Toy maker Ty swears its new Beanie Babies, “Sweet Sasha” and “Marvelous Malia,” are not named after the two daughters of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.
First lady Michelle Obama, who has described herself “first and foremost . . . Malia and Sasha’s mom,” has defended her daughters’ likeness, saying it is not proper for a company that makes the plush Beanie Babies to produce dolls called Sweet Sasha and Marvelous Malia.
“We feel it is inappropriate to use young, private citizens for marketing purposes,” Obama’s press secretary, Katie McCormick Lelyveld, said in a statement yesterday.
Ty recently released the 12-inch dolls in their collection called TyGirlz. The dolls have soft brown skin and big eyes. Ty’s Web site shows Sweet Sasha wearing two pigtails and a pink and white dress, with Marvelous Malia doll wearing her hair to the right side and a blue-green shirt.
The company, which is based in Oak Brook, Ill., has said the dolls are not made to be exact replicas of the first couple’s daughters and are not based on the Obama girls.
As offensive as playing possum on this latest case of Obama-based “Hustlenomics” is, what I find even more glaring is why do the dolls have boobies? Maybe that’s how they thought they could get around the criticism by presenting some early-onset puberty. We’ll make the two dolls named for the President’s kids look like teens. Yeah. That’ll keep Michelle Obama from ordering a fiat against us. We’re geniuses. Slaps on the back all around.
While it’s one thing for the Japanese to make a kick-ass Barack Obama action figure complete with a light saber, katana blade and riotious microphone fiend hand gestures, Sasha, 7, and Malia, 10, are not your new marketing ploy. They didn’t get to choose to be public figures. They’re the progeny of one. Michelle, who has made the protection and healthy adjustment of her daughters her priority as First Lady, naturally is ready to set someone’s hair on fire.
I don’t understand why Ty just couldn’t make cute black girl dolls without exploiting the First Daughters for profit. My mother bought me nearly every black Barbie in the existence of the world. I’m pretty sure lots of black parents would love to buy their daughters adorable dolls who look like their adorable girls — without fame-jacking a pair of elementary school kids. (Source: Washington Post, Politico)