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Celebrating Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee

Posted on June 3, 2022 at 12:10 AM

Jacob King/PA Wire/PA Images

 

This weekend we celebrate Her Majesty's Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee, and many will mark the occasion in their own way.

 

My sister and I are very different, she was always partial to soft toys whereas I was always a dolly girl. But the one thing we have in common, and also with the Queen is we grew up with a corgi, and we still adore them too. It's not uncommon for us all these years later to still yell "CORGI" and point whenever we see one. Which is probably very disconcerting to the person quietly walking their dog whilst the crazy lady across the road jumps and down whilst gesticulating wildly at you. I also think we might be the only two women in the country who watch the Queen's oustanding 2012 Olympic video "Happy and Glorious" watching intently for the corgis rather than Daniel Craig.

Obviously she got out her soft toys and I got out the Sindys. Well three Sindys and a Tressy (the only one in my collection). I thought it would be nice to show Margaret Dernocour Bing's Historic costume dolls for the Jubilee.

This is Eilzabeth of York and Queen Elizabeth II is her direct descendant. She is also related to Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots who are shown also. The fourth doll in the collection is Marie Antoinette, a departure from the British Queens. But, if you are going to tackle fabulously dressed Queens from history, she's an obvious choice.


I hope you enjoy them and if there is anything about the biographies or Queen's wardrobe that you think needs improving, don't hesitate to get in touch.


We wish Her Majesty a wonderful Platinum Jubilee.


With thanks to the National Portrait Gallery and the Parliamentary Art Collection for permission to show the orginal portraits and engraving of the Queens themselves, and to Sue for the Corgis.

https://www.oursindymuseum.com/historic-the-queens



#PlatinumJubilee 

#HM70

Sindy's 1974 Styling Head

Posted on May 29, 2022 at 9:55 AM

It's funny what you remember as a childhood toy, and that irresistible urge years later to find it again.


Lynn contacted us about the 1974 Sindy Styling Head because eventually she just had to buy back this treasured toy. This is what she said about owning her, "I sometimes pinch myself and think is she really mine and I am ever so tempted to take her out and style away. I’m very pleased I own her, she brought back a lot of happy memories".


I totally get that feeling and we are very glad to show this mint beauty in the Museum. She's gorgeous, and her box also provides an interesting insight into the hairstyles that were suggested for her. Personally, I never wanted to own a styling head until I saw this one, and she's really so very pretty...


We have taken this opportunity to remodel and complete the 1974 Scenesetters page, and so also now included is Sindy's 1974 Home, a second version of the pink Carry Case and the inflatable Pool Set.


Thank you Lynn for sharing, and to Katie who provided an insight into the Kelloggs Competition and that early Sindy Home.

https://www.oursindymuseum.com/1974scenesetters.htm

Cars and Girls

Posted on May 18, 2022 at 11:10 AM

In the early 1960s, British sports cars were the height of cool and were very popular, particularly in the USA. So what do you give a girl who's got to have all? Yep, a British sports car!


Barbie was first over the finishing line in 1962 with her Austin Healey Roadster by Irwin for Mattel. Ideal's Tammy followed a year later with her MGB Roadster. Tammy was very hip indeed because the real MGB was only launched in the UK at the Earls Court Motor Show in Winter 1962.


In 1965, Sindy also got her own sports car and given the relationship between Ideal and Pedigree she got the MGB also. Her's however was bright red; a very fitting colour for our ambitious, energetic, fun lovin gal.


We are not the only ones who have taken a keen interest in Sindy's 1960s car. In April 2021, MGE published an article on Sindy's MGB Roadster. MG Enthusiast is the world's best-selling MG magazine, covering all examples of MG cars, so a most prestigious publication.


Andrew Ralston, the author of the article, and MGE have kindly granted us permission to show the article here in Museum to enable easy access for Sindy fans, thank you!


So lets get our motors runnin' and head out on the highway for a good read.

https://www.oursindymuseum.com/sindy-and-her-mgb

Top Marx

Posted on May 15, 2022 at 12:25 AM

We first published our Marx Sindy page in 2013, and almost as soon as we published it our website provider changed their building tools and messed up the formatting of our new page. It had been a huge effort to get it online and I must confess that the idea of rewriting it was just too much. So, we addressed the most serious format and layout problems, and we let the page stand.


