Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sindy's Friend Gayle


Gayle is an 11-inch fashion doll distributed in the US by Louis Marx in 1978. Gayle's friend Sindy originated in England in the 1960s, manufactured by Pedigree but was later distributed in the US by Marx. The 1970s Sindy and Gayle share the same sculpt. Pedigree also made dark-skinned Sindys for the British market, but as far as I know, Gayle was sold exclusively in the US.

Sindy and Gayle remain popular, but dark skinned Sindy's are the most popular and highly sought.   Gayle holds her own with reference to value and price commanded on the secondary market.  I have had my 1978 Gayle since the late 1990s and paid $75 for her then.  I recently reconnected with the doll while looking for my Mego Diana Ross. 

Gayle was stored on a shelf with Mr. T., Pilot Barbie (that I didn't know I owned), Radiant in Red Barbie, Doctor Barbie, Working Out Barbie, Totally YoYo Nikki, Hollywood Nails Christie, Generation Girl Nichelle, Baby Sitter's Club Jessie (the playscale version), Sharnell (a fashion doll by Fiesta), Father-to-be and Mommy-to-Be dolls, Bead Blast Barbie, Cut and Style Barbie's box only, Magic Moves Barbie (I thought I'd found Ross until I pulled this box out fully), and several other boxed, long forgotten fashion dolls.

Sindy is said to be England's answer to Barbie, but she and Gayle remind me more of Ideal's Tammy.  Perhaps Tammy is America's answer to Sindy. 

More info on Sindy and Gayle dolls that were made for the American market can be read here and here.

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6 comments:

  1. Hi DBG!

    Actually, Tammy is an early alternate to Barbie. Here's an article by doll and action figure writer, John Medeiros, about Tammy. Then Sindy became Britain's answer to Tammy per this article from The Doll Reference.

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  2. Thanks, D7ana. Medeiros is right, in the American market, Tammy was Ideal Toy Corp's answer to Mattel's Barbie, but Tammy never gained Barbie's popularity. Both were American doll company rivals. Ideal has been out of business for several years; Mattel is still standing and Barbie is probably the main reason.

    One of the many Sindy websites that I visited while writing this blog alluded to Sindy being Britain's answer to America's Barbie. I tend to agree since Barbie preceded Sindy in manufacture by several years and I'm sure Pedigree is just one of many companies that wanted a fashion doll as popular as Barbie. Yet, to this day, none have succeeded.

    Thanks for the clarification on which doll came first: Tammy in America, then Sindy in England.

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  3. You sure have a lot of forgotten dolls down there. I am enjoying seeing your rediscovered beauties. I am familiar with Sindy.. I didn't know Gayle existed. Thanks for introducing her to me.

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    1. Yes, I do. I have too many, which is why it is easy to forget where something is.

      My husband installed adjustable wall shelves several years ago to create more display space. Several dolls had to be moved out of the room. After the shelves were up, he took it upon himself to begin placing the dolls back in without me seeing where they were put. I probably hurt his feelings when I told him, "I will never know where anything is! Let me do it!") He threw his hands up and backed out the room.

      Too much of anything can often pose a problem.

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  4. Sindy had more articulation than Barbie and much better accessories. I bought several Sindy furniture sets when I was a kid but I never wanted the dolls because they had the original loathsome big heads! Thanks for sharing your research.

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    1. You're welcome, Limbe Dolls. In 1998 through about 2001 when I sold dolls on consignment on eBay, I sold loads of Sindy dolls and accessories. Back then the eBay market was not saturated with people selling the same items. I recall someone paying as much as $75 for some Sindy accessories we sold. This is why I know Sindy, particularly the Pedigree line of dolls, has or had a huge following.

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