Now that we're friends, let's share my world.
In 1976 Dunbee Combex, Pedigree's parent company, acquired the United States and Hong Kong holdings of the American toy firm Louis Marx & Co from the Quaker Oats Company (having previously acquired the UK subsidiary back in 1967). Louis Marx had sold his US company to Quaker in 1974, and Quaker had hoped that the Marx and the Fisher-Price toy companies (which they already owned) would do well together but it didn't work, and in early 1976, Quaker sold its struggling Marx division to the British conglomerate.
The acquisition of Marx gave the renamed Dunbee Combex Marx (DCM) access to the US toy market providing them with the opportunity of launching Sindy in North America. The British company worked hard on the US launch. Marx Sindy was given a new bold, bright branding which used predominantly yellow packaging. It was conspicuously labelled as a “Marx” instead of “Pedigree” to take advantage of the familiar local brand name. She also had a new catchphrase “Sindy a whole world to share” and a new logo.
Sindy herself was a blonde active doll with the first of the new 2nd Gen head mouldings. She was also given a new black friend called Gayle. Most of her outfits were the UK outfits tweaked and repackaged to accompany Sindy in America. Many of Sindy's scenesetters were remodelled and renamed to appeal to the American market and interestingly the obvious Sindy “S” branding on some of the furniture was removed and replaced by the less obvious new Marx Sindy heart logo. Perhaps this was to make the furniture more appealing to those little girls who preferred their own US teenage doll, Barbie. Barbie did not have such wide range of furniture, and given the limited range of Sindy dolls and outfits and the quite extensive range of scenesetters we have often speculated that the selling of Sindy in the US was perhaps based on the sales of scenesetters, rather than the doll itself. Certainly her new catchphrase captured this theme and we have heard from American doll collectors who have told us they had Barbie dolls and Sindy furniture as little girls.
According to the Marx marketing literature, “Sindy and her world” was tested in the Spring of 1978 in eight cities (Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Springfield in Missouri) and within four weeks each item sold beyond the company's “own expectations”. On September 11th 1978, Sindy was launched with a nationwide television campaign which emphasised sharing in Sindy's world.This is what the marketing campaign to retailers said:
"Welcome to Sindy's World! Sindy and her World is a new idea in dolls. Marx discovered that little girls all over America were ready for a doll that would be their "friend"... a doll they could call their very own. We gave them Sindy, and they loved her. As we said in her commercials, sharing is what Sindy is all about. Children and their mothers bought Sindy and her bedroom, living room, dining room, kitchen, bathroom, horse, and costumes. They bought Sindy's World."
Sindy was sold in the US and Canada. We can find few differences between the US and Canadian products and we would be keen to hear if any collectors have noticed anything different? The most discernible difference is that the Canadian packaging and accompanying booklet was bilingual using both French and English and they have an "F" suffix to the reference (shown right).
The 1978 Marx Sindy products are quite well documented and we have been able to assemble most of this page using the 1978 Sindy catalogue that came with the doll. But by 1979 as DCM started to struggle financially the product list gets more difficult to follow and we have not been able to find a complete catalogue for that year. However we do know other scenesetters and UK outfits packaged for the North American market were released. If you have a Marx Sindy product which we have not listed please do get in touch, we hope that between us all we can at last assemble a complete Marx Sindy page for future reference.
The filing for bankruptcy by DCM “doing business as” Louis Marx & Co in the Southern District of New York in February 1980 sounded the death knell for the Marx Sindy. Pedigree Sindy continued to be sold for a few years more in North America, now packaged as a Pedigree product and licensed and distributed firstly by Wesco International Inc. (from Jackson, Michigan) and then Fischer America Inc. (from Fairfield, New Jersey) in the US and by the Arlake Corporation (from Toronto, Ontario) in Canada.
For her North American launch Sindy was given a new outfit, a cotton calf-length gypsy-style dress. It had a printed floral pattern with brown, dark salmon pink, steel blue and tan flowers with cream stalks and leaves on a dark blue background. It had short elasticated puff sleeves and a round elasticated neckline trimmed with cream nylon lace. The skirt had one tier and the seam was decorated with the same cream nylon lace as was used for the neckline. As a finishing touch around the waist was a woven nylon fibre belt which was stitched into the side seams of the opening at the back. The dress fastened at the back with two sewn-on round-shaped metal snap fasteners. For her feet Sindy wore round-toed court shoes. She can be found Mint in Box (MIB) wearing either cream or white shoes. She also wore white nylon pants and came with a white rectangular ballerina stand
This dress was also used for a Schuco-Gold boxed Sindy doll (Ref 14-4816) and a 1981 UK/Continental boxed doll called 'Springtime Sindy' (Ref 44742 - Int Ref 44640). Variations of this dress have been found where the background is dark brown or black. We do not know whether these variations relate to a particular doll or whether these differences are merely the result of the use of different dye lots.
Gayle wore an all-in-one pinafore style dress with a faux blouse. Her pretty V-neck dress was made of a printed cotton material with a deep red background adorned with royal blue, green, white and yellow flowers with alternate coloured stigmas/centres decorated with green leaves. It had an A-line skirt and it looked like a separate overdress. The faux blouse was made from white cotton, it had a polo neck which was stitched a yolk cut from of the same white material and it had short puff sleeves which were gathered with elastic and attached to the pinafore dress at the armholes. The white cotton fabric was cleverly stitched and attached to the underside of the bodice of the pinafore to look like a separate blouse. This dress fastened at the back of the neck with one sewn-on metal snap fastener. She wore white round-toed court shoes, white nylon pants and came with a white rectangular ballerina stand.
