaves through the maze, you’re leading the journey this time around. You play as a kid hacker who’s been charged with retrieving sensitive data hidden in the screensaver of Windows 95 before devious infomancers can get to it first. The gameplay is pretty simple: Use the arrow keys to navigate the halls and press Q and click the mouse to change their design. Finding a giant smiley face takes you to level two, and finding the briefcase icon ends the game. There are also lots of giant rats in this version of the screensaver.

Screensaver Subterfuge was designed by Cahoots Malone as part of the PROCJAM 2017 generative software showcase. You can download it for free for Windows, macOS, and Linux from his website, or if playing a game sounds like too much work, you can always watch videos of the old screensaver on a loop.

[h/t Motherboard]

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MGM
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Pop Culture
The Princess Ride: Here's What a Princess Bride Theme Park Attraction Might Look Like
MGM
MGM

Do you fight the urge to say “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya” when introducing yourself? Have you spent the past 30 years mispronouncing the word “marriage”? If so, you may be a diehard fan of The Princess Bride. The cult film (and the book on which it’s based) has inspired board games, merchandise, and countless pop culture references. Now, two theme park designers from Universal have conceived the inconceivable. As Nerdist reports, Jon Plsek and Olivia West have designed the plans for a hypothetical attraction called “The Princess Ride.

Their idea follows the classic river boat ride structure and adds highlights from the movie around each corner. After watching Buttercup and Wesley’s love story unfold, riders are taken past the Cliffs of Insanity, through the Fire Swamp, and into the Pit of Despair. The climax unfolds at Prince Humperdinck’s castle and leads up to the two protagonists riding off into the sunset. The last thing the passengers see is Miracle Max and Valerie waving goodbye saying, “Hope ya had fun stormin’ the castle!”

The ride’s designers make a living turning stories into thrilling attractions. Plsek works as a concept artist for Universal Creative, the group behind Universal’s theme parks, and West works there as a concept writer. While The Princess Ride was just a fun side project for the pair, it isn’t hard to imagine their ride bringing Princess Bride fans to the parks in real life.

For more of Jon Plesk’s concept rides inspired by classics like Dr. Strangelove (1964) and National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983), check out his website.

[h/t Nerdist]

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