What Do You Think?

January 24, 2009 at 7:53 pm | Posted in Culture | 23 Comments

The cutie patootie Obama girls have not even been at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for a solid week and the attention they are getting is already at Hannah Montana status. They are revered for their clothes, their poise and their demeanor. Every little girl now has a new role model.

Whether that is fair or not I thought this was interesting. Ty toy company of Beanie Babies fame has created “Sweet Sasha” and “Marvelous Malia” dolls. Their mom did not approve. Not one bit. Speaking through her press secretary, she thought it was “inappropriate.” The Ty toy company counteracted by saying the dolls were in no way a representation or inspired by the Obama girls. 

What do you think? Does the toy company have an argument or the right? Discuss.



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  1. I saw that coverage on Jezebel. Not pleased with Ty at all–and I love how they are now saying it was a “coincidence.” Bulldinkies. It’s completely innapropriate, and I wonder who pitched the idea in the first place. Ew.

    I think the girls will be great role models, but I am saddened by all the pressure now on them.

  2. I find it funny that the Ty reps are saying that it was all a “coincidence” when they were quoted earlier as saying that the dolls were indeed “inspired” by sasha and malia.

    I think it’s wholly inappropriate to market children who are not in showbiz (having a dad as president still does not qualify) and I am so glad that Mrs. Obama came out and denounced them because it’s not okay.

    it’s ridiculous how everyone wants to make a dollar off the Obama name.

  3. There’s no way it’s a coincidence, and there’s no way using someone else’s likeness is legal with a bunch of licensing paperwork anyway.

    BUT they might get away with it. If the only change between these two dolls and the other Ty dolls is the color of their skin, it’s very possible they’ll be able to talk their way around it.

    I’m interested to see how it plays out.

  4. withOUT a bunch of licensing paperwork.
    you know what i meant 🙂

  5. Yeah, I call NO WAY. The only thing more shocking than Ty’s choice to create the dolls in the first place is their audacity to think that anyone will buy the argument that it’s just a “coincidence”. Seriously?

  6. Two words: PUBLICITY STUNT.

  7. It’s laughable that they are trying to pass this off as a “coincidence.” Good for Mrs. Obama for standing up for her children.

  8. I think they should have to give the proceeds to charity (maybe of the girls’ choosing). Either way they should have worked it out before they released everything.

  9. I agree 100% with their mother. Not ok for TY. And offensive they actually think people would believe it was a “coincidence.”

  10. I definitely agree that if they sell them, 100% of proceeds should go to a charity that the Obama’s support…. that’s just wrong. I am glad that their mom stands up for them! She seems like a great mother. Those poor girls already have enough to deal with, they really don’t need to see little dolls of themselves around… they are PEOPLE first, and deserve their childhood!

  11. It sounds to me like the dolls were OBVIOUSLY inspired by the Obama girls and while I guess there’s nothing stopping the company from going ahead with it, it sounds a tad like exploitation to me really.

  12. I thought that was going a little far. I know it’s not exactly the Obama girls, but it’s just a little creepy. I can see why Michelle was upset.

  13. I am with Mom- absolutely inappropriate! How tacky of them. I hope people boycott and refuse to buy. Oh no inspiration there- just the usage of the names… lol…

  14. Wow. I had NO idea Ty had done this, and I’m with most everyone here in thinking it’s completely inappropriate. Good for their mother for speaking out against it, even if they have a bull explanation.

  15. I saw something about this in the news, and am just flabbergasted that Ty thought they could do this. Now, I am not a lawyer or anything, but doesn’t there have to be some sort of likeness use agreement in place? It’s just creepy and inappropriate… Oh well, reason #349857923 to love Michelle Obama, right?

  16. There’s no way it’s a coincidence. Malia isn’t exactly a common name.

    They’re not rock stars; they’re children of the President. Companies don’t have the right to exploit them.

  17. ummm TY knew exactly what they were doing and obviously the dolls were created after the girls. so crazy!

  18. they are adorable girls……

    i didn’t hear about the Ty comapny – thanks for sharing!! interesting!

  19. I am totally right with you all. I would hate to be the PR person for TY right now. Can you imagine having to look the media in the eye and say that?

    I am in no way in favor of any exploitation of children, to make it worse they are trying to deny it.

    It would be different if they had asked permission, been granted, and given some to charity, BUT they did not because it looks like the Obama’s want their daughters to have a semi-normal life.

    Good for them!

  20. mom is right. Ty made a mistake and is now tryng to cover it up. I don’t think we should be allowed to advertise to children or exploit them for money making purposes!

  21. honestly, I don’t think it’s a big deal.

  22. I hope they are better roles models than a lot of the other younger kids/teens!

  23. This reminds me of a Pepsi ad campaign I saw not too long ago. It takes Obama’s Change and Yes We Can campaign and reintroduces it as Pepsi’s new slogan. I never realized that Pepsi was so Democratic, or for that matter Coke, Republican.

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