Sindy & Paul Jack in the Boxes

Sindy Jack in the Box

This box has a blue star and a blue plastic hinge to the back which is impressed “GOOD-WOOD” plus the Patent Pending number. There is a matching blue plastic spring release clip to front to fasten the lid. But it isn’t an ordinary box. It contains something very wonderful inside.

A metal spring steel clip is fitted inside the box behind the hinge, which activates the lid to spring the lid open when the blue plastic catch is released. Inside the lid is a chromium metal retaining clip for the Sindy head to slot into by her neck.

Sindy’s outfit is exactly the same as the Sindy Puppets consisting of a cotton cloak with pale blue, lilac and navy floral pattern with green leaves on a white background, fastened by a pale blue ribbon. Underneath is an orange, pink and white cotton seersucker ‘dress’. Please note this outfit is exactly the same with regard to the bow detail as the Centrepart Puppet also on display in the Museum. The dress forms an ‘A’ line shape with pleats neatly pressed in and attached to the bottom at the front of the dress with a metal rivet is a metal Noddy bell which jingles as the doll is activated.

This Jack in the Box was made by Good-Toys (Lavant) Ltd, marketed as “Good-Wood Playthings”. We know that at the beginning of the 1970s this company introduced a new range of wooden Jack in the Boxes which were described as “a brand new approach to an old favourite”. The 1970 Tri-ang Christmas Catalogue and the 1970-71 Hamleys Catalogue both have photos of this new toy and show a Jack in the Box which was in a box with a green star on the lid, and a Bear in a Box which had a red star. 

We also know that the patent for the Jack in the Box toy itself was applied for in 1969 as can be seen from the paper label from another example of the Sindy Jack in the Box shown below.

This Sindy came in a red latched box but with the same blue star on the lid.

Paul Jack in the Box

A very interesting variation on the Sindy Jack in the Box is this wonderful Paul Jack in the Box.

Paul is dressed as a court jester. His motley (multi-coloured) outfit is made of orange and blue brushed nylon fashioned with arms. Some care has been taken with outfit because is it a nice representation of a jester’s outfit.

For his head Paul has a traditional late medieval ‘foolscap’ which had three points with bells attached which jingled. He wears a ruff with a bell attached and he also has a bell attached to his coat.

Paul’s box is very interesting because we can see some modifications to the jack in the box mechanism.

This jack in the box uses a box painted with a red star and it has a red latch, similar to Sindy’s blue latch.

However, the plastic hinge has been changed to a metal version and the metal strip inside the box has been replaced by a spring. Perhaps, the plastic hinge and metal strip weren’t strong enough. Or perhaps that metal strip was a little unsafe to be in a child’s toy?

Whatever the reason it is an interesting modification.

Paul’s box bears a rather lovely example of the painted Good-Wood trademark.

The box also has a paper label similar to the second Sindy shown above. What is really nice about this label is it shows the price of this toy in both decimal and pre-decimal prices. This allows us to pinpoint when this jack in the box was sitting in the toy shop, because we know decimalisation in the UK took place on the 15th of February 1971. This jack in the box cost the equivalent £29.84 at today’s purchasing prices, so it wasn’t a cheap toy for the time.

We do not know whether these Sindy and Paul in a Boxes were released at the same time as the Jack and Bear shown in the 1970 Tri-ang Christmas Catalogue and the 1970-71 Hamleys Catalogue, but the Centrepart head does match the timeline, and we do know Paul was in a toy shop when decimalisation occured in 1971.

Perhaps the company saw a use for Pedigree surplus old stock following either the Lines Bros. Group collapse in 1971 or the introduction of the new Trendy Girl and Gauntlet Sindys at the end of 1971, buying up discontinued Centrepart Sindy and Paul heads to make these Jack in the Boxes. Sindy was obviously aimed at girls, the Bear in the Box was described as being “for the very youngest set”, and the Paul is just fun and could be bought for any child.

We believe that the Sindy Jack in a Box and the Sindy Puppets are contemporary because of the outfits. Unfortunately we do not know how long the Sindy & Paul Jack in the Boxes were available for.

You can compare the Sindy in a Box to the Puppets here Sindy Puppets

Good-Wood also made Sindy’s Wooden Four Poster Bed Sindy’s Four Poster Bed