All 65 episodes of Jem and the
are available on Nextflix Instant Que ($7.99 per month)
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!
Jem was officially unveiled at the New York Toy Fair,
February 10, 1986. Which was to be a big shock to the
world, or at least Hasbro hoped for the element of surprise.
Hasbro had Sunbow create and air Jem as part of Super
Sunday starting in October of 1985, so the element of
surprise was gone. If you haven’t heard why, Hasbro
wanted it to appear the doll line was based on the show
because of all the negative attitudes toward toy-based
cartoons of the mid-80’s.
With the cartoon lead-time, Mattel had a pretty good
idea of what Hasbro was planning. So Mattel came up
with Barbie and the Rockers to release in 1986. So February
10, 1986 may also be Barbie and the Rockers official
25th Anniversary too.
To throw Mattel off the scent, Hasbro faked dropping
the doll line. By limiting pre-toy fair communications
and strategically leaving Jem out, it appeared as if
Hasbro was not going to release Jem after all. It seemed
like Mattel either did not believe Hasbro dropped Jem
or Mattel was not going to take any chances –
Mattel pressed forward with Barbie and the Rockers.
With the doors opening at Toy Fair 1986, all the questions
and speculations were put to rest. As spectators see
Jem/Jerrica, Kimber, Aja, Shana, Roxy, Stormer, Pizzazz
and Rio for the first time. With the view of the Rockin’
Roadster, Jem Star Stage, Rock Backstager and a hand
full of fashions, the world realized Hasbro was hard
at work preparing for the newest musical invasion.
• • • •
is at the end of Kimber's keyboard?
It is the letter
Now why is there a M and not a J?
was given the idea for developing a 'Rock &
Roll' doll it started out as a male rock group.
Development soon lead to M, she is rumored to have
male band members. As time passed, M became Jem;
one reason given was Hasbro could not trademark
a letter at that time. Other reasons are that M
stands for Mattel, and that M would be too closely
tied to MTV.
like the main reason for changing "M"
to Jem was because of Bette Middler. Middler had
sued over usage "Divine Miss M," so Hasbro
was afraid she would sue over the M doll line.
Sanders (1940-1990) a famous award winning
advertising executive, and two friends/collaborators
(former Hasbro marketing executive and freelance
toy designer Joe Hyland
(1935-2001) and his wife Barbara
Hyland advertising executive and freelance
toy designer) went to Hasbro with a idea of a
new doll line, to compete with Barbie. Bill thought
Barbie was boring and no fun.
Hasbro had Sunbow Production, Inc. develop a cartoon
to promote the Jem dolls. It started as fifteen
(seven minute) segments on a show with several
boy cartoons in the "Super Saturday" show, or
"Super Sunday" show, airing in October 1985. Because
of the black lash against animated shows developed
to sell toy lines, Hasbro purposely had the show
released around six months before the doll line
came out. Hasbro was hoping that would it look
like the cartoon came first.
When Hasbro had to give "M" a new name.
Jem came from the Jemstar earrings M wore. The
name of the band became the Holograms. The idea
for the name came from the Holographic image that
changed an ordinary girl (Morgan or Misty) into
"M". And during this time the male band
became three females ... Kimber, Jade and Aria.
The names changed to Kimber, Aja, and Shana. One
name for Roxy and/or Stormer at this time was
M/Misty became Jem/Jerrica
Aja became Kimber
Jade became Aja
Pizazz became Pizzazz
Rue became Roxy
Roxy became Stormer
from an unnamed source
continued the dolls were based on the Kenner Darci
line. Hasbro even used Darci dolls to design the
fashions to fit Jem.
of evolution of first and second year dolls
"1. "Misty" on a Creata
Short pants w/see thru skirt, top w/one
silver sleeve, headband
2. "Misty" Creata doll w/white/orange
pants, suspenders,wide belt/pink socks,hat/necklace,labeled
on Polaroid 410030-06m
3. "Misty/Morgan" pink mini
dress w/large sequin appliqué on
bodice. Belt pink glitter and what looks
like a Monogram M on it on a Creata doll.
4. On a Darci doll. Short pink mini
dress w/Jem in large letters on bodice,
with the jagged belt effect.
5. On the first Jem experimental doll
painted face. I actually think this face
was nicest. W/very poofy hair. This variation
is very close to the final
version. So you can imagine how many styles
were tried before the final one was chosen.
6. Misty/ Morgan Street Clothes. This
version was a stripe magenta tunic, wide
belt, and a tam for head covering."
