Monday, 25 August 2014

The Complete Guide to Paul and Friends

As you saw in yesterday's post, Paul is a king amongst dolls. In his own opinion, at any rate. Ken, Barbie's boyfriend, has an awesome reference site - www.manbehindthedoll.com - maintained by Jef Beck, one of the world's foremost Ken collectors. I can't claim to be one of the world's foremost anythings, nor even a particularly keen Paul collector. But. I do love Paul, so here's a post showcasing his transformation from ugly duckling into, er, tanned ugly duckling...

* Pictures have all come from Google Images, I claim no credit for them. *

1965


Paul, named for the fans' favourite Beatle, was unleashed on an unexpecting world in 1965. Here is an example from www.oursindymuseum.com wearing 'London Look'; the other fashions released that year were:
  • Casuals. This was the outfit the basic dressed doll came in, consisting of jeans, pullover and white lace ups. (Boxed pic of casuals HERE.)
  • And so to Bed. Pyjamas, dressing gown, slippers, and wash kit. (Boxed.)
  • Seaside. Red shorts and jacket, sandals, towel, camera, and sunglasses.
  • London Look. As pictured - boxed pic HERE.
  • Motorway Man. Checked wool trousers, black pullover, brown coat, red socks, chelsea boots and a thermos. (Boxed.)
  • Time Off. Check shirt, beige trousers, tan jacket, chelsea boots, and a blue denim duffle bag.
  • Tee-shirt. White t-shirt with red 'P' applique. (Boxed.)
  • Swimming Trunks. Blue and black striped trunks in the unflattering style of the day. (Boxed.)
  • Casual Jacket. Blue checked collarless jacket. (Boxed.)

You can find the full booklets HERE.

1966


Again from the Sindy Museum, here's Paul gearing up for the 1966 FIFA World Cup in his very own strip. 1966 also saw production of Paul switch from England to Hong Kong, read more HERE. His 1965 fashions remained available, in addition to:
  • Soccer. As pictured - boxed pic HERE.
  • Winter Sports. Blue ski pants, red knit jumper, bobble hat, gloves, skis, and skates.
  • Medical Student. White jacket and trousers, white lace ups, surgical mask, stethoscope, and skeleton. (Boxed.)
  • Raincoat. Navy three-quarter length coat. (Boxed.)

If the official Pedigree offerings weren't doing it for you, between 1965 and 1967 you could also purchase Mam'selle outfits and shoes for Sindy, Paul, and Sindy's little sister Patch. For Paul you could get:
  • Group Gear. Black and white houndstooth Beatles' style suit with black chelsea boots and green plastic guitar.
  • King of the Road. Black vinyl bomber jacket, black trousers, boots, and motorcycle helmet.
  • String Set. White mesh vest and Y-fronts, plus a Motor Sport magazine.
  • Sunday Date. Grey felt suit, striped shirt, red tie and black chelsea boots. (Boxed.)
  • Track Suit. All-in-one zip up red tracksuit.

1967



In 1967 Paul grew hair, this version being known to collectors as 'Hairy Paul'. He's pictured here wearing some of his 1967 separates. 1967 also saw a miniature version of Paul, standing around an inch shorter than the typical doll - read more HERE. Again, his '65 and '66 fashions continued to be available, with the new releases for 1967 being:
  • Tennis Party. White polo shirt, shorts, jacket, socks and lace ups, plus a tennis racket and set of three tennis balls.
  • Ship Ahoy. Blue and white striped T-shirt, yellow PVC jacket and trousers, blue sneakers, and binoculars. (Boxed.)
  • Cardigan. Red and black jacquard cardigan. (Boxed.)
  • Shirt. 'American-styled' check shirt. (Boxed.)
  • Blazer. Navy felt blazer with 'P' in a gold shield. (Boxed.)
  • Flannels. Grey flannel trousers. (Boxed.)
  • Paul's Scooter. Lambretta style scooter which really 'worked' with the aid of two batteries.

With Sindy being the standard size doll in the UK you could also get plenty of doll knitting patterns for her and the rest of the line - e.g. as in THIS pattern from Robin and THIS one from Patons. There's a whole website dedicated to Sindy knitting patterns, check it out HERE. You could read about Paul in Sindy's Gift Books and annuals too, for more info on those click HERE, or in the series of Sindy Adventure Stories.

Due to low sales Paul was discontinued for 1968 - though a framed photograph of him was included with Sindy's 1968 bedside table set - and it would be almost two decades before he and Sindy could be together again...

1986


1986 was the year of the Royal Wedding, that is the wedding of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, to Sarah Ferguson. To cash in on the event Pedigree added a new male doll to the Sindy line, Mark. In addition to the Royal Wedding Mark and Marie double set, there was also a single version of Mark wearing white trousers, red mesh T-shirt, blue jacket and white sneakers - check him out HERE and HERE - plus a 'His 'N' Hers' fashion pack - see HERE.