So, you may be wondering why I have chosen a Kitchen Sink to illustrate this entry. Well in the almost immediate reformatting by the website provider, we lost the sink and we couldn't retrieve it, and it has always bugged me. I was so happy to see this Kitchen Sink, sad but true!


Although Marx Sindy was only available for a few years and despite all its faults, our page on Marx Sindy has always remained very popular.


To begin with, I didn't really understand Marx. A beautiful Sindy doll dressed in a very drab dress, yet there was gorgeous Gayle and the beautiful scenesetters? What was this all about? But then you have to remember this was an attempt to enter the North American market dominated by Barbie, and really this was all about 'Sindy's world' and in particular the scenesetters with branding that could be used for Sindy or Barbie.


Marx Sindy furniture is beautiful and and it had items and refinements we didn't have in the UK. For example I love the blue lampshade to Bedside Table whereas we still had a pink one with an aqua blue set! Marx Sindy had a 3 Level Home, a Fridge and a Washing Machine before the UK. Many of these products were later incorporated into Pedigree Sindy.


Just recently we were contacted by four different collectors who wanted to contribute to our page. Lone from Denmark with her beautiful Gayle in the heart labelled box, Louise with her armchair, Anne Marie from the USA with her photos of some hard to find items which we knew about but couldn't show, and Nicole from Canada who generously shared her childhood collection which she has owned for some 44 years. Thanks also to Starla for her partially unboxed 'Let's Go to the Beach' mailaway when she learned the Marx page was being rewritten. Thank you ladies for your help and patience whilst the page was rewritten and thank you for answering so many questions.


Continuing thanks to Suzanne, Donna and Lisa and our anonymous donors who contributed to this page first time around.


We are still missing some boxed and packet outfits which we would love to show if you have them, and we have still questions about the Mailaway 'Let's Style my Hair' and in particular did it come with a towel?


Hope you like the new page and the new gallery created to go with it.


https://www.oursindymuseum.com/marxsindy.htm

We need to talk about Patch...

Posted on April 26, 2022 at 9:15 AM


Back in September 2003, a birthday party was held at Sudbury Hall Museum of Childhood for Sindy’s 40th birthday. David Fear, Pedigree’s Product Manager in the 1960s, was asked what he would have done differently with hindsight back in the 1960s. He replied, “Not Released Patch”. His reply was met with audible gasps from the audience. His thinking was that Pedigree lost its way by releasing Patch and Sindy's other friends, and they stopped focusing on their main product, Sindy (12S, Issue Number 9, Page 8).


We know that by beginning of the 1970s Line Bros. Ltd, Pedigree’s parent company, was in trouble and in 1971 they called in the Official Receiver. Pedigree, along with some of the other Lines Bros subsidiaries, were subsequently sold off to Dunbee-Combex-Marx.

 

Whilst Patch is very well loved today, he probably wasn’t wrong. In business, variation leads to complexity, and complexity leads to increased costs. It can also result in a company taking its eye off its main product offerings.

 

Also, there was the issue of the huge number of Patch original outfits that were made. Warehousing and the maintenance of stock is costly; let alone the money that was sunk into buying that stock in the first place (which is dead money until that product is sold). Various accounts tell of how Patch’s original Mint in Box (MIB) outfits were available well into the 1970s, long after Patch herself had been delisted. Indeed, it is still relatively easy to find MIB Patch outfits on auction sites such as eBay today.

 

Pedigree used a number of different ways to clear that stock. They introduced in 1970 a Patch dressed in just a baby doll nightie, probably hoping that new owners would want to buy clothes for her. At the same time, the prices of those outfits were reduced.

 

Additionally, Pedigree had introduced Poppet who could wear Patch’s clothes and in the 1970s after Patch was delisted, the 1st edition June who was the same size as Patch.

 

All of this brings us to the Debenhams Patch. Dressed in just a pair of panties, this pretty doll was available, along with a special offer of discounted original Patch outfits in Debenhams. She was probably a last-ditch attempt to clear the warehouse stock.

