Look out Malibu Barbie -- there's a new toy on the block! Inspired by New Jersey resident Patricia Krentcil, the oddly-toned action figure is produced by HeroesBuilder.com. Krentcil, 44, made news when she faced second-degree charges of child endangerment after allegedly taking her six-year-old daughter to a tanning booth. After a teacher reported the child's sunburn and her claim that her mother took her to an indoor tanning salon, Essex County officials filed charges.
Krentcil hasn't been hiding out since her run in with the law. She's been spoofed by Saturday Night Live, featured on Good Morning America, and now has an action figure. Krentcil denies the allegations she faces and says her accusers are "jealous, fat and…ugly." A mother of five, Krentcil reportedly tans five days a week or on average 20 times a month.
Some New Jersey tanning salons have responded to the unwanted exposure by officially banning Patricia Krentcil and using her likeness as a warning about over-tanning.
The Skin Cancer Foundation warns tanners, "A tan, whether you get it on the beach, in a bed, or through incidental exposure, is bad news, any way you acquire it. Tans are caused by harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or tanning lamps, and if you have one, you've sustained skin cell damage."
Connecticut based HeroBuilders offer the Krentcil doll for $29.95 saying that they will only produce 1000 toys. This isn't the first time HeroBuilders has taken advantage of publicity trends. Former Governor Sarah Palin, President Barack Obama and Newt Gingrich have had their likeness immortalized with an action figure. Owner Emil Vicale seemed thrilled by the publicity his doll has received tweeting, "Herobuilders in the news from boston to Budapest."Vicale says that the doll isn't his best work but is a reasonable facsimile of the overly-tanned Krentcil.