Tanned mom action figure created by Connecticut company

Fri May 11, 2012 7:22pm EDT
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By Jonathan Allen

NEW YORK (Reuters) - She doesn't walk or talk, but this doll is really, really tan.

A novelty toy company has created an action figure modeled on the deeply bronzed New Jersey mother charged with child endangerment and accused of taking her then 5-year-old daughter into a tanning booth.

Herobuilders, based in Oxford, Connecticut, began selling the $29.95 action figure on Monday in the hope of capitalizing on the sudden prominence of Patricia Krentcil, 44, whose extreme tanning story and shocking photo went viral last week, prompting a skit on the TV show "Saturday Night Live" and online parodies.

"We used that fantastic kind of orange look that some people get," Emil Vicale, president of Herobuilders, told Reuters, describing the color chosen for the action figure's face.

The figure also has bright yellow hair and is dressed in a black jacket and pants.

Vicale forecast sales, strictly online, of 500 to 1,000 units.

He said the action figure was meant to be humorous, adding that he was reluctant to discuss what he called the "sadness" of Krentcil's alleged actions. Krentcil has said tanning is her hobby. Dermatologists say excessive tanning could be the sign of an addiction.

"It's none of my damn business," Vicale said. "I make action figures. I'm not going to go into this woman's thought process."   Continued...

An action figure by Herobuilders modeled on the deeply bronzed New Jersey mother Patricia Krentcil is shown in this image released to Reuters on May 9, 2012. REUTERS/Herobuilders/Handout