Our Sindy Museum Blog
|Posted on October 8, 2020 at 9:30 AM|
Back in 2011, Kathy and I took our Sindys along to a Toy Museum for a Day charity event. You can read all about it in our articles section. One of our most popular little exhibits was our Brownie camp. It was just something we pulled together using Kathy's Patches and some camping bits of mine.
Lots of Mums and Grandma's were really pleased to see the brownies and many happy stories were shared. Patch's detailed Brownie outfit is still very popular and beloved by many collectors old and new.
A few months ago, Karen kindly wrote to us to confirm that Patch's green badge indicated that she was a member of the Pixie Six.
We then asked if anyone knew what were interest badges that Patch had on her right arm?
Lucinda has now written to us to let us know that they were First Aid, Needlework and Cooking. This is what Lucinda said:
I - like Patch - was in the Pixie Six, where I eventually rose to be the Pixie Sixer - probably my greatest achievement yet. You ask on the page what other badges Patch had on her right sleeve - in case nobody else has let you know they are, from top - First Aid, Needlework and Cook. I was determined to get all these three to be like Patch.
Patch's uniform is an authentic representation of the outfits worn by Brownies at that time. It was an outfit which had remained largely unchanged since the 1930s, apart from the introduction of a gold tie in the mid 1930s and the new brown beret in 1950. Pedigree captured quite an important aspect of our 20th Century social history, faithfully reproducing a doll's outfit that most people in the 1960s would have immediately recognised and which was worn by so many little girls. In 1968 the Brownie uniform was updated and the dress and tie were redesigned.
Our 1967 Patch exhibit has now been updated
|Posted on May 10, 2020 at 1:20 PM|
It's always a joy to amend the Museum when we find out something new. We always said we didn't know everything and would be happy to amend if other collectors had something we didn't know about. Today we have revised the 1970 Sindy Weekenders (Ref 12GSS) (Boxed doll outfit). We now know she did indeed wear an elasticated red headband thanks to the lovely Karie.
We have amended 1970 to show that this Sindy came with a headband and updated 1969 to refer to this discovery also. Thank you Karie for your attention and care.
|Posted on May 2, 2020 at 10:15 AM|
The 1981 Sindy Outfits and Separates has now been added to the Museum.
It's as complete as we can get it for now. You will see that we are missing the Blue Party Time doll and we still don't know the answer to the Baby Blue lingerie set, so we have gone for the 1980 version for now. Sadly, nor can we shown the black Sindy which we believe was issued this year?
There are some possible dolls and or outfits which we haven't included yet because we cannot verify the year for certain:
- The first is the bunches Sindy in the T-shirt and shorts sold in a bubble pack shown on page 163 of Colette Mansell's History of Sindy because we can't find another reference as to its year.
- The second is the Funtime Sindy that was wearing the yellow shirt and red skirt that came with the Funtime Buggy. We know of 3 of these sets Funtime Sindy with Dining Table and Chairs (Ref 44891), Funtime Sindy and her Country Garden (Ref 44893) and Funtime Sindy with Camping Buggy and Tent Set (Ref unknown). There may be others.
|Posted on April 29, 2020 at 7:25 PM|
In 1980 Pedigree issued the pretty Baby Blue lingerie set with the reference 44073.
In 1981 Pedigree issued what looked to be exactly the same outfit but with a new reference 44082.
The allocation of a new reference keeps troubling me and I keeping coming back to the possiblility that it is related to the variation in the half slips.
When writing about 1980, we didn't know whether these differences could be explained by one being Pedigree and the other Schuco as we know this outfit was packaged under both brands, or by one being the 1980 and the other being the 1981 version. Or, were we looking at cost cutting? Or perhaps simple manufacturing differences given that the different snap-fasteners might indicate different production runs or production at two different factories. To be honest we still don't know!
But I am beginning to wonder if 1980 Ref 44073 is the longer slip and 1981 Ref 44082 is the shorter one? This is based very tentatively on the few Mint in Packets I could find on the internet. Unfortunately none of the photos are mine so I can't show them. Also, looking at photos, it's difficult to measure them accurately and some don't provide a reference.
So returning to the Pedigree catalogues, I do think there might be a difference. But, as always one can't rely wholly on the catalogue pictures because sometimes the finished garments were quite different. Looking further at this, possible different slips may be reflected in the packaging. See below 1980 packaging followed by 1981 packaging.
I am cautious to say this is correct i.e. longer slip in 1980 and shorter slip in 1981 because Sindy is wearing the wrong slippers in the 1981 picture and she is sitting down so it's not wholly reliable. So here's a shout out to anyone who have these outfits in or from MIP. Please could we kindly ask you to measure the length of your slip and tell us what reference is on the package?