Her window box was the same as Sindy's with the same reference, but it included a sticker stuck to the cellophane on the front of the box identifying her as Sindy's friend. There was also a different pink heart-shaped sticker that was used for some of Gayle's boxes which said "Sindy's friend Gayle" (and we would be very pleased to show this if anyone has one).
Although this doll is Mint in Box (MIB) you can see she has a green bow in her hair, we cannot establish whether with this came with the doll or was added later (we think the latter). We have also read that this doll came with a half-slip petticoat but this Gayle does not have one. We would be very interested to hear from other collectors who have a Gayle to learn what they have found.
As well as Sindy and her new friend Gayle, the lucky Canadians also had the opportunity to buy Sindy dressed in other outfits. Here is a lovely bunches Sindy dressed in the 1980s UK Pedigree outfit Gingham Girl. This outfit consisted of a bright red bib and brace cotton skirt and contrasting red & white gingham check shirt. The knee-length A-line skirt had a front kick-pleat, bib and braces which went over her shoulders and which were sewn to the back of the waist. By way of decoration there were two faux patch pockets made of red & white gingham check sewn at hip height to the front of the skirt. This skirt fastened at the back of the waist with one square-shaped sewn-on metal snap-fastener. Matching the pockets was a simple shirt in red & white gingham check which contrasted beautifully with the skirt. Again made of cotton, this shirt has half-length sleeves trimmed with sewn-on cuffs and a sewn-on collar. It fastened just under the neck with one square-shaped sewn-on metal snap-fastener. For her feet Sindy wore red round-toed court shoes.
We would be keen to document any other boxed Marx Sindy dolls which came in different outfits.
We think this set is circa 1979, and it consisted of a Marx Sindy dressed in the 1979 Sindy Sweet Dreams boxed doll nightdress together with her Marx bed (see below) with new bed linen in a blue sprig floral pattern on a white background. We have seen the bed linen described as a French Provençal design but we have never been able to find out any more about this version, or indeed whether it only came with this gift set. We don't even know if Sindy's more usual aqua blue plaid bed linen was ever packaged for this set. Whether this is set was available for purchase in Canada is also unknown.
Sindy's nightdress (which was described as a “negligee”) was floor-length with long sleeves. It was made of light blue nylon with a layer of light blue floral patterned net nylon stitched on top. The neckline was trimmed with a layer of wide white nylon lace bound with a strip of the blue nylon. The same white lace was used to trim the elasticated cuffs and hem of nightdress. The neck was embellished with a sewn-on light blue satin ribbon. The nightdress fastened at the back of the neck with one sewn-on metal snap fastener. This outfit came with a pair of light blue furry slippers, which was a pair of Sindy's white slip on mules with a piece of light blue faux fur glued over the top.
If you do have this gift set or you know any more about it, please do get in touch.
“Lets settle down in our favorite chairs and let music from “play” records and tapes fill the air. With a real live radio for real live fun, we'll dance and we'll sing when the party's begun.”
Sindy's 1978 original living room consisted of three pieces of furniture – her Hi-Fi and a settee and armchair. It was joined in 1979 by a reclining armchair.
1978 Music Centre - Centre de Musique (US Ref 1242 - Canadian Ref 1242F)
This product is almost identical to Pedigree Sindy's 1976 Hi-Fi (Ref 44545). It was a free standing piece of furniture combining her radio, record player and tape deck together with integral speakers. This one was also made of creamy white plastic with an smoky perspex “up and over” lid, but it differed from the British version in that the moulding and painted dials were all picked out and painted with gold paint. It also had a real AM Radio, 3 cassettes, 3 long play record albums, earphones for Sindy and real earphones for owner. It required a 9-volt battery for the AM radio.
1978 Love Seat - Causeuse (US Ref 1244 - Canadian Ref 1244F)
Sindy's North American settee was completely different from her British version. It was quite formal looking and very upright in design. It was made from burgundy red moulded vinyl plastic with a high button back, upright buttoned arm rests, and two moulded cushioned seats.
1978 Armchair - Fauteuil (US Ref 1245 - Canadian Ref 1245F)
The armchair matched the design of the 'Love Seat' and was similarly made of burgundy red moulded vinyl plastic with a high button back, upright buttoned arm rests, and one moulded cushioned seat.
Unfortunately we do not have the armchair to show you and we would be very pleased to hear from anyone who could help us with a photo of this scenesetter.
1979 La-Z-Boy Chair - Chaise La-Z-Boy (US Ref 1251 - Canadian Ref 1251F)
This 1979 addition to Sindy's lounge suite was reproduced with the permission of the La-Z-Boy Chair Company. It matched the 'Love Seat' and 'Armchair' in design and it had a reclining back and a side arm or lever that activated a lift-up leg rest.
Interestingly, the 1979 La-Z-Boy box does not show the Armchair in the photograph of the Family Room Scene.
“Let's invite our special friends to dinner at eight. We'll polish the silver and set out the plates. I'll set the candles, you place the chairs. Now off to the kitchen and let us prepare.”
Sindy's 1978 Dining Room had two pieces of furniture, her Dining Table and Chairs and her Breakfront cabinet. These scenesetters were released a year later in the UK.
1978 Dining Table and Chairs - Ensemble de Salle à Manger (US Ref 1235 - Canadian Ref 1235F)
Sindy's Dining Table and Chairs reproduced the popular colonial look of the times. Her table was moulded in a creamy white plastic with a scalloped table top, stylised cabriole legs and claw feet.
There were four matching chairs. The front legs of these chairs were again stylised cabriole legs with claw feet and they had cut-out tracery splat backs to emulate the intricate detailing of period chairs of the time. These chairs had hard plastic seats in a contrasting maroon.
