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The Obamas aren't happy with new 'Sasha' and 'Malia' dolls

Beanie Babies maker sells Sasha, Malia dolls Ty Inc. -- the company that brought us Beanie Babies --is on to the next big thing. Namely, exploiting the two first daughters, Sasha and Malia Obama. The worst part is that the toy outfit refuses to cop to the fact that they plan to profit from the names and likenesses of the Obama girls.

The new 12-inch-tall dolls are named "Sweet Sasha" and "Marvelous Malia," and according to the Associated Press:

The Oak Brook-based company chose the names because "they are beautiful names," not because of any resemblance to Malia and Sasha Obama, said spokeswoman Tania Lundeen.

"There's nothing on the dolls that refers to the Obama girls," Lundeen said. "It would not be fair to say they are exact replications of these girls. They are not."

Right. And that Garfield 'I don't do perky" Beanie Baby just happened to look like a fat, sullen cartoon cat but was in no way meant to be that Garfield. President Obama's camp has said that it is "inappropriate  to use young private citizens for marketing purposes." The Ty Girlz are already selling for $29.99 for two on sites like www.barrysbeaniescatalog.com. And they are already selling on ebay.com, natch.

-- Monica Corcoran

What do you think? Should the company be allowed to rip off the Obama girls' images for profit? And will Sasha and Malia be able to stay normal?

Related:

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Michelle Obama's inauguration wardrobe reviewed

Photos: First ladies' inauguration gowns

Should Michelle Obama borrow clothes and jewels like a celeb? Nancy Reagan couldn't.

Michelle Obama chose Jimmy Choo’s green 'Glacier' pump for Inauguration Day ensemble

Michelle Obama Chooses Jason Wu for Inaugural Balls

Aretha Franklin's inaugural hat trick

Photo credit: Getty Images

 
Comments () | Archives (80)

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Exploiting children should ALWAYS be unacceptable. The CHANGE we seek includes a dramatic shift away from crass capitalism !

There are many people who became billionaires by working hard and conducting business ethically. Ty Warner's latest marketing scheme proves that he is not one of them. I will not support any Ty Warner hotel or product. Greed is a terrible thing! Shame on you!

Regradless of the lack of morals shown by the manufacturer, I question your judgement in including a link to a site selling these dolls.

It's amazing to me that the first African American dolls in the "Ty Girlz" Collection are named Sasha and Malia and even more amazing is that coincidentally, those are the names of the children of the first African American President and First Lady of the United States. In the words of Arsenio Hall, "this is one of those things that make you go Hmmmmm"!

Ty's just trying to make a dollar and that's fine. Just own up to the fact that you're exploiting those girls

This action exhibits such incredibly poor taste on the part of Ty that I will never buy another of their products. In the past I was a huge beenie baby purchaser for the grandkids. Perhaps others should consider a boycott. too.

Ty Inc is being disingenuous, and their action borders on illegal. Might this be a case of something like a copyright infringement? Where is the signed 'model release' that allows someone's image/face to be used for monetary gain? The implication and resemblance to the O-giris is clearly there. (Why not a blonde haired fair-skinned dolls named malia and sasha?) There is a fine line between images used in the public domain (like newspapers) and images used for financial gain. One is permissible; the other is not. Besides, who are they trying to kid? But beyond the legal perspective, Ty Inc lacks taste, respect and they're just down right bottom feeders.

Note to Sally: Mrs. Obama does not need MONEY; it's her right to protect her kids. It's really sad that Ty Co., did this it shows lack of CLASS! The First Lady is an attorney with more Masters Degree's than all of Ty team. Please check your morals and values. May God Bless America and protect our First Family!!!

Note to Sonia: Protect them? PROTECT THEM? They're lucky she didn't abort them.

