Obama girls get their own dolls

Jan. 21, 2009 at 9:35 PM
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CHICAGO, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- A U.S. toymaker is hoping to make a buck off the nation's first daughters, Sasha and Malia Obama, selling dolls that look like them.

Ty Inc. started marketing a limited number of "Sweet Sasha" and "Marvelous Malia" dolls this month as part of its TyGirlz Collection, Crain's Chicago Business reported Wednesday.

It wasn't known how the girls' parents -- President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama -- feel about the dolls made in their daughters' images.

"We certainly hope that they like them," a spokeswoman for the Westmont, Ill., toy company said.

Ty Inc., perhaps best-known for its line of plush toys known as Beanie Babies, started the TyGirlz the line in 2007.

"We hope TyGirlz are as popular as Beanie Babies," the spokeswoman said.

Laura Leve, manager of Lamont's Gift Shop in Chicago, received a shipment of the dolls last week and had sold two. But she said she expects interest to perk up.

One lawyer says the Obamas could pursue royalties from sales of the dolls, Crain's reported. But Chicago lawyer Phillip Barengolts said while public figures have a right to control the use of their likeness, "Realistically it is not something (the Obamas) would want to challenge, as long as the dolls are not offensive in any way."

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