Toy maker accused of exploiting Obama children

An American toy company which makes the popular Beanie Babies dolls has been accused of exploiting Barack Obama's daughters after calling the latest products in its range "Sweet Sasha" and "Marvellous Malia".

The 12-inch dolls were released this month in time for his inauguration. They are part of the company’s TyGirlz collection, which includes Bubbly Britney (modelled on Britney Spears) and Lucky Lindsay (Lohan).

Sweet Sasha and Marvellous Malia are the first African-American dolls in the range, but they were criticised by the White House, which said it was "inappropriate to use young, private citizens for marketing purposes". However, A Ty spokeswoman said there was nothing on the dolls referring to the Obamas.