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Sindy the doll we love to dress

1980 Scenesetters

Despite all the turmoil with Sindy's parent company and their losses in the US, Pedigree still managed to release a large number of new scenesetters to please young owners.

Sindy's bedroom furniture was described as “A collector's first priority. Fully furnished in international style” and showed the existing Wardrobe (Ref 44502), the Bed (Ref 44503), Dressing Table (Ref 44505) and the Bedside Table (Ref 44506). The 'Bedroom Gift Set' (Ref 44585) consisting of the Wardrobe, Bed and Dressing Table was also still available.

 

“A new look for Sindy's lounge.” Sindy's lounge furniture was updated and she was given a new “Regency style” Settee and Armchair in “luxurious deep-buttoned upholstery” in cream vinyl (see below). Only the blue Rocker (Ref 44554) remained from her original 1970s lounge and at some point this was also remade in cream to match the rest of her furniture (but we will show this in 1981 when it first makes its appearance in the Pedigree trade catalogue).

 

Sindy's Dining Room consisted of her new elegant Dining Table (Ref 44582), now shown with green seats, and her China Cabinet (Ref 44583) both of which had been introduced in 1979.

 

Sindy's Eastham 'E-Line' kitchen was now described as “Dream Kitchen”. Most of the previous items and their accessories i.e. the Wall Cupboard (Ref 44546), Hob Unit (Ref 44547), Sink Unit (Ref 44548), and Wall Oven (Ref 44550) were available; as well as a 'Kitchen Gift Set' (Ref 44587) consisting of the Hob Unit, Sink Unit and Wall Oven. However the Floor Cupboard (Ref 44549) was not shown or referenced. In its place were two new kitchen appliances which are shown below.

 

Her sunshine yellow “Luxury Bathroom” was the same and still included her Hairdryer (Ref 44524) Bath (Ref 44540), Washbasin (Ref 44541), Toilet (Ref 44551) and Shower (Ref 44573). The 'Bathroom Gift Set' (Ref 44586) still included the Bath, Washbasin and Toilet.

 

“The hub of Sindy's world” and to provide the setting for all her furniture Sindy's Home (Ref 44571) which was redecorated in 1979 could still be purchased. Sindy's popular home from home, her Carrycase (Ref 44563) which was fashioned as a hotel bedroom was also still available.

For Sindy’s outdoor life, her Camper (Ref 44542 - the buggy and tent) in the blue and white stripe livery was still available as was her Camping Scene (Ref 44577 – her large orange frame tent and accessories) and her Horse (Ref 44569).

 

However, her glorious wood and printed fibreboard/hardboard Stable introduced in 1977 and the Caravan from 1978, both made by the Dutch subsidiary SIO (Speelgoed Industrie Overijssel) were replaced by vinyl covered pressed cardboard replacements (these are know as Vinyl - Stay - Vinyl constructions). As with the rest of DCM group, and within the toy industry generally, SIO was struggling against foreign competition and the decision was taken in 1979 to close the business and to sell it, so replacements had to be found. The replacements were also sourced from the Netherlands we believe.

 

Sindy's  “Accessories” for 1980 were identified as “Little things that bring play to life” and to ensure their sales were described to traders as “Impulse purchase prices”. They were her 'Dress in Style' set (Ref 44403 – see 1976 Sindy) and 'Jewellery Accessories' shown with the brown jewellery box (Ref 44417 – see 1978 Sindy together with 'Winter Holiday' (formerly called Winter Sports) (Ref 44428 – see 1978 Scenesetters).

 

This year saw the introduction of new “Activity Packs”. Some were a combination of existing Sindy accessories, and others included new items thereby refreshing and providing novelty to existing stock. They were described as “Fine detailed accessories for Sindy's activities”. These sets are all listed below, except for 'Fashion accessories set' (Ref 44395) which is shown on the 1980 Sindy fashions page.


In addition, around this time, Pedigree also issued six uncatalogued Sindy wind-up home appliances, which are shown below.


