Everything you need to dress-up like Jem, Pizzazz or Synergy
-- officially licensed by Hasbro. spirithalloween.com
Get your officially (USA) licensed Jem t-shirts at welovefine.com thanks to the first welovefine/Jem contest, many Jem fan
made designs are available for purchase. Congratulations to the Winners! You are Superstars!
JEMstars - JEM Character Bios Aja™ / Aja Leith™
of the Holograms™
Originally named Kimber but later switching their names, Aja was the second original Hologram. Christy gave her the last name of Leith to name her after Emmett Norman Leith, who created the first three-dimensional hologram 1964 with his coworker Juris Upatnieks. Aja was known as the Asian American Hologram, and even had an episode that explored her Chinese heritage. I have a strong suspicion that her Asian American nationality was an afterthought, because the doll mold does not necessarily have Asian features. I have a feeling Hasbro decided to consider her Asian American after the addition of the third African American Hologram.
Other than her Chinese heritage, tom-boy personality and being mechanically inclined her character was not really explored. Aja was the last of the original Holograms to find a boyfriend, and he had a conflict of interest. Craig left Aja, and late in the series she finally found out that Craig was Stormer’s brother after thinking they were man and wife.
Aja was the guitarist for the Holograms. With the exception of one promotional image with her on drums, she played guitar. The doll Carvin V220 “Star” style guitar only had 3 strings, so closest to a 4 string bass guitar. She original appeared playing Pizzazz’s guitar; her guitar was switched to the match the doll in the Starbright episodes. Aja was released as a 1987 2nd issue “New Look” Hologram, but the new fashion never appeared in the series.
1985 as part of Super Sunday / Super Saturday
5205-08 thru 5205-12 "Truly
5205-01 thru 5205-03 "Starbright"
Each doll was given a model number, consisting
of the date and the order it was recorded in for that
day. Polaroids were used to show the model, and any additional
Polaroids showed changed after from the original. They
also created an official “confidential” rendering
(illustration) approved by the designer and their supervisor.
A second larger presentation art illustration was created
to get final approval from the board. There was along
process of created the head molds, and once the doll was
ready to produce a Deco Guide/Paintmaster and for some
dolls Rooting Guide were sent to the factor(s) to show
exactly how the make-up and hair should look. Hasbro also
sent slides to the factor(s) to show what the final doll
should look like.
* = for prototypes, the designer
and prototype creator are not always the same person //
only known artist, but other artist may have been used.
Sharon Knettell was the exclusive artist box art for the
1986 dolls and playsets, Hasbro had other artist manipulating
and copying her style for the 1987 boxes to save money,
so it is unclear which are specifically her designs. There
is no sign of box art being included in one the 1988 doll
Besides developing the doll line, having
Sunbow develop the cartoon to sell the line, Hasbro also
had to develop licensing and promotional material to promote
the doll line. The Licensing Kit was developed to give
licensees a guide to follow when packaging their licensed
Jem product to have a constant look across all categories.
The Hasbro Toy Catalogs were produced to show the available
products each year to stores and the stores' toy buyers.
The doll posters were produced and sold in the packages
to show the consumer the other offerings available at
The “New Look”
Holograms were excluded from the November 1986 Licensing
Kit update, more than likely a later update was released
to include the “New Look” Holograms along
with the new band members. The “New Look”
Kimber and “New Look” Aja illustrations were
featured on multiple Family Home Entertainment VHS
The band members of the Holograms and the
Misfits were being discontinued in 1988, only the “friends
of the Holograms” and “friends of the Misfits”
were going to be offered in 1988. Hasbro felt the non-band
members gave more diversity to themes and play for Jem.
After slow Misfits sales in 1987, Hasbro decided to
pull the Misfits all together, which included a new design
for Pizzazz, a new friend of the Misfits Graphix and rumored
Clash with longer hair.
Because of the demand and the chance for international trade conflicts, Hasbro employed multiple factories to produce the 1986 line. Two factories were responsible for the exact same doll and fashion, which gave us mold and fabric variations between the two factories. Because of less demand in 1987, each doll was only produced in a single factory limiting these variations. Of the 1988 line, the only known doll to be produced was Rockin’ Romance JEM® in very small numbers.
In 2012 Integrity Toys, Inc. released a
Hasbro licensed adult collector line called “The
JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS™ Collection” The collection
was launched with the 2012 San Diego Comic Con Exclusive
Basic Hollywood Jem™, a first wave of dolls came
out in December with Classic Jem™, Jerrica Benton™,
Synergy™, Rio Pacheco™. With success of the
first wave and 3 more waves which included the original
band members for the Holograms, the Misfits and the Stingers
in 2013, the licensed deal was expanded to include more
exclusive dolls, along with additional band members and
friends based on the Hasbro dolls. The collection has
grown into included characters that were developed Christy
Marx as secondary characters in the cartoon.