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Page last updated at 00:10 GMT, Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Sasha and Malia dolls 'retired'

Marvelous Malia and Sweet Sasha dolls on sale in Chicago in January
The gift shop at the Chicago Ritz Carlton sold out of its first shipment

A US toy company is renaming its Malia and Sasha dolls, in a move welcomed by First Lady Michelle Obama.

The dolls, first called Marvelous Malia and Sweet Sasha, will now be named Marvelous Mariah and Sweet Sydney.

Dollmaker Ty Inc says it changed the monikers in deference to the Obama family after Mrs Obama said that using her daughters' names was inappropriate.

It had said the dolls were not modelled on the first daughters, but the names suited dolls they were already making.

"We appreciate the company's response to this matter," said Mrs Obama's press secretary, Katie McCormick Lelyveld.

The dolls were part of the Ty Girlz Collection, and went on sale in January, joining others in the same range called Bubbly Britney, Lucky Lindsay and Precious Paris.

But the company's website now profiles the Marvelous Malia and Sweet Sasha dolls under a red banner that reads, "Retired."

Profits from sales of the original dolls will be donated to charity.

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