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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Throwback Thursday review: Marx Sindy

RagingMoon1987, and for this week's Throwback Thursday I'm sharing a personal favorite.  Back in the 1960's, in the days of Barbie, Tammy, and Tressy, England had a little vinyl girl of their own.  Pedigree made this little vinyl girl (not the same Pedigree that makes dog food), and they named her Sindy.  My Sindy is not a British doll, but she's got the same aesthetic as her British compadres.
Sindy has been around in some way shape or form since the her birth back when the Beatles were a new thing, and she appears to be Britain's equivalent of Licca.  The earliest Sindy dolls looked a lot like Tammy, and indeed this particular doll looked so much like Tammy that I thought I'd found TWO Tammy dolls in that pile of stuff!  It wasn't until I saw the bottoms of her shoes, which are marked "SINDY," that I knew I'd found my much-coveted Sindy doll.  As it turns out there's a good reason for the similarity between Sindy and Tammy; the two dolls are related, though all I know about this is what Doll Reference said.  Apparently Ideal was okay with Pedigree copying their idea as long as Pedigree changed the name.  Pedigree kept their end of the bargain and the resulting Sindy outsold both Barbie AND Tammy!  As I said above, my Sindy is not a British Pedigree doll, but rather a seventies-era doll from an American company named Marx.  While Sindy was a hit in the U.K., she unfortunately was not as successful here in the States, even with the addition of a cute little black friend (Gayle).  As a result most of the dolls one sees are Pedigree creations, though my little Marx girl is not hard to find.  I'd love to get an early Pedigree Sindy so I can compare the two, but I spent every cent I had on my Asian dolls and my ball-jointed dolls, and I am thus BROKE!!!  So a Pedigree Sindy will have to remain a pipe dream for now.

No worries, because my Sindy is perfect for reviewing.  I'm going to start by saying right here and now...THAT I KNOW HER HEAD IS BIG!!!  I've seen so many comments on Sindy's large head that I've lost count.  But yes, Sindy has a decent-sized head, larger than a Barbie doll's head.
In Sindy's defense, her predecessor Tammy also has a fairly large head...and neither doll can rival the Bratz in terms of head size.

Okay, that's enough commentary on the size of Sindy's noggin.  Her hair is blonde and styled in a flip, not unlike a doll that I adore and once wanted, Live Action P.J.
Okay, I admit that I had to restyle it a teensy bit; I occasionally tie Sindy's hair back and when I do it needs a little combing afterwards.  The old commercials describe Sindy's hair as "easy to care for," and I'd say that was/is an accurate description.  All it took to get my doll right as rain was a little washing and combing.  The fiber is very smooth, and though I've complained in the past about the overabundance of blonde fashion dolls, this particular shade of blonde is great.

Most Sindy dolls have rooted eyelashes and my doll is no exception.  It's a little hard to tell, though.
See the thick black lines on the top edges of Sindy's eyes?  Those are her eyelashes.  The left eye has longer lashes than the right one, but even so they're not very long.  I wonder if some little brat took scissors to them???  I'm also not a huge fan of they eyebrows.  The shape, size, and placement are fine, but the black doesn't match well with Sindy's light hair.  Brown would've been better.

The rest of Sindy's face is average-good.  She has light pink lipstick that tends to look washed out under my cell phone's flash, but no eye shadow or blush.  Her eyes are blue and glancing to her right, just like those of her predecessor Tammy.  Each eye has a large pupil and one light cluster painted in, not unlike the eyes of Licca and her cronies.
I love how these two can look at each other!  Surprisingly, Licca and Sindy have more in common than just blonde hair and side-glancing eyes.  This isn't obvious at first glance, but they do.  Here's how the two compare in terms of height.  I threw in Jenny and Marie (Cut 'n' Style Barbie) for further study.
Sindy is taller than Licca, shorter than Marie, and about the same height as Jenny.  She is curvier than Licca and Jenny, but not as curvy as Marie.  She is jointed all over, meaning that she can move in ways that her three companions cannot.
Sindy's knees, elbows, and ankles are all internally jointed, and her elbows move in a manner similar to Licca's.
Similar, but not the same.  I'm not sure how Sindy's arm mechanism works because her elbows don't behave like Jenny's and Licca's.  If you bend a Takara doll's arm, it has a lot of resistance, and it'll spring back a little bit before finally settling into a bent shape.  It's also possible to bend the arm in different directions, though I don't advise it.  Not so for Sindy.  If you bend her arm, it stays put until you bend it again.  It also only bends in one direction:  forward, the way a real elbow does.  It doesn't behave like a wired joint at all...but maybe it is.  Sindy's limbs are a lot softer to the touch than Licca's and Jenny's are, so maybe that soft vinyl has something to do with her ability to hold a pose.

