Michelle Obama boils over on beanies. First lady blasts plush dolls of kids.
From the Boston Herald. Byline: Jessica Fargen
First lady Michelle Obama is hopping mad after a toy company turned her adorable daughters’ likenesses into cheap collectibles, even as the for-profit firm tried to duck claims that the new bean-filled plush dolls are made to look like the popular first children.
Michelle Obama was so perturbed by the dolls, she issued a statement through her spokeswoman, Katie McCormick Lelyveld.
“We believe it is inappropriate to use young, private citizens for marketing purposes,” the statement said.
The cuddly creations from Ty Inc. - called Marvelous Malia and Sweet Sasha - had one psychologist using the word “sickening.” They are being heavily marketed on the company’s Web site.
“The only people this benefits is the people making money off it,” said Charles Figley, a psychologist and Tulane University professor of social work, referring to Ty, which has already made billions off its Beanie Baby craze.
He urged parents to voice their disdain for the dolls - which cost $9.99 apiece. “It is very unfortunate and I hope something can be done. My hope is that the pubilc will speak up and will not let this happen,” he said.
Ty spokeswoman Tania Lundeen did not return calls from the Herald to her work and home yesterday. The company has flip-flopped on whether Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, were the models for the latest in the “Tygirlz” line.
She told the Chicago Sun-Times that the Obama girls inspired the dolls. “How can we resist?” she said.
How could they resist indeed? Hear that sound? It is the siren call of cash registers racking up sales for Ty Inc. Welcome to crass capitalism Madam First Lady, it is only going to get worse.