Are Sindy Dolls Worth Anything?


She still looks exactly the same as she did on a dark cozy Christmas morning 46 years ago. 

I clearly remember those gnawing stomach pangs of nervous excitement veiled in a confusion of anticipation and hunger probably inspired by the gradual intensifying aroma of delicious roast turkey that permeated our Christmas morning. 

As I peered through the amber colored panes of our sitting room door and turned the brass knob as gently as possible, so as not to betray its characteristic squeak, I scanned quickly to make sure that the man himself was not still there and heaved a gentle sigh of ease upon seeing the half nibbled mince pie and empty sherry glass, realizing that now it was just me and my cache. 

Upon giving the all clear to my younger siblings we each moved to our prospective pile and despite there being name tags, the characteristic pink rectangular box was unmistakable.  I remember holding that box incredulously and gazing so lovingly through the cellophane window, tilting the box slightly whilst trying to take advantage of the illumination from our colorful fairy lights. I wanted to soak up every minute, I wanted to truly savor this moment forever.

There she was in all her magnificence, a vision of grace and youthful charming elegance, her toes posed on pointe and legs in side splits.  I knew instantly that we would be lifetime friends.  

I can still smell, obviously now I realize it is chemicals, that new Sindy smell as I released her from her binds.  How wonderful she felt in my tiny fingers, she was so beautiful and she was all mine.  She posed gloriously on pointe, then stooped, and pirouetted so elegantly that I was inspired to follow her lead.   She was everything I wanted to be. 

This is where the story of my love of fashion began and where I learned the boundless potential that fashion offered a chameleon in the making; Sindy proved to be the vehicle through which to escape and attempt to create and make sense of the world.  Sindy is quite simply a childhood heroine who still continues to reward today but those rewards can also be financially beneficial!

Sindy dolls

Vintage Sindy dolls by Pedigree are valuable and command a healthy return if sold in the original box with original inner card, leaflet and stand, in mint condition, unopened and unplayed with. The box should be in perfect condition, without any damage to the cardboard or plastic or fading to the color.  

To most consumers Barbie is immediately recognizable and is a toy with longevity. In fact Barbie has been a teenage fashion icon since her conception in 1959, preceding Sindy by three and a half years.  However, for many, Sindy, although no longer produced in her original concept, was the girl next door.  The best friend you could imagine being able to relate to and the young woman you could imagine becoming.

Where Did Sindy Go?

Pedigree, manufacturers of the original Sindy concept, sold the brand in the mid 1980s and slowly Sindy began to disappear from retail outlets, being briefly replaced in an unsuccessful attempt to reboot the brand in 1986.  It was not successful as the new doll was generic in features and unidentifiable as the original, except for the brand name on her box.  The era of the pretty, wholesome ‘girl next door’ was over and henceforth high-octane glamor in the guise of the American dream and her impossible assets became de rigueur.  

Renewed Interest in a Childhood Heroine.

Over the last two decades the value of Sindy has increased significantly, which is perhaps due in part to nostalgia as the now middle aged owners of these dolls attempt to relive their youth and share their childhood toy with children and grandchildren and also on account of the fact that the toy is no longer in production in their popular original form, are rare and becoming rarer.

What is Sindy Worth?

Sindy dolls

A mint condition unopened boxed ‘Active Sindy’, a stunning ballerina from 1975, was sold in 2011 for 805$.  The ‘Active Sindy’ seems to be in demand and varies in popularity depending on the year of production and model.  The doll must be in an unboxed state, the box must be in absolute mint condition with no UVA damage, scratches, dents or tears to the cardboard and the cellophane window should be absolutely clear and unblemished in order to achieve a high value. 

Ironically, although certain NRFB (never removed from box) Sindy models that are now imperfect because of limb melt, specifically where the arms and legs meet the plastic on the torso, they are still highly valuable.  Being unopened and unplayed with, the disintegrating plastic damage that these Sindy models fall victim to does not impact the value.  In fact the same unboxed Sindy model in perfect condition with no melt damage will not be as valuable as the impacted doll who remains unremoved from her box.  

The iconic image of ‘Active Sindy’ the ballerina doing the splits is enough for the collector who has no intention of ever releasing this beauty from her captivity but rather prizes the fact that she has remained in a state of stasis for almost half a century and thus should remain so if value is to be maintained.  

Sindy Editions Worth Collecting.

The ‘Gale Sindy’, produced in 1985 is rare and highly valuable; it recently surfaced on eBay valued at 1,102$.  Another model which is popular is the 1977 ‘Royal Occasion Sindy’, ‘Superstar Sindy’ the ice skating beauty and ‘Weekender Sindy’ of that same year are all good investments.  Evidently certain editions hold a lot of sentimental value for collectors.  Take for example the 1978 ‘Nurse Sindy’ which is a popular seller, even without a box or the 1979 ‘Sindy Majorette’ which is very rare and in boxed condition will sell for over 295$. 

Sindy in swimsuit

She was a Fashion Icon

Sindy clothes too can be found in online job lot bundles and usually sell for anything from 36$ to over 118$ depending on edition collections included, but single outfits in unopened vintage condition from the 1978 ‘Mix & Match’ collection can, for example, sell for around 29$ a piece whereas boxed outfits from the early to mid 1970s are listed at 65$ an outfit and up to 212$ for an outfit from the early 1970s.  There are exceptions where prized outfits such as 1979 ‘Dinner Date’ or ‘Tartan Touch’ command at least 23$ even out of a box!

Sindy Clothes

Buying Into the Lifestyle 

The furniture and house do command decent prices, but do not appear to show any real appreciation in value comparable to the doll herself with the exception of the red bricked timber framed quintessential English manor which very rarely comes up for sale but when it does, can realize anywhere from 437$ to 709$ and unusual pieces such as ‘Sindy’s Gown Rail’ or ‘Wall of Sound’ which are considered rare and as a consequence can be expensive pieces if boxed, complete and in good condition. 

The ‘Camping Scene’, ‘Swimming Pool’, ‘Winter Sports’ and ‘Country Garden’ sets seem to be very popular and retain a decent value as long as they are in good condition and come with their boxes.  

I have observed that a decade ago, the Sindy from 1967 was highly prized and commanded a greater value than that of the 1975 boxed ‘Active Sindy’.  That is now the reverse in reality today, I can only account for this by the fact that the general age of the collector of the 1975 Sindy is now in their fifties, with perhaps more income at their disposal, whereas the collectors of the 1967 edition may well have abandoned their interests. 

Therefore I believe that the market for the 1975 ‘Active Sindy’ and her subsequent alterations up to 1985 are likely to remain buoyant for at least another two decades at which point I imagine the progression in value will wane somewhat.

Sindy dolls at a party

Nonetheless, any vintage boxed Sindy in unopened and unplayed condition is certain to command a return which will exceed 131$ at a minimum.  Sindy is an antique that represents part of our social history; perhaps a time when healthy natural good looks were accepted and considered an asset, before invasive procedures and generic pouts became the norm.  

If you enjoyed this, don’t miss ‘ Are Vintage Watches Worth the Investment?’, (Learn what to watch out for!)

Sharon Cunningham

I enrolled in The Grafton Academy of Fashion and Design and studied there for six years before being taken on by a German fashion house with whom I worked for nine years, eventually leaving to return to university to complete my MA.

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