By DANIEL P. FINNEY | Copyright St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Feb. 13, 2004

This just in: Barbie and Ken are splitsville!

In a heartbreaking announcement Thursday from toy-making giant Mattel, Barbie, the famed doll beloved by millions of girls, has split from longtime boyfriend Ken. That

ends — at least temporarily — a 43-year relationship between the two plastic doll icons.

“Barbie and Ken have always been an extraordinary couple with so much on-and-off-screen chemistry,” said Russell Arons, vice president of marketing for Mattel. “And now they feel it’s time to spend some quality time — apart.”

The couple were never married, Mattel said, which some legal experts say could leave Barbie, whose sales were significantly greater than Ken’s, open to a potential palimony suit.

There’s no new beau on the horizon for Barbie, the best-selling girl toy in history. However, Barbie has, on occasion, been paired with boy band stars from ‘N Sync.

Justin Timberlake, formerly of ‘N Sync, is currently single and in need of some good press after the Super Bowl halftime show incident with Janet Jackson.

Also, G.I. Joe, another longtime, well-selling male doll, is still on the market. But his association with Hasbro, a rival of Mattel, may quell romantic possibilities there.

No word on who will get possession of the Malibu Dream Home or the Dream Corvette. The couple, being toys, were not available to comment as they cannot actually speak.

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