According to the folks over there at CNN (who are masters at stating the obvious, so they should have no trouble at all with this story) who talked to the spokeswoman for TY, they were told, "Information concerning the development of our products and how we come up with names, how we select them, how we trademark -- that's considered as proprietary. I can't go any further with that question." That is apparently what they were actually told that by a one Senior Vice President of Sales, Tania Lundeen. This is the point where the person from CNN presumably shouted, "Liar! Liar! Pants on fire!"
She continued to pull excuses out of her ass by saying, "Sasha and Malia are beautiful names that worked very well with the dolls we were making." Well, yes, of course they did. Sasha and Malia are very beautiful names and definitely do work very well with the dolls that you were making....to look like the Obama girls, Malia and Sasha! Funny how that worked out, eh?
She also said that "The dolls follow 'the exact patterns' used for the other Ty Girlz dolls, so we did not make the dolls to physically resemble either of the Obama girls." Um, wait. So you didn't do ANYTHING differently to these two dolls than you had done to the other dolls that you make? Nothing?? Nothing that would unintentionally mislead a consumer to believe that the dolls, Malia and Sasha, are intended to represent the other Malia and Sasha? Of the White House Malia and Sasha? Huh. Interesting. Let's compare, shall we?
Here are the Marvelous Malia Not Obama doll and the Sweet Sasha Not Obama doll:
Yeah, we're nuts. WE the consumers are the ones that are reading too much into this whole thing. Any more dolls we can look at, just to make sure that our misinterpretation is etched in stone? Oh, good! More dolls! Behold!
What exactly does that mean? That they don't want to "...interfere with how kids use their imaginations to play with them?" Any doll is going to look like something. And that something is going to probably play a role in how the child plays with the doll. Any name that you give a doll could relate to a specific individual; it just depends on the child. But why is that a bad thing again? What are they afraid will happen with the Malia and Sasha dolls? That children will have the dolls watch their dad become the first half-white President of the United States? Yeah, that would be tragic, all right. What is wrong with people?
She also pointed out, "There's nothing on the dolls that refers to the Obama girls. It would not be fair to say they are exact replications of these girls. They are not." Um, your toys are made out of cloth and some sort of polyfiber filling which resemble small beans (hence, the name). How much of an "exact replication" do you expect to get with cloth and fiberfill? Not much! Does it HAVE to be an "exact replication" to know what you're implying? I don't think it does! Ma'am. And I'm getting a bit irritated with your insistence that one has nothing to do with the other when they both clearly do!
This is a blatant example of a disturbing and annoying trend that has become more and more prevalent in the past couple of years. It's the trend where a reason or an explanation is given for an occurrence and even though the reason is ridiculous, improbable, impossible or all three, it is expected that it will be accepted as how things are because "they said so". That doesn't cut it. There's a difference between "explaining" and "lying". But for some reason, if you're "lying" and trying to make it come across as "explaining", well then, that's OK. It's really not. Ever.
The Ty folks must be worried about litigation or something like that because I can't figure out why one would be so blatantly untruthful about the obvious. And if you're that worried about litigation, you probably shouldn't have done whatever it is that you did in the first place if your only defense against any sort of accusation is going to be "Nuh-uh!"