January 24th, 2009
10:05 AM ET
8 months ago

Michelle Obama: 'Inappropriate' to use daughters to sell dolls

Ty, the maker of Beanie Babies, is introducing two new Ty Girlz dolls named Marvelous Malia and Sweet Sasha.
Ty, the maker of Beanie Babies, is introducing two new Ty Girlz dolls named Marvelous Malia and Sweet Sasha.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – They’ve been in the White House less than a week, but the first daughters have already been co-opted by marketers — and Michelle Obama isn’t happy about it.

Ty, the toy company responsible for the popular Beanie Babies dolls, is now marketing “Sweet Sasha” and “Marvelous Malia” dolls.

The first lady’s office said Friday Ty was out of line. “We feel it is inappropriate to use young private citizens for marketing purposes,” said a spokeswoman for Michelle Obama in a statement.

A Ty representative told CNN the company generally avoids naming dolls for “any particular living individual,” because doing so might interfere with how kids use their imaginations to play with them. But they wouldn’t reveal the source of their inspiration for the new figures, telling CNN that information relating to the development of the company’s merchandise - including how it comes up with products, product names, and trademarks – is proprietary.

Related video: First lady miffed by 'Malia,' 'Sasha' dolls

–CNN White House Producer Becky Brittain contributed to this report.


Filed under: Michelle Obama • Obama family • Popular Posts
soundoff (966 Responses)
  1. Ambrose Smith, Borrego Springs, California

    They wouldn't say where they got the inspiration for the dolls.

    Gee! I wonder where they got it?

    I have no clue.

    (Sarcasm off)

    January 23, 2009 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  2. mjc

    Ty Co. is wrong and should at the very least donate the sales to a charitable organization.

    January 23, 2009 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  3. JL

    Boo Hoo is right – get used to it – and yes I am looking forward to the next chapter as well.

    January 23, 2009 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  4. Looloo

    Save your outrage for something more important . The dolls are cute.

    January 23, 2009 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  5. I used to be a Democrat

    Hey Mrs Obama: You paraded them all over the U.S. The only one to blame is YOURSELF.

    Get used to it.

    January 23, 2009 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  6. Debby

    Hey Michelle, get over it. I knew you would be the BIG B of the White House. How many singers, actors, famous kids you name it that have dolls made of them. I am sure your girls have had them.

    January 23, 2009 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  7. sunoverla

    Didn't the Obamas market their kids when they announced J. Crew made their inauguration day clothes?

    Isn't J. Crew profting on that sweet little announcement?

    Got to take the good with the bad, Michelle!!

    January 23, 2009 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  8. Stu-Florida

    I, as a parent, don't blame her. They don't deserve this despite being in the limelight. They need their privacy... the whole First Family. This isn't GI Joe.
    The most disturbing thing is that TY has their toys made in China! TY will exploit anyone for a buck.

    January 23, 2009 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  9. Penny

    I am not sure i agree with TY, but IMO- there will be a lot a naysayers that run out and buy these dolls before they are pulled off the shelves.

    The dolls will be considered collectibles.

    BTW – what is the difference between the vendors at the Inauguration using the girls pictures on buttons, etc..and these dolls?

    January 23, 2009 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  10. Leroy

    That is just too funny. How mad is she going to be when they come out with voodoo dolls like the far left did of GW.

    January 23, 2009 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  11. aware

    I used to love my Royal family cutout dolls! Think of all the little girls who will love these cute dolls, and by the way the Obama girls will be on mugs, buttons, stickers, T shirts...! Of course PBO would rather put these out as campaign fund raisers – right! :(

    January 23, 2009 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  12. Scott NW

    What store are they in? Exploitation "R" us!

    January 23, 2009 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  13. Kinwood H. Scott

    I hope they sell millions of them-anything to get the economy moving !

    January 23, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  14. BROOKLYN

    SERIOUSLY... Kids are OFF Limits and WE the people should BOYCOTT companies that cross these lines...

    SPREAD THE WORD PEOPLE... BOYCOTT these kind of Corporations!!!

    January 23, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  15. sdswith5

    It's a TOY...kids play with TOYS. Be flattered the girls are being honored in this way. The lives of public servants and their families are never truly private. Get over it.

    January 23, 2009 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  16. Griff

    NBNB...A lady who hides.... Who is she?...Typical CNN...

    January 23, 2009 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  17. Nick

    "But they wouldn’t reveal the source of their inspiration"

    Because you know you were wrong? Where's my Beanie Baby?

    January 23, 2009 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  18. Chanda- Cincinnati

    "You wanted the Lime light you got it', 'it goes with the territory", "Quit whining"...how would you people like it if someone was exploiting your children to make a buck. Ty did not even have permission from the parents to use the names of their minor childrens. You all would be LIVID if it wre your children.

    January 23, 2009 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  19. Mike - Houston

    I agree with Mrs. Obama, however these were the people who voted for you. They did not respect the Presidency under Bush, do not expect them to respect your family. Unfortunately, that is America today.

    January 23, 2009 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  20. Steph

    This is horrible news and morally wrong. And for all you folks waiting on the President to make a mistake guess what he already has so stop waiting.

    January 23, 2009 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  21. Fay Tx

    @Steve in Las Vegas,NV January 23rd, 2009 7:54 pm ET
    Some people will do ANYTHING to make a buck, but this is totally shameless. It is illegal to use someone's likeness without permission, and this no different.
    Why is there no Palin doll??? Why these two beautiful little girls??
    SHAME SHAME SHAME! ****Palin is Monster*****

    January 23, 2009 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  22. Stephanie

    At least they aren't cabbage patch kids likethe Sarah Palin. She has cankles. LOL!!

    January 23, 2009 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  23. Blue balloons

    BOYCOTT NOW! DO NOT BUY THEIR LEAD-LADEN PRODUCTS!

    January 23, 2009 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  24. AUSTIN,TX

    simple thought-learn how to spell

    January 23, 2009 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  25. Becky

    I think they should be pulled off the shelves and not be made. It is wrong and they should leave the girls alone.

    January 23, 2009 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
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