The following information is based on what Carleigh told me in the phone interviews we had. I talked to her several times in the past 3 years of her life. With the notes I took, the Stingers, Starlight Girls and few other aspects of the line where also talked about, but I can not recall if Carleigh designed these other fashions or not. I'm almost positive that Carleigh designed the Starlight Girl doll fashions, but I can't say 100% for sure. The following is the from the "better" notes I took ...
Jem vs. Barbie
the real story
And now for the real story
Jem came first! A Jem doll box was used for some type of early promotion for the line (no dolls or fashion, just the box) After the box was used it was thrown into the garbage. Someone from Mattel dug through the garbage to get the box. Ran back to Mattel with the box, and Mattel put Barbie in the Rockers in to production based on just the box colors. That is why the Rockers fashions are such bright colors, compared to JEM's muted Mylar fashions.
So while Hasbro had to take its time to develop the head molds, fashions, and accessories from scratch, Mattel worked their employees over time to get a Rock band out to compete with Hasbro's new doll. Mattel did not have to spend as much time developing the line, because they already had the molds for the dolls. Hasbro was making JEM from scratch.
Jem vs. Maxie?
Maxie was not made as a replacement for Jem. Maxie is based on Sindy, the doll that out sold Barbie in Europe. Hasbro had just got the rights to produce Sindy in 1987. Hasbro was going to completely copy Sindy to create Maxie, but Maxie did get produced with new doll molds.
Both Jem and Maxie were developed and going to be released in 1988. Hasbro was going to compete with itself. They where looking to get a little younger audience with Maxie, while keeping the same audience for Jem.
1986 Mystery Man
Not sure if or who, because Carleigh was brought in after fact.
Honk Kong vs. China
Jem was produced in both place because Hasbro was afraid if political problems where to occur they would not have a toy line to sell. By having two locates that made the dolls, if there was a problem with one, at least some of the dolls would still be released.
"Splash Of Sound" - The fashion sold is not the same as the fashion prototype because the fabric from the prototype gave of a toxic gas.
"Midnight Magic" - In the Prototype picture, the Velcro for the scarf is on the outside, not the inside. This is a goof up with the prototype because separate fashions was made for the just for the prototype pictures.
Jetta - The prototypes where made well in advance, for the box are and posters. Since Jetta was not on the 1987 Misfits box, that does mean she was not produced until the very last minute.
Rockin' Romance Jem - It sounds like she was original going to have fur around her solders, where the lace was.
Other 1988 Unproduced Items
Hollywood Jem - Fashions where going to be produced with the dolls similar to Glitter'n Gold.
Flip Side Fashions - New Flip Side Fashions where going to be released. These new fashions where going to be much better then the previous/first year Flip Side Fashions. (Jem fashions are more modern and fun, while Jericca fashions are more Sophisticated and similar to 20's and 30's design*)
Mardi Gras - these fashions where introduced on the show. (all the Mardi Gras fashions are in the episode of the same name...Stormer's fashion is not one the the Hasbro prototypes*) After Jem was canceled Hasbro was talked of creating a new doll just to promote these costumes and masks. (I believe that nothing came of this.*)
International - there was to be an international line of clothing based on different countries. (seems like it was more of South American theme, with Mexican fashion, and Jamaican fashion, and Argentinean/Brazilian fashion*)
Abra Cadabra - Carleigh did not know anything about this set. (I did not have time to send her images of the fashions to see if she might have recognize them.*)
Wedding Kimber - The doll in the wedding dress was a wedding gift for a Hasbro Employee. The wedding dress was not developed for Jem or for Kimber.
Hasbro and Discontinuing Lines.
Marketing department had complete and tasteless control!
They only wanted items that had some kind of gimmick. Many many great toys did not make it past the design phase because they did not have a strong gimmick. It is true that there is a very large room full of toys that never made it though production.
The marketing department would cancel lines at any point in time that they felt like it. Toys could be made and ready to be assembled then discontinued and discarded. The Glow Bugs where going to have a Dragon Fly vehicle that was completely made waiting to be assembled, when marketing decided to pull the line. The problem was the Marketing department did not know how far along, or now much time was spent on many of the toys they canceled. The left hand did not know what the right hand was doing.
Quite often Hasbro would have freelance artist create the different toys, while the in house designers had nothing to do.
Selling Rockin' Romance Jem - toys given to Hasbro employees
Come to find out, that the discontinued or any kind of toy was not given to the people that worked on the toy, toys where mostly give to the people in the marketing department. (it sounds like Rockin' Romance Jem was not sold in the employee store, but other employees say she was*)
* - thoughts I have added, to clarify different issues