Welcome to my Sindy Website.I'm Johnny Clarke. I hope you'll find hours of fun and very happy childhood memories browsing through the many pages of fashions and scensetters from 1963 right up to 1987. Everything on the site is from my own collection, which I started on the 3rd of September 2003 ! I can hardly believe the time has gone so quickly, and my collection has grown so much ! Please feel free to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any idea's, see any mistakes, or want any advice. Thanks for droppin in, and I hope you come back again very soon...Tons of love...Johnny and Sindy
Sindy, 'The Doll You Love To Dress' was released in September 1963. Made by Pedigree Dolls and Toys in Merton, south London, not too far from Wimbledon.
The concept of Sindy was to produce a fashion doll, not the sort that had been made for years by various companies (including Pedigree) up until then, curly haired dolls with flared 1950's style dresses covered in frills and bows, no, this doll had to be completley different, she had to reflect current fashion trends, be a real teenager with a lifestyle to match.
Pedigree had been approached by Mattel and asked if they would like to produce Barbie in the UK, under licience. They put Barbie to a selection group of typical buyers, mothers and children, she wan't popular, she 'scared' the children with her hard looks and leggy, 'pointy' figure...and mothers didn't approve of her 'brashness', not a good role model at all.
And so it was, that Pedigree found Tammy, made by deal in the USA, a pretty teenage doll with a soft figure, she was the typical 'girl next door'. They put her to their selection group and she was a hit. Ideal gave permission for Pedigree to 'use' Tammy, under the agreement that they wouldn't use the name Tammy, although they were allowed to use Tammys Tag line , 'The Doll You Love To Dress'. Pedigree came up with the name Cindy, but found it had already been taken, so the 'C' was changed to an 'S', and the rest is history ! Tammy lasted a mere 4 years on the American market, but the English girl that was 'born' from her is still going today, a true testament to Sindy's lovable 'personality'.
Sindy was so different at the time, in so many ways. She was 'given' fashion designers to design some of her first outfits. Sally Tuffin and Marion Foale, young, trendy designers who had really hit the London fashion scene with a bang, they designed amongst others, Sindy's release outfit, 'Weekenders' ..Sindy must have surley been the first English doll to be sold in a red, white and blue horizontal striped long sleeve 't' shirt, 'Bell Bottom' jeans and white sneakers ! Very up to date and 'with it' . Sindy was also released with three different hair colours, so buyers had the choice of their favourite hair colour, Brunette, Blonde or Titian, a lightish reddy brown colour. And the hair style ? No curly locks for Sindy, no pony tails tied with pink ribbon, Oh no...she had the very latest style, a bob...made famous and fashionable by Vidal Sassoon. This varied from just skimming the ear lobes to touching the shoulders, but it always had a full fringe.
Pedigree also did something they had never done before with any of their other toys and dolls, they gave Sindy her very own TV advert. Pedigree had of course advertised their wares on TV before, but it was always a selection of toys in the same advert. But Sindy got star treatment. She was initially launched and advertised in the London area, and took Pedigree completely by surprise, she was an instant hit, mothers and children clambered to get hold of her, shops ran out of stock in no time. The shops were issued with a display stand and a record to play in the store, this was not for general release, just for the stores, and 'advertised' Sindy with a song in an upbeat, 'pop' tune. See further below for close ups of the first and second edition promotional records.
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Sindy was introduced in her first stye book...
'Sindy is more than a doll, she is real personality. The free, swinging, grown-up girl who lives her own life and dresses the way she really likes. Sindy is 12" tall and as up to date as the morning. Her arms and legs move freely and her hair can be washed and set time after time.
When you first meet Sindy she'll be weekending in denim jeans and striped top. She has lovely dresses too and bright mix 'n' match seperates, the kind of clothes every grown-up girl long for; see them in Sindy's own style book.'
The style book was in fact a folded up leaflet picturing all Sindy's oufits in colourful line drawings. It was named 'Sindy's Bazaar', the name Bazaar was probably taken from Mary Quants famous trendy store at the time.
One of my latest aditions, in October 2009, this gorgeous Full size made in Hong Kong Sindy with the most minty hair.
It's a Record Year !
1963...and toy shop owners in the London area were given this promotional 45rpm record to play in their shops and toy departments to introduce Sindy to buyers. It only has one playing side, the 'B' side is just plain, shiny vinyl. The 45 features a very clipped 'BBC' male voice telling shop keepers all about Sindy, it also has some groovy backing singers singing the Sindy song. It's a fun record and well worth a place in vintage Pedigree Sindy collections.
Below...1964...and this 45rpm record is given out to toy shop owners in other parts of the UK to promote 'Sindy, The Doll You Love To Dress'. The cover is completely different to the first edition single, and the record does away with the 'advertising' and just goes into the sindy song, still using Mr 'Clipped BBC male' to 'sing' it, well...speak it really !
Below, Italy got their very own promotional record ! Such a cute cover !
A quick 'History' of the company that launched Sindy to the world.
Lines Brothers, the company that made and launched Sindy right at the start, was founded in 1876 by brothers George and Joseph Lines. But The Lines family first became involved in the production of toys and baby equipment in about 1850. George Lines later retired leaving Joseph as sole proprietor. With 150 employees they were the largest toy factory in Great Britain at the time.
In 1919, Joseph Lines' three sons William, Arthur and Walter, who had worked in their fathers' company since leaving school, returned from the First World War. They were eager to set up a new company and in the same year Lines Brothers Limited was born.
By 1924 Lines Brothers were doing so well they had to relocate their 533 staff to a new, more high tech factory in Merton, South London. They registered Tri-ang Toys as their brand name - a triangle is made up of three lines (three Lines brothers) - and the factory was named Tri-ang Works.
1931 was a busy year for Lines Brothers. They now had over 1,000 staff. They bought the famous London toy store, Hamleys, which had been struggling after a huge overspend on the development of the Regent Street premises. They registered Pedigree as the name of their subsidiary doll-making company.
In 1933 Lines Brothers became a public company when 200,000 shares were issued
In 1951 Lines Brothers bought fifty percent of the Australian toy company Cyclops which became Cyclops & Lines Brothers (Australia) Ltd. The same year, Lines Brothers also took over Rovex Plastics Ltd, which they devoted to production of electric train sets.
In 1955 Lines Brothers purchased the remaining 50% of Cyclops & Lines Brothers (Australia) Ltd. In 1956 Lines Brothers took over an Australian company called Moldex Ltd. This company produced a range of plastic products and so were able to produce the Tri-ang scale model railways and Pedigree dolls.
The Tri-ang empire created by Lines Brothers now claimed to be the largest toy manufacturer in the world. Pedigree launched Sindy in 1962. Thanks Lines Brothers, you have no idea what you started, and still continue today, in the 21st century.
Just what was life in the UK in Sindy's 1963 ? Click on the link below to find out all the facts, news, births etc...a great source of information including even more links to each news story, personality and event...have fun !