It's hard for any parent to shield their children from overzealous and exploitative marketing ploys and gimmicks. But pity Michelle Obama, who - less than a week into settling into the White House -- had to respond to the newly released 'Marvelous Malia' and 'Sweet Sasha' dolls created by Ty, the same Oakbrook, IL- based toy company that makes Beanie Babies.
These are tough economic times and the Beanie Baby craze is long since over - but still - is this really necessary? Couldn't have Ty's marketing and licensing executives just picked up the phone? "Hey Michelle, we realize that you're a busy woman and your daughters are already in the spotlight more than you'd like them to be, but would it be all right with you if we exploited their new-found fame with a series of products in their likeness? We'll start with the dolls, move onto a book series, and then maybe a theme park ride..."
Okay, better to ask forgiveness than permission. The dolls are kind of cute and I'm sure sales will be strong, especially since they're getting all this free publicity over the controversy.