This set had a four place setting. It consisted of:
- a 'china' service of a dinner plate and side plate in white plastic with a brick red floral transfer pattern around the rims,
- a 'silver' four place, seven piece cutlery service consisting of a large knife and fork, soup spoon, dessert spoon, dessert fork, a smaller butter/desert knife and a teaspoon,
- a 'silver' two piece cruet set,
- matching butter dish with butter, and
- two candelabra.
Interestingly, the maroon teacups and saucers were not shown in the Marx leaflet or referred to on the Dining Table packaging nor on the 'Breakfront' packaging and although shown here with the table setting, we think they were actually part of the 'Breakfront' accessories (see below - so the same as the subsequent UK 'China Cabinet' scenesetter).
1978 Breakfront – Buffet (US Ref 1236 – Canadian Ref 1236F)
To match the Dining Table and Chairs was a full-height breakfront cabinet with a glazed display cupboard on top and with drawers and cupboards underneath. It also copied the colonial look with cabriole legs with claw feet at the front, moulded & scalloped edges, and a moulded pediment and raised base plinth decorated with curlicue embellishments. The “glass” display section of the cabinet had two panes of perspex etched with a honeycomb pattern placed on either side of a plain perspex “glass door” in the middle. The “glass” panels were fixed into moulded frames with shaped tops & beading. Even the handle on the cabinet door was moulded with a shaped backplate detailed with two screws. The base section consisted of two opening cupboards and two sliding drawers. Again they were cleverly designed with faux panelling & moulding and with stylised decorative ring and drop bar handles.
The cabinet also came with a set of accessories which complemented the dining table accessories:
- a large oval charger plate which matched the updated china service made of white plastic with a brick red floral transfer pattern around the rim,
- four maroon cups and saucers (the saucer had decorative ridging around the edge)*,
- four plastic glasses & four plastic sundae dishes,
- an oblong silver tray, and
- lastly a 'silver' coffee pot, creamer (milk jug) and covered sugar bowl set.
* The four maroon cups and saucers were not shown in the Marx leaflet nor on the packaging for either the Dining Table or the Breakfront (Buffet), however we have spotted them with Mint in Box (MIB) Marx Breakfronts. This would match the UK version of the 'China Cabinet' which also included the cups & saucers.
“The refrigerator is full of such wonderful things. Let's make a great dinner that's fit for a king. When it's all over and our guests say good-bye, I'll wash the dishes and you can dry.”
Sindy's Marx kitchen was modelled on her 1976 UK Eastham 'E-Line' kitchen with a few modifications. Instead of the bright yellow doors found in the UK, this set was fitted with doors made of a mellower harvest gold coloured plastic. Included also for that important North American market was a large fridge.
1978 Wall Oven – Four Mural (US Ref 1237 – Canadian Ref 1237F)
Sindy's fashionable Wall Oven was very similar to the UK version. It was made of white plastic with harvest gold cupboard doors. The bottom cupboard door was topped with a white handle strip, but on the top cupboard door the white handle strip was located on the bottom of the door so that Sindy could reach it to open the cupboard. The door of the eye-level grill was made of black tinted opaque plastic. It opened downwards to reveal a black plastic moulded grill with a removable moulded shelf. The black tinted opaque plastic door to the Wall Oven was hinged on the left-hand side and opened to the side. The black plastic interior was moulded with four shelf positions and it contained two movable oven shelves (which were narrower then the grill shelf). Above the grill was a 'stainless steel' control panel. It had three black knobs, slide controls and a digital clock displaying red numbers. Above the the control panel and below the oven were stylised black plastic vents.
Interestingly the North American control panel was different to the UK version as as shown below, it had extra slide controls, a digital clock and it did not carry the “EASTHAM” printed logo.
Shown above is the Marx version and below is the Pedigree version.
Just like the UK version, this set included a covered red casserole dish with a clear plastic lid, a wide red plastic “boiler” (grill) pan w
ith a 'stainless steel' plastic broiler tray, and a 'stainless steel' plastic roasting pan. All these accessories have the Sindy logo moulded on the bottom. The packaging noted that these accessories were made in Great Britain.
1978 Range – Cuisinière (US Ref 1238 – Canadian Ref 1238F)
Sindy's matching Range was made of white plastic with harvest gold coloured plastic cupboard doors topped with white handle strips. It had a 'stainless steel' plated fitted hob with four black solid plates. The hob had four right-side-positioned black twistable knobs. Probably because this scenesetter reuses Sindy's existing Eastham E-Line kitchen components, this hob does bear the moulded “Eastham” logo. Inside the unit on the right-hand side there was a fitted shelf.
The Marx Range also came with a set of pots & pans in a turquoise blue plastic and white plastic lids. They were a hob kettle with a lid, a frying pan, a milk pan which even had a pouring lip on each side of the rim, large and medium saucepans with lids, and a lidded pressure cooker. All the pots and pans had the Sindy logo moulded on the bottom. These accessories were also made in Great Britain.
1978 Refrigerator – Réfrigérateur (US Ref 1239 – Canadian Ref 1239F)
The biggest difference between the Sindy's UK kitchen and the Marx version was the inclusion of a glorious Refrigerator. By British standards of the time it was huge, a full-height appliance with asymmetric double-doors made from Harvest Gold coloured plastic with white plastic interior fittings. It had gull-wing door handles and in the top right-hand corner was a “Sindy” plaque.
Both doors were fitted with integral white shelves and the interior was divided into two separate compartments with one side being wider than the other. The narrower compartment was fitted with three clear plastic shelves moulded just like real refrigerator shelves with ridges. The wider compartment was also fitted with three similarly moulded clear plastic shelves and two white plastic drawers.
