In America it was Barbie, IN The UK it was Sindy Toys. Sindy’s popularity began to be overtaken by Barbie in the early 90s here in the UK, but there are millions of 80s girls who have fond memories of playing with their Sindy Dolls whilst they were growing up. Millions of toys were sold and there was a whole range of accessories to go with your dolls! Sindy toys!
Sindy is a British fashion doll created by Pedigree Dolls & Toys in 1963. A rival to Barbie, Sindy’s wholesome look and range of fashions and accessories made it the best selling toy in the United Kingdom in 1968 and 1970. After Marx Toys’ unsuccessful attempt to introduce Sindy in the United States in the late 1970s, Hasbro bought the rights to Sindy and remodelled the doll to look more American. As a result, the doll’s popularity declined and Barbie manufacturer Mattel filed a lawsuit for copyright infringement, which was settled when Hasbro agreed to remodel Sindy’s face. During the 1990s, Barbie’s share of the doll market continued to grow while Sindy’s diminished, which led to Sindy being delisted from major retailers in 1997. Hasbro returned the doll’s licence to Pedigree, and the doll was relaunched in 1999, manufactured by Vivid Imaginations. Sindy’s 40th anniversary in 2003 saw a new manufacturer, New Moons, and another relaunch and redesign.
1. Bathroom Furniture
After 20 years of producing dolls, Pedigree Dolls & Toys, a British company located in Exeter, sought to expand its product range to include a trendy fashion doll. American toy manufacturer Mattel offered Pedigree a licence to produce Barbie, which Pedigree declined due to market research showing Barbie was unpopular with British buyers. Instead Pedigree manufactured its own doll based on another American doll, Tammy. With permission from Tammy’s manufacturer, the Ideal Toy Company, Pedigree also borrowed Tammy’s slogan, “The doll you love to dress”. The name “Sindy” was chosen after a street poll where young girls were shown a photo of the doll and asked to choose their favourite name from a list of four. The most popular choice was “Cindy”, and the spelling was made more distinctive for trademarking.
2. Sindy Clothes
The Sindy doll was launched in September 1963, and London retailers were sent a promotional 45rpm gramophone record to introduce the doll, which included Pedigree’s marketing text below.
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.