First Lady Michelle Obama is upset with the toy company that produced dolls that bear the same names as her daughters Malia and Sasha.
“We believe it is inappropriate to use young private citizens for marketing purposes,” Ms. Obama’s spokeswoman said. Ty Inc. has released the 12-inch plush dolls as part of the company’s “TyGirlz Collection,” introduced in 2007. The Sasha doll has pigtails and wears a white and pink dress with hearts. The Malia doll has a side ponytail and a long-sleeve shirt with capri pants. The Oak Brook-based company chose the dolls’ names because “they are beautiful names,” not because of any resemblance to President Obama’s daughters, 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.” Public figures have a legal right to control how their images are used, but Lundeen would not comment on legal issues or if the company’s lawyers have become involved with the dolls, according to NBC News. “I’m not an attorney. I can’t answer that,” she said. The dolls have “real doll hair” and the suggested retail price is $9.99, Lundeen said. The dolls were introduced in early January and a limited supply has been shipped to retailers.