This set came with a selection of food accessories, ice cubes in ice tray, a chocolate milk container (the leaflet showed a white milk container but we have wondered whether this item was actually made in brown plastic to rationalise and save costs), a Pepsi Cola bottle (reproduced with the permission of Pepsi Cola Inc), slices of pizza in a Mama Bilotti's pepperoni pizza box, two steaks, a trussed turkey, a can of frozen OJ Florida orange juice, and three packets of Bird's Eye frozen cut green beans.
1978 Kitchen Sink – Évier (US Ref 1246 – Canadian Ref 1246F)
“...Fill the sink when dinner is done with all these things to make it fun.”
The Marx Kitchen Sink was made of the same white plastic base unit shell as the Range with harvest gold coloured cupboard doors topped with white handle strips. It had a 'stainless steel' plated sink and drainer complete with 'stainless steel' mixer taps with black tap knobs, a black plug on a metal chain and a real plug hole. Inside the unit under the sink there was a pull-out “garbage” bucket and a fitted shelf.
The Kitchen Sink came with the same washing up accessory pack as the UK version and it was noted on the packaging that they too were made in Great Britain. The set included a yellow plastic “dishpan” (washing up bowl), scouring powder and washing up liquid, an aqua blue cotton towelling cloth, a sponge, and a yellow washing-up brush.
1979 Washing Machine – Machine à laver (US Ref 1247 – Canadian Ref 1247F)
The washing machine was not shown in the 1978 Marx leaflet and so we think it was a 1979 addition. This was a top-loader washing machine which was much more popular in North America compared to the front-loader washing machines which were more dominant in the UK. It was again made from harvest gold colored plastic to match the rest of Sindys kitchen. It really worked, with a battery operated timed washing programme which made a realistic washing machine noise and caused the central black agitator paddle to twist and turn simulating a real “wash”. For the ease of emptying the machine, it had a working drain button which when pressed pumped the water into a slide-out container at the bottom of the machine. It was powered by two AA batteries. Included with this scenesetter was a yellow laundry basket.
Unfortunately we do not have the Washing Machine to show you and we would be very pleased to hear from anyone who could help us with a photo of this scenesetter.
“A nice warm tub is the very best way to clean ourselves up at the end of the day. Let's scrub in the tub, then brush our teeth at the sink. And get ready for bed just as quick as a wink.”
Sindy's North American bathroom was similar to the Pedigree Sindy's UK 1970s bathroom scenesetters except instead of being moulded in the rather garish sunshine yellow plastic, the Marx version was moulded in a very pretty aqua blue plastic contrasted with white. Replacing the rather dull brown towels found with the Pedigree bathroom, the accompanying bath linen was a cheerful yellow with a white fringe detail. In 1978 Sindy was given the bathtub and washstand and in 1979 a walk-in shower was added to the collection. Unlike the UK Sindy bathroom collection – no toilet appears to have been produced for this range.
1978 Bathtub – Baignoire (US Ref 1240 – Canadian Ref 1240F)
Sindy's aqua blue coloured bath had a white plastic moulded mixer tap and a matching plug on a metal chain which could be fitted into a plug-tidy between the taps when not in use. There was a contrasting bath rack (described as a soap tray in the Marx leaflet). It came with a set of very cheerful bathroom linen, a yellow cotton towelling square flannel, a matching rectangular bath towel with a white wool looped fringe at each end, and a square shaped bath mat trimmed all the way round with the same fringing.
Unfortunately we do not have this bath to show you and we would be very pleased to hear from anyone who could help us with a photo of this scenesetter.
1978 Washstand – Lavabo (US Ref 1241 – Canadian Ref 1241F)
Sindy's washstand was a pedestal sink arrangement with a triangular basin with a plug hole, a moulded recess on the left for her soap and a moulded hand towel rail on the right. It had the same white plastic moulded mixer tap and a matching plug on a metal chain as the bathtub. The washbasin stood on a rectangular white base with a moulded “Sindy” in front of the pedestal. There was a white plastic backboard behind the washbasin with a white cosmetic shelf and a make up mirror with an aqua blue frame. Embossed on the backboard above the shelf was a moulded “Sindy” painted in a gold.
The Marx leaflet and the illustrations on the box described the accessories as being a powder box (shown in a matching blue), a hand mirror, brush, comb, facecloth & hand towel. The set above which came in 1979 packaging only contained the powder box (in a deep yellow), a comb, facecloth & hand towel, and we would be very interested to know what other Marx Sindy collectors have found with their sets
1979 Shower – Douche (US Ref 1250 – Canadian Ref 1250F)
Sindy's walk-in shower unit was diamond shaped so it fitted neatly into a corner. It had a white moulded shower tray, and an aqua blue back wall and ceiling decorated with moulded tiles, a shower knob and a recessed shelf. The shower had frosted shower doors. These were made of plastic, they were shoulder-height, fully-opening swing doors etched with a Sindy “S”. The shower head was made of white plastic attached to a length of clear plastic hosing. The shower head slotted into a bracket at back of the shower right under the ceiling and the bottom of the hose fitted into a hole in the shower tray. As the shower head was detachable, it could be used as both an overhead or a hand held shower.
The shower actually worked and it could be switch on by pressing the white knob situated on the shower tray in front of the doors. It had a little reservoir in the shower tray which could be filled with water and with the aid of a little battery operated pump (requiring two “D” 1.5v batteries) the water was pumped up through hose and out through the shower head.
This set came with a yellow cotton flannel and matching bath towel with white wool fringe which hung on a detachable white towel rail that clipped onto the shower unit door.
“Let's roll down our covers and hang up our clothes. Then we'll put up our hair and be ready to doze. Now that we're ready to dream through the night, we'll pull up the covers and turn out the light.”
Sindy's Marx bedroom suite was similar to the UK version although there was one very noticeable difference, rather than very prominent “S” decoration displayed on furniture, the Marx furniture were decorated with the pretty Marx Sindy logo which was much more generic in design.
