What are Sindy dolls?

The Pedigree Sindy doll was officially introduced to little girls on Sunday 6th of September 1963 at 6pm with a 30 second TV commercial in the London area. She was the first UK toy ever to be advertised on television. The advert with its catchy jingle was shown a further 25 times up to Christmas day, when her first eight outfits and eight separates were also screened.

She was a 12 inch teenage fashion doll and her first outfits were inspired by 1960s fashion designers such as Tuffin and Foale, with her clothes reflecting fashions of the day.

She was an instant success and Pedigree had to work all possible shifts to keep up with the demand. By the end of the year their factory had produced over 40,000 dolls and all the accompanying outfits, some say as many as 200,000 products in just three months. By 1967 over 1 million Sindys wearing her iconic Weekenders outfit of a red white and blue matelot top, blue jeans and white sneakers had been sold.

Pedigree produced Sindy for 23 years, and as the times and tastes changed, so did Sindy.

Her original blonde, brunette or auburn (red) bubble hair cut was, according to a Daily Mail article published in 1964, created by Michael of John of Knightsbridge. Later on she given other hairstyles, both long and short. There were always blonde, brunettes and auburns to choose from, and additional hair colours too.

She was Britain’s answer to America’s much more glamorous (and some would say brash) Barbie, but she was more like the ‘girl next door’ with her wholesome English rose looks, sensible size 10 figure (her measurements would be 33-24-34) and range of fashions and accessories.  She quickly became Britain’s best selling doll and was awarded ‘Girls Toy of the Year’ in 1968 and 1970.

Her clothes reflected the current trends

she followed the fashions

outfits for every occasion

reflecting her lifestyle

from formal to casual

Over the next 20 years Sindy and her outfits and accessories reflected the fashions and lifestyle that every little girl wanted. Her clothes were detailed replicas of the fashions of the time and were made from the same material. Sindy wore mini skirts, maxi dresses, hot pants, pedal pushers and gypsy dresses. She wore hats and scarves, carried handbags and umbrellas, and had a range of shoes and boots. Her clothes were made from cotton, wool, nylon, crimplene, tweed, lycra and lurex. Sindy had an outfit for every occasion; beachwear, fabulous gowns, fashionable coats, everyday casual clothes, negligees and nighties, smart formal outfits, swimwear, undies and work wear.

She was given a huge number of "scenesetter" items

her own horses with stables, horse boxes and horse care kits

cars from her 1960s MGB Roadster to her 70s Beach Buggy and 80s Land Rover

beautiful furniture and accessories for indoor living and outdoor activities

her own home from flat pack to multi-level townhouses

Everything was faithfully reproduced in miniature with appropriate additional accessories from hair rollers to horse blankets and everything in between. You name it, Sindy had it!

By the middle of the 1980s Pedigree was finding it hard to cope with the competition, particularly from abroad, and with the drift away generally from traditional toys to the newer electronic games. Despite their best efforts with new designer outfits designed by the Emanuels (who designed Princess Diana’s wedding dress) and intricate and beautiful accessories and scenesetters, even a remodelled and relaunched ‘new look’ Sindy, Pedigree lost its grip on the market.

In 1986 Pedigree sold the rights to Sindy to the American toy giant Hasbro Inc. Hasbro remodelled the doll to look more American. But as Mattel’s Barbie continued to grow in popularity and enjoy continuing market growth, Sindy’s declined which eventually led to her being delisted from major retailers in 1997 and Hasbro returning the doll’s licence to Pedigree. This museum shows our research into Pedigree’s much loved doll from 1963 to 1985 and the outfits that were available for her.

We do hope you enjoy your visit, and if you have any comments or suggestions, please do get in touch.