"1. Kimber on Creata doll. pink
and orange netting with slashes at bottom
short dress, sash , Dark blue net tights.
stars in hair. #411044-01m,
2. Kimber(Aria), #411044-02m Sequined
sweatshirt, blue tight pants, pink socks,
sneakers, arm band. no date
3.Kimber #4411044-05m Fashion similar
4. Kimber, on a Darci, dated 6/14/85,
it may be same fashion as #3, don't know
reason it was on two different dolls"
"The first prototype is labeled
Jade # 411043-01M (Aja) . It was designed
on a Creata doll. She's wearing hot pink
balloonlike pants, printed top, blue glitter
belt, bead bracelet, and pink headband.
Her hair is bright yellow puffy style.
The second is labeled Jade # 411043-02M,
designed right after 01M. This is a short
flared skirt, wide white waistband, hot
pink spandex top, jacket with high collar
and gathered sleeves, blue bead necklace,
Asian style painted face with graphics
on sides of face, blue puffy hairstyle
The third and fourth Polaroids are similar
with very slight different poses, one
labeled Aja# 411043-17, 6/18/85.
the other Aja, 6/18/85. She's wearing
pretty much what the doll was sold with
in the box."
"1. Pizazz/Discords.On a Creata
doll. Black and white animal print w/magenta
fringe. Yellow poofy hair. Black choker.
Scarf on one leg, long sock on the other.
2. Pizazz/Discords on a Creata doll.
Dressed much like above description, but
very different hair and makeup. Also yellow
long sock on one leg and black textured
long sock on the other.
3. Pizazz on Darci. This fashion toned
down quite a bit. No scarf on leg and
less fringe at bodice."
"1. Roxy/Discords on a Creata doll.
Pink poofy hair, yellow shirt top, with
black/pink skirt, slits all across the
bottom. Bracelets and anklets.
2. Roxy on Creata doll. White hair.
Purple fuzzy shirt with one sleeve, pink/yellow
pants with black graphics.
3. Roxy fashion on a Darci doll with
purple fuzzy shirt, wide yellow belt,
and gold lame pants.
4. Same fashion as above, purple fuzzy
shirt with wide yellow belt and gold lame
1. Stormer/Rue/Discords on a Creata
Doll. Blue hair, black stripe bodice,
yellow skirt, doublewrap pink belt, 2
different styles and color black chocker.
2. Creata Doll. Dark color hair, arm
band, black plastic almost like shark
teeth deco on bodice, magenta bodice,
black skirt, sheer black tights.
3. Stormer fashion on a Darci doll.
Same fashion as on the Creata with dark
hair, but on a Darci.
The front Polaroid has been distorted.
"This is a Polaroid of Rio wearing
the striped jacket and pants similar to
the fashion he would be sold in. The yellow
t-shirt is plain, the t-shirt he would
eventually wear has a printed design.
He is also wearing a belt. No shoes. His
hair is a very bushy brown and his face
has not been painted."
The first experimental fashion shown
upper left (1/17/86) on blue haired hispanic
doll shows dk. blue capri pants with band
on one leg, doll's low cut blouse is blue
and yellow stripe. That was the original
The one dated 2/13/86 is a variation
of the final design chosen, 512019-05m.
This one includes headband, socks over
tights and different color and style of
vest and bow.
The final fashion(1 closeup and 1 full
view has close to final design but not
necessarily color, dated 4/11/86. 512019-14
p.t.o means preliminary turn over.
"Dated 1/17/86, shows doll with
no head, but with a hot pink hat and a
black dot net attached to it. The short
black skirt with slit in front, looking
gloves and pink mesh tights. The blouse
is hot pink fur. It may be a Creata doll.
Dated 2/25/86, 512018-08m, is a black
metallic mesh short dress with hot pink
metallic belt, pink tights, yellow/green
fur jacket with turquoise trim, and a
black hat with brim turned up. Also yellow
shoes. On a Jem doll.
Dated 4/16/86, 512018-18m. Short black
metallic dress (like previous dress) pink
metallic belt, Turquoise fur jacket with
turquoise lame mesh tights. On Jem doll."
Glitter'n Gold Jem/Jerrica
Glitter'n Gold Fashions
missing the description from this auction
"They are two pictures of the prototypes
that were the final fashions for "Diamond
Nights" and Fire the Glitter and
Gold Assortment. The fabric used for these
fashions may or may not have been the
fabrics used in manufacturing, or the
for manufacturing. The back of both Polaroids
reads" Glitter and Gold 1986, design"."