1978 Bed – Lit (US Ref 1231 – Canadian Ref 1231F)
Very similar to its UK 1976 counterpart, the bed was made of white plastic with four simple cylinder-shaped legs. The shape of the UK headboard was retained but the decorative gold pattern was changed from the Sindy “S” to the Marx Sindy logo.
The padded mattress was covered in plain white vinyl and the cheerful aqua coloured plaid-patterned cotton bed linen from the UK version was reused. There was a valanced bottom sheet, a covered foam pillow and a padded quilt (described in the Marx literature as a “comforter”).
We do know of a variation to this bed linen which had a blue sprig floral design on a white background. It can be found with the Marx Sindy Slumber Time gift set (see above) and we have seen it described as a French Provençal design but we have never been able to find out any more about this version, or indeed whether it only came with the Slumber Time gift set (see above). If you do have this variation or you know any more about it, please do get in touch.
1978 Wardrobe – Garde-robe (US Ref 1232 – Canadian Ref 1232F)
“...A place for everything and everything in its place.”
Sindy's Marx wardrobe looked very similar to the UK version. The white plastic wardrobe was the same on the inside with an internal full length mirror, shoe rack, belt rack, top shelf and three built-in drawers. It also had the top-plinth in an attractive scroll design with a gold edge trim. However it had new doors with a new decorative pattern. The two distinctive gold heart decorations with an “S” in the middle on each door was replaced by the gold heart decoration with the “S” in the middle, and the gold detailing on each door was updated with a new heart pattern which complimented the Marx heart logo. It also came with six blue plastic coat hangers.
1978 Vanity – Coiffeuse (US Ref 1233 – Canadian Ref 1233F)
Sindy's dressing table, called a “vanity” in the US was again almost identical to the UK 1970s version and was still made of white plastic with gold moulded decoration. The design was still a two drawer dressing table with a large mirror. However, instead of the gold heart decoration with the “S” in the middle between the drawers, this version too matched the rest of her restyled Marx bedroom suite and used the Marx heart logo instead. The stool was the same as the UK version and was made of white plastic embellished with gold with a seat cover made from the same aqua material as the bed linen.
The dressing table accessories were also the same as the UK version with a white plastic hand mirror, brush & a comb with a small moulded Sindy “S” at the end of each side of the handle. Also included was a yellow plastic powder bowl with a moulded Sindy “S” on the lid with a white cosmetic puff attached to the underside of it, two square-shaped cosmetic bottles with red and blue bottle tops, a clear perspex dressing table tray with a moulded starburst on the underside, and a vase of flowers.
But unlike the UK version, the Marx version came with a set of pretty nylon underwear for Sindy, a bra, pants and half-slip set. The top of the bra was trimmed with white nylon lace and it had sewn-on bra straps made of silky white cord. It fastened at the back with a small piece of velcro. The high-leg pants had an elasticated waist and the leg holes were trimmed with same white lace as the bra. The knee-length half-slip also had an elasticated waist and was A-line in shape with fashionable and practical side slits. The hem was also decorated with the white lace. We know of two variations of this set which were the same shape and style but made from different fabric. The first was made of a pretty floral cobwebbed-nylon printed with bold poppy-like flowers in azure blue, dark green, salmon pink, red, yellow & white on a lime green background. The second was made of a pastel blue seersucker-like textured nylon (shown below).
1978 Bedside Table - Table de chevet (US Ref 1234 – Canadian Ref 1234F)
Completing the Marx bedroom was a matching bedside table. The shape matched the UK version but there were noticeable differences. This version was decorated with the Marx heart logo and the frilly white net lampshade was edged in blue and trimmed with a blue ribbon to match the rest of the bedroom furniture. (It is surprising that the UK version of the lampshade remained resolutely trimmed in pink when the furniture was updated in 1976; the blue would have been a much better match for the new aqua blue bed linen). The on/off switch was situated on the table. And again in a departure from the UK version this set came with an oval white faux-fur “sheepskin” rug.
The accompanying breakfast table had fixed legs and it came complete with its small breakfast service of a 'silver' coffee pot, milk jug & sugar bowl, bright yellow cup, saucer & plate, and a knife, fork and & teaspoon.
Interestingly, the set shown above has a yellow mug & plate which the owner believes have always accompanied this set, and certainly they look right with it. However we have seen other Marx sets which have the bright yellow cup, saucer & plate shown on the Marx packaging, so is this set a manufacturer's substitution perhaps? We would be very keen to know what other Marx owners have found?
“Scenesetter sets the scene wherever we go.
Our world travels with us, so play never ends when we go on a trip,
or just visit our friends.”
Sindy's four room home reflected the latest taste for airy romantic elegance, with pretty wallpaper, softer rounder edges and elegant interior decoration from macramé wall hangings to delicate curtain swags & stained glass panels. This scenesetter was initially designed for the US market and was subsequently released to the UK market in 1979.
The décor provided for a bedroom, kitchen, dining room and lounge backdrop. The decoration was a mix of drawings and photographic montage with illustrated windows with a scenic photograph behind which was really quite effective in conveying an indoors looking to an outdoors. The kitchen/dining room wall had a press-out cardboard rectangle with a reversible illustration of a shelf with a plate of food on it. This could be fitted and displayed as a serving hatch shelf between the two rooms.
Sindy's Family Room (above left) and Dining Room (above right)
Sindy's Kitchen (above left) please note the large blank space with two high level cupboards to the left of the white holding strut which was designed to accommodate Sindy's Refrigerator and Sindy's Bedroom (above right)
The press-out serving hatch between the Dining Room and Kitchen with the reversible shelf
We have also seen on ebay a set which included this scenesetter, a Sindy, a chair and an outfit and we would love to know anything more about this set, if you can help us.
