1976 was a big year for Sindy's scenesetters. Having finally developed a Sindy Home which could be successfully marketed, Pedigree turned its attention to Sindy's furniture and most of it was restyled. Given that the bedroom furniture had been available since 1968 (if not earlier) without any substantial changes, there was scope to modernise.
To recap on the existing scenesetters that were previously shown in 1975:
- Sindy's Horse was still available but the the riding outfit was now issued as a separate outfit called 'Riding Out' (see 1976 Sindy). Essentially it was the same horse in a new box (though the box photo and a mint boxed example we know of show a lighter mahogany horse). The contents were the horse, light brown saddle and reins, 'canvas' and 'leather' nosebag, red yard broom, red bucket, red curry comb and brush, red moulded plastic rosette with blue centre saying “1st” in white, and Sindy's black felted riding hat (Ref 44507).
- Sindy's Styling Head had been dropped.
- The popular Carry Case was still available and was shown with a Sindy wearing 'Disco Date' in the version from the Pedigree literature that we think was a prototype (Ref 44538).
- Sindy's Pool Set photo featured three Sindys wearing 1976 outfits 'Beachcomber', 'In the Swim' and 'Sunflower' (see 1976 Sindy) (Ref 44539).
- Sindy's Camper Buggy, was now called 'Camper' now shown with the blue vinyl inflatable tent and sleeping bag, and the white plastic kit bag with a red cotton cord drawstring handle (Ref 44542).
- Sindy's Home was prominently displayed in the 1976 Pedigree literature with an artful suggestion in the trade catalogue that it was an “Ideal display unit for Scenesetters”(Ref 44543).
Sindy's bedroom, lounge and dining room furniture all got a makeover with Pedigree emphasising in the trade catalogue the “improved decoration” and “updated realism”. Unusually Pedigree retained the existing references instead of amending them to reflect the changes.
Sindy's bedroom still consisted of a Wardrobe, Bed, Dressing Table & Stool, and the Bedside table, lamp & breakfast set but they were given a makeover and the bed linen was updated. It was also possible to buy the newly updated Wardrobe, Bed, and Dressing Table in a new 'Bedroom Gift Set' Ref 44544 (not shown).
Sindy's lounge was substantially revised, the Chest of Drawers was dropped and her Armchair and Settee were given a makeover. Additional living room scenesetters were introduced.
Sindy's Dining Table & Four Chairs and her Sideboard were slightly amended and the accessory sets were rationalised.
Sindy's new sun yellow bathroom furniture of a Bath and Washbasin was extended to include new items.
She was given brand new kitchen furniture. Sindy's Eastham 'E-Line' kitchen was described as “the natural addition to Scenesetters” and was as authentic as you could get. Eastham were a major kitchen manufacturer in the 1970s advertising in prestige magazines such as “House & Garden”. Indeed in 1976 the Eastham E-line kitchen was advertised with the slogan “Live-with-me-colours, With feel-me textures” and Sindy's kitchen looks remarkably like the advert. Nowadays we take fitted kitchens for granted, but back in 1976 a cheerful kitchen with sleek wipe-clean, matching fitted units, built-in table-top hobs and wall ovens was something that millions of UK householders desired for their own homes. By using a combination of these kitchen scenesetters a wonderful fitted kitchen could be created for Sindy.
In many ways Sindy's 1976 Scenesetters reflected the social history of the time. The world had just about recovered from the recession caused by the oil shock crisis and the desire was there for bright, beautiful and colourful homes – Sindy's furnishings were all of these things.
Sindy's new wardrobe was slightly less ornate but it was still just as elegant. The white plastic Wardrobe was the same on the inside with the internal full length mirror, shoe rack, belt rack, top shelf and built-in drawers all retained. However it was given a slightly different base unit without the legs and it had new doors. The wardrobe doors lost the decorative gold edging around each door but kept the decorative gold trim on each corner and the distinctive two large heart decorations on each door with an “S” in the middle. The wardrobe was also given a new top plinth in an attractive scroll design with a gold edge trim. It also came with blue plastic coat hangers.
One of the main differences between the earlier wardrobe and this later version was that the original white wardrobe had etched decorative trims which were then overpainted with gold, the new version used gold transfers or stencilling to create the same effect.
The bed was also restyled and simplified. It was still made of white plastic but it now had four simple cylinder-shaped legs. The shape of the original “Cherub” headboard was kept but the pattern was simplified to a decorative gold line around the headboard with corner trims which matched the wardrobe doors. In the centre of the headboard was a matching heart decoration with an “S” in the middle. Similarly the later version of the bed used gold transfers or stencilling rather than the original etched and painted method.
