For collectors and enthusiasts around the world, dolls can represent a sense of childlike wonder, nostalgia, an insight into how children of past eras entertained themselves, or simply impressive displays of artistic model renderings of the human form.
Sindy Dolls are valuable collectors’ items in that they embody all of these factors most sought after in the doll collecting hobby. Their emphasis on style, fashion, and contemporary trends lend them a status of great admiration and favorites amongst many people.
Sindy is a fashion doll company created by Pedigree Dolls & Toys in Britain in 1963. A competitor for America’s Barbie, she stood out in being inspired be teen instead of adult fashion, a less accentuated, younger looking silhouette, and innocent appearance. Her first outfits were inspired by contemporary fashion designers such as Tuffin and Foale. Her girl-next-door essence earned her instant success in the market, and by the end of her first three months in stores, the company had produced and sold over 40,000 dolls with their accompanying outfits, up to 200,000 products in total. She won the Girls Toy of the Year Award in both 1968 and 1970.
Throughout the peak decades of Sindy’s success, she was dressed in contemporary teen fashion of the day, mimicking both the style and even materials of modern dress; she was initially most well known for her ‘Weekenders’ outfit of a red, white, and blue striped blouse over blue jean slacks and white sneakers. Her original bob cut hairstyle was available in blonde, brunette, and red. Unlike early Barbies, she had a variety of separately sold outfits so young girls could build a whole doll wardrobe to choose from when dressing her. In the 1980’s, David and Elizabeth Emanuel, the designers of Princess Diana’s famous wedding dress, designed outfits for Sindy.
In addition to Sindy’s wide variety of outfit choices, there was also the option of purchasing products from her accessory line known as Scenesetter items. These items were painstakingly detailed, from as a grand scale townhouse that came fully furnished and decorated along with items such as a vacuum cleaner and kitchen supplies, a fully equipped horse stable set, contemporary cars, and so on.
Unfortunately once the 1980's were in full blast with a new market of electronic toys and the competing Barbie’s increasing popularity, Sindy Dolls began to struggle to remain relevant, and slipped in the toy market. Attempts were made to remodel and rework, but ultimately, following a failed attempt to introduce Sindy to the American market, her commercial success waned and she was delisted from major retailers in the following decade.
"Their timeless charm and quality of innocence combined with their high fashion style and historical value make them a natural favorite in the collecting hobby."
Despite a disappointing end, today old Sindy Dolls have scene a resurgence in popularity amongst vintage toy collectors. Their timeless charm and quality of innocence combined with their high fashion style and historical value make them a natural favorite in the collecting hobby. Especially rare models can be worth up to three figures in some cases of auction. A direct symbol of childhood sentimentality, and a valuable insight into the way girls of past eras played and learned to adapt to the world, it is no wonder that dolls like Sindy captivate and fascinate people across the globe, and will likely do so for generations to come.