Sindy's new 1980 scenesetters were:

Airport Trolley (and luggage) (Ref 44385)




















A new ‘out and about’ accessory which was described as being for ‘jet setting’, this scenesetter was a great addition for our adventurous gal. The centrepiece was a working luggage trolley in blue plastic with grey wheels and a white basket (so useful for Sindy’s handbag). There was a full set of co-ordinated luggage. Her large red plastic suitcase seen in previous sets, an orange medium sized suitcase and a yellow vanity style case with a mirror on the inside lid, all with a moulded Sindy logo on one side. There was also a red cotton cloth gown carrier (called a gown holdall in the catalogue) emblazoned with a heart logo and an airline arrow symbol. It was cleverly designed with one loop handle bigger than the other so the carrier could be folded and handle slipped through the other. There was a set of vanity accessories included, which were a reuse of her dressing table set, a brush, comb and hand mirror, her two cosmetic bottles with blue and red bottle tops and her yellow plastic powder bowl with a white sponge cosmetic puff attached to the underside of the lid. This is a mint pack and none of the vanity items have a Sindy logo on them. To complete the set was an SLR camera and strap and flight labels for her suitcases.

Garden Furniture (Ref 44386)


















A new ‘out and about’ accessory which was referred to as for ‘poolside relaxing’, this was a perfect complimentary set to Sindy’s new swimming pool (see below). It was a café style white plastic table with a brightly coloured orange and yellow parasol sunshade, and two white slatted plastic garden chairs with orange and white pinstripe cotton cushions. The set included some nice accessories. There was an orange plastic jug and two matching beaker-type glasses plus two yellow straws for each. A bottle described as a ‘pop’ bottle (that’s a shame we always thought it was a wine bottle, or perhaps thats a jug of Sangria instead?), an SLR camera and strap, sunglasses and a bottle of suntan oil.

Gown Rail (Ref 44387)






Shoerack detail

A new addition to Sindy's bedroom was her “model style” gown rail on wheels. Made of white plastic with a metal hanging pole, it was cleverly designed with a gold Sindy heart logo, full length mirror and drawer on one upright, and a shoe rack (a reuse from the Sindy wardrobe) for four pairs of shoes on the other. It came with additional accessories, Sindy's 1978 Red A-line 'Funtime' dress, two pairs of knee-high boots in brown and white, four pairs of shoes – her blue one-strap sandals, brown tassel shoes, yellow slip-on mules & red round-toed court shoes (which appear to be a reuse of her boots and shoes from the 1976 ‘Dress in Style’ (Ref 44403) and 1978 Marx ‘Lets Dress in Style’ (Ref 1290) sets), and six new redesigned blue coat hangers with trouser bars. A great little set for Sindy.

Swimming Pool (Ref 44388)






Swimming Pool close-up showing internal steps
“A bigger splash”

Sindy really did have the best of everything and this year she got a brand new above-ground swimming pool. Made of blue plastic with a kidney-shaped pool with a white faux tile surround, Sindy’s pool had both internally moulded pool steps and external access steps. The latter was made of white plastic which slotted into the side of the pool wall under the tiles. The pool came with a moulded white diving board. Powered by two HP2 batteries the pool had a red underwater light and a “foaming water jetstream”. To complete the set, the pool came with a plastic printed playmat and a printed cardboard backdrop which slotted into the back of the pool thus providing a relaxing garden setting for Sindy’s swimming pool (and as you can see, her new Garden Furniture (see above) is depicted on the right).

Horse Care Set (Ref 44394)

















A new set with riding and grooming accessories which gave Sindy everything she needed for her horse. It was based on Sindy's previous 1978 'Grooming Set' aka 'Horse Accessory Pack' (Ref 44425) together with some new items.