Sindy also had a 3-level Superhome with an elevator which was similar to the original UK Pedigree Sindy Superhome and again we would be pleased to hear from anyone who can help us with this item too.
“We'll climb on our horses and gallop away. Through the green fields and mountains we'll fly through the day.”
In 1978, Sindy had two very distinct and different horses. In addition to Sindy's UK Pedigree horse (Ref 44569) with fixed legs, and a real mane and tail, a very different articulated horse was produced for the Marx Sindy. It was available in 1978 only. This bay horse was produced by the LOUIS MARX TOY COMPANY in the USA, using the very popular articulated version of the US Marx COMANCHE horse, part of the Johnny West Best of the West series. Sindy's unnamed horse had a brown plastic body, black moulded mane and tail, three white stockings. white blaze, unpainted brown nose and hooves, black eyes, and an unpainted brown chest. He was virtually identical to the Marx COMANCHE, aside from colour and tack. COMANCHE was produced in various colours, and the bay version was solidly brown with black mane and tail, with no blaze and no white stockings. Sindy's Marx horse included traditional English tack, naturally, while the Marx Johnny West horse had western tack.
Sindy's wonderfully articulated horse could be posed in an endless array of realistic positions. He was issued in a bright yellow box which featured a picture of a blonde Sindy wearing the Marx “Let's Go Riding” outfit (Ref 1102), charging forward on her galloping steed.
Accessories included a black flocked riding hat, “silver” trophy, red plastic 1st place rosette, brown & white nosebag, a red bucket, broom, curry comb and brush. The broom, curry comb and brush are depicted in yellow on the box and in promotional materials, but they have been seen in sealed packages with these items in blue.
Which “go-anywhere" outfits will you choose for me?”
“You can pick out my clothes and dress me in so many ways
for the special places we'll be each and everyday.”
Because of the difficulties with Marx cataloguing towards the end of its existence in the US we do not know exactly all the outfits which were packaged as Marx outfits and we would be grateful to hear from anyone who has an outfit which we have not listed.
“Let's Go To The Ballet” (Ref 1101) based on the 1977 Pedigree Active Sindy outfit
Although the Marx Sindy was an active doll, she did not come wearing the usual active ballerina outfit, but it could be bought separately with this boxed outfit. The boxed outfit consisted of a short-sleeved leotard made of white stretch-nylon, with a scoop neckline to the front and deep V-shaped back trimmed with a white satin binding. For her legs she had a pair of thick white nylon fishnet tights. Her tutu was made of pink honeycomb netting with an additional top layer of a very fine white translucent netting trimmed at the hem with white nylon lace. The waistband was made of a white nylon binding and it fastened at the back of the waist with a velcro strip fastening. The outfit came with moulded pink plastic ballet shoes with pink plastic ties attached to the back of the heel which fastened together with a push-through ball fastening.
In a departure from the UK outfit, this set came with a pink plastic carry case with a moulded “Sindy” on the front with a white handle for Sindy's ballet shoes. The set shown is an interesting one because the ballet shoes are original and as you can see they are an acid pink colour similar in colour to some of Sindy's mid-1970s daisy sandals.
We would be keen to show this outfit in Marx packaging (duly acknowledged of course) and we would also like to know whether the colour of these ballet shoes are the norm or whether they are a variation.
“Let's Go Riding” (Ref 1102) based on the 1977 Pedigree outfit Riding Out (Ref 44289)
Although shown in the Marx Sindy leaflet and on the packaging wearing a riding hard hat, the packaging noted that Sindy's riding hat was not included. Sindys wore stretch-nylon breeches with inside knee pads, made of a beige nylon with darker beige brushed nylon knee pads. They had a sewn on waistband made of the beige nylon, a fly opening and they fastened with one sewn-on metal snap fastener and had white elasticated stirrups. Sindy's top was a long-sleeved red ribbed knitted cotton jumper. It had a sewn-on polo-neck, cuffs, and waistband made of the same material. It opened down the back and fastened with two sewn-on metal snap fasteners – one at the back of the neck and the other at the back of the waist. The outfit came with a pair of Sindy's black plastic riding boots with heels and a long brown plastic riding crop.
“Let's Get Our Beauty Sleep” (Ref 1103) based on the 1977 Pedigree outfit Misty Blue (Ref 44300)
Sindy's boudoir style nightie and negligee set was a perfect match for her blue-toned Marx bedroom suite. The nightie was made of a baby blue finely ribbed silky nylon with blue satin ribbon shoulder straps. Both the neckline and the hem were trimmed with white nylon lace. The floor length nightie fastened at the back with one chrome coloured metal popper with the back facing. The co-ordinating negligee was calf-length and therefore shorter than the nightie, giving the outfit an elegant tiered effect. The negligee was made of very pale blue netting with an eyelet pattern embroidered with a darker pale blue thread. It had three-quarter length sleeves and a gathered collarless neckline stitched to two rows of elasticated thread. The edges of the sleeves, front panels and the hem were trimmed with the same white nylon lace as was used for the nightie. The negligee fastened at the neck with two blue satin ribbon ties (the same as the nightie's shoulder straps). This outfit was accompanied by a pair of white one-strap sandals trimmed with a very pale blue faux fur.
“Let's Have A Dinner Party” (Ref 1104) based on the 1977 Pedigree outfit Night Spot (Ref 44305)
On either continent, one of Sindys most glamorous and elegant evening wear ensembles, this outfit consisted a floor-length cream satin dress with a fitted choker-style halter-neck bodice. The bodice had two darts at the front to provide shape and was a attached to tow diagonal straps made of chocolate brown satin which were stitched to a choker made of the cream satin. The skirt was a simple A-line design which showed off the real beauty of this material. The choker fastened with a square of velcro at the back of the neck and the dress was fastened with two chrome coloured metal poppers with the backs facing. The floor length edge-to-edge evening coat was made of brown satin, it had long sleeves. The neck and front edges of the coat were trimmed with a gorgeous ½ inch wide strip of intricately woven gold braid. For Sindy's head there was a matching headband made of the same gold braid sewn to a piece of cotton elastic tape. For her feet Sindy had a pair of brown tassel shoes.
