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Our Sindy Museum Blog

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


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