Me and my girl: it’s all about Sindy

IMage shows a Sindy doll © Pedigree Dolls & Toys Ltd

We meet Sindy expert and aficionado Bonita Turner, whose life is irrevocably linked to Sindy’s…

My name is Bonita Turner, I’m 47 and I live in Surrey with my family. I have been in the world of magazines for over 22 years, having worked in the fashion department of woman weekly titles like Woman and NOW. Presently, I edit an online children’s magazine for parents called Junior. But today, I want to share a different passion of mine—one that has ignited my creativity and connected me with an incredible community of like-minded individuals. It’s all about Sindy.

You see, I’m an avid collector of Sindy dolls. Some may remember Sindy as the ‘second most famous doll in the world’, but to us dedicated collectors, she is so much more. Sindy holds a special place in the history of British toys, and this year, she’s turning 60, and I couldn’t be more excited about it.

As a child, I cherished my Sindy doll. I received my first one when I was around 4-5 years old, and my parents and grandparents spoiled me with a range of dolls, furniture, and clothes. My toy room became a sanctuary on rainy days, where I would immerse myself in Sindy’s world. However, as I grew older and outgrew dolls around age 9-10, my mum carefully packed everything away in the attic. It remained there for years, awaiting the perfect moment to be brought back to life.

Fast forward to 2012

Image shows a stack of shelves with a large collection of Sindy dolls and paraphernalia

Some of Bonita’s Sindy collection at the This Morning studios

I became a mother to my daughter, Marnie. That’s when it struck me—I could finally share my beloved Sindy collection with her. We set up the magical world of Sindy for Marnie, and she adored playing with these timeless treasures, some of which were over 30 years old. It sparked an idea in me, and in late 2019, I started an Instagram account, @dresslikeasindy, to share my collection with fellow doll enthusiasts. Little did I know how much of a nostalgic and heartwarming experience it would be for our followers.

Lockdown brought its challenges, but it also offered an opportunity to delve deeper into my Sindy passion. With some extra time on my hands during furlough, I took the plunge and created captivating fashion shoots for my Instagram feed. The response was overwhelming, and I found myself connecting with a fantastic community of women and men who shared my adoration for Sindy. I’ve even been featured on ITV This Morning with my collection.

image shows montage of two sindy magazine covers and the sindy editor doll in the middle

L-R: Mam’selle July 2022 cover; 1970s Gauntlet Sindy, Mam’selle editor; Mam’selle January 2023 cover

Making Sindy headlines

In 2021, my professional magazine background collided with my Sindy love, leading me to self-publish an online and A5 printed magazine for Sindy fans—Mam’selle. With 25 issues published so far, featuring everything from fashion and beauty to travel, and vintage Sindy pages, the magazine became a collaborative project cherished by the community. Even the iconic Sindy company, Pedigree, took note and supported my venture, allowing me to use their logo and Sindy images as long as I credit them.

Throughout the years, Sindy has remained distinctively British and relatable—a true girl next door

Creating Mam’selle is truly a labour of love. I handle every aspect of the magazine myself—from crafting engaging articles and captivating features to organizing and producing fashion shoots that pay homage to Sindy’s iconic style. Sometimes, I collaborate with other collectors, using their images or inviting them to contribute their own shoots, stories, and cover ideas.

Throughout the years, Sindy has remained distinctively British and relatable—a true girl next door. Unlike her American counterpart, Barbie, Sindy never had unattainable vital statistics; she was a beautiful, fuller-figured girl with a classic and playful wardrobe. Her wholesome personality, sensible boyfriend Paul (named after Paul McCartney), and little sister, Patch, made her a loyal friend and role model.

Through both Mam’selle and the @dresslikeasindy Instagram account, I strive to keep Sindy’s legacy alive and relevant in today’s world. These projects have not only enriched my connection with Sindy but has also introduced me to a supportive and passionate community of collectors from all walks of life. Together, we celebrate Sindy and the joy she continues to bring to our lives. And this year I’m excited for what lies ahead. Happy birthday Sindy!

Read more: What happened to Sindy?

See: Sindy at 60, by AI

Read all about it

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