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Vintage Sindy Dolls
Collecting Vintage Sindy
A page devoted to vintage and retro Sindy dolls, from the 1960s to 1990s! Learn about the wonderful world of Pedigree and Hasbro Sindy dolls and where you can track them down to add to your collection. This page also includes a wealth of links and resources, so whether you are looking for one or two old dolls or are a serious collector looking for rarities, I hope this page will help!
Did you have any Sindy dolls as a child? I did, and I still have them to this day! I saved some of my toy collection to pass on to my own children, and now that I have a daughter, I'm glad that I did. Many of today's toys are not nearly as nice as the ones I remember from the 1980s!
Of all my toys, the ones I wanted to keep most were my Sindy dolls (I have a few Barbies but was never much of a fan) and My Little Ponies. The modern versions of these toys are nowhere near as nice as the old ones, in my opinion! My daughter is not old enough for Sindy yet but I can't wait to pass my dolls on to her - and because the old Sindy range was so wonderful, my interest in vintage Sindy has grown and grown. One Christmas in the not-too-distant future, I will be trawling eBay for a vintage Sindy house just like the one I used to have!
Many people now love to collect vintage Sindy and she has become quite a popular collectible for hobby enthusiasts! There is so much to collect, not just the many wonderful vintage dolls, but also the fabulous retro clothes, furniture, pets, vehicles and other accessories.
In her first 40 years, over 100 million Sindy dolls were sold in Britain alone. Read on to find out what all the fuss was about and take a trip down memory lane!
Sindy - The Doll You Love to Dress
Have you ever had a Sindy?
Ever had a Sindy doll or two in the family?
Have you ever bought or owned a Sindy doll?
Pedigree Sindy Dolls (1963-1986)
The Original Sindy!
Sindy is a fashion doll created by Pedigree Dolls and Toys in 1963, a company that was then based in Exeter. England. Sindy was created as a direct rival to the successful American Barbie doll. Market research had shown that Barbie was unpopular with the British public, and so Pedigree had declined an offer from Barbie manufacturer Mattel to license Barbie in the UK. Instead, they launched Sindy in September 1963, opting for a more natural, innocent, girl-next-door image than that of Barbie.
Their research and instinct proved correct - Sindy was a big hit. The development of Sindy accessories and fashions also helped, as Barbie did not feature a huge accessory range until the 1980s.
The promotional spiel for Sindy in the early 60's went like this:
"Sindy is the free, swinging girl that every little girl longs to be. Sindy has sports clothes, glamour clothes, everyday clothes - a dog, skates, a gramophone - everything... Every genuine Sindy outfit is a child's dream come true. Each one is designed for today's fashionable young women by today's leading women designers. They are authentic miniature replicas of the latest adult clothes."
Indeed, the original Sindy had the look of a young teenage girl, unlike the later 80's dolls that were to come.
In the 1980s, Sindy went glam with dresses designed by The Emmanuels (who designed Princess Diana's wedding gown), and in 1985 an older-looking Sindy was launched, along with friends Mark and Marie.
The 1980s dolls are the ones I am most fond of, because those are the Sindy dolls of my childhood. The fashions were classic 80's and great fun, and I much preferred the large-eyed, fuller and more poseable figure of Sindy over the skinny, stiff Barbie dolls that were available. They were far more real and had much better accessories and homes.
Top Tips for Collecting Vintage Sindy Dolls on eBay
- When buying dolls and other items, inspect the pictures carefully, check feedback scores to make sure the seller is reputable, and ask questions of you have any worries about the condition etc of the item
- Remember, Sindy was a British doll, so if browsing on ebay.com, look for items under international sellers, or go to ebay.co.uk. Similarly, in the UK, look for Marx dolls under international or on ebay.com.
- Lots are great buys and you can often grab a bargain this way. Sometimes you may get lucky and find some rarities in your goodie bundle!
- If you like to get creative with your Sindy dolls, look for the battered and worn and give them a new lease of life! You'll find links in the resource section of this page to sites with articles on how to repair, customise and re-root hair on dolls, so you can restore a worn rarity or create a one-of-a-kind unique Sindy of your very own!
Marx Sindy Dolls (1978-1980)
Sindy in America!
A harder to find range of Sindy dolls!
In 1978, Sindy was introduced to the American market via Marx Toys.
Pedigree had focused on developing the range of many Sindy products rather than looking at changing trends and market research, and risked the girl-next-door look growing old-fashioned.
