Hasbro introduced Sindy in France and continental Europe in 1994 after minor facial modifications to reduce her resemblance to Barbie. A Neilsen study suggested Sindy could obtain 20% of the ₣500–600 m market in France alone. The chief executive of Hasbro France, Paul Audouy, said recent innovations such as the ability for Sindy Toys to swim and walk a small dog would strengthen her market position. Hasbro invested ₣5 million in the first week of her advertising launch. A new black friend for Sindy was released in 1995, named Imani, 30 years after Sindy’s American friend Gayle was withdrawn after low sales. Hasbro released the new doll in response to “overwhelming demand”
Hasbro withdrew its £5.5 m advertising support for the Sindy doll in 1997 amid rumours that major retailers were planning to delist the doll. The editor of UK Toy News, Jon Salisbury, said, “This is Hasbro taking Sindy out of its main range. But she is running so far behind Barbie it is almost a non-issue. If delisted by bigger retailers, which seems to be happening, then the brand will lose momentum”. In 1994, Sindy Toys had a seven percent share of the £70 m doll market, and Barbie held 16%. By 1996, Barbie’s share had increased to 30%, estimated by Mattel to be worth £100 m per year including licensing deals, and Sindy’s share had only climbed to eight percent. Sindy’s popularity had also been overtaken during that period by Polly Pocket. One explanation for the large variation in market share is the unpopular Americanisation of the Sindy doll in the mid-1980s. The Sindy doll was still available to retailers during this period, but had to be ordered in bulk from the Hong Kong manufacturer.
10. Horse – Sindy Toys