* description are from the auctions
Polaroid of the original sketches
and prototypes of 5 On Stage Fashions
was being developed for "M" was a jet.
Like most of the Jem playsets, it was to have a
cassette player and speaker. It also could be transformed
into a stage. This playset may have been dropped
for the Rockin' Roadster, Star Stage, and Rock Backstager.
Elements from this M jet were used in all three
Plane Design as
illustrated by Bill Sanders (1985)
the Beginning" (1986)
it starts with a hint of the new line in the Pre-Toy
Fair Catalog. But not in 1986, Hasbro actually
excluded Jem and released limited number of the
1986 Pre-Toy Fair Catalogs just to make Mattel
think Hasbro was dropping the Jem line -- it didn't
help, or Mattel was not fooled, as Mattel continued
the release of Barbie and the Rockers. (source)
Barbie’s sales had been low for most of
the 70s and 80s, so Hasbro thought they could
take her place as the number one selling fashion
doll. Jem wasn’t the number one selling
doll, but thanks to Jem, Barbie and the Rockers
put Barbie back on top with externally high sales.
the Misfit and Rio
dolls, three playsets and twenty-four fashions
started the doll line.
Those 15 "Super Sunday" segments were
put together into a 90-minute movie "Truly
Outrageous!" in 1986 and shown to kick off
the new "JEM" animated series. At the
same time those 15 segments where extended and
included as the first five part episode of Jem.
The five part episode started airing in April
of 1986. 4-1/2 minutes was added to three "Super
Sunday" segments to fit the new Jem episode
running time. "Starbright" soon followed
in, July 1986, as 3 part episode. Between April
of 1986 and the March of 1987 Jem had 26 full
new Jem dolls, three new Holograms added to the
"New Look" Holograms, two new Misfits
added to the reissued Misfits, Synergy, three
Starlight Girls along with three playsets (one
new playset), updated roadster, four playset attachments,
a waterbed and twice as many fashion where added
to the line. (1987)
"Glitter'n Gold" was the new doll theme
and the 26th episode, with the same name, aired
in March 1987 -- it was the first look at the
new 1987 fashions and dolls, with the exception
of Raya and Jetta. After the summer break, Raya
and Jetta made their first appearance in September
with "Talent Search" part 1 and 2. Jem
was now being aired Monday through Friday. Between
September of 1987 and the May of 1988 Jem had
39 full episodes.
Glitter'n Gold was originally the Hollywood Jem/glamour
theme and was put on the Toy Fair cover as a least
attempt to get the sales Hasbro was expecting
for Jem. Hasbro was disappointed with the 1986
sales of Jem, but did not want to give up on her,
and look like they completely failed. The 1987
orders for Jem did not meet Hasbro’s expectations
so even though Jem was sold in 1987, all development
stopped on the doll line around Feb/March of 1987
– Hasbro basically knew Jem was over at
Rock’n Curl was designed on the fly to
release a cheaper doll quickly.
is Farewell" (1988)
Rockin' Romance and American
two new Holograms
the Stingers, Hollywood Jem,
like Hasbro still was not ready to completely
give up. I’m sure the popularity of the
cartoon made Hasbro feel they still had a chance.
It looked like Hasbro was going to pick up where
they left off before the Toy Fair 1987 shutdown
of the line. Two new lower price Jem dolls, lower
price Holograms, and Matching Medley (Mix &
Match) fashions were revealed in the 1988 Pre-Toy
Fair Catalog. The Stingers and Hollywood Jem was
waiting in the wing, but fashion assortments were
not included – Hasbro shut development down
in March 1987, before the themes could be expanded.
A Stinger fashion assortment was never started
and the Hollywood Jem assortment never made it
to the prototype stage. On Stage Fashions, Flipside
Fashions, Smashin’ Fashions, Rio Fashions,
Glitter’n Gold Fashions and Music is Magic
fashions were not developed, so we wouldn’t
have seen new updated fashions for our favorite
The International/World Tour fashions never made
it past the marketing departments approval; Graphix
was dropped pretty early on.
American Beauty Jem would have been Hasbro’s
attempt to add red to the line. The color red
was considered too risqué for a doll line,
so the American theme was away to work the color
into the line.
