Ty Inc. has faded into relative obscurity since the lofty heights it reached during Beanie Baby mania, but now it's angling for a comeback.
In 2007 Ty introduced the TYGirlz collection, and now it's adding two new dolls: Sweet Sasha and Marvelous Malia. Of course the company says that the names were chosen because they are "beautiful names" and denies that the dolls are meant to be exact replicas of Obama's kids.
That aside, I predict that these dolls could be big hits. At 12-inches and $9.99 each, they are a pretty good recession toy: durable, cute and they won't break the bank. The Obamas have already lent a hand to the fortunes of J. Crew, and there are no doubt hundreds of other companies hoping to make a quick buck off the wave of popularity the new first family is riding.
Sweet Sasha might not be the next Beanie Baby, but it certainly has more potential than any other first family doll in recent memory. If you're interested, there's a George W. Bush and family paper doll set available on Amazon. Current sales rank? 419,543.
From the makers of Beanie Babies: Sasha and Malia dolls