“Let's Go Shopping” (Ref 1105) based on the 1977 Pedigree outfit Sunshine Girl (Ref 44303)
A cheerful bright yellow trouser suit made of woven linen-like material. The jacket was a fitted, slightly bell-shaped jacket with long sleeves. It had a sewn-on collar but with large straight-cut triangular-shaped reverse lapels. At the back it also had the centre seam ending in a pleat providing additional shaping but it did not have any fasteners. The matching trousers were slightly flared with a sewn-on waistband and a front-fly opening which fastened with one sewn-on metal snap fastener. Under her jacket Sindy wore a fashionable sleeveless waistcoat top with a V-neckline and two darts at the front of the waist for a fitted tailored shape. A strip of velcro was stitched to whole length of the front opening ensuring that top completely fastened down the whole of her front. This outfit came with chocolate brown hobo style shoulder bag made of brush nylon trimmed with brown cotton bias binding around the opening. The same binding was used to make the strap. The outfit came with a pair of brown tassel shoes.
“Let's Take It Easy” (Ref 1106) based on the 1977 Pedigree boxed doll outfit Weekender Sindy (Ref 44613 – international reference 44681)
Sindy's casual outfit consisted of a white nylon short-sleeved T-shirt top printed with the Sindy logo in red. The top opened down the back and fastened at the back of the neck. It came with a pair of red cotton trousers with a fly opening which fastened with one sewn-on metal snap fastener. But in a departure to the boxed doll fashion, instead of the red shoulder bag, Sindy was given a contrasting navy blue cotton skirt. The skirt was A-line in shape with three panels at the front and a sewn-on waistband. It fastened at the back with one sewn-on metal snap fastener. Indeed in style, this skirt is very similar to the 1978 Mix n Match fashions skirt Ref 44185 (international Ref 44175) which also had a sewn-on red & white tie cord belt. For her feet she was given a pair of red slip-on mules.
“Let's Get Married” (Ref 1150) similar to the 1978 Pedigree outfit Blushing Bride (Ref 44318)
This outfit was similar to the 1978 Pedigree outfit 'Blushing Bride' but there were subtle differences.
This outfit was composed of very pretty white nylon dress and its two tier skirt, reminiscent of later Victorian/early Edwardian dresses, was shaped and sewn to the bodice just under the breasts. The V-neck bodice had three-quarter length sleeves and the top tier of the skirt was U-shaped at the front and cut steeply at the back so that the sides of the top tier met at the back of the waist. The neckline was trimmed with white nylon lace, so were the cuffs and the hems of both tiers of the skirt but the lace was different with a much wider pattern. The dress fastened at the back with two chrome coloured metal poppers with the backs facing. The floor-length veil was made of a large circle of fine transparent white chiffon nylon trimmed with same lace as the cuffs and the skirt. At one section it was gathered onto a white elastic cord loop which fashioned a headdress. It came with a headband made of pale pink with dark pink centre guipure flowers which was sewn to an inch of pink elasticated cotton tape. We are not sure whether the “halo” is to be worn over or under the veil because it is not visible in the Marx catalogue or on the outfit packaging. The Marx outfit has also been found with two types of bouquets which are different to the Marx photo. The first had the deep pink fabric flowers again trimmed with a length of deep pink satin ribbon (shown above left). There is also a version with fabric two-tone flowers which were deep pink in the middle and light pink at the ends of the petals. This version was trimmed with a length of pale pink satin ribbon (shown above right). For her feet Sindy wore a pair of white round-toed court shoes.
Uncatalogued Marx outfits
Following the “Let's Go” series, UK Pedigree Sindy outfits were packaged in either Marx packaging bearing a photo of Sindy wearing the outfit or in the “Go Anywhere” packaging. We do wonder if the “Go Anywhere” packaging may have come next because these outfits are slightly older releases. Unfortunately we do have any of the Marx Sindy outfits in the packaging showing Sindy wearing the outfit to show you, and we would be pleased to hear from anyone who can help us with any of these.
Go Anywhere outfit (Ref unknown) similar to the UK Pedigree's 1979 Rainy Days (Ref 44324)
Sindy's very stylish navy blue gaberdine cotton raincoat was repackaged as Marx. It was a calf-length coat with long sleeves, an attached hood and a belted waist. The cuffs of the coat sleeves were trimmed with a narrow stripe red, white & blue cotton. The inside of the hood was also lined with the same fabric. The coat fastened at the front with two sewn-on metal snap fasteners and was belted at the waist with a belt made of the same navy blue fabric. The belt was attached to the back of the waist and was adorned with a gold coloured, oval shaped metal belt. Matching the raincoat was a navy blue gaberdine cotton shoulder bag. It was decorated with the red, white & blue cotton and it had a front flap which fastened with a sewn-on metal snap fastener. To complete this outfit Sindy was given a long red brushed nylon scarf with fringed ends and a pair of her red knee-high boots.
Go Anywhere outfit (Ref unknown) similar to the UK Pedigree's 1979 Rock n Roller (Ref 44201)
Sindy's 1979 casual top and trousers. A long-sleeved, V-neck top was made of patterned ribbed cotton with horizontal stripes of blue, red and yellow. By way of contrast, the neckline, cuffs and waistband were made of navy blue stretch nylon. It fastened at the back of the neck with one sewn-on metal snap fastener. Instead of jeans, this outfit came with a pair of straight leg, slim fitting trousers made of quite thick navy blue cotton. The trousers had a fly opening and fastened with a sewn-on metal snap fastener. For her feet Sindy was given a pair of her new golden yellow trainers.
