Malia and Sasha Beanie Babies Renamed Mariah and Sydney

Filed under: Celeb Kids, Celeb Parents

Beanie Baby manufacturer Ty Inc. learned this week that when you try to capitalize on the fame of new, adorable First Kids, you better check with the First Mama beforehand.

Shortly after President Barack Obama's inauguration, Ty released two new Beanie Baby TyGirlz dolls -- Sweet Sasha and Marvelous Malia. According to Ty, the naming of the dolls was sheer coincidence, as was the timing of their release. But while little girls and collectors may have been snatching up the dolls, the Obamas weren't buying Ty's story.

"We feel it is inappropriate to use young, private citizens for marketing purposes," Obama's press secretary said over the weekend. Translation? Leave our daughters alone.

Sasha and Malia Obama

    Sasha Obama Takes Her Ugly Doll to School
    The newest Obama trend, courtesy of Sasha, 7, is an Ugly Doll by the name of Babo's Bird. Photographed with the stuffed toy on her backpack, Sassy Sasha sure is trés-cool for school.

    Callie Shell, HO/Change.gov

    Malia and Sasha's Excellent Adventure
    Malia, 10 (right) and Sasha, 7, wave to the crowd at the 2008 election night rally in Chicago. Politics are child's play to these sweethearts, and we can't wait to see them come into their own.

    Jae C. Hong, AP

    Sasha and Malia, kissing her mother Michelle, get ready for the first day of school in Washington, DC, as President-elect looks on. The Obama family are staying at the Hay Adams Hotel prior to their move into the White House.

    Callie Shell, HO / Change.gov

    US President-elect Barack Obama orders shave ice treats with his daughter Malia and Sasha during an afternoon outing in December 2008 in Hawai'i Kai, HI.

    Tim Sloan, AFP / Getty Images

    The girls kept it casual on their Hawaiian vacation, enjoying days at the beach with friends and shaved ice treats and a dolphin show with their dad.

    Bauer-Griffin / Getty Images

    Malia gives Barack Obama a big hug -- followed by one from Sasha -- at the Honolulu Zoo on December 30, 2008.

    Tim Sloan, AFP / Getty Images

    Sasha (left) and Malia Obama stayed in Chicago for Thanksgiving 2008, squeezing in some volunteer work with their dad at a food bank at St. Columbanus Parish and School. The President-elect said he wants the girls "to learn the importance of how fortunate they are, and to make sure they're giving back."

    Jim Watson, AFP / Getty Images

    Sasha and Malia walk to school in Chicago after their father dropped them off in November 2008. Sasha takes gymnastics and tap classes while it's soccer, dance, drama and (by the looks of the case) flute for Malia.

    Charles Dharapak, AP

    The Obama family wave during a rally at the Ohio State House in Columbus, OH, two days prior to Barack's historic election to the White House.

    Getty Images

    The Obama clan leave a restaurant in Chicago in August 2008. We know where the President-elect stands on taxes and bailouts, but about comfort food vs cuisine?

    Emmanuel Dunand, AFP / Getty Images


Ty Inc. has (wisely) deferred to the Obama's, and the dolls have been renamed "Marvelous Mariah" and "Sweet Sydney." The company will also donate all proceeds from previous sales of the dolls to charity.

It's hard not to respect the hard line Michelle Obama takes with her girls and her attempts to keep their lives normal. Considering the frenzy surrounding the family, Malia and Sasha could easily be commercialized like any other celebrity kid -- think Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers.

Speaking of the Jonas Brothers -- there'll be no more late night surprise visits from the girls' favorite boy band. Mrs. O has put a stop to all the celebrity hobnobbing now that the inauguration festivities have come to an end. Instead, the girls are focusing on school, chores, and of course, playdates. "Michelle is spending a lot of time talking to the girls about the new school and she's reached out to fellow parents at Sidwell," says a family friend.

Malia and Sasha may not appreciate the tight boundaries their parents are putting on and around them now, but the well-adjusted adults they're sure to become will.

Put yourself in the Obama's shoes: Would you have let the Beanie Baby dolls be released? Or would you have insisted, like Michelle Obama did, that the dolls were inappropriate?

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.