While Sindy and Licca have similar elbows, their knees are different.  Licca's bend in the middle with internal wires...
...while Sindy has click knees that used to be so common.  Her left knee clicks twice, while her right knee only clicks once.
Sindy's ankle joints are freaky!  Look how they bend!
Or rather, look how the right one bends.  The left one doesn't bend anymore, and I admit that I'm the one at fault for that.  I was trying to see if Sindy's ankles had any sideways movement, and I accidentally disconnected the joint.  Word of advice:  these ankles have NO SIDEWAYS MOVEMENT, so if you have a Marx Sindy, don't try it or you'll mess up her ankle joints like I did.  Anyway, if you study anatomy, then you know that a human ankle is lower, very close to the foot.  Sindy's ankles are up close to where her tibias would be located.  A bend in the leg at this location would indicate one nasty fracture!  Yee-ouch!  

Sindy's wrist, waist, hip, shoulder, and neck are externally jointed.  Most of the Sindy dolls I've seen online have heads attached to a neck knob, but not this doll!  Her neck is attached to her head, similar to the neck joint of a Living Dead Doll.
Whew, has it been four and a half years already since I reviewed those Living Dead Dolls???  How time flies!  Anywho, Sindy's joints all have (or had) a great range of motion, but I'm concerned about their durability.  The soft vinyl used for her legs appears to have had some sort of reaction to the hard plastic of her torso, making the soft vinyl melt.  The melt marks are the gray areas, and they're quite visible on both hips.
I had to force Sindy's hips to bend when I first got her, and the whole time I was afraid I'd break her.  Once I got those joints freed up, though...boy howdy, is she limber!
These hips are strung with...with something.  I'm not sure what, but it doesn't appear to be elastic or Sindy would've fallen apart long ago.  Still, I try to treat these joints with respect.  The waist is also a bit problematic.  It has a great range of motion...
...but it's strung.  Strung joints tend to get loose over time, and Sindy's waist is indeed loose.  It's hard for me to get her to stand up straight.

Sindy's shoulders are constructed similarly to her hips, but oddly the vinyl there hasn't melted.  This area is problematic for a different reason.
Sindy's vinyl arms are so soft that they sometimes come unhinged partway.  This does no damage to the doll, but it makes her arms tricky to maneuver.  When I want to pose Sindy's arms I always have to make sure her shoulders are fully seated into the socket before trying to move them, or they'll pop back to their original position.

Lastly, Sindy's wrists.  They have a full range of motion as well.
And...they have a full range of motion!  They rotate and they bend in the directions that wrists should.  No problems with motion or with durability.  As a last little bit, notice how graceful Sindy's hands are.
Sindy's hands are more graceful than Tammy's, but not as detailed.  She wears no nail polish.

Now that the body review is done, it's finally time for clothes!  Sindy is slim enough to wear some of Barbie's nineties-era clothes (but not shoes).  The sunflower set that you saw in the beginning is an old Barbie fashion, for example.  Sindy can also wear Marie's green dress, and she looks adorable in it!
Just for grins I also tried Yue-Sai Wa Wa outfits.  Again, Sindy is slim enough to wear them, though the pants set is a little tight.
She is not, however, slim enough to wear Jenny's clothes.  I tried Jenny's cute blue Bandai dress and Sindy couldn't even get it all the way on.
Oddly, the green dress that looked frumpy on Emiko looks slightly less frumpy on Sindy, and it fits her like a glove.  I say "oddly" because this dress was marked as a dress that could fit a Jenny doll.
Unsurprisingly, Barbie can wear some of Sindy's clothes.  My Sindy came mostly naked, but fortunately for her (and y'all) I picked up an old Sindy dress on a Barbie doll during another junk store raid eleven years ago.  Here's what it looks like on its rightful owner.
It's one of my favorite styles, the peasant dress.  This particular dress is done in a drab calico print with lace at the neck and around a tier of the skirt.  The sleeves are puffed and the skirt hangs just below Sindy's knees.  The back closes with two metal snaps, a type of closure that I only see on ball-jointed doll outfits nowadays.  It's a nice little garment in terms of quality and construction, but the colors don't scream "BUY ME!!!" to a little kid.  Maybe that's why Sindy didn't sell as well stateside as she did in the U.K.  Most of the Pedigree dolls that I've seen are brightly dressed; even the earliest dolls wore a colorful stock outfit, called "Weekenders."  But as usual, I'm massively off the subject.  My point was supposed to be that Barbie can wear this dress too.  See?
You'll have to take my word for now that the dress does fit Barbie.  It's a little big around the shoulders, but it fits.  Since the dress is a bit big around the shoulders that makes me wonder how well it'll fit Tammy.  The skirt is a little narrow but it MIGHT fit Tammy.
When I say "might" it doesn't always go well, but in this case I was right.  This dress fits Tammy like it was made for her.  It fits her better than it fits either Barbie or Sindy, in fact.  It's a little tight around the waist, but not terribly so.