Everybody who is saying this is free market blah blah blah, no they aren't, not when it comes to direct exploitation of minors. This has nothing to do with free market, but ofcourse you Rethugs like to pull that argument out any chance you can, huh? Republicans are nothing but some THUGS, it is inappropriate for Ty inc. for exploiting minors for marketing purposes, and there is nothing wrong with Obama's reaction to having his young daughters be exploited in this manner. Not only that, they are not getting any sort of profit or cut of the product.

Note to Sally: You are lucky you weren't aborted, you make no sense whatsoever, how about you and the rest of the thugs in your party own up to being irresponsible adults for thinking it is just alright to exploit minors all over the place? Next up: Malia and Sasha fragrances, purses, and backpacks, LEAVE THESE CHIKLDREN ALONE PEOPLE, they are not free to the markets for exploitation, they are children whose dad is the President, yes, but they are no less private citizens and minors.

The Ty Company needs to come clean and admit that First Daughters Sasha and Malia were the inspiration for the dolls.

Come on stop lying and making white people look bad. How can you launch two new African-American dolls without getting it legally straightened out with the First Family first.

Very embarrassing! I feel for you (like Chaka Khan).

Ty should have asked for permission to use their names, and they should donate the profits to a good cause. Like helping homeless children in America.

The unauthorized use of Malia and Sasha Obama's names OR likeness for the purpose of commercial advantage is ILLEGAL.

Plain and simple.

I cannot believe the nerve of the Ty Company to produce dolls named after Malia and Sasha Obama to make a huge profit. It is my belief, that President and First Lady Obama should have input in this production. She made it clear that she did not want her daughters to be in the media spotlight. I do not recall Chelsey Clinton or the Bush twins exploited in the news media or toy industry for a profit. They were able to go about their everyday with a minimum of media attention. Despite what others think - I agree with First Lady Michelle Obama's decision to protection her lovely daughters from all unwanted exposure.

The dolls are like scary bratz groovy girls hybrids...

I think it's offensive that Ty isn't even admitting to it. They're acting like idiots. I also think the doll line is blatant copying of other product lines.

It is very distasteful to produce a line of dolls modeled after real children. I would *love* to see more ethnically diverse dolls, but this is just offensive.

Having dolls named for the two first daughters isn't any worse than back in the 30s when they made paper dolls for Princess Elizabeth and her sister or for Shirley Temple. Is it bad to have an Obama coloring book?
How many girls are using their Raggedy Anns and pretending to be girls who live in the White House or are on the playground saying "You be Sasha and I'll be Malia."
.
What irks me, thought, is that Ty chose to make them scantily clad and give them breasts!!!!!
Yes, having dolls named for the girls straddles good taste, but sexualizing a 7 and a 10-year old is a crime.

This is WRONG! I think we should boycott these dolls and spread the word to others not to buy the dolls. Peaceful protest can work in times like these.

If these dolls are what you consider exploiting, then all of you are exploiting Sasha and Malia when you watch stories about them and look at their photos and buy magazines that they are in. Because the news corporations are making millions everytime you watch ads waiting for that cute story about Sasha's stupid JCrew jacket.

Get over yourselves people! They are just DOLLS!

I love the dolls, they are so cute!

This is a racist marketing scheme. Why aren't they offered in Caucasian and Asian coloring schemes?
And it is politically liberal; where were the Barbara and Jenna twins?

Who cares?! Yea it isn't right that just now, because it's the first black president that they are making dolls to mark this "monumental moment".... but it's a doll. I would be proud if a famous company decided to make a doll after my daughter. And it's not like the dolls are ugly... if they made the dolls with 3 arms and zits and bags under their eyes (not that they look like that)... THEN i would be offended. Racist? this isnt racist! Just because they make a black doll that only comes in one color! Ty doesnt have to follow Barbie and make a doll of every race. Its wonderful that Matel makes dolls of all colors.. but not every company has to do that. If we needed to tend to wants and needs of every american... there would be no end!
What we all need to realize is that it's a doll. Plain and simple, and the truth of it is...in a few months...a new doll will come out.. more pop trends will happen... another tween movie with explode from hollywood...
is not a big deal... MOVE ON...