1987


In 1987 the Sindy brand was purchased by Hasbro, and one of their first actions was to reintroduce Paul. In addition to the dressed version pictured (nude pic HERE, boxed pic HERE), there were also three fashions available:
  • Jump into Action. Red and blue tracksuit, white sneakers, and red gym bag.
  • Dashing in Denim. Dark blue jeans, white sneakers, blue shirt with yellow bow tie, and yellow cardigan.
  • Special Night Out. White dress shirt with black bow tie, light blue cummerbund, black trousers, black shoes, and white jacket.

1988


Paul had a bit of a haircut in 1988, something which he was mistakenly lead to believe made him 'super cool' (boxed pic HERE). He didn't gain any new fashions, but his '87 releases were all still available - check out the updated catalogue photos HERE.

1989


In 1989, realising he looked a bit of a berk, Paul was given a full makeover. In addition to Free Wheelin' Paul (boxed pic HERE + TV ad), there was also the dapper looking Pearly Prince Paul (boxed). Pearly Princess Sindy had a picture of Paul in her handbag locket - the romance...

1990



Paul really began to hit his stride in 1990. There were no Paul fashions that year, just two dressed dolls - Smash Hits Paul (boxed pic HERE) and Jet-Away Paul wearing the eye burning colours expected of the early 90s tourist.

1991


Jet-Away and Smash Hits Paul were still available in the 1991 catalogue, and they were joined by Bow Tie Paul (boxed pic HERE and TV ad HERE) and Dance Craze Paul who sported a pink plastic bum bag and a new side part hairstyle. Paul also gained a fashion collection this year, Sportswear.

1992


1992 saw the introduction of two new dressed dolls, Popstar Paul (pictured), and Cool Shades Paul (boxed). 1991's Bow Tie Paul and sportswear set was still available, joined by a unisex T-shirts assortment and a very 90s fashion collection:

(Boxed - one, two, three, four.)

1993


New releases for 1993 were Romance Paul (pictured), and Holiday Paul. Paul also got a new Active Sportswear collection with outfits for cycling, football, jogging, and tennis. Popstar and Cool Shades Paul were still available, along with the T-shirts and the 1992 fashion packs.

1994

1994 had a bit of everything. There was Surprise Jeans Paul (boxed pic HERE) with his funky colour change trousers - you can watch the TV ad HERE - and the dashing Prince Paul (boxed + TV ad) wearing an outfit capable of rivaling any of Ken's nylon monstrosities. Lifeguard Paul (boxed + TV ad) tapped into the 90s Baywatch craze, while Swan Lake Paul (boxed) proved that some men weren't afraid to wear tights. The 1992 fashion collection was still available too. Sindy's new T-shirt collection included one with her boyfriend's face - see HERE - and the new talking Sindy couldn't stop going on about Paul's new haircut.

1995


There were a whole range of all new Pauls available in 1995. A long haired Paul (pictured) was released as part of the Crimp 'N' Bead collection. Another long haired doll, Summer Looks Paul (boxed), had a hippy vibe, while the sensibly cropped Mountain Fun Paul (boxed) complimented Climbing Sindy (TV ad for them both HERE), and her adventure 4x4 (TV ad). Finally there was I Love Glitter Paul (boxed + TV ad), who was advertised as being 'more romantic than ever'. There was only one outfit available however, as part of the three pack Wedding Collection. Not shown in the catalogue is Pop Star Paul (boxed).

1996



Hasbro were looking to get rid of the brand in '96 and the catalogue for that year only has one Paul doll, the pictured Making Eyes Paul (boxed). Nevertheless there is also Skater Paul whose box proclaims him to be from '96, click to see the FRONT and BACK of his box.

1999


Vivid Imaginations began producing Sindy in 1999 and, though Paul didn't make the new line up, they did have a male doll - Mega Pop Star Robbie (boxed).


Counterparts


Sindy was originally inspired the Ideal Toy Company's Tammy, who debuted in the States in 1962. Tammy had a dad doll, a big brother named Ted, and a younger brother named Pete - read more HERE and HERE. In 1965 she gained a boyfriend named Bud who, somewhat disturbingly, was a dead ringer for her brother Ted...


Bibi-bo was the Greek version of Sindy, first produced in around 1981 by El Greco. Her boyfriend, Tzon-Tzon, came along a few years later - there's a boxed example HERE. El Greco was eventually bought out by Hasbro in 1990, and the Bibi-bo line was discontinued soon after.


Fleur is generally billed as Sindy's Dutch cousin or, less kindly, as a Sindy clone - Otto Simon first produced the doll in 1978, just after Pedigree made the decision not to renew their Sindy licence... In 1987 she gained a boyfriend, Danny, but he was gone by 1988 - read more about him HERE.


Susi doll began life as a Sindy clone produced by Estrela for the Brazilian market in 1966. Beto, her boyfriend and Ken lookalike, joined the line in 1974 for a few years, and was later reintroduced in the 2000s - read more HERE.


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