 

From the old set came the red plastic bucket, horse comb & brush, yard broom, a red plastic rosette with a blue & white decal, a plastic silver coloured trophy. Also included with a black felted riding hat which was not actually listed in the catalogue description, a red brushed cotton horse blanket printed with a black Sindy “S” with a white bias binding used for the ties and edging, and a new nosebag made of mushroom coloured needlecord with a brown bias binding for the edge of the bag and strap.

 

The horse comb and brush and broom have been found in a variety of colours, as you can see ours has a yellow horse comb, brush and broom – although the catalogue photo for this year showed them as blue.

Hair Styling Set (Ref 44396)
















A reuse from Sindy's 1977 Set in Style (Ref 44426) accessory set was her heated rollers together with Sindy's existing gold painted “S” logo brush, comb and mirror.

 

The heated rollers still had eight detachable white plastic heated rollers with clear plastic roller clips (or pins) and 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. However the Carmen logo appears to have been dropped by 1980.

 

To complete this set, a brand new hair care item, a portable hair dryer with the very latest in hair dryer styling attachments, which it looks remarkably similar to the Ronson Escort 2000 hair dryer. Hairdryers with attachments were extremely popular and so it is no surprise that Sindy had one. Sindy’s portable hair dryer was white plastic fashioned with faux air vents, a bright yellow switch and a black Sindy logo. It came with a flowery PVC elasticated bonnet (there are a number of patterns) and white plastic styling brush and styling comb with moulded handles so that Sindy could not only set her hair but also blow dry it into fashionable flicks and curls. The white plaited-cord hose had bright yellow connectors - square end to the hairdryer and round end to the bonnet and styling attachments. The hair dryer came with a black plastic strap so that Sindy could wear it on her shoulder leaving her free to to do other things whilst drying her hair. This lovely set came in a blue plastic vanity case with a faux mirror on the inside of the lid just like the real Escort 2000.

Spring Cleaning Set (Ref 44397)


















This set combined Sindy's 1977 Housework (Ref 44422) and her 1978 Washday (Ref 44429) mini scenesetters providing her with a complete set of laundry and cleaning equipment.

 

From 'Housework' came her upright vacuum cleaner plus tools in blue and white, swing-top bin in yellow plastic with a blue lid, the yellow plastic bucket with a blue handle, red plastic floor broom, dustpan and brush, and squeeze mop. From 'Washday' her rotary clothes line with miniature clothes pegs, the yellow plastic clothes basket, her yellow and white plastic collapsible ironing board with the moulded red and back plastic iron with a white cord (which can just be seen) which could be attached to the ironing board with a yellow plastic flex-tidy.

 

This set came with a vinyl covered pinafore apron Similarly to 'Housework”, there are a number of variations for this apron and the one pictured for 1980 was the green & orange tartan apron trimmed with red polyester cotton.

Sindy's Magic Cooker (Ref 44481)

























Unlike some of Sindy's other earlier scenesetters, the magic cooker was devised and created by Pedigree's own Research and Development (R&D) team. It was a freestanding luxury cooker with a hob, grill/rotisserie and oven. The cooker was designed to match the rest of Sindy's existing Eastham E-Line kitchen units and so it was predominately made in yellow, white and chrome-coloured plastic with printed decals to simulate switches and digital timer clocks for both the grill and oven. This cooker was an expensive item, in 1980 it cost £23, it required 6 AA batteries, and it was quite a sophisticated electronic toy. In fact, it was Pedigree Sindy’s first digital toy.

 

Starting at the top of the appliance, there was an eye-level grill copying the latest trend for glass cooker doors (actually made of Perspex). It had a silver coloured grill tray combined with a rotisserie with a yellow spit. A plastic chicken could be inserted on to the grill tray spit, which when carefully inserted into the grill would engage a small gear wheel. This action would switch on a light in the grill and by using the thumb wheel on top of the cooker the spit could be rotated simulating the chicken being cooked.

 

The hob was chrome coloured with a ribbed black & chrome splashback. It had four black solid hotplates and on the right four black faux switches and an on/off switch. When the cooker was switched on a indicator light placed next to the switch glowed red. Each hotplate had three prongs, one plastic and the other two metal, these provided the connectors needed to make contact with the metal disk affixed to the bottom of the cooker pots and pans.


