Ty, Inc. likely hoped controversy would stoke sales of its Sasha and Malia dolls, preposterously claimed unrelated to the president's daughters. But the company overshot: you do not cross the First Lady.
Ty is the company behind the once-wildly-popular Beanie Babies, and it was totally obvious its intent with the newly-released "Sweet Sasha" and "Marvelous Malia"installments of the "TyGirlz Collection" was to create another mass doll craze that would capitalize on the popularity of the First Family. Telling an incredulous media the dolls had nothing to do with the Obamas generated free advertising even as it protected the company legally.
But turnabout is fair play: Now Michelle Obama is leveraging her tremendous popularity as the chicest First Lady in decades to make the company pay a hefty PR price for its stunt. Her spokeswoman slammed the dolls in the Times:
“We feel it is inappropriate to use young, private citizens for marketing purposes,” Katie McCormick Lelyveld, Mrs. Obama’s press secretary, said in a statement on Saturday.
There you have it: Buy these dolls only if you hate Hope, Change, Michelle and Sasha and Malia Obama, and being, um, "appropriate."