Go Anywhere outfit (Ref unknown) similar to the UK Pedigree's 1979 Seaside Special (Ref 44322)
Sindy's 1979 versatile beach wear also made it across the Atlantic. Made from white cotton towelling and red & white candy stripe printed cotton, the outfit included a bikini, top, skirt and bag. The skimpy string bikini was made from the white towelling and was trimmed with the candy stripe cotton which also formed the string straps & ties. The bikini bra had a halter neck and it fastened at the back and behind the neck with a sewn-on metal snap fastener attached to the candy stripe ties. The matching bikini bottoms simply fastened at the side of the hip with the candy stripe ties. The beach top was another hoodie, it was made of white towelling with straight long sleeves, an attached hood lined with candy stripe cotton, and patch hand pockets also made of candy stripe cotton. The top had a half-opening at the front which was bound with candy stripe cotton and which fastened with one sewn-on metal snap fastener and it had a drawstring waist threaded with a fine white silky cord. Her co-ordinating floor-length wraparound skirt was made of candy stripe cotton bound with a white cotton binding. It was broadly U-shaped, cut with a longer strip along the top of the U which could be used to tie the skirt around Sindy's waist. Sindy's beach bag was a drawstring type made of the candy stripe cotton with a soft cotton cord tie, and to complete the outfit she had a pair of red slip-on mules.
Go Anywhere outfit (Ref unknown) similar to the UK Pedigree's 1979 Winter Nights (Ref 44320)
Sindy's cosy 1979 UK nightdress and towelling dressing gown ensemble was repackaged for the North American market. It was a floor length nightdress and dressing gown set, but what really lifted it was the pretty embroidered tape used to trim the garments. Made of 1 cm wide cotton, this tape was embroidered with red stylised roses alternating with yellow flowers and interspersed with green leaves. The nightdress was made of white silky nylon, it had an elasticated neckline & waist, and the embroidered tape was used to make the shoulder straps and to decorate the hem. The nightdress fastened at the back with two chrome coloured poppers with the backs facing. The dressing gown was a buttercup yellow hooded cotton towelling robe. It had long sleeves, a patch pocket on the left hip and an elasticated neckline to provide shape to the hood. The edge of the hood and the front edges were also trimmed with the embroidered tape, and it fastened at the front with two sewn-on metal snap fasteners. This outfit came with a pair of slippers made from a pair of Sindy's white slip-on mules with a piece of bright yellow faux fur glued over the top.
Just like her Pedigree counterpart, you could collect Sindy heart tokens which could be found printed on the Marx boxes. There were four free gifts which were reused Pedigree Sindy mini scenesetters and accessories, and which were packaged in plain white packaging and boxes. In keeping with the branding these were also styled with the “Let's” theme.
We do believe that there was a mailaway Sindy which could also be obtained but we don't have information on this offer and we would pleased to hear from anyone who can tell us more about this free gift.
Let's Bar-B-Que (Ref 1285) similar to Pedigree Sindy's scenesetter Barbeque (Ref 44420)
Available for 24 tokens and 50¢, was Sindy's barbeque consisting of a black and red plastic pedestal barbecue with an integral shelf and a turning spit upon which a plastic chicken could be cooked. There was a set of barbecue utensils, a carving knife, fork and tongs. There was a yellow plastic tray and two matching plates, a yellow plastic sauce bottle and a brown plastic pepper or spice grinder. As well as the the brown plastic chicken this set also came with four brown plastic chops. To keep Sindy's clothes clean she was given a navy blue cotton bib apron with a wide white chalk stripe and black cotton straps, and a pair of matching oven gloves.
We don't have the Marx version of this set and we would love to show it if anyone has it.
Let's Style My Hair (Ref 1286) similar to Pedigree Sindy's scenesetter Set in Style (Ref 44426)
For 16 tokens and 50¢ Sindys heated roller set could be obtained. The heated rollers had eight detachable white plastic heated rollers with clear plastic roller clips (or pins). The heated roller unit had moulded on/off switch painted red and a white plastic lead with an imitation plug attached to a small runner “sucker” so that it could be attached to a suitable surface. This set came with a bright yellow towel and Sindy's gold painted “S” logo brush, comb and mirror set.
Again we don't have the Marx version of this set and we would love to show it if anyone has it.
Let's Dress in Style (Ref 1290) similar to Pedigree Sindy's accessories set Dress in Style (Ref 44403)
16 tokens and 50¢ provided an opportunity to acquire additional accessories for Sindy. This set included two pairs of boots in white and brown, a pair of brown tassel shoes, yellow slip-on mules, blue one-strap sandals, and red round-toe court shoes. For Sindy's head there were two plastic Alice bands in brown and white, and a red triangular headscarf.
Let's Go To the Beach (Ref 1291) similar to Pedigree Sindy's scenesetter Sunlounger (Ref 44423)
Lastly for 24 tokens and 50¢ Sindy's beach set of a blue and white parasol sunshade with a white base and metal pole, an yellow and white ice box, orange towel, water jug, two tumblers, straws, sun-tan oil, sunglasses and a yellow stretch nylon swimsuit for Sindy to wear.
We don't have the Marx version of this set and we would love to show it if anyone has it.
Artist Center (Ref unknown)
Apparently available as both a mailaway and mail order catalogue item, we know very little about this set. We have read that it included an easel, folding chair, brushes, a paint palette and a painting smock for SIndy.
We would be pleased to hear from any collectors who can tell us more about this item.