There would have been at least four new Jem dolls:
Rockin' Romance Jem - 4004,
American Beauty Jem - 4007,
Hollywood jem - 4009, and
Two new Holograms:
Astral - original name was Magic
Regine - original name was Paris, and
Video and Danse would have been reissued with
A new group the Stingers - assortment number
Riot - original name was Chaos -- a male,
Minx - original name was Fiasco,
Rapture - original name was Jazz,
Most of these new dolls appeared in the show
sometime in the fall and winter of 1987/1988.
Pizzazz (Red Dress) and a new Misfit Graphix were
put on hold for the 1988 line, and Graphix never
appeared in the show. New mix match outfits, along
with many other new fashion sets were planned
for 1988. Some
of the new dolls and fashions. A new Rio was
also developed, "Rio O' Boy".
Get My Love Together"
made Jem to expensive to compete in the marking
place. Hasbro expected Jem to make over $30 million
a year, but the sales were not there – not
when the customer had a cheaper alterative to
choose from. Hasbro made Jem too realistic, too
articulate and with flashing earrings and/or a
cassette tape, the costs were too high. The fact
that Jem was not sculpted to fit Barbie’s
clothing did not help either.
A new reason for Jem's demise as surfaced from
Hasbro -- the size of the boxes. It seems that
the 14-1/2” tall doll boxes was a big issue
to retail stores in most areas. Doll aisles were
set up to hold the 11-3/4” Barbie boxes.
Because of the larger size, one of two things
happened – either the dolls would be sat
on their side, or one shelve would have to be
removed and the other shelves adjusted to accommodate
the larger boxes. These are not issues that customers
would see, but stores would see the display as
looking sloppy and reflecting badly on the store
or see it as loosing valuable shelf space. A retail
outlet would see taking out the shelf as a loose
of revenue -- overstock and backroom storage is
seen as a negative in retail.
not confirmed: Hasbro, or more
importantly Stephen Hassenfeld, saw that Jem had
some marketing issue, and wanted to fix them.
When Stephen found out that he was dying, he decided
to cancel the line. Stephen felt like he did not
have enough time to fix all the issues with Jem,
and was afraid that Hasbro, under his brother
Alan Hassenfeld, would not fix them after he was
gone. The decision was to black out Jem completely,
so it was like she never existed. All posters,
dolls and anything Jem related were removed from
Hasbro. Any remaining merchandise, included Rockin’
Romance Jem, were shipped over seas.
Stephen Hassenfeld passed away on June 25, 1989.
March 2010 Updated/Correction:
By the time the doll line was canceled the show
was already rapping up. Hasbro was canceling all
the Sunbow shows to save money -- Jem was the
last one to be canceled, finishing out the 65
episode syndicated contract. The Jem show might
have even gotten a longer run thanks to the doll
line being canceled. Hasbro promised the vendors
they would continue the show after the line was
canceled to help move (1987) product from store
shelves. If the Jem doll line continued into 1988
more then likely Hasbro would have broken the
contract with Sunbow dropping the show in Oct
G. I. Joe and Transformers had hit the 65 episode
G. I. Joe was canceled at 21 episodes after
the first 65 -- just 5 episodes shy of another
26 episode contract ( two13 contracts) after
the original 65 episode contract = 86 of 91
Transformers was canceled 46 episodes after
the first 65 -- just 6 episodes shy of two 26
episode contracts (four 13 contracts) after
the original 65 episode contract = 111 of 117
Hasbro contracts with Sunbow were for 65 episodes
followed by 13 or 26 episode contracts beyond
the first 65.
doll called Maxie
ended up replacing Jem. Maxie was a high school
girl, with her high school friends. The line was
the same size as Barbie and the fashions could
be swapped with Barbie fashions. This line only
lasted three years.
Maxie was not a true replacement for Jem because
Hasbro originally was going to release both Jem
and Maxie in 1988. Maxie was brought in by outside
investors who had their own staff develop the
line. Hasbro prototyped the dolls and fashions
and produced the line. Except for the use of some
Jem’s fabrics and accessories, Jem (and
the designers that worked on Jem) had very little
to do with Maxie’s development.
Maxie was going to have a band in the fall 1990,
but Hasbro canceled Maxie before the dolls hit
the stores. This Maxie band would have featured
Jem instruments in new colors.
Rockin' Pretty Bianca
- a blue Roxy guitar,
Rockin' Pretty Maxie -
a purple Shana guitar,
Rockin' Pretty Ashley -
a blue "Show
Me The Way" Video Madness tambourine, missing
the Jem logo,
Rockin' Pretty Carly -
a light green Kimber
Maxie was quickly followed by the New
Kids on the Block dolls. That included two
sets of dolls and a stage playset.