Very interested in your opinions on this one.
|Posted on April 26, 2020 at 3:05 PM|
I was going to post 1981 today but I managed to mess up the site (you may have seen the sneak preview which I managed to publish on every page)! But every cloud has a silver lining, I was delayed, but someone wrote to me at the same time about a piece of missing Mix n Match I was looking for, so I am going to hang on for that and then publish what we have.
So instead here are my thoughts on Active Sindy, the ballerina. Now I think she was one of the most perfect fashion dolls ever made. A poseable doll is so much more accessible both for playing and displaying, and with 15 moveable joints, she was very poseable indeed. I always thought Sindy scored highly over for example Pailitoy Action Girl and Debenhams Victoria Jane (to name two UK dolls) because although they had beautiful faces their jointed limbs are not pretty (sorry it's what I think... no offence is intended). Sindy's covered jointed limbs are so very elegant in comparison. In addition, her iconic outfit was clever, a leotard and a tutu catering for both gymnastics and ballet. It's not a flashy outfit but still it is sophisticated in its simpleness. Lastly Pedigree ballet shoes are just great, for a toy doll they did the job and still look pretty good all these years later.
I first saw Active Sindy in an advert in the 1970s and I thought she was wonderful. I was a teenager when she was first issued and so really I was getting too old for dollies by then, but oh my I would have loved her!
I recently found the advert on YourTube and here is the link to it. It's not great quality, but I remember this so well even down to the music. I hope it brings back happy memories.
Of course, being a collector is the perfect excuse to have a few ballerinas and perhaps even a room for some of them.
My Sindys wear all sorts, Sindy, Barbie, home made, I love all those little bits.
In writing about 1981, I noticed we never included a 2nd Gen Ballerina in the Museum. Probably because the outfit hadn't changed. So I have added one and here she is.
Who says 2nd Gens aren't beautiful?
I really should go back and add a 2nd Gen to the previous pages also. I will add that to the list!
Do you like ballerinas too? I would love to know if you do?
|Posted on April 19, 2020 at 9:35 AM|
I was talking to my friend the other day and she asked me how was I coping with lockdown? Well I said I have very clean kitchen cupboards and I'm writing for the Sindy Museum again. “You still haven't written about homemade clothes yet” she sighed. Now this is true, but they are on the list of things to add to the Museum as we recognise they form an important part of Sindy’s history.
In keeping with many Sindy owners, my friend’s Sindy only had a couple of bought outfits. She remembers having Bell Sleeves (1974) and Checky Coat (1975) and a couple of cheap clone doll outfits. All the rest of her Sindy’s clothes were made by her mother and her grandmother; and in fact her grandfather made her Sindy’s wardrobe! Even the most luckiest Sindy owners, who had a majority of bought Sindy outfits, often had some homemade too. And of course some owners, like Kathy here, only had a Sindy doll and everything she wore was homemade.
These clothes could be sewn or knitted and were well catered for by the sewing and knitting pattern manufacturers. Sadly over the years, with the advent of cheap and accessible bought clothing, the art of home dressmaking and knitting has declined apart from a few talented individuals who still make their own garments today.
Still, a number of collectors enjoy looking at and collecting vintage patterns, and some Sindy anoraks like me also enjoy looking for and collecting those homemade clothes that came from those patterns. You can often find them in Sindy clothes bundles on eBay and sometimes nice ones are listed separately but still don't cost very much to buy.
So, I thought for this week’s blog I would share with you one of my favourite sewing patterns for Sindy. Here is McCall’s 1972 pattern 3429 for a teen doll fashion trousseau. As you can see it cost 40 Pence at the time.
I love how the pattern suggests using lots of different fabrics, although it is not surprising that this collection mainly uses those mainstream fabrics of the time nylon and crimplene! Ric rac, lace and embroidered trims, ribbons, all their contemporary fabric embellishments are here too. They adorned Sindy’s outfits and ours. In fact, both my sister and I had matching Mum-made crimplene maxi-skirts with two rows of embroidered trim at hem… we felt very grown up and fashionable in those skirts. We wore them to death although being made of crimplene they were pretty much indestructible so even when we grew we were still wearing them as midi-skirts!
I bought these clothes first (apart from the wedding dress and veil) because I really liked them when I saw them in a lot on eBay. I did not know they came from an actual sewing pattern until a couple of years later when I spotted the pattern for sale. The wedding dress and veil were in Kathy's collection which she kindly gave me. I do hope that one day I will find the wraparound pantskirt to complete this set. Shoes and bouquet are models' own.
I hope you enjoying seeing this set. Forgive the girls for looking a bit messy, I was going to photograph the outfits flat but I got a bit carried away.
