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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

 

Categories: New content, Patch, 1970s

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