Sindy, first made in 1962 by the Pedigree Company, is the best-selling 'teenage' fashion doll ever produced in Great Britain.

 

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Sindy Dolls


SINDY DOLLS

 Pedigree's Sindy was the great success story of the 1960s toy industry, cleverly catching the mood of the new teenage culture.

 Sindy, first made in 1962 by the Pedigree Company, is the best-selling 'teenage' fashion doll ever produced in Great Britain.

 She is still on sale today, although Pedigree sold the Sindy licence to toy giant Hasbro in 1987, and her popularity with modern children has now been somewhat eclipsed by her rival 'Barbie'.

 Nowadays, many doll collectors are re-living their not-so-distant youth, and are finding that early Sindy dolls, and their many outfits and accessories, are sought after and highly prized.

 The original Sindy of 1962 was 30cm/12in high. She had movable arms, legs and head, painted features and blue, side-glancing eyes. Her thick, rooted hair was styled with bouncy short curls and was available in blonde, auburn or dark brown.

 Originally the arms and legs were straight and non-bending, but bendable limbs were introduced by 1966. Eventually 'Sindy's hair switch' appeared - long, stylable hair on a red hair band, available in the same range of colours.

CHANGING WITH THE TIMES

 There have been several restylings of the basic Sindy model and several variations. In 1971, for example, a walking Sindy was introduced ('hold her waist and make her walk along').

 In 1982 there was a 'Sunshine Sindy' with short blonde hair and, when Hasbro took over the doll in 1987, they gave Sindy's eyes a more made-up look.

 Each doll was sold wearing a basic outfit (by 1971 there was a choice of six) in a box with a stand.

 Pedigree's brilliant idea in the marketing of Sindy was that they made available a wide and ever-changing range of outfits and accessories. Once in possession of the doll, young Sindy fans avidly collected these.

 Some items, such as individual skirts, were priced to suit pocket-money spenders, but at the top of the range was a fully-decorated town house complete with lift.

 This must have been the stuff of many little girls' dreams, but only those with rich or very generous relatives were likely to own one.

 In the 1960s sales were dominated by the outfits, which kept pace with changing fashions in the real world. There were single garment packs, complete outfit packs (such as 'Winter Holiday') and also special items such as a student nurse's uniform and a bridesmaid's dress. By the late 1960s fashion conscious Sindy could be dressed in mini, midi and maxi-length skirts!

 In the 1970s sales shifted slightly in favour of furniture and accessories. 'Sindy's Super Show' included scenery, catwalk and revolving turntable for fashion shows.

 The 'Carry Case' was a vinyl briefcase that opened to reveal a fully-equipped hotel room. Sindy was indeed the doll who had everything.

FAMILY OF DOLLS


Sindy's boyfriend Paul c.1966

 She also had companions, including her own horse 'Peanuts', her boyfriend 'Paul', introduced in about 1966, and her little sister 'Patch'.

 Other characters in the range included 'Mitzi', 'Vicki' and 'June'. June was not for sale ; she was given away for a while in the early 1970s in exchange for a number of heart-shaped tokens cut from Sindy doll and outfit boxes. Sindy's latest friends, 'Mark' and 'Marie', were introduced in 1986.

SINDY DOLL COLLECTOR'S NOTES

 Sindy dolls have been sold in their millions from 1962 to the present day. They are not difficult to find, although the earlier dolls are generally the most eagerly collected.


Sindy Active in box sold for close to 100 pounds sterling.

 The most valuable ones are in mint condition, wearing their original outfits and in their original boxes. Ideally, doll and outfit sets should contain all the accessories as listed on the box, but it is unusual to find this, as the small plastic items such as shoes, sunglasses etc were easily lost once the pack was opened.

 Dolls and outfits produced for special occasions or for a limited period are especially valuable. An example is the 1977 'Royal Occasion Sindy' (marking the Queen's Silver Jubilee in that year); this doll wore a formal cream gown and a matching Ascot picture hat.

 Sindy's doll friends and their outfits were produced in smaller numbers than the central Sindy merchandise and are therefore sought after by collectors.

 Similarly, the larger furniture items were produced in smaller quantities, being relatively expensive to buy, and are therefore quite rare today.

THE REAL THING

 Many other firms produced cheaper imitation Sindy outfits for the standard 30cm/12in teenage dolls, which were not necessarily of the same high quality as the genuine article. Authentic Sindy garments have small, white label sewn in, with the words 'GENUINE SINDY MADE IN HONG KONG' embroidered in black.

 A variety of other Sindy items are of great interest to the collector, such as the contemporary booklets illustrating the range of outfits that were then available.

 A golden chain bracelet with a Sindy logo medallion was given away free with every Sindy doll from 1968. Charms to add to the bracelet were given away with the other dolls in the range.

 A handkerchief featuring a picture of Sindy was awarded by Pedigree to competition winners in the 1960s. Sindy paper-doll books and 'Sindy Keep Busy Books' with puzzles and games were available.

 Owners could enrol in the 'Sindy Club', and receive a pendant medallion, membership scroll and 'Sindy's newsletter'.

 Eventually a brooch replaced the free pendant. Knitting and sewing patterns for Sindy outfits were produced by other manufacturers.

 





The History of Sindy: Britain's Top Teenage Doll 1962-1994
Colette Mansell;
Paperback

Sindy's Wardrobe Book
Pedigree Books

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by Ian Ellis

Expert Collecting Guide
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