The vinyl mattress was now plain white. The original bedclothes were updated and were now a cheerful aqua coloured cotton decorated with an attractive curved and straight line pattern in blue and turquoise green. There was a valanced bottom sheet, a foam covered pillow and a modern padded quilt.
This scenesetter was called 'Bed' in the style leaflet and 'Bed and bedclothes' in the trade catalogue.
The dressing table was almost identical to the first issue 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 Sindy's name moulded between the drawers this version had the gold heart decoration with the “S” in the middle to match the rest of her restyled bedroom suite. The stool was the same as previously but now the seat was covered with the same aqua material as the bedclothes.
Interestingly the Pedigree literature and the box showed a stool with a different pale pink fabric pattern. However, our boxed version has the aqua fabric covered stool – one wonders whether the new stool wasn't ready in time for the preparation of the marketing literature?
The dressing table accessories were also updated. This set came with a restyled chunkier hand mirror, brush and a comb with handle. They were still white but instead of the gold decoration, this set had a small moulded Sindy “S” at the end of each side of the handle. The gold powder puff box was replaced with a yellow plastic powder bowl with a moulded Sindy “S” on the lid with a white cosmetic puff attached to the underside of it. The two cosmetic bottles were now square shaped with red and blue bottle tops. To complete the set there was a clear perspex dressing table tray with a moulded starburst on the underside, and a vase of flowers.
The matching bedside table with a real working light and white breakfast tray were also slightly amended. The bedside table was very similar but instead of the moulded faux drawer with a moulded gold handle, this version had the gold heart decoration with the “S” in the middle. The frilly white net lampshade edged in pink and trimmed with a pink ribbon was different to the 1960s version in that the pink trim was more ornate and frilly. It is surprising that the lampshade was not trimmed with blue (like the 1978 Marx version) to match the new aqua bed linen. The on/off switch was still situated on the table. The accompanying breakfast table now had fixed legs legs and it came complete with its small breakfast service of a coffee pot, milk jug and sugar bowl, cup, saucer, plate and a knife & teaspoon. The crockery was now in sunshine yellow plastic, but we have seen this set with a white plastic cup, saucer & plate.
Five years after its original launch, Sindy's comfy armchair was updated. It was still made of moulded vinyl stylised to look like a soft upholstered armchair, but now it was made in red with dark tinting around the edges to look like 'distressed' leather simulating an "antique finish".
Sindy's moulded white vinyl settee which matched the armchair was given a similar red and dark tinted makeover to match the armchair.
Sindy's original pink and white plastic freestanding working hairdryer with its adjustable hood and integral seat was updated to a sun yellow and white version to match Sindy's bathroom suite.
Neither the 1976 Pedigree trade catalogue or style leaflet makes any reference to the brown hair rollers sometimes found with this scenesetter. However, later Pedigree marketing literature does list them as included. We think that the six brown hair rollers with clear plastic fastening pins were a later addition because our boxed example, which we think is from 1977, has a yellow printed starburst flash which says “NOW WITH HAIR ROLLERS”.
The white table with a faux wood veneer (or as Pedigree described it “simulated wood”) table top and four matching chairs was updated. The table and chairs were still made of moulded white plastic decorated with gold paint to match the ornate style of the rest of Sindy's furniture. But the 1976 version had rich blue velveteen soft upholstered seats instead of red.
This scenesetter still came with detailed plastic accessories, but they had been rationalised. There was a four place setting 'china' service of a dinner plate and side plate in darker blue plastic, a 'silver' four place, eight (?) piece cutlery service consisting of a large knife and fork, soup spoon, dessert spoon, dessert fork, a smaller first course knife and fork and teaspoon, a sliver two-piece cruet set, matching butter dish with butter, and two candelabra.
The reason we have placed a question marked against the eight piece cutlery set is because we cannot verify it. The original Dining Table (see 1972 Scenesetters) has a seven piece place setting and although the 1976 Pedigree literature (and the box itself) shows an eight place setting, subsequent trade catalogue pictures showed a seven piece setting. We have decided to show this set as shown on the box, but please be aware that later Pedigree photographs of this set had seven place cutlery settings and appear to have only one of the smaller forks.
One other thing of note is that we know that the later 'Dining Tables' are slightly less ornate in that they do not have the gold (or bronze) painted feet. The one above is we think a cross-over. Although shown with the gold feet in the 1976 catalogue, the later versions had plain unpainted legs which we can show you with the comparison photo right. Whether this was a deliberate design modification, simplification of manufacture, or a conscious cost-cutting exercise - we cannot say?
