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Gift for tanorexics: 'Tanning bed mom' is now an action figure

May 09, 2012|By Rene Lynch
  • A Connecticut toy company is selling a new action figure it says is based on the New Jersey tanning bed mom.
A Connecticut toy company is selling a new action figure it says is based… (Associated Press / HeroBuilders )

The New Jersey woman known as the "tanning bed mom" had a chuckle when her likeness was spun off into a "Saturday Night Live"parody. But she's probably not laughing about the latest attempt to profit from her notoriety.

A Connecticut novelty company called Hero Builders has begun selling a “tanorexic action figure" that it says is based on Patricia Krentcil.

But here's the problem: It looks nothing like her. In fact, the doll barely looks like a woman. It does bear some resemblance, however, to a transgendered Frankenstein aiming for the Barbie look. (Seriously, what is with those shoes?)

Nonetheless, the phones at Hero Builder have been ringing off the hook with queries about the doll, says the receptionist there. No word on whether those calls are all from members of, ahem, the media, or actual customers.

The website bills the doll as "the perfect gift for your tanned bff's."

For those of you who have spent the last week on Mars without an Internet connection, Krentcil is the latest media sensation. The 44-year-old mom pleaded not guilty to charges that she allowed her 5-year-old daughter to use a tanning booth, in violation of state law prohibiting anyone under 14 from using such devices.

But those allegations are a blip on the radar. The reason the media can't get enough of Krentcil is because of her burnished brown face.

Krentcil is such a fan of the look that she even piles on the makeup to make her skin look even tanner. (That's what her husband helpfully told reporters who were camping outside her front door for a glimpse.)

Krentcil and her attorney predict that the charges against her will ultimately be dismissed. Krentcil says that despite her love of the fake bake, she'd never allow her young daughter to do the same.

The flap started when the 5-year-old went to school with what appeared to be sunburn. School officials asked what happened, and the girl said she'd been to the tanning salon with her mom. But Krentcil says the girl has it all wrong, that she suffered sunburn the old-fashioned way: by being out too long in the sun without proper protection.

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