Ty renames Obama dolls

Feb. 3, 2009 at 7:41 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- Dolls resembling U.S. President Barack Obama's two daughters have been renamed by the company, which insists the toys are not based on the first children.

The Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday that the "Marvelous Malia" and "Sweet Sasha" plush dolls were renamed "Marvelous Mariah" and "Sweet Sydney."

Ty Warner, founder and chief executive officer of Ty, Inc., said the earlier names had been retired "in deference to the wishes of the first family."

A Ty spokeswoman had originally said the Sasha and Malia dolls were based on the Obama sisters but later claimed they were not.

The $9.99 dolls debuted early last month. The newspaper said despite their new names, the dolls themselves look exactly the same.

Lawyers for the president say they're trying to limit commercial use of his family's image.

"Our lawyers are working on developing a policy that will protect the presidential image while being careful not to squelch the overwhelming enthusiasm that the public has for the president," said White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

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