Sindy's Sideboard was much the same except that it now had a faux wood veneer top. The glorious eight place table settings that had accompanied the original 1972 version (see 1972 Scenesetters) had been rationalised in 1975 to four places, and we believe that it was rationalised further for the 1976 version. Although shown in the Pedigree literature with a couple of oval turquoise trays plus a rectangular one, two candelabra and Sindy's standard issue coffee pot, milk jug and sugar bowl, we can't verify this and it isn't what we have. Later Pedigree marketing photographs actually show and list two candelabra, two darker blue plastic trays (one oval and a one rectangular) which match the Dining Table plates, and four plastic glasses and four sundae dishes. This feels right to us, one would expect the sideboard accessories to complement the Dining Table's.
Just like the later 'Dining Table', the later 'Sideboards' are slightly less ornate in that they do not have the gold (or bronze) painted trim on the middle cupboard doors. You cannot see this in the 1976 Pedigree literature or on the box because the doors are shown open but later catalogues and leaflets do reflect this change. Again, whether this was a deliberate design modification, simplification of manufacture, or a conscious cost-cutting exercise - we cannot say? A comparison photo of the 1972 'Sideboard' (on top) and the 1976 'Sideboard' (underneath) is shown below.
It is amazing how quickly one forgets the home entertainment “must-haves”. Here is a classic, the Hi Fi stereo cabinet or music centre. A free standing piece of furniture which neatly combined your radio, record player and tape deck together with integral speakers. This one was made of white plastic with an smoky perspex “up and over” lid. On the front of the cabinet were moulded ridges picked out in black to simulate the speaker covers with a moulded Sindy “S” in the middle. From left to right the Hi Fi console consisted of:
- An LP record recess with three black plastic records in printed record covers called “The Best of Sindy”
- A record player with a fixed black plastic turntable, three black moulded knobs and a white record arm which could be moved over the turntable
- A control panel with three black switches with red painted identifiers, from top to bottom they were:
- a volume control
- an off/on switch
- a medium wave tuner with a moving tuner dial
- Top right there was a tape cassette deck with two fixed black controls and in the middle a working switch which opened the tape cassette
- Bottom right there was a recess which held three cassettes (or eight track cartridges – we can't make up our mind which) moulded in pink, blue and yellow.
On the right-hand side of the cabinet were two jack plugs – a false one for Sindy's white moulded headphones on pink cord, and another jack for an earphone plug which actually worked.
And this is a clue to the hidden gem of this Hi Fi, it was a working transistor radio powered by a 9v PP3 battery. With the battery installed there were three ways to turn on the radio. You could switch it on with the on/off knob, or you moved the record arm across to the turntable, or you pop a cassette into the tape deck and closed it. The example above still works despite being 35 years old.
Cleverly designed to hook on the cardboard wall of Sindy's Home, this kitchen wall cupboard was made of white plastic with a yellow cupboard door with a white handle strip along the bottom edge of the door. There was an interior shelf and underneath the cupboard there was a switch for a working light which, just like those on real kitchen cupboards lit up the underneath of the cupboard and any work surface below. The light required two HP7 batteries which were not included.
Although not shown in the 1976 Pedigree literature the Wall Cupboard came with a set of four brown plastic storage jars/containers with lids. On each lid was a moulded Sindy “S”. Interestingly these storage jars were shown in subsequent Pedigree trade catalogues, however a mistake was made the description and they were described as three storage jars and not four as was shown in the Pedigree photograph. We know this because the cupboard above was MIB (Mint in Box) and all four storage jars were still in their cellophane bag. This mistake was not rectified until 1979.
Sindy's Hob Unit was made of white plastic with yellow cupboards doors topped with white handle strips. It had a 'stainless steel' plated fitted hob with four black solid plates (which means it was probably electric). The hob had four right-side-positioned black twistable knobs. There is also a very nice piece of detailing at the front of the hob which bears a moulded “Eastham” logo. Inside the unit on the right-hand side there was a fitted shelf.
Although not shown in the 1976 Pedigree literature the Hob Unit 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. They had the “Sindy” logo moulded on their base, however there are some sets of these pots & pans which do not have this detail.
We know a lovely story about this scenesetter. A good Sindy collecting friend of ours got the Hob Unit as a little girl. But the pots & pans set was missing the kettle. Despite her joy at receiving this gift, all she could think about was how was she supposed to make her Sindy a cup of tea? She is still aggrieved about this missing kettle some thirty-five years later!
Sindy's Sink Unit was made of the same white plastic base unit shell as the hob with yellow 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 water container/waste bin. On the other side there was a fitted shelf.
Although they were not shown in the 1976 Pedigree literature the Sink Unit came with a washing up accessory pack. In typical Pedigree fashion, this pack was carefully detailed and it included a yellow plastic washing up bowl (with a moulded "Sindy" on the bottom), two containers which in the 1970s would have been readily recognisable as scouring powder and washing up liquid, an aqua blue cotton towelling cloth, a sponge and a yellow washing-up brush.