 

We are delighted that we have been able to add that last Debenhams Patch to our final 1972 page for Patch. She’s a lovely doll. Please do take a look, and if you have any more information on Patch in her final years or the Debenhams Patch, please do get in touch.

 

Grateful thanks to Gill for sharing another of her lovely boxed dolls, and also for yet again answering so many questions about her.

https://www.oursindymuseum.com/1972patch.htm

 

Mary Poppins Sindy

Posted on April 19, 2022 at 6:00 AM

About 12 years ago we added a Sindy Mary Poppins page to the Museum thanks to a collector from New Zealand who sent us a photo of her doll. Well we didn't even know such a doll existed and perplexingly we couldn't find a British equivalent. Following publication, Robynne from Australia got in touch and showed us her Mary Poppins bought in Australia which really had us scratching our heads.


We wrote down everything we had found out, and our very simple Mary Poppins page basically didn't change for a decade.


Meanwhile over in Australia, Jennifer B had been researching the Australian Mary for a number of years and got in touch to tell us what she had found out and what she had documented in her Blog.


I think I have mentioned before how much I enjoy reading doll blogs and Jen's blog is brilliant. Beautiful dolls (she collects all sorts) and interesting observations and thoughts. I thoroughly recommend her blog, I love learning about other dolls and looking at great pics and Jen's blog is a real treat.

https://jenjoysalldolleduppage.wordpress.com/


So Jen and I got chatting and I asked if she would consider a rewrite of the Museum page. To my delight she agreed!


To begin with I had to throw away all my preconceived ideas about Sindy dolls from the other side of the world. It took me a while to get my head around that. Then as Jen started writing down what she had found out and we were looking up dolls and sharing our Sindys we discovered that the very early American Horsman Mary Poppins also wore the same outfit as the New Zealand Mary!


Now we could have left it there. But, we just couldn't. So we made the fateful decision to include the Horsman Mary because of the outfit overlap. But we couldn't make sense of all the dolls we could see online. We decided what we really needed was a Horsman Mary expert. Jen asked on social media for help and the marvellous Martha from America 'stepped up to the plate'.


Well, we went from a little bit difficult to incredibly difficult. To begin with, I think both Jen and I were just bewildered by how many variations there were. I think, we had been thinking there would be an early Horsman outfit like the NZ Mary and a later one and then a later 1973 release. Oh we were so wrong. The Horsman Mary variations are fabulous and Martha diligently worked through them all and explained them to us.


Obviously, having added the American Horsman Mary, we couldn't in our hearts ignore the Canadian Reliable Mary (or as we know her, Tammy Mary Poppins), she is after all another overlap with Sindy.


A lot of people have helped with our new Mary Poppins page. Jen and Martha have been fantastic - their determination to get things right has been inspirational. Thanks also to Sandra and Michelle for sharing their mint dolls and to Kaye and Luke in Australia for their interest and observations. We thank The Strong in New York, and the Canadian Museum of History and Todd Bruhm, President of the Reliable Toy Corporation in Canada, for permitting us to use their Horsman and Reliable Mary adverts. Lastly, we thank our original NZ Sindy Mary Poppins owner and Robynne for setting the ball rolling all those years ago.


I am still perplexed why there is no British equivalent, but I am happy to look at these girls all day!

https://www.oursindymuseum.com/mary-poppins-dolls

1981 Party Time

Posted on September 21, 2021 at 9:00 AM

Very, very happy today to add the missing 1981 Blue Party Time Sindy which we show in her box to match the pink and the yellow versions we have already. This lovely mint doll was donated by Joanne from Essex, who describes herself as a Sindy devotee. We may be a tad biased, but we can't think of a better doll to devote yourself to Joanne.

Sindy was definitely 'on point' with this outfit, and it is sometimes attributed to the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest British entry "Making Your Mind Up" by Bucks Fizz. The dance routine for the song had Cheryl and Jay's midi-length skirts ripped off in the middle of song revealing shorter skirts. It's been pointed out that the Sindy skirts can equally be quickly removed to reveal her dance leotard underneath. However, the Sindy outfit would have been devised in 1980 to make it into the 1981 catalogue and Bucks Fizz was formed in January 1981 and performed the dance routine in the UK's 'Song for Europe' in March 1981, going on to win the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest in April. Aah those were the days winning a Eurovision sigh, these days I am just thrilled if we get a point!

