IN 1963, following market research to discover the most popular girl’s name at the time, Lines Bros. (Pedigree) of Merton, London, launched England’s answer to Mattel’s Barbie and Ideal Toy Corporation’s Tammy. Sindy, with her rosebud mouth, large blue eyes and bouncy curls, was The doll you'll love to dress.
During the next decade, Sindy found a boyfriend (Paul), a sister (Patch), friends (Vicki and Mitzi), 150 outfits, a fully-furnished home and a red MG. What more could a girl ask for? Well, she could learn to walk. In 1970 Pedigree unleashed Walking Sindy whose free-moving hip joints gave the impression of walking when held at the waist. She was sold wearing a yellow and green mini skirt with yellow polo neck sweater and also included were a charm bracelet, a co-ordinating coat dress, yellow boots and purple shoes.
Purchased by the vendor's husband for his wife for £2.65 in 1970, this Walking Sindy was the highlight of the sale conducted by Vectis of Stockton-on-Tees (15% buyer's premium) on July 6.
Untouched in its see-through acetate box (a new feature introduced in 1969), it was sold at £820 (estimate £150-200). The price caused the vendor to burst into tears of disbelief but, in fact, English girl-next-door Sindy remains a poor relation to her glamorous American rival Barbie in the collecting field. Early issue Barbies regularly sell for over $3000.
The auctioneers' doll and teddy sale at their Thornaby sale room on July 6 included an unusual monkey automaton made as a promotional device for Peter Pan Oatmeal in 1947. The monkey, bottom right, sits at a table with cup, saucer and plate containing a few porridge oats, with a blue Peter Pan Scotch Oats flag in his hand. Flicking the mains-operated mechanism allows the monkey a single or continuous movement, his left arm raising to tap the flag on the table, his head moving from side to side and up and down, while his right arm brings a spoon to his opening mouth. Apparently a partnership of Chad Valley and the Fife Engineering Company made only 14 of these novelties. The monkey sold for £1000.