I’ve been a fan of the Sindy doll for some time now. First I fell in love with the Sindy doll produced by Hasbro because she was available in my country in the ’90s, and then I started discovering and loving the original doll by Pedigree.
As you all know, this year marks the 50th anniversary of this beautiful doll and Karen has organized an amazing exibition that can be visited until November 2nd at the Chippenham Museum & Heritage Centre. As the exibiton was opened yesterday, I took the opportunity to talk to Karen about it and about the doll she loves so much.
Hi Karen. Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions for my readers.
1. Please tell them a little about you and your passion for vintage Sindy dolls.
Like many collectors I had Sindy as a child. However I didn’t actually start collecting Sindy until about 5 years ago, after buying a copy of the Colette Mansell book “The History of Sindy”, and a Sindy doll at a car boot sale. This led to me retrieving my childhood Sindy from my parent’s house, and one or two outfits I still had.
Like almost all collectors I have a full time job and a family, so my collecting is done around that in any spare time I have. I decided to write the website www.sindystar.co.uk about my collection after spending a lot of time looking at other people’s collections online. I thought it would be a shame for mine to be hidden away in a loft. I also appreciated how helpful other collector’s websites are to me and hoped mine might provide the same sort of help.
As a typical collector on a limited budget almost of all of my collection has been bought at car boot sales or on ebay and is previously played with. For me, one particular part of the enjoyment comes from “finding a Sindy” at a car boot sale.
I think people can fall into the trap that collecting means everything has to be in perfect condition or MIB (Mint in Box) and I was keen to show with my website and the exhibition in September that doesn’t have to be the case.
2. Why do you think people are more attracted to vintage Sindy dolls rather than the ’90s dolls created by Hasbro and other companies?
I think there is a certain style about the vintage dolls which is possibly missing from the newer Hasbro dolls. Having studied Fashion design at degree level that is one particularly significant interest for me. However as Hasbro Sindy gets “older” I am sure that people will become more interested in collecting her too.
3. How big is your collection and what are your most prized dolls or accessories?
It’s almost impossible to estimate how big my collection is! Everyone has totally different ways of collecting. I have Pedigree Sindy dolls from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s; and a wide range of furniture, houses and other items. I do also have Hasbro dolls from the 90’s and 2000+.
I have an original boxed doll from the early 1960’s and at the moment she is possibly my favourite but it changes all the time as I get new Sindy’s. I also have a really lovely 1965 Miniature Sindy. A very good friend gifted me her childhood Royal Occasion Sindy and a colleague at work arranged for me to buy her Mum’s original Trendy Girl. These are both favourites as the history of individual dolls is also really interesting to me.
4. As any doll or toy collector, I’m fascinated by rare items or prototypes. Do you have any of these in your collection?
I am very interested in the different head codes and markings on the bodies of Sindy; and how they changed through the different generations. This is a great way of aging Sindy. I love finding dolls with different markings and the different ways of production. I.e. riveted shoulders and the double cupped waist.
I have a Gauntlet Sindy and also acquired a Walking Sindy both from a car boot sale one Sunday morning. Both had really poor hair so I am currently re-rooting them. Where possible I try as hard as I can to return Sindy to her original state.
I also love finding variants of the different outfits such as this example of the 1973 Lounger dress.
5. Sindy is turning 50 this year. Such a beautiful age. How do you plan to celebrate her anniversary?
I will be exhibiting some of my collection in an exhibition at the Chippenham Museum and Heritage Centre during September and October.
6. Is vintage Sindy collecting coming back “into fashion”? How many new collectors have you met lately?
Although all sorts of doll collecting have always been popular, I do think that collecting Sindy is more so than ever now. With the anniversary coming up Sindy is more high profile than ever so is naturally attracting new collectors. Online auctions and sites such as ebay make collecting more accessible for everyone which is great too. Since I started the website I have had some really lovely emails from collectors and also messages on my facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sindystar
7. And because we are talking about new collectors, tell me please what are the best books or websites from which they can learn more about this doll and how to collect her?
The book by Colette Mansell is a must for any collector but is sadly quite hard to come by now. I love the website “Sindy, Our Pedigree Girl of the 60’s”, and other websites such as Petradolls and Our Sindy Museum are packed with really helpful information.
Facebook is also another great place to meet and find out more about Sindy and other collectors. The Vintage Sindy facebook page is fabulous.
For anyone restoring or creating OOAK (One of a Kind) Sindys Retro Dolls is where you can find great products to help with that.
8. Do you know anything about a new Pedigree Sindy doll that might come out in the near future?
No, sorry I don’t; but like everyone I am excited and hopeful about what may happen!
9. Do you collect any other Sindy dolls besides the vintage Pedigree ones? Or other related dolls such as Tammy?
Before I collected Sindy I did used to collect Palitoy Pippa as that was another much loved doll from my childhood. However I did actually end up selling that collection to further fund my Sindy collection! It was too expensive buying both!
10. Thank you again for this quick interview. I can’t wait to hear more about this beautiful doll and her lovely anniversary. Please say a few words for the readers and other Sindy collectors.
Thank you for asking me to be interviewed! It is a real pleasure to think that other collectors are interested in my collection as it started as something purely for my own interest. I never dreamed others would be interested in what I am up to and I am delighted.
I think it is also important to remember that collecting is a really personal thing and what one person may love others may have less interest in; so never be put off by feeling that your collection isn’t the best.
I hope you enjoyed this interview and thank you, again, Karen for taking the time to answer a few questions. Can’t wait for the new Sindy doll by Tonner to be released! This girl deserves to be a star!