Was it coincidental that when Ty—yes the same company that brought us Beanie Babies—launched the first African-American dolls in their plush Ty Girlz series they just happened to have the same names as newly elected President Barack Obama’s daughters, Sasha and Malia? The company maintains that is the case.
However, First Lady, Michelle Obama was reported as feeling that the dolls, and their happenstance names were in poor taste, and by extension her daughters were being used to market Ty’s dolls. In response to Mrs. Obama’s outrage, Ty has decided to retire “Sweet Sasha” and “Marvelous Malia,” and donate proceeds that they made in the sale of the dolls to charity.
The company will continue to manufacture the plush African-American dolls, but the names of the controversial softies have been changed to “Sweet Sydney” and “Marvelous Mariah.”