The company that makes the popular Beanie Babies is retiring the names "Marvelous Malia" and "Sweet Sasha" from its Ty Girlz collection.
CEO Ty Warner of Oak Brook-based Ty Inc. says in a statement Tuesday that the dolls have been renamed "Marvelous Mariah" and "Sweet Sydney."
Warner says Ty is changing the monikers in deference to the Obama family.
The Associated Press reported on Wednesday that Ty Dolls, the company responsible for the 1990's Beanie Babies craze, is trying to cash in on a new trend with a pair of "Sasha" and "Malia" dolls. The company insists there's no connection to the Obama daughters. They just chose what they thought were "beautiful names."
"There's nothing on the dolls that refers to the Obama girls," spokeswoman Tania Lundeen said. "It would not be fair to say they are exact replications of these girls. They are not."
Michelle Obama doesn't seem to be buying it, Chicago Business reports.
First lady Michelle Obama is not pleased about the marketing of a pair of dolls that bear the same names as her daughters.
"We believe it is inappropriate to use young private citizens for marketing purposes," Ms. Obama's spokeswoman said.
The dolls were introduced in early January, and a limited supply has been shipped to retailers.