The oven also had a new fashionable glass oven door (again made of Perspex) and it came with a large silver roasting tray. When the tray was inserted fully into the oven, an oven light came on, and after a few minutes an automatic buzzer sounded like a real oven timer.

 

At the base of the cooker was a large storage drawer to hold all of the accessories.

The different cooking sounds were triggered by a metal disk on the bottom of each pan, the different thickness of the disk provided the electrical resistance required to trigger the right sound on contact.


These cooking sounds were recorded on a Mrs Mabel Bing’s gas cooker, she was the mother of Peter Bing who worked for Pedigree’s R&D. He spent an evening recording cooking noises in his mother’s kitchen and the tapes were sent to Hong Kong where they were digitised and put onto chips.

There were four different bright orange plastic pots and pans which could be placed on the hob:


  • a whistling kettle which rose to a crescendo
  • a pressure cooker with a removable lid which made hissing noises which sounded like steam being released from the pressure cooker lid valve
  • a frying pan which made crackling and popping noises, and
  • a saucepan which made boiling and bubbling noises.
As well as the rotisserie/grill tray with the chicken on a spit, this set came with a pastic brown moulded cake and joint of meat which could be placed on the roasting tray.
There was also a set of printed press-out card food which could be placed in the pans and trays.

We don't think this  set is complete and we would love to hear from anyone who still has this press-out food still on the card).
The 1980 trade catalogue showed this set with the blue pots and pans which came with the previous Eastham E-Line hob and the printed stickers on the cooker were very simple (therefore probably a mock-up for the catalogue photos); for the 1981 trade catalogue the cooker had been updated to show the orange pots & pans and decals that adorned the real cooker.

 

This cooker was quite a technical success, it was also marketed as a Marx/Pedigree Sindy product (amended to match the Marx Sindy colour scheme) and Pedigree also licensed it to Galoob (we believe) who repackaged it using their own branding. Finally, as testament to Pedigree R&D, this cooker is 38 years old and it still works!

Washing Machine (Ref 44483)


















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. But again it was probably a Marx Sindy crossover. The UK version was constructed in bright yellow and white plastic to match the rest of Sindys kitchen.



The washing machine really worked, with a battery operated timed washing programme which made a realistic washing machine noise and caused the central black agitator paddle in the washing drum 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 with two AA batteries and it came with a yellow plastic laundry basket.

Armchair (Ref 44517)
















“Large deep and comfortable – it's fit for a princess”

Now made from cream vinyl, Sindy's armchair was updated to match modern tastes of the time. This was a high back, buttoned cushioned chair styled to look like the Regency influenced furniture that had become so popular.

Settee (Ref 44518)















“There's room for two on this luxurious Regency style settee”

Sindy's settee matched the armchair and was made from cream vinyl with the same high-back, buttoned cushioned style to look like the Regency suites that were currently in fashion.

Horsebox (Ref 44567)

New for 1980 was Sindy’s Horsebox. It was made of printed vinyl-covered board and was a flat pack item which could be assembled and fastened together with plastic studs. It was a double horsebox with a middle divider which could accommodate two horses.  The yellow vinyl was realistically decorated on the outside and it could be towed by the Camper Buggy using the towing link. It had a jack for stability when parked for play.



There are two separate fold-down ramps to the front, one for each side of the horsebox as can be seen above. At the rear it had a fold-down tailgate ramp with the number plate SINDY 1 to match her buggy and a GB sticker. These ramps could be latched shut with yellow plastic hooks.

Interestingly, there are two versions of this Horsebox. We believe the one above left was first version with the vinyl panels held together by yellow plastic press studs. The one above right we believe is the later version. At first it looked like the yellow studs had merely been replaced over time. However, in deconstructing the horseboxes one can see that it was actually redesigned. The divider panels are different and the later version is a much sturdier construction which does not rely on slot-on roof supports which are very fiddly and easy to dislodge. There are more fixing points on the roof in the later version and it now used copper coloured plastic screw studs which were less liable to pop apart Additionally, the front panel was strengthened by attaching the divider panel to it and using longer black plastic screw studs to hold it in place.

