Beanie Babies Maker Renames Sasha, Malia Dolls

AP, February 4, 2009

The company that makes the popular Beanie Babies is retiring the names “Marvelous Malia” and “Sweet Sasha” from its Ty Girlz collection–and first lady Michelle Obama is pleased.

The dolls have been renamed “Marvelous Mariah” and “Sweet Sydney,” Chief Executive Ty Warner of Oak Brook-based Ty Inc. said in a statement Tuesday.

The original names were inspired by what Warner called “this historic time in our nation’s history,” but he said the dolls were not intended to bear the likeness of President Barack Obama’s daughters.

The switch is in deference to the first family after Michelle Obama said using her daughters’ names was inappropriate, Warner said. Profits from sales of the original dolls will be donated to charity.

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