Keep safe and well in these difficult times
|Posted on April 12, 2020 at 10:10 AM|
Sometimes to go forwards one needs to go back, and we have sometimes had to do this at the Museum as we added a new year or discovered something new. This was definitely the case a few weeks ago whilst writing about 1981. I noticed on eBay that there was a Summertime Fun Sindy in a yellow swimsuit which the seller thought might be from 1980. This perked up my interest because I have just written about the 1981 Summertime Fun Sindy and in the official Pedigree catalogue she was the same doll as the one for 1980. That Sindy was a basic 2nd Gen who wore a bright pink halter neck swimsuit (Ref 44716). Ugh I thought, we've missed a doll.
Now one of the drawbacks of only collecting brunettes is that you miss out on collecting dolls that only came as blondes, such as the 1981 Party Time Sindy which was a blonde bunches doll. On the plus side, it does mean that you are less likely to go bankrupt trying to obtain a version of every Sindy ever made, and another plus point is that by focusing only on one hair colour you become much more attuned to other differences.
So, the Sindy on eBay had the reference (Ref 44715), whilst this could indicate that it was an earlier doll, it could also indicate a later doll because the referencing in the 1980s goes a little haywire. In the eBay photograph the Sindy doll herself certainly looked like a 2nd Gen and maybe 1980 was the right year. I must confess I didn't look closely at the box. I rechecked all the 2nd Gen years in the Pedigree catalogues but I couldn't find this doll. Well it was a brunette and I didn't have it, so I thought it was worth a bid. I was very pleased to win it.
When the doll arrived the most noticeable thing was in fact the packaging, the doll shown on the box was actually a 033055X Sindy. You can see this very clearly when you place this box next the 1980 Summertime Fun box. So, from the box a later 1970s doll, but no later than 1978.
But, on removing the doll from the box she was clearly a 2nd Gen which would place the doll as no earlier than 1979. She was wearing a yellow stretch nylon swimsuit which is the same one that came with the 1977 ‘Sun Lounger’ mini scenesetter (Ref 44423) and was again used for the 1978 uncatalogued ‘Sunshine Girl’ (Ref 44693). So the product timeline makes sense.
We know that in 1979 most Sindy dolls were now repackaged in new “scenic” window packs which had cellophane fronts with a pretty illustration behind Sindy to reflect and complement the doll's outfit. This coincided with the release of 2nd Gen dolls. The exception was the 'Funtime' Sindy which still came in a basic printed illustrated box. Looking more closely at photos of 1979 Funtime printed boxes (unfortunately I don't have an original one of these), I think on reflection it also shows a 033055X Sindy which is also shown against a blue background. In all probablility the boxes were designed before the 2nd Gens were available because of the time needed to print and manufacture the boxes. If you have the boxed Funtime Sindy from 1979 in the check dress I would be grateful if you could kindly take a look and let us know what Sindy you think she is?
So, we believe that the yellow swimsuit Summertime Fun Sindy (Ref 44715) is an uncatalogued 1979 doll. Her box, just like the 1979 Funtime Sindy, was probably designed using the existing doll but she was in fact one of the new basic 2nd Gens.
She has been added to the 1979 Sindys which has now been updated.
As always we would be very interested to know what you think and may we take this opportunity to wish you a very happy Easter and we hope you and your loved ones keep safe and well.
|Posted on April 5, 2020 at 11:20 AM|
When Kathy and I started the Our Sindy Museum, it was our attempt to make sure everything was captured correctly about our favourite fashion doll and her outfits and scenesetters. Many collectors helped us and we uncovered some wonderful gems such as the Lyons Maid Sindy. Others were less kind and we received some emails that sneered at our endeavours or who were cruel and unkind. It took its toll. Kathy ended up selling her beloved collection and I walked away from our efforts although I kept my brunette Sindys and added a few things now and again to the Museum. We paid the website bills, answered the odd email, but on the whole just let the Museum sleep.
I think it's time we resurrected the Museum and finished what we promised we would do, which was to catalogue the Pedigree Sindys.
We will need some help, I have gone though one PC and three laptops since we first started and I can't find all our original notes and photos. I know some of our knowledge is lost in time, so we may need prompting from other collectors if we miss something.
But, having read and answered many of the recent emails to the Museum, I know the site is still well loved and Kathy's and my efforts were not in vain. So, I am currently writing about the 1981 Sindy outfits, almost finished actually just need to take the photos.
I hope this blog maybe a new way to start conversations to finish the job? FYI I cannot show a single Party Time Sindy (Ref 44743 – Int Ref 44643) (Boxed doll outfit)... no blondes... oops! Can anyone help?
Your thoughts as always are welcome.