Those Marvelous Malia and Sweet Sasha dolls from the toymakers responsible for Beanie Babies has had a change of heart – and have retired the renamed the playthings that bear an uncanny resemblance to First Daughters Malia and Sasha Obama.
The $9.95 dolls, introduced earlier this month, shall henceforth be called “Marvelous Mariah” and “Sweet Sydney,” the toy company’s CEO Ty Warner, of Ty Inc., said in a statement. Profits from the sale of the two dolls are also being donated to charity, the Associated Press reports.
At the time the original dolls were released, Michelle Obama’s press secretary, Katie McCormick Lelyveld, said in a statement, “We feel it is inappropriate to use young, private citizens for marketing purposes.”
Warner had insisted the dolls were never intended to be representative of Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, Obama. In his statement announcing the new name on Tuesday, however, he said the shift was made in deference to the First Family, AP reports.
– Stephen M. Silverman
• Malia & Sasha settle into new school & new home