Daily News: The controversial dolls named after the First Daughters - which were pulled from store shelves after the First Lady complained - are one of the hottest items in the memorabilia world.
"Marvelous Malia" and "Sweet Sasha," renamed by the Ty toy company several weeks ago, are being sold on eBay and elsewhere for as much as $3,000.
"People are crazy for the dolls. It's unbelievable and borders on the irrational," said Richard Lee, 57, of Chicago. "I wouldn't be surprised if I got $5,000 for a set - it's just that hot."
One of the fortunate few, Lee scooped up six pairs of the rag dolls for the $19.98 retail price at a local store. He has already sold two sets for $1,000 each and has another on the eBay block for $1,199.
"I've been selling Beanie Babies all my life and this escapes all reason," said Lee.
When the two dolls were introduced as part of the Ty Girlz collection this year, Ty officials insisted that the names were sheer coincidence.
First Lady Michelle Obama, though, was not convinced, and told the company in a statement that it was "inappropriate to use young, private citizens for marketing purposes."
Ty quickly renamed the dolls "Marvelous Mariah" and "Sweet Sydney," and the originals were taken off the market.
Savvy sellers realized scarcity would drive the price through the roof, and they searched retailers for the dolls.
"The demand for these dolls is just insanity times insanity times insanity," said James Brolly, 47, of New Hyde Park, N.Y., who spent Monday unsuccessfully scouring stores for the dolls.
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