Speaking of Tammy, see how she and Sindy look similar?  All this time I thought it was either a coincidence or the two companies duking it out.  Given what I know now about these two dolls, I like to pretend that they're cousins.
See, I told you Tammy had a big head too!  She's also got a neck joint that's similar to Sindy's, so the two dolls do have some things in common.  Their faces have some differences, though.  They both have side-glancing blue eyes and full lips, but Sindy's face is rounder and her features are smaller.  I prefer Tammy's lip paint to Sindy's(Sindy's tends to look washed out) and I prefer Sindy's eyes to Tammy's (their coloring is more vibrant).  The two dolls have very little in common bodywise.
As you may or may not remember from her review last week, Tammy has a hollow plastic body with relatively poor posing.  It's very curvaceous with wide hips, reasonably sized breasts, and a nice pink tone.  Sindy is shorter and slimmer all over, and she has a yellowish cast all over.  I suspect that she may have been around a smoker; both of these dolls reeked of Eau de Cigarette when I found them, and I don't mean that fancy perfume, either!  Both dolls are clean now, but Tammy's hard plastic appears to have handled a smoky environment better than Sindy's soft vinyl.  

Interestingly, despite all their differences in body shape, the two dolls have similarly sized feet.
That leads us to shoes.  Somehow I've ended up with two pairs of Sindy shoes over the years.  The light tan pair came stuck to my doll's feet and required a small amount of tugging to get off, while the dark brown pair showed up last fall with one of my Jenny dolls.  I found that pairing odd because Sindy's shoes are too loose for Jenny to wear.
Go figure on that, as I understand that Jenny can wear Hasbro Sindy's shoes and vice versa.  Either way it's nice to have two pairs of Sindy shoes on hand.  Strangely, both pairs fit Sindy about as well as they do Jenny.  They constantly want to slip off.  Maybe Tammy can wear them!
 And maybe not.  The dark brown pair is just a smidge too tight...
...but the tan pair is fine.  These have more give than Tammy's black flats (which already have cracks in them a month after I got them) so she'll probably wear these tan shoes a lot.  Oh yes, I forgot to photograph the bottoms!
I told y'all they were marked!  I wouldn't have known who the brown shoes belonged to were they not marked.  It's hard to tell from the lousy lighting that the brown shoes are marked, but they are.

As usual I've told y'all more than you probably ever wanted to know about a long-dead doll line, so let's wrap this.

*Shoes don't want to fit, even though they're marked "SINDY" on the soles.
*Vinyl limbs have some mobility problems, wanting to melt or stick in their sockets.
*Joints are a little flimsy
*Makeup is bland
*Rooted eyelashes...probably shouldn't be rooted.  I'm willing to let this one slide if some little brat cut them, but I really don't think that happened.

*Hair is soft, just like the commercial says.
*Lots of joints, and fair to excellent movement in all joints
*Cute, but not generically so like Barbie is.
*Can share clothes with Barbie and similarly sized dolls
*Can share shoes with Tammy
*I didn't get to show this, but Sindy's stock dress is of a quality equal to Barbie's.  It's a nice dress and it's a shame I didn't get to show it to y'all.

Now that I look back on the pros and cons of Sindy, I realize that she's...well, she's a nice little doll, but she's pretty average.  She's definitely better than her predecessor Tammy, especially in the movement department, but like Tammy there's nothing Sindy did that Barbie didn't also do.  She's really just another anti-Barbie, in a way.  Thus I'm not sure what it is about Sindy that makes me love her so.  As I said in the beginning, I wasn't 100% sure what type of doll I'd picked up until I saw the shoes, and when I saw them I was ecstatic.  Maybe it was finally owning something that I'd never seen before.  Maybe it was finding a doll that WASN'T Barbie.  Maybe it was that sweet little face...or a combination of all three.  Either way, Sindy has got great joints (just don't try to bend those ankles sideways), her hair is soft and smooth, and her face is sweet and approachable.  She's worked her way into my heart and my collection, and I know I'm not the only one she's won over.

Before I sign off, I want to share a new little tidbit of information.  I had a chat with a young lady on a Licca-chan group last night, and through her I learned that Tammy and Sindy have another relative!  Her name is Susi, and she's apparently only available in Brazil.  I doubt I'll ever be able to one one since Miss Susi appears to be pretty rare outside her home country, but it can't hurt to keep my eyes peeled, right?  LOL, the search for unusual dolls will never end, I guess.

Best wishes,


  1. I remember seeing commercials for Sindy and her furniture when I was a child in the 70s, and I wanted all of it, but my mom didn't agree. :(

    Big-headed dolls are rather passe nowadays. I wonder if the big head was to further differentiate Sindy's look from that tramp Barbie (serious tongue in cheek here about Barbie!)

    1. LOL, maybe back then a big noggin was to portray a look of innocence. I think it's the exact opposite now, with the Bratz! That commercial certainly was good for triggering the gimmies, wasn't it?

  2. Wow! I'm amazed that a doll so old has so much articulation! I wonder if Sindy's arms have a scaled-down version of the internal click mechanism that Barbie-style dolls used for their legs?

    1. I'm not sure! The arms definitely don't click, so I'm really not sure what kind of jointing they've got. That amount of movement on a doll this size truly is impressive, though. I'm still pissed with myself for busting one of her ankles. Grrr!