When Marx launched Sindy in America, most of the dolls and items were the same as those sold in the UK, with the exception of a new friend, Gayle, and a token American doll in the form of McDonalds Sindy (pictured).
Sindy was not a success and Marx Toys went into receivership in 1980.
Why Do You Collect Vintage Sindy Dolls?
If you are a Sindy doll collector, what is it about the vintage dolls that you love so much?
I love to collect vintage Sindy dolls because...
Hasbro Sindy Dolls (1986-1999)
Sindy goes Barbie
In 1986 Hasbro bought the rights to Sindy and slowly but surely, Sindy got thinner, more tanned, and more like, well, Barbie! I distinctly remember as a child bemoaning the fact that Sindy didn't look like Sindy anymore.
That said, some of the early Hasbro dolls, such as City Girl Sindy (pictured) were still quite nice dolls, and I do remember a very nice ballerina Sindy from this era.
And sure enough, the more Sindy became like Barbie, the less the British public liked her, and her hold on the doll market diminished drastically. After the 1989 remodel, Mattel issued a successful injunction against Hasbro and in the early nineties, Hasbro had to remodel Sindy's face again to remove any similarity to Barbie.
Hasbro launched Sindy in Europe in 1994, but the doll continued to slide in popularity and in 1997, all advertising was withdrawn due to rumours that toy retailers were planning to delist Sindy.
Classic 80's Sindy Couture
Vivid Imaginations (1999 onwards)
Although this page is about vintage Sindy dolls, I thought it would be appropriate to mention the more modern dolls briefly as well.
Vivid Imaginations relaunched a younger, more modern Sindy in 1999, trying to capture the style of the current market.
Although they may have appealed to the girls of this era, I find them to be more along the lines of the tacky plastic dolls typical of modern toys, and I much prefer the old ones!
New Moon Sindy Dolls (2003 onwards)
Modern Sindy for a New Generation
In 2003, Sindy turned 40, and for her anniversary, she was relaunched once again, manufactured by New Moons. Sindy was completely revamped to look like a 15-year-old girl of the times, gaining trainers and in the words of the Sindy PR team, losing her large breasts and long legs.
In 2006, a further re-brand returned Sindy to the 12-14 year old girl she was originally in the 1960s, with a range of fun fashions. This Sindy was aimed at 3-5 year-old girls as a rival to the Bratz range, which was widely unpopular with parents due to their more risque image.
Although it was nice to see Sindy return to her younger roots, I was still not a fan. She looked a bit too chav-Sindy for me!
Retro Fashion from Miss Sindy!
Vintage Sindy through the Years Video
An interesting video showing "how Sindy grew up" - seems she fell victim to fake tan somewhere along the way!!
Which is your Favourite Sindy Era?
Which Sindy range do you like the look of the best? Which is your favourite to collect, or the one you remember most fondly from childhood?
Which Sindy era is your favourite?
Beach Party Sindy
The History of Sindy Book
296 pages of Sindy history! This is a great resource book for Sindy collectors that is well documented and superbly illustrated. Where photos and illustrations are unavailable, written descriptions are clear enough to identify items.
Vintage Sindy VS Modern Sindy
I love the older Sindy dolls the best. Rather like Barbie, the modern Sindy is a bit too skinny and plastic for me. But what do you think? Do you prefer the vintage Sindy dolls, or are they just too old-fashioned now?
Vintage Sindy Houses and Furniture
Vintage Sindy or Modern Sindy?
Sindy houses, buildings and furniture were great fun! The range grew and grew, and in the 80's, when I was growing up, I don't think you could get a better toy for a little girl than the impressive main Sindy House. I'll dig out a photo of me with it one of these days and add it here - when I was very small it was taller than me! It was so much better than all the small doll houses and restrictive Barbie houses around at the time - it was big, spacious and open-fronted, meaning easy access and play with all the dolls and furniture. It even had a lift that moved up and down the levels, and a rooftop garden!
Furniture was plentiful and just like reality - everything from leather suites to a four poster bed, vintage-style dressing tables to a full blue bathroom suite complete with towels, flannels and soap. Attention to detail was superb, with everything available to accessorise furnishings (from books and cutlery to stereos and pot plants) as well as furniture that was typical of the era, such as the open-out desk units found in living rooms and heated hostess trolleys!
There were other buildings too - I fondly remember the 2-in-1 garage/stable that acted as an extension of the main house, with a garage door that swung up to house Sindy's car and a stable the other end for her horses.
