Sindy stole my clothes! Creatable World review

Creatable-World-outer-box-with-date-warning

Gender Neutral

My last post was about the planned release of six new Sindy dolls. This post is about the actual, surprise release on Wednesday 25 September, of a radical new line of six dolls from Mattel called Creatable World. Being child dolls, they don’t have boobs (and, as is usual these days with dolls for children, they don’t have genitals). Their faces are designed to look neither feminine nor masculine. Or you could say both feminine and masculine… In short, the dolls are ‘gender neutral’ or as Mattel explains ‘non-binary’. They sound a little bit android as well, as they only have code numbers for names!

Well this all sounds very politically correct and potentially a little bland, but as you will see, these dolls are a lot of fun! I loved them as soon as I saw them.

Mattel has risen to the challenge and addressed the complaints of adults dismayed at the dismal lack of choice between the pink fairy aisle for girls, and the blue and green adventure aisle for boys, in toy shops and kids clothes stores. All of that is still available if you or your child want it (check out the Mattel Dreamtopia range aimed at girls and their Jurassic World and Hot Wheels ranges aimed at boys). But now here is a range of girly stuff mixed with boy stuff mixed with neutral stuff and kids get to decide how to put it together.

As well as gender, it’s apparent that culture and ethnicity has been included in Mattel’s careful design considerations. The animal motifs on the bags and T-shirts are relatable cross culturally. But the range doesn’t fall into the trap of being a melting pot of ‘no identify’ as children can pick pieces to create or match their own ethnicity or cultural identity. I like the yellow trousers which seem to have an Asian design influence.

Creatable-World-DC-073-lion-bagCreatable-World-DC-073-yellow-yoga-trousers-pants

Kudos to you Mattel and clever marketing too!

The unboxing

Creatable-World-DC-073-open-pack

So I have to confess I bought the whole set and have so far received 5 of the 6. It’s so tingling to get that Christmas morning feeling as an adult 😄

Some of the set came in outer card boxes with the message ‘Do not put online or on shelf before 24 September 2019’ printed on them which I liked. Will keep those.

No blister packs or head staples for these lovelies! The pack is beautifully simple to open. Just slide a knife along two thumb sized adhesive patches and you’re in. The inner box glides out to reveal a delightful palette – the Deluxe Character Kit.

Lift off the loose top plastic cover tray (again, no tugging and no rip risk) and pick out a pair of shoes first. There is a fabulous creaky squeaking sound as you pull them out.

And surprise of wonderful surprises whoopee, this chocolate box mix and match set fits Sindy!

Mix and Match

Mattel-Creatable-World-side-box

Notice how similar the blue jacket is to Pedigree Sindy “Seperates” 1981 #44035. Perhaps the vintage Sindy range played a small part in the design inspiration?

Each doll comes with a full set of clothes, a wig, a hat, a bag, a pair of glasses and three pairs of shoes. The shoes are a perfect fit on 1980s Sindy – both heels and flats. And the glasses actually fit 80s Sindy even better than the Creatable World dolls!

DC-619 doll and DC-619 blue glasses
DC-619 doll and DC-619 blue glasses
DC-619 doll wearing black DC-073 glasses
DC-619 doll wearing black DC-073 glasses
80s Pedigree Sindy wearing DC-073 black glasses
80s Pedigree Sindy wearing DC-073 black glasses
1986 'Smirky' Sindy wearing DC-073 black glasses and red beret.
1986 ‘Smirky’ Sindy wearing DC-073 black glasses and red beret..

The wigs don’t fit the early 80s Sindys over their regular hair (and I didn’t have any bald Sindy dolls handy to test on), but they look pretty good on Smirky.

Smirky with her own hair and Creatable World undies.
Smirky with her own hair and Creatable World undies.
Smirky Sindy in DC-414 wig
Smirky Sindy in DC-414 wig
Smirky Sindy in DC-220 wig
Smirky Sindy in DC-220 wig

Oh Sindy was really in the mood for a new hat, and a jacket with a real zip (even more functional than her City Girl jacket as it even opens at the bottom).

Sindy wears DC-414 outfit
Sindy wears DC-414 outfit

So poor elfin Deluxe Character 073 was left with no clothes on.

