Sindy Range Rover at the Big O Festival

I had the full range of Sindy vehicles at the Big O, but the Range Rover really stole the show. I guess it was a very famous car of it’s time and summed up everything about the infamous Sloane Rangers of the era.

It was amazing weather and a very friendly atmosphere. Most people came for a family day out. Very well organised and themed. It seemed to be marquees of different eras with the vintage stalls in the middle. The lady on the stall next to me did a roaring trade in hair ribbon bows. I noticed almost all the parents enjoyed buying these kinds of small presents for their kids and there were a lot of little girls with bows in their hair by the end of the day.

As with the So Last Century Fair, people were really attracted to ShimmyShim’s vintage toys, but more to look at and talk about than to buy. I keep coming back to the idea of opening a little museum!

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Because the fair was featuring a vintage cars rally and a scooter parade, I decided to mirror that and I brought ALL my Sindy vehicles and dressed up some Sindys and Barbie’s rock star friend Derek from the mid 80s to go with them.

  • Red Sindy ‘Range Rover’
  • Orange Sindy caravan
  • Barbie / Sindy pink ‘cadillac’ Zima car
  • Red 80s Sindy sports car
  • White Sindy surf buggy with wave design
  • Yellow Sindy scooter
  • Sindy horse and trap (also sometimes called a Gig).

I decided to be ‘diverse’ and brought Sindy’s friend ‘Imani’. She was sitting in the pink Zima cadillac style car which all the guys (hmmm interesting I wonder why) thought was ‘Lady Penelope’s’ car. Some of them were a bit bemused that ‘Lady Penelope’ was suddenly a black woman, or at least one guy was. He said “Lady Penelope’s turned black!” but then looked a bit embarrassed. I guess he worried if he was being un-PC. Maybe he was.

A couple came by and chose the Sindy Range Rover towing the orange Sindy caravan to go in their newly decorated kitchen. I’m hoping they’ll post some pictures as it sounds like amazing decor with orange paint and a huge kitchen dresser full of vintage collectibles. I was glad to make a decent sale! Also sold some cards which were very carefully picked out by their buyers. I like to choose cards carefully too – you have to get exactly the right card for the person it’s going to and you just get a feel for it and a particular card will stand out, and you can picture your friend or loved one’s face when they see it and maybe imagine them commenting or telling a joke about it.

The Big O Festival

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ShimmyShim will be at The Big O Festival this weekend!

FREE entry

Saturday 1 July 2017
11:15am – 9:30pm

Priory gardens
Church Hill Orpington
Kent
BR6 0HH

How to get there

The festival celebrates suburbia through the decades. It’s billed as ‘Vintage with a Twist’ and will be a celebration of retro delights from the 1940s to the 1980s including caravans, cars and a scooter parade.

Flip through the festival brochure

In keeping with this, I’m going to exhibit a Sindy caravan, Range Rover, pink ‘cadillac’, red sports car, surf buggy and scooter with Sindy in full outfits.

Also I managed to design a new full range of cards this weekend called ‘Man Cards’ and I’ll be selling these along with my ‘On the Rails’ set.

A4 and A3 prints available in easy to carry tubes.

 

 

 

 

Man Bun Ken

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Man Bun Ken (as Twitter calls him – fair enough!) AKA Distressed Denim Ken is one of Mattel’s 15 new boy dolls revealed this week. They are all called Ken.

There’s Camo Comeback Ken, Cali Cool Ken, Super Stripes Ken, In Black and White Ken and the snappy sounding Preppy Check Ken. Some of the names are a bit perplexing. Cactus Cooler Ken sounds like he either has a bum like a pin cushion on a hot day or perhaps he does all his gardening in the fridge? Get the full list at UrbanDaddy.com

I am impressed with the range. They do look cool. Interesting to compare with Lammily’s male doll currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter. Lammily did their own comparison with Ken, but that was a year ago – before Mattel launched this new, more diverse range.

I have to say, although I bought the first ever Lammily doll because I respected the idea of making a doll with ‘typical human proportions’, she is a bit dowdy and her male equivalent looks similar. He’s probably a really interesting guy once you get to know him, but from the outside he comes across so average that he’s bland. Real doesn’t necessarily mean average. For example, who has 2.4 children? That might be the average but it’s not real! Real people have quirks – that’s what gives them personality. Such as a man bun for example. Each of the 15 Kens has some feature which makes him interesting. There used to be one Ken trying to be a happy medium and now there are a group of dolls, like real people, with funny character traits.

Mattel’s dolls are more idealised, but then fantasy and ideals of beauty have always been around. In some ways it’s good to have an ideal body image to aim for when you’re deciding between going for a run or sitting on the sofa. So long as your sense of worth doesn’t depend on matching that ideal. Your own personal best is the ultimate ideal and Mattel’s dolls seem to reflect that. They have chiselled jaws, but somehow they seem to say more about personality.

For a fascinating insight into the Mattel team and the processes behind designing the range of Ken’s checkout this GQ article The Ken Doll Reboot by Caity Weaver with fantastic photography by Spencer Lowell.

What do you think of the 15 new Ken dolls? Bland? Idealised? Or do they have personality?

Dolls from Japan with giant manga eyes

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I’m fascinated by these two 60s dolls from Japan. They seem to match with their amazing beehive hair styles and musical chairs, although they each have unique details. The bride has mitten like hands whilst the dark haired doll has hands with fingers (a tiny bit claw like where the wire has poked through). They are both terrifyingly demure. The bride has extremely high heels. Weirdly they remind me more of sad broken Chinese feet from days past than Japanese style shoes.

I wonder if the dark haired doll is like a mother or aunt figure? Perhaps she was the matchmaker for the wedding?

They will both be available to buy at the ShimmyShim stall at the So Last Century fair on Sunday 11 June. Hope to see you there!

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Frankie Sinclair 29 May 2017

Etsy shop launch and first sale

ShimmyShim Etsy shop went live on Monday!

And I was so excited to see the first order within a few hours, especially since it takes time and patience to attract lovely customers (like you) to a brand new Etsy shop with a brand new business.

It turns out that my first ever customer was a local fellow and friend who shares a love for miniature things. His home is quite the cornucopia of vintage treasures as me and my boyfriend discovered when we visited for a bit of dinner a few weeks ago. First print has definitely gone to a good home : )

More art prints to come on the shop – I’ll be releasing at least one per week over the next 12 weeks.

And you will be able to come and buy selected micro-vintage collectible objects at the upcoming ShimmyShim market stall

Frankie Sinclair 26 May 2017