Anyways back to Sindy, rather than attributing the Sindy outfit to Bucks Fizz, maybe it was the other way round? Just a thought...

With thanks to Bob and SAS (Pink Outfit), Sonya (Yellow Outfit) and Joanne (Blue Outfit) for helping to create our rockin Party Time line-up.

https://www.oursindymuseum.com/1981-sindy

Pari Roller and new 1982 Skaters

Posted on September 10, 2021 at 7:45 PM

Did you know every Friday night in Paris is roller skating night? Pari Roller has been going since 1994 and is held every Friday from 9:30 pm to Midnight. It normally starts near Montparnasse Railway Station and is a circular skating route through Paris at night. It is only cancelled in bad weather. And best of all, it's free to participate.

For example tonight (10th September 2021) the journey starts at Montparnasse Railway Station, has a break at Louvre Museum, finishing back at Montparnasse Railway Station covering a distance of 20.62 km.

Since 2019 the 'hike' has been open to other forms of mobility, be it human or electric powered, but these forms of travel are requested to stay behind the skaters. The French Police and Pari Roller volunteers supervise the procession with the police forming a safety bubble to the front and rear of the skaters. It is manadatory now to wear a face mask in these Covid times, but it is wonderful to see the event is still being held.

It looks like a lot of fun and now I really wish I could roller skate!

http://www.pari-roller.com/

So to celebrate the wonderful Pari Roller we've added four lovely photos from Starla of her Skater Sindys. As you can see there is some nice variations here with both 2nd Gens and Sad Faces. If you have a different girl, please do send us a photo. Thank you again to Starla for your generosity in sharing!

https://www.oursindymuseum.com/1982-sindy

Hello Dolly - Happy Birthday!

Posted on September 6, 2021 at 5:15 AM

Happy Birthday Sindy!

Today Sindy is 58 years old and our website has been running for 11 years now. We wish we could say that we were looking as good as Sindy does with those extra years.

It seemed a good idea therefore to return to one of Sindy's nicest party outfits to update it with a couple more variations for her birthday. Hallo Dolly (Ref 44232) is a wonderfully exhuberant 1975 Outfit, it's very pretty although a little fragile as the material frays very easily. In the mid 1970s, there were a few dolls, such as Mego's Cher (1976-81), dressed in gorgeous stage show outfits and it's good to know Sindy had one too.

So today we have added a two variations, making a total of seven that we now know of. Added today is a very beautiful French variation in a beautiful bold red pattern which is usually worn on brunette Sindy. This variation is from Isa, thank you!

Isa writes a French doll blog and her main collections are Petra, Tressy and Bella Cathie. I like doll blogs because I know I am very Sindy focused and it's good to just read widely around the subject of fashion dolls so that you can understand her context.

Isa's blog can be found here and if you are not a French speaker, don't forget you can use Google translate to read websites in a foreign language

https://lescathydisa.skyrock.com/

With continuing thanks to Marjoke from the Netherlands who supplied our orginal Hallo Dolly photo

https://www.oursindymuseum.com/1975-sindy

1981 Sindy Outfits and Separates

Posted on September 2, 2021 at 9:25 AM

Sometimes in updating the Museum you come across something which means you need to rewrite whole sections. Half of me thinks... pretend you didn't notice that, the other half thinks... nope you have to record that! 

So Ball Gown (Ref 44375) which was so straightforward now shows three variations and discusses the conundrum of what was the right choker for this outfit. Thank you Martina of The Little Sindy Museum in Sweden for the Green Ribbon variation of Ball Gown and for your attention to detail when considering the fabric.

Changes in this update are as follows:

  1. Addition of the beautiful black Sindy boxed doll (Ref 44642U)
  2. Inclusion of a newly discovered Sweetlife (Ref 44348) variation
  3. A rewrite of Ball Gown (Ref 44375)

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