Sindy dolls dressed in Creatable World and nude DC-073
Admittedly the trousers are a bit of a squeeze, even on Smirky

The Creatable World articulated body is remarkably good quality. The joints move freely but hold in place very firmly. The feet are hinged at the ankle so that they can wear both flat shoes and heels. The dolls can free stand very easily, especially with shoes on.

Creatable World DC-073 poseable body
Creatable World DC-073 poseable body

None of the clothes or accessories have labels that I could see, which is slightly disappointing. It makes them so much harder to identify a few years down the line in amongst a pile of muddled up children’s play things. And a label adds that touch of brand authenticity and quality.

Summary

I would rate Creatable World 8 out of 10. I love the range, from the top quality articulation to the funky design. Constructive criticism would be: make the trousers fit Sindy too. Joking. Less plastic in the packaging. It’s mostly paper and card but it would be great if there was a super light weight material that could be moulded into the chocolate box style compartments instead of white plastic. The hair is a bit sticky – not sure what substance is used to hold it in style but it feels too gungey. The plastic edge of the wigs is a little unattractive and tricky to hide. I would like to see labels on the clothes and Mattel branding on the base of the shoes. But I don’t suppose kids mind too much about that part and the range is not aimed at adult collectors, which is ironically part of its beauty for me as a dealer and collector. It’s a living contemporary response to real children.

Thank you Mattel, for your dedication to design quality. And for giving Sindy a new wardrobe 😉

How would you rate the new range? Comments gladly accepted below.

2020 Sindy dolls revealed at Dollycon

Breaking News. 2020 Sindy Dolls revealed. 80s style girls steal the show at Dollycon

New line of 11″ Sindy fashion dolls planned

Breaking News. 2020 Sindy Dolls revealed. 80s style girls steal the show at Dollycon
photo by Cheryl Sewell and ‘live’ breaking news fun header by breakyourownnews.com

Rachel Godfroy Scott – fashion doll designer – was the first to post news of the Pedigree Sindy reveal yesterday, live from Dollycon. Her post appeared on the Vintage Sindy Collectors Group and quickly gained over 100 comments from excited fans.

A new range

Kid Kreations a UK toy producer and Number 1 Toy Retailer in the UK (2015) have purchased a licence from Pedigree Sindy to design and release a brand new Sindy range aimed at collectors. They will be released for sale in 2020 – date to be announced, perhaps at the Olympia Toy Fair I wonder?

UPDATE Paul Gibbs, an avid doll collector who was present for the reveal, shared some extra info “She’s solely aimed at the collector’s market, with high quality fabrics and production standards. Limited to 4,000 of each doll, available online at £80 each. If you buy all six dolls their boxes line up to make a Union Jack background.”

You can sign up for updates at their Sindy Collectors Club website.

Cheryl Sewell posing in blak and white check with houndstooth cape Sindy
photo from Cheryl Sewell – fun to see a life size Sindy next to a human!

First Impressions

I love the reference to the original 1963 range including a striped T-shirt and a black and white houndstooth cape. The faces of these new dolls look very similar to the Sindy girls we saw from the late 70s onwards, but with a slightly more contemporary make-up. The eyebrows look much thicker, matching the current trend for chiseled eyebrows. There are more details and accessories than the 1960s – 1980s dolls which is interesting. I guess production costs must be even lower now – perhaps a digital element adds to efficiency? Logos are so desirable these days and I notice the Sindy ‘S’ appearing more on the accessories.

Change of face – 1986

Part of the excitement about these new Sindy girls comes from the long wait for a new release of the original face.

In the recent past, ‘Pedigree Sindy’ dolls were for sale in Tescos. Which sounds great, but in fact these dolls looked more like American Girl than the original 1963 Sindy doll. They were designed to appear like the very young children they were aimed at, whereas original Sindy dolls were designed to look like young adults. There have been many iterations and developments of Sindy’s face and body over the years, but from 1986 her face was drastically changed and by 1989 it was so close to Barbie’s face that it triggered an injunction from Mattel against Hasbro (the owners of the Sindy brand at that time).