Another clever piece of design providing Sindy with both drawers and cupboard space for her kitchen. Again it was made from the same white plastic base unit shell but the left-hand side it was kitted out with four pull-out drawers topped with white handle strips. On the right-hand side there was a cupboard with a yellow door topped with a white handle strip, and inside there was a fitted shelf. The floor cupboard had a white topped work surface.
Again, although they were not shown in the 1976 Pedigree literature the Floor Cupboard had its own cookery accessory set. It contained a carving knife and matching two-pronged fork made of silver painted plastic with painted black handles. There was a dark brown plastic oblong breadboard with a cutout hand recess at each end decorated with a moulded Sindy “S” and with a moulded recess to hold the carving knife, and a dark brown plastic rolling pin. Also included were an orange plastic mixing bowl, a ladle, a cooking spoon, and a fish slice.
Lucky Sindy was given the very latest in Wall Ovens complete with an eye-level grill. This tall unit was very cleverly designed to hook onto the wall of Sindy's home or to be free-standing. It was made of white plastic with yellow cupboard doors. The bottom cupboard door was topped with the 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. That's a very nice, thoughtful piece of detailing. 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, an oven clock and it also carried an “EASTHAM” printed logo. Above the control panel and below the oven were stylised black plastic vents.
Again, although they were not shown in the 1976 Pedigree literature, the Wall Oven contained a wide red plastic grill pan with a 'stainless steel' plastic grill tray, a red casserole dish with a clear plastic lid, and a 'stainless steel' plastic roasting tray. All three items had the “Sindy” logo moulded underneath their base, although this detail was missing on some later versions.
A new addition to Sindy's bathroom was a toilet. Sindy's toilet was actually very modern and stylish. It was a close coupled toilet with the water cistern mounted directly behind the toilet bowl with no intermediate pipe. Moulded in sun yellow plastic it had a brown plastic hinged seat and lid. The cistern was detailed with a faux cistern lid. It also had a moulded flush handle & “Sindy” logo which were painted dark brown. To complete this scenesetter there was a toilet mat which fitted perfectly around the base. It matched the rest of Sindy's bathroom linen and was made of brown cotton towelling with a white wool fringe.
In 1976, this scenesetter was called 'Toilet' in the trade catalogue and 'W.C.' in the style leaflet.
Sindy got a new piece of stylish lounge furniture, a moulded dark blue vinyl chair fashioned to look like a soft upholstered chair. But, this chair did not have arms, and it was able to rock gently back and forth on the rocker-style base.
1976 saw the introduction of a new range of products, the accessory sets. These were the first packs since the 12S86 A & B packs (see 1968 Sindy) and for the first time some of these packs were not outfit related. The trade catalogue described these sets as follows:
“New Play Situations
Around the home appeal
High play value at low prices
Instant collector appeal
More realism in Sindy's world”
These sets can be categorised as being either accessories for Sindy to wear, or accessories to complement her scenesetters. Using this distinction, we will show any home or scenesetters accessories with the scenesetters.
There were three home related accessory sets for 1976.
This lounge accessories set included a white TV set with a 'magic picture' of an Active Sindy which changed as you tilted it, a framed picture, a three-legged red plastic coffee table, Sindy's plastic silver coffee set consisting of the coffee pot and lid, milk jug & sugar bowl, two white plastic cups & saucers, two plates, two knives, and two teaspoons.
The magic picture on the TV set and the framed picture were not as shown in the Pedigree literature.
This set was called 'Relax-in evening' in the trade catalogue and 'Lounge Accessories' in the style leaflet. In 1977 it was called 'Relax in Evening'.
This is a lovely soft furnishing set consisting of an oval faux fur floor mat, three round foam cushions covered in pale blue, orange and red brush nylon, and two square foam cushions covered in brightly patterned nylon.
The cushions are covered in different patterned fabrics then those shown in the Pedigree catalogue and if anything the 'real' versions are very much nicer.
This set was called 'Live-in luxury' in the trade catalogue, 'Soft Furnishing Accessories' in the style leaflet, and 'Lounge-In-Luxury' on the packaging.
A set of six kitchen accessories which complemented Sindy's new kitchen beautifully. From left to right above, there was a blue plastic and metal plate toaster, a set of blue and white plastic kitchen scales, a combined coffee grinder and liquidiser set (unfortunately ours is missing the yellow lid of the liquidiser attachment), a yellow bread bin with a lift off lid, and a blue and white plastic food mixer with a clear perspex bowl. Interestingly only the food mixer is marked with a Sindy “S”.
This set was called 'Cook-in time' in the trade catalogue and 'Kitchen Accessories' in the style leaflet. In 1977 it was called 'Cook in Time'.