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« On Little Black Girls, Beauty and Barbie Dolls | Main | TMI: When People Take Their Obama Fantasies Too Far »
Tuesday
Feb032009

Ding Dong, Ty's Sasha and Malia Dolls Are Dead

Ty Inc. at first said Sasha (left) and Malia dolls were inspired by the Obamas, then denied that. Now they're listed as "retired." (AP)From the Chicago Sun-Times:

Off the job now are the two dolls produced by west suburban-based Ty Inc. that (the company insisted) WERE NOT named after the Obama children, yet that raised the ire of first lady Michelle Obama.

A Ty spokeswoman declined to comment, but the company's Web site featured pictures of the dolls marked with the word "retired.''

The dolls, which debuted in January, were criticized by Michelle Obama and others for using the names of the two Obama children, Sasha, 7, and Malia, 10.

A company representative first told reporters that the dolls were inspired by the Obama girls after company founder H. Ty Warner saw the daughters and thought they were "cute.'' The company later backed off that storyline, saying that the monikers of the African-American dolls -- Sweet Sasha and Marvelous Malia -- were chosen because they "are beautiful names.''

The Obamas weren't buying it, releasing a statement that "we believe it is inappropriate to use young, private citizens for marketing purposes.'' Online petitions and some newspaper editorials and columnists urged the company to drop the line, claiming Ty, which also makes Beanie Babies, was exploiting the Obama children.

The 12-inch dolls, which initially sold for $9.99, were being offered for $100 for the pair on auction Web sites even before the company quietly retired the toys.

Once again, don't understand why they can't make cute black dolls WITHOUT exploiting the First Daughters. (And without giving them boobs.) But whatever. It's not like black parents want to buy their daughters dolls who look like them anyway. I'm sure they want them to be maladjusted little kiddies, looking at their unnatural Bratz dolls and thinking dressing like a streetwalker is haute couture.

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Reader Comments (12)

I say good riddance! They were really insulting the public's intelligence, backing off their first statement that these were indeed inspired by Sasha and Malia Obama.

And frankly, those dolls look a bit scary to me.

February 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNoelani

Yaaay! What a relief. Those dolls were so creepy.

February 3, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbrooklyn snob

I just wanted to share a great video that talks about the love between Barack and Michelle.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulZmRjP-Wnw

February 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTeacher

Yay! Yay! and more YAY! Another reason to love the Snob - I get news here that maybe, sometime later, I'll see in mainstream media. Thanks again.

February 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKarenMW

Thank God.

February 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJiovanni

What Noelani said.

February 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNichelle

How about actually making them look black? There are many shades, yes. But the only one that gets any notice is on the lighter side. The whiter side. That was what offended me most about the Sasha and Malia dolls. They didn't look like their namesakes.

February 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCULTURALCALORIES

Every so often I either put pen to paper..or email send..a thought on an issue that gets to me..these dolls ..such an issue...oh my did my thoughts flow to that company...so I'm thrilled at the retirement!!!

love your blog to bits I do!

February 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJoan

whoa...i'm glad I wasn't the only one who noticed the doll's boobs

February 4, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterthelegacymaker

What is wrong with this world? Leave the Obama family alone! What purpose did this serve? Nothing.

The big deal is that these are children not idols or celebs. I hope these children are not pressured to grow up to fast.

So, sad. :(

February 4, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterlife

Jeez; I think I'm the only one who didn't notice the boobs!

February 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCulinary Chick

Good ridance! The obama daughters are NOT celebrities, they should be left alone

I think that's really creepy that they gave them boobs, too... they're 7 and 10! Do the girls actually have boobs themselves? Certainly not ones that noticeable, if either of them do.

Oh, but my mistake, the dolls are obviously not based on the obama girls. </sarcasm>

September 19, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteronionpie

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