6-new-sindy-doll-lineup
Thanks to Cheryl Sewell for the photo share

Questions

Some collectors remain slightly skeptical about the proposed release, as new Sindy dolls have been promised before but never appeared. To get a new product launched is a huge challenge, and will the collectors market be broad enough to sustain demand for these dolls? Rachel Godfroy-Scott reassured collectors that she’s been working with Kid Kreations at their office, and it’s all systems go at the factory. I haven’t seen an official press release yet though, so I may update this post when I have further details.

So, we’re all excited to see the new line-up and very curious too! So many questions… will the dolls be affordable? Will they have poseable bodies? What will the packaging be like? And will that umbrella really open?!

What do you think of the line-up? Post below.

Were you at DollyCon? Do you have more pics? Post below!

Update 1 August 2019

Melanie Quint (who runs DollyCon UK) has commented below with some very useful additional info. Melanie explains that

“The production dolls will be launched at London Fashion Week in February and sold through Hamleys and online… Yes they have posable bodies and they will be able to wear high heeled shoes. The collectors dolls will retail at £80 . The company producing them are already a doll manufacturer and have a manufacturing base so they are well versed in getting a doll to production.”

Prototypes released into the world – Friendly emojis hungry for miniature kebabs

ShimmyShim 2nd version T-shirts 2019

Prototypes are available to buy

Collector Peter Jeffery bought the first version prototype of the “Friendly Emoji” T-shirt from ShimmyShim’s table at the London Fashion Doll Festival. And later posted this picture of it in the Sindy Collectors Corner Facebook group. I like his perfect colour pairing with the yellow pink and black tartan. The miniature kebabs in the picture are so funny… they look ready for a huge party of hungry people. Or should I say a huge party of emojicons?

This first version of this T-shirt was printed on a cotton mix jersey by a company which uses digital dye sublimation techniques. It is a print-on-demand service where you can upload a design, and receive a printed piece of fabric back, within a few days.

I found the first batch of prints on the cotton mix to be lighter and less saturated than I had hoped for. So for the second round of prototypes, I went for a polyester lycra fabric. The fabric sample seemed brighter and less washed out.

ShimmyShim white emoji T-shirt with yellow and pink tartan skirt.
ShimmyShim white “Friendly Emoji” T-shirt styled in a scene by collector Peter Jeffery

Here’s the second version. I made the icons in the design larger, as well as changing the fabric. The new fabric is a heavy lycra 250gsm. It’s pretty chunky for a doll’s T-shirt. I’ll give the 140gsm lycra a test as well, but it seems the 1:6 scale clothing makes the print on the lightweight fabric seem a little transparent. Perhaps it’s because the ‘grain’ is larger in relation to the small size of the garment? It’s counterintuitive as you’d imagine a lightweight fabric to come out feeling thicker on a small scale. Somehow the heavier fabric feels good at doll size. Not easy to sew though.

2nd version Friendly Emoji T-shirt

I’m still not totally happy with the design: I’d like to tweak it so that the stitching can’t run across any of the faces. And I might adjust the top two rows so that they are vertically in line with the bottom three. Or maybe a polka layout would be better…

Compared to the first version:

Friendly Emoji print on cotton mix

I have been through the same process with the “One of the Girls” slogan T-shirt. The second version on the heavy lycra is modelled here by Emily, a Sindy friend of Wendy Lyon. She has also chosen a tartan skirt to pair it with! Lovely to see these ideas and I’d never have thought of tartan for these Ts but it really sings. It’s thrilling to see these Ts out in the world, brought to life by collectors.

Close-up-Wendy-Lyon-Emily-in-One-of-the-Girls-T-shirt
ShimmyShim “One of the Girls” slogan T-shirt styled by Wendy Lyon on her Sindy doll named Emily.

I have new category on the eBay shop for ShimmyShim own brand stock.

Also working to open a ShimmyShim Shopify store soon and this is likely to feature exclusives. I will probably offer the final version T-shirts on this shop. Final-final that is😆

Thanks to Wendy Lyon and Peter Jeffery.

Always happy to see your styling, vignettes and doll scenes – please post in the comments if you have any to photos to add.