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First Family Watch: Malia and Sasha Dolls

Photo courtesy Ty.com

Remember when Beanie Babies mania was an inexplicable pop-culture craze? Now Ty Inc, creator of the Beanie Baby, is grabbing headlines again, this time with dolls they’ve dubbed Sweet Sasha and Marvelous Malia. And here’s the twist: Though the dolls resemble the Obama girls (except for their curvy figures and what looks like eye makeup), the toy company is claiming that the dolls aren't actually representative of the Obama girls, the AP reports. Ty has chosen these names because "they are beautiful names,” a company spokesperson says.

On Thursday, Michelle Obama's press secretary Katie McCormick Lelyveld said, "We believe it is inappropriate to use young private citizens for marketing purposes."

Our own Christina Vercellato, senior editor at Parenting, voiced her opinion in the Chicago Tribune: "We need to remember they are still children themselves. To kind of mass-market them as stars and turn them into dolls who are a little more mature than they are? The message: Girls should look older than they do."

Shouldn't Ty have asked the Obamas before using the girls to make money? And what about making them look older than they actually are? What do you think?

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