February 3rd, 2009
03:16 PM ET
11 years ago

Ty 'retires' controversial Malia and Sasha dolls

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/LIVING/01/22/obama.dolls/art.sasha.malia.dolls.ty.jpg caption="Ty, the maker of Beanie Babies, has retired two new Ty Girlz dolls named Marvelous Malia and Sweet Sasha."]
(CNN) - Controversy forced the withdrawal of two more figures from the public scene Tuesday, but these were not named Daschle or Killefer.

Ty Inc. - the company that brought the world Beanie Babies - bowed to pressure from the White House and "retired" dolls named Sweet Sasha and Marvelous Malia Tuesday.

The 12-inch-tall dolls, which bear a resemblance to the first family's Sasha, 7, and Malia, 10, were introduced last month as part of the Ty Girlz collection.

Watch: First daughter dolls?

First Lady Michelle Obama's press secretary said it was "inappropriate to use young private citizens for marketing purposes."

While the dolls still appeared on the Ty Web site Tuesday, a red banner above them read "Retired."

The retirement of the dolls came as the Obama administration announced the withdrawal of two nominees because of controversy over tax issues. Former Sen. Tom Daschle withdrew his nomination as health and human services secretary and Nancy Killefer withdrew as the nominee to become the Obama administration's chief performance officer.

While a forced withdrawal may hurt a politician's standing, it apparently bolsters a doll's value.

Just after the Ty announcement - a set of the Sweet Sasha and Marvelous Malia dolls had reached $152 in one eBay auction Tuesday afternoon.

Ty sold the dolls for $9.99 each during the three weeks the dolls were on the market.

A Ty executive insisted last month that the dolls had nothing to do with President Barack Obama's young daughters.

Ty Senior Vice President of Sales Tania Lundeen said "Sasha and Malia are beautiful names" that "worked very well with the dolls we were making."

Filed under: Obama family
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. beetle

    ty must be repub. greed was written all over it. that is something they would do for a dollar.

    February 3, 2009 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  2. Cindy

    @Lilarose in Bandon, Oregon February 3rd, 2009 4:15 pm ET
    And good riddance!From a mom of two girls. I would be furious to have my girls publicly portrayed like this.
    Wonder Y –Ty didn't try to sell Dolls of the Bush Twins???

    February 3, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  3. curtis

    More like crumbled under a deluge of bad press and threatened lawsuits.

    How could they ever think it was appropriate in the first place? You can't make and sell dolls of people without their permission.

    February 3, 2009 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  4. No Incumbents 2010

    @ shoegazer
    Because idiotic Americans buy the products, and then gripe about the capitalist being parasites.

    February 3, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
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