-kj

I'm sorry but they are out to make money and cash in on a couple of kids who should be private citizens - yes their parents are public figures but young children should be off limits. Shame on you Ty!!!!! So much for integrity. And what is this denial (wink wink) that there is no basis for linking Obama's daughters to these dolls. Ha!

Who cares?! Yeah, it's clearly capitalizing on a moment, but so were all the vendors at the inauguration selling crap like cookies with Obama's face on them. And, if I see another add for Obama coins, I'm going to scream. It's all crap, just don't buy it.

How about we see some real news reporting again? The issues haven't gone away, and I really couldn't care less about stories like this or articles about Michelle Obama's fashion sense. The guy was hired to run the country, let's get back to focussing on that.

Historically, lots of dolls have been based on real people. Bottom line is, lighten up Michelle. These girls are adored by the Nation and dolls can be good role models for children, who are after all innocents. They don't hold their beloved doll and say, "hey, this is exploitation!" Besides, we are a capitalist nation, free to make money as we wish...I'm sure there will be lots of memorabilia that pays homage to this unique first family while making a buck.

This is a horrible way to make money. Who would want their children displayed in such a way. It they were 18 and consented to this, fine. But this company took it upon themselves to yes, EXPLOIT these children without the consent of their parents. It is wrong! What's said it this country always exploits people. You would think some things should be sacred... like family.

What an obamanation! On Obama's campaign official site, they are selling Obama Family coloring books, paper dolls of the family, just to name a few things! And let's do remember, who "exploited" children during the campaign when the democratic party bombarded t.v. ads, infomercials, online websites such as youtube, with "Children" being used to bring in votes!

So really, you can have it both ways, if your on the right party side!

I can only imagine with all of the b.s. that Sarah Palin was subjected to, how this site would ridicule her for objecting to anything! Gee how soon you forget how viciously she and her children were attacked! The world saw it but turned a blind eye to the vehemently attacking of Sarah Palin and her children, for much less! Such hypocrisy. Listen to yourselves and then I bet you can still look at the top of this page and see some ugly vicious bs about palin! Leave it alone!

They are dolls, not porno filthy t shirts like you saw at democratic conventions with Palin on them!

PLZ..OF COURSE THEY ARE NAMED FOR THE OBAMA GIRLS. IF TY WOULD SELL THESE DOLLS AT A REASONABLE PRICE AND WOULD GIVE A 100% PROCEEDS TO CHARITABLE ORGRANIZATIONS, AS PRESIDENT OBAMA WANTS US ALL TO HELP; I WOULD THINK THAT PERHAPS THIS WOULD BE OK FOR THE FAMILY, AND NOT THE PROFIT OF TY COMPANY

Definitely corporate greed exploitation of innocent children without the parents consent. I'm a grandmother who is becoming involved in forming a boycott of all of this companies products!

I agree with Michelle Obama wholeheartly. She has very much right to be upset. If Ty was naming nubian dolls after my two daughters or sons without my permission, i would be upset too.Did you see Ty Inc., naming dolls after Former President Bush two twin daughters, Jena and Barbra Bush, Or naming a doll after Bill and Hillary Daughter Chelsea? Or Mr Bush Father`s sons? Etc. I can go on and on.I never seen any of that happen. Even if they were trying compliment The Obama Family By respecting Them, or Their Daughters. But have their Permission, and their daughters permission and pay them.Why lie and say these dolls wasn`t about their daughters , When IT WAS! And A matter of fact, These dolls looked just like Malia and Sasha. Why say They don`t , they do.The Obama daughters are very beautiful. Not only are you disrepecting Obama and Michelle, you are disrespecting their daughters As well. You should be ashame of yourselfs. Remember when you leave this life you can`t take that money with you. Terry

i think it is ok for them to sell the dolls

 
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