Tressy Doll

Tressy Doll

Searching at your local boot , yard sale ,fair or in a favourite charity shop,you may find a hidden treasure you had not previously considered. Yes, waiting shyly amongst a group of Sindy and Barbie friends, you may spot someone special, someone whose importance is only just being realised in the Baby Boomer collector's market - Tressy.    

To remind those who are unfamiliar with Tressy's charms, Tressy was an early competitor to Sindy.

To put things totally in perspective, although Barbie was being produced in America, she had not made it into the UK market, where Sindy was undoubtedly queen.

However, Tressy had a secret weapon, something Sindy could only dream of - a 'secret strand' of hair which, with the push of a button on her stomach, was able to be pulled out, turning her short bobbed hair into long luxurious locks.

 The hair could be curled and twisted on top of her head in any number of styles, before being wound back into her head by a few turns of a key positioned in her back. Hair color can vary but the more sought after colors are black, auburn and brunette,  

Tressy Doll

The fact that Tressy's hair was interactive means that she is usually a  much loved and played-with doll. It is increasingly difficult to find a Tressy in really good condition, with the hair still working and the body intact.' Tressy was made in the UK by Palitoy in the early 1960s and through the 1970s, but the design of the body materials was not as robust as that of her rival, Pedigree-made Sindy.

Unfortunately, the plastic used for Tressy's body is fairly brittle, which means that you need to check the body carefully to make sure that the chest area has not caved in. Another area to  check is the hands.

 It is unusual to find a Tressy that does not have teeth marks on her hands. For some reason children loved to suck and chew her rubbery hands.' Unusually though, it is more often the older Tressys from the 1960s that are found at boot fairs.the 1970 versions are more rare.

Tressy Doll

There were only four different face models made in this country, and that combined with the different hair colours, means that it is not difficult to amass a complete set.'

Tressy was produced in several other countries such as America, Germany and France, and in each case her looks differ. However, it is the fact that Tressy is no longer made and therefore has a finite number of pieces to collect, that also appeals to collectors.

Tressy Doll
Tressy was certainly launched at a time when fashion was going through an experimental phase which was echoed in exciting, new and different designs. The influence of Jackie Kennedy and the designs of Mary Quant are played out beautifully in Tressy's wardrobe as she epitomises the sophisticated, and elegant young lady.

Although the clothes are not too difficult to find, naturally the accessories get lost over time, and Tressy's shoes seem to go missing quite regularly.

 Tressy also has a collection of friends. Mary Make-Up was dubbed Tressy's 'very best friend'. Mary Make-Up can easily be overlooked at fairs as she has a very pale washed-out complexion that can make her look rather unappealing.

Tressy Doll

This is due to the fact that the owner is supposed to paint on her make-up and nails with the range of Mary Make-Up water-soluble cosmetics. Tressy also had a little sister who was called Patch in the UK, and Cricket in America. Many collectors also purchase Silky as another sister for Tressy, but this is not quite correct. Silky was part of the Tressy line and came out in the 1970s - but was not officially a sister for Tressy.'

Tressy Doll  is becoming more collectible, and I have seen the value of some of my dolls double in recent months,'Overall condition and hair color are important,

Tressy Doll Top Tips For Collecting

hands should be clear - no sign of teeth marks

clothes and shoes should be original

chest area should be fully formed and not caved in

Tressy's button and recall key should be present and fully working

pull out Tressy's strand to make sure the hair has not been trimmed

body should not be marked in any way

clothes and accessories should be original

is the original box still available?

Collectibles Coach


  1. I have a Tressy with key and her hair works perfectly . She is in great condition ,how much are they worth if I wanted to sell her.?

  2. Hi I'm looking for a white haired Tressy doll in good condition to buy. If anyone can help please I would love to hear from you