Vintage Sindy Commercials
Vintage Sindy Clothes
You could probably fill an entire room with the amount of clothes that Sindy had. If any doll needed a walk-in wardrobe, it's Sindy! I have a huge bagful of outfits up in the attic, awaiting the time when once again, little fingers will be playing dress-up with dollies.
My mother always amusingly reminds me of how whenever I received a new Sindy doll, the first thing I did was undress her. Not for any strange reasons, I assure you - I just loved dressing my different Sindy dolls up in different outfits! I was very imaginative in my play - it wasn't just a new look if I swapped outfits around, it was a whole new character. Every one of my Sindy dolls had a different name!
From the swinging sixties to the funky seventies, the crazy and iconic eighties to the trendy nineties, Sindy's fashions covered everything from casual to evening wear, sleepwear to sportswear, weddings to uniforms.
You can usually find lovely big lots of vintage Sindy clothes on eBay, so happy hunting!
Vintage Sindy Playsets & Accessories
There are lots of wonderful Sindy accessories to collect from the many years of Sindy ranges.
I remember trawling through the little Sindy catalogues that were released from Pedigree (and later, Hasbro) and putting ticks next to all the items I wanted to get! Needless to say, I only ever had but a fraction of them, but it was fun to dream!
This Sindy hospital set from one of my catalogues was accompanied by everything from a Sindy gym with sunbed to a full blown Sindy TV studio with video cameras!
The range of accessories was vast - homeware, cutlery and tableware, bathroom accessories, cleaning and laundry sets (including a vacuum cleaner that switched on!), sports kits, shoes and trainers, fashion accessories, toiletries, books, plants, mirrors... you name it, Sindy probably had it!
There was also a great range of vehicles and pets, too. I will never forget my beloved Sindy bright yellow beach buggy (I attached a piece of string to the front and pulled it around with me everywhere!) or yellow motor scooter, for which Sindy had a fetching white helmet. I get a little confused as to which of my doll animals were Sindy and which were Barbie, but one definite Sindy pet was a brown dog that came as part of the Walk in the Park set, with pram. I don't know if he had a name, but I called mine Sam, and yes, I still have him!
There was a terrific equestrian range - early Sindy horses were rigid but there were some later poseable ones. There was even a foal named Star, who came with a little yellow blanket. Each horse came with a realistic saddle and bridle. But far from leaving it at that, the Sindy range branched out into a range of traps and carriages, complete with all the relevant tack required to hitch your Sindy horse up to its cart!
What are your Favourite Vintage Sindy Extras?
In addition to your Sindy dolls, which Sindy items do you love to collect the most?
Which Sindy items do you enjoy collecting the most?
Essential Vintage Sindy Resources & Links for Collectors
- Sindy - The Doll You Love to Dress: Early Vintage Sindy Gallery
Superb website with extensive gallery of many of the oldest and original Sindy dolls
- Tammy and Sindy Dazed by Dolls Site: Vintage Sindy Identifier & Galleries
Fantastic site with blog, doll photos, doll identifier and much more for both Sindy and Tammy dolls
- Club Sindy: Hasbro Vintage Sindy Guide 1987-1996
Excellent index with photos of the Hasbro Sindy dolls by year from 1987 to 1996
- My Sindy: Collecting Vintage Sindy Dolls
Super Sindy fan site with gallery, forum and more, along with a series of interesting articles and a section on how to fix old Sindy dolls, from body repairs to re-rooting hair! Includes the modern ranges like the New Moons dolls as well.
- Guide to Buying Vintage Sindy Dolls on eBay
A tips and hints guide to buying and cleaning Sindy dolls on eBay
- Vintage Sindy, Barbie and Petra Dolls
Contains a lovely gallery of large pictures featuring the early Pedigree Sindy dolls from the 60's to 70's.
- The My Sindy Forum: Repairing Vintage Sindy Dolls and Creating OOAKs
The forum from mysindy.com, which includes threads on how to repair, paint, customise and much more
Sindy VS Barbie! - Who is Queen of the Dolls?
Were you a Sindy girl or a Barbie girl growing up? Which is better?
Sindy or Barbie - who's the best doll?
Vintage Sindy on Amazon
Classic Bridal Sindy
Which Sindy would you give your Kids?
I have a haul of Sindy dolls in the loft waiting to be passed on to my little girl. Would you prefer to give your kids or grandkids the lovely old Sindy dolls, or the modern ones? Is it a case of peer pressure - would kids of today appreciate the old dolls or prefer to have the same toys as their friends? Have your say here!
Which Sindy would you give your children?
Snow Princess Sindy
Thank you for reading - I hope this page was interesting and useful for Sindy fans!
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