The wanted Ms. Rubin carries a $50,000 reward and “should be considered armed and dangerous,” her wanted poster says. The doll Ms. Rubin costs $95 and can be bought with pet kittens and a toy challah bread.
How did the marketing slip happen? Julie Parks, a spokeswoman for American Girl, said that the company originally applied to register the name with the United States trademark office in 2004.
“Rebecca was one of the most popular names for Jewish girls in 1905, when Rebecca would have been born,” Ms. Parks said. “When researching last names, Rubin was on a list of a handful of other names that would have been appropriate for a Russian-Jewish family but, honestly, Rubin rose to the top because we liked the alliteration and knew that girls could easily pronounce it.”
The company was not aware of the outlaw Rebecca Rubin until last week, when Heeb magazine’s blog noted the similar name. “We feel confident that people will clearly see this as nothing more than what it is — an unrelated coincidence,” Ms. Parks said.
The F.B.I., on the other hand, is hoping the publicity for the doll will bring the flesh-and-blood Ms. Rubin, believed to be in her native Canada, to justice. “Any publicity that gets the word out that our Rebecca Rubin is wanted on various charges is certainly beneficial,” said Beth Anne Steele, a spokeswoman for the F.B.I. in Oregon.