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Article 10 Hasbro Battles with Mattel
Sindy Heading Into The Future By Alison Frances Tate.
This Story was written at the time when Hasbro was remodelling Sindy for the third time. I don’t agree with everything written in this article, I have included it as part of the history of Sindy. I have not included the actual pictures that came with the article because they were too poor to scan.

Lovers of Sindy and devotees of Barbie cannot have failed to have noticed the heated debate and legal action in the United Kingdom throughout 1992 and into 1993 between Mattel and Hasbro - the manufacturers of Barbie and Sindy respectively.
Mattels argument was that Sindy has become increasingly like Barbie in appearance to the extent that it was difficult to differentiate between the two dolls without close examination.
Consequently, they felt that this was an infringement of their copyright. The head moulding had the chief concern since the bodies of most teenage 11” fashion dolls were very similar. I had a rare opportunity to be involved in this court action, having been asked to act as an expert witness and to give an account of the history of the Sindy doll.

The development of the Sindy head.
Under Pedigree's reign, Sindy had started life in 1963 as an 11ins, large headed, rather immature teenager with a girl-next-door charm. With painted features and plump cheeks, her vinyl head was large in proportion to the rest of her body, rather like that of a child.
This introduction continued until 1966 when Sindy was slightly resculptured to to 12 ins with a slightly larger head and bigger features (not really bigger at all, lorna). When, in 1967, the mould for the doll was changed, it became more diminutive and was made from hard plastic. This doll had very round cheeks with a small closed mouth and painted eyelashes. In 1968 Sindy was given a new look with rooted nylon eyelashes, long flick up hair and a twisty waist.
The head was re-enlarged, back to the 1966 size, it appears slightly more mature, the featured being less childish. This form lasted until 1970 when the dolls face was slimmed down with less prominent cheeks and a slightly smaller mouth. Considerably more face paint was used which gave it an English rose look; a very pretty innocent face. In slimming the face, it was more in proportion to the rest of it’s body.
The head of the 1978 Sindy took on a dramatic look when sleep eye’s were incorporated into the slimmed head, these eye moved independently with lashes. However, they gave the doll a slightly alien look which was unpopular and she was discontinued within a couple of years.

1980's - Sindy’s head came under the sculptors scrutiny again in the eighties when it was decided to make the face rounder, which gave the doll an almost childlike look, with a wide eyed innocence. The featured became less highly sculptured with the result that the lost some of their definition. However these dolls still carried on the Pedigree ideal of being pretty and charming and indeed throughout the eighties the dolls became more glamorous with use of dramatic face paint and long rooted eyelashes. Perhaps the most interesting of the Sindy heads (due it’s short lived appearance rather than it’s aesthetic appeal) was the 1996 model.

Sindy:- 1973 Lovely Lively, 1979 Sweet Dreams, 1979 Sweet Dreems eyes closed, 1983 Hairstylist, 1983 Popstar, 1986 New Face & last Pedigree Sindy.
She became somewhat older, lost her rooted eyelashes and the mouth was made thinner. The look was supposedly more continental and was to be the last in the Pedigree hall of fame.

Hasbro Acquire Sindy.
Later in 1986 Hasbro Industries (UK) Limited acquired the rights to the Sindy doll from Pedigree and in 1987 introduced a slimmer version of the Pedigree Sindy doll. This doll had a similar shaped head to the 1986 Pedigree Sindy and similar features, although the slimmer face and new painting gave the doll a more modern look. Nevertheless, the doll retained the sweet appearance of the Pedigree range of Sindy dolls with a very English look and an innocent expression. So, whilst the head had obviously been reduced in size, it was still quite wide in proportion to the rest of the Sindy body.

The 1989 Sindy
In 1989 Hasbro brought out the now controversial Sindy doll which Mattel claimed was strikingly similar to the Barbie doll. The head had been completely remoulded, having been made smaller and with features more formerly associated with those of Barbie, particularly from the bridge of the nose down. Both dolls shared similar small upturned noses and wide smiles. Sindy took on the long blonde hair for which Barbie was (and still is) renowned and became distinctly American in appearance.
It was the loss of the English girl next door look which closely aligned her with Barbie and the American ideal. The only differences apparent were on close examination in that the new Sindy doll had a squarer jaw-line and bigger eyes, although much of the eye differences was due to the face paint.
This was a very different head from that of the 1987 Hasbro Sindy and, as a collector, I think this showed the increasing divide between the Pedigree and the Hasbro Sindy dolls.
It was at this point that the conflict between Mattel and Hasbro intensified. Mattel felt that Hasbro were infringing on a corner of the market that had been theirs almost exclusively and on which the cheaper quality dolls had not encroached (being fairly short lived enterprises).
The battle raged through 1992 and was due to come to a head in January 1993 with a High Court action scheduled in London. The parties reached a settlement less than three weeks before their planned court appearance when Hasbro finally agreed to dramatic plastic surgery for Sindy.
A statement from Mattel said: "Hasbro has remodelled the head of Sindy in a way which Mattel and Hasbro
have agreed is acceptable. As a result, Mattel has agreed to drop all outstanding lawsuits relating to Sindy and Barbie around the world." This followed successful legal actions in France, Holland and Belgium. However, this was not quite the end
of the matter and a further injunction was taken out against Hasbro in an attempt to speed up the withdrawal of the 1989 Sindy.

Hasbro Sindy Dolls:- 1987 Skating Sindy, this face lasted until 1988. 1993 Original Beach Dazzle, this controversial face lasted between 1989 until 1993. The 1994 Surprise Jeans Sindy with her new less controversial face.
The New Face
Collectors and lovers of Sindy, and zealous fans of Barbie have awaited the unveiling of the new look Sindy with interest. And this has been happening since early summer albeit somewhat unobtrusively. There has been no grand premiere and no glossy advertising or articles in the media. Instead, stocks of the 1989 model have been slowly disappearing off the store shelves, and in June the author noticed the new Beach Dazzle Sindy.
This doll had something very different about her. Whilst the head is the same size as the 1989 mould, on examination the features have been altered, particularly from the bridge of the nose down. The nose has lost the upturned tilt, being now straighter and wider. Her mouth has fuller lips and the wide American smile has gone. In place is a very natural and relaxed look.
This Sindy also has less eye-paint and the overall effect is one of youthful freshness; a very attractive, appealing doll and certainly one now removed from associations with Barbie.
During the next few months the 1989 Sindy will disappear from our shops altogether and these last three stormy years will become another era in the doll's successful history - an era steeped in excitement and interest as legal history was made. So while there is still any opportunity to buy the MIB 1989 model, I would urge collectors to do so and to put them away for investment and posterity since rarely has a doll caused such a legal stir.
Sindy collectors can then turn their attention to this welcome 1993 Sindy and look forward to a new era of collecting - one that has returned to the essential English elements that have made Sindy a favourite for thirty years and will no doubt assure her future to come.
This Magic Eyes Paul, right, and Magic Eyes Sindy left, were purchased in Ireland. Both dolls date from circa 1995 and were made by Hasbro International, Inc.