 

Both the 1980 and 1981 Sindy catalogue show the yellow press stud version.

Caravan (Ref 44574)

A newly styled caravan made of vinyl-covered board. It was another flat pack item which was assembled and fastened together with plastic studs. It had a fold-down side to provide access to the interior which had a stand-up table and benches. As with the previous version it was brightly and realistically decorated inside and out, had a separate door, and came with a towing link and jack for stability when parked for play.

 

We do not know if this scenesetter was subsequently redesigned in the same manner as the horsebox (see above).


We don’t have this item and would be grateful for a photograph of it if someone has it.

Stable (Ref 44578)


















Replacing the SIO wooden stable was a new vinyl-covered board construction. It was also a flat pack item which was assembled and fastened together with yellow plastic studs. The side of the stable could be dropped down to create a cobbled stable yard. It provided loosebox stabling for two horses and had a central divider and opening stable doors (a door in two halves, with a top part that could be left open when the bottom part was kept shut) which could be latched shut with yellow plastic hooks. It was brightly and realistically decorated inside and out. It's a lovely Sindy scenesetter.


We do not know if this scenesetter was subsequently redesigned in the same manner as the horsebox (see above).

Sindy’s Working Wonders (Uncatalogued)

Sindy’s new home appliances were a Blender, Floor Buffer, Food Processor, Mixer, Sewing Machine and Stereo & Speakers. These were Galoob Inc’s toys made in Japan repackaged as Sindy’s ‘Working Wonders’. In 1979 Galoob had introduced a set of boy’s wind-up mini power tools branded as ‘Oh Boy, It Works’ and a set of wind-up home appliances for girls called ‘Gee Whiz, It works’. They were described as the ‘World's Smallest Running Appliance’. These little wind-up models were very popular and are mostly just the right size for a 12 inch doll. Thus they can also be found packaged for Fleur - the Dutch equivalent of Sindy (Blender, Mixer, Sewing Machine and Stereo), Debenhams Victoria Jane - which was manufactured by Pedigree for Debenhams (Blender, Food Processor, Mixer and Sewing Machine) and the designs of which were later used in the 1986-87 Barbie 'Action Accents' packs sold by Arco (Mixer, Sewing Machine and Stereo).

 

They were described as fully detailed Sindy size running appliances and because they were wind-up toys, they needed no battery. They could be wound up and switched on using their tiny on-off switches. They are beautifully detailed from the cotton reel on the sewing machine to the molded needle on the stereo.

Blender

A 3 part appliance with a base unit, 'glass' jug with a attached blades and a lid. Winding it up the blades rotate.

Floor Buffer

This appliance was an odd inclusion as really it is far too small for Sindy. A single piece appliance. Winding it up the buffers rotate.

Shown here for interest in Galoob packaging.
Food Processor

A state of the art kitchen appliance, looking remarkably like a
Magimix. It was a 4 part appliance with a base unit, 'glass' jug with a attached blades, food processor bowl, lid and separate pusher. Winding it up the blades rotate.

Shown in Sindy packaging.



Mixer

A 3 part appliance modelled as a traditional table mixer with a base unit, 'glass' bowl and mixer arm with a attached double whisks. Winding it up the whisks rotate.

Sewing Machine

A one piece appliance which when wound up and switched on emulated an electric sewing machine with the needle moving up and down.

Stereo & Speakers

A 3 piece set with two speakers and a record player with a movable arm and record. Winding it up the record would spin.
 
The three cardboard cut-out records shown above came with an unpackaged stereo set, and although we can find no evidence to show they came with the stereo, we have also seen the same stereo subsequently sold with similar cardboard records. If you have any more information on the origin of these little records we would love to hear from you.

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