A-, B-, C-, D- or X-characters?
As Jem characters re-appearing in new releases, commemorative aswell as new interpretations, like dolls, live-action movie and comics, it raises questions about what the characters included therein are chosen according to, and where those releases drag the line of what characters to include or when to include them.
Sometimes we fans don't agree with the importance/unimportance of certain characters. Like who is important to include, who is important not to change too much, and so on...
So here is an attempt to nail down what characters are A-, B-, C-, D- or even (what I've chosen to call) X- characters. Along with some reasoning behind it, like in what ways they are more or less important, and how they can even be compared.
The safest way to rate them, must be to look at all dolls released in the original doll line first, and then additional characters only seen in the cartoon, and compare the importance of the characters between the two, by looking at all kinds of things like how featured the characters are and where, whether they were created by Hasbro and Christy Marx, what their roles are whether they are musicians or have relations to the main characters, how developed they are and even how they fit the colorful Jem-style.
And a little further down the lists even looks slightly at characters from various Jem-sources and, and what kind of breakthrough characters have had in other interpretations like books, comics and so on. This list has come down to a total of over 160 characters. They are listed here first in levels of letters A to X, then in groupings within those levels, and even in order within those groupings aswell. Although in some cases when it comes down to the lower levels and order within the same groupings, it is very hard to tell any difference in their importance. And of course, no one can say for certain how many levels there should be to begin with, or who should be on what level.
I tried keeping a certain limited amount in the first few groups, A-, B- and C-, but also because those first groups require more of the characters to be included for it to even be interesting at all. But as for the remaining levels, I wanted to include as many characters as I thought deserve some kind of mention, to point out to creators of new interpretations that there are alot of characters to choose from, and that Jem fans wouldn't mind seeing some characters from the lower lists appear in new interpretations aswell.
These are the absolute main characters! All but three are part of the two main bands, all but one were present in the first year of the 80's line, all but one has been released in atleast two editions in the doll line, and all appeared from the start in the cartoon, and have about the same age or a colorful look. Yes there are ALOT of actual main characters, and all of these are necessary for any interpretation of Jem, not for every single story told in a series though, but they need to have been introduced and be around from very early on.
So let's go into detail about the characters listed here. Jerrica is the main character infact, but Jem is the title character and is logical to be more visible. Jem and the Holograms the main band. Their main rivals the Misfits even had the first song in the cartoon, and they are more or less the reason the Holograms started a band, they set alot of the tone of the cartoon stories. You may argue Rio is not part of a band, but he is the colorful main boyfriend, some interpretations introduce him before the Misfits, and I think atleast one guy who was released two dolls of in the 80's doll line deserves his spot up here. Who can say Synergy is anything but A-list, such an important part of the cartoon, and she was even a doll in the 2nd year. Then again she is only a computer and not a rockstar, and had no personality, and something of a helper for Jerrica, and she was only in 24 episodes which is about half as many as Eric Raymond. But how can you tell the story of Jem without her?
This is where things are getting extremely complicated. Most of these were released as dolls in the second year of the 80's line or planned for the third year, and are very featured and have a re-appearing part in the cartoon, half of them appear in atleast 29 episodes and the other half in atleast 9 episodes where they are quite featured.
Eric had a very visible role from the start in the cartoon, appeared more than Synergy and nearly in as many episodes as Rio, and had connections to both the Misfits and the Stingers. Eric didn't have the colorful Jem-style though and wasn't really important as a bad guy since the Misfits were the main bad guys, but if he had had a more hip colorful style and been a doll aswell he could infact had been A-list.
Raya and Jetta could be A-listed, but they were only released in one edition each compared to the other members of the Holograms and Misfits, they joined in later in the cartoon, and some interpretations ignore them or introduce them later. They aren't necessary to introduce right away.
Stingers could be A-list characters being a main band with several songs, but they were never released as dolls, only planned as dolls, and only appeared in some episodes late in the cartoon.
No question Clash, Video and Danse are perfect B-listers, as early introduced colorful friends in the cartoon and re-appeared throughout the series, planned even before the first year was released but were released dolls in the 2nd year, but they are friends of the main characters and weren't musicians.
Should the Starlight girls be B-listed or rather C, not being colorful rockstars? Well most appeared from the first episode until the last, these three had more visible roles in the cartoon than the other 9 Starlight girls and were in more episodes than Synergy, they had their own songs, one of which appeared twice, and were dolls in the second year. But after all, they were featured in some episodes, but they were almost like background characters alot of the time, often filling up the episodes with side-stories.
- Eric Raymond
- Ba Nee
Okay, here is the last chance to mention characters that stand out somewhat more than someone who simply appears in a single side-story of a cartoon episode. Most of these are re-appearing cartoon characters, some noticable roles as friends, boyfriends or relatives. All bigtime Jem fans should know all of these characters' full names. They are placed lower than the above category though, because many of these were slightly less developed and didn't have the colorful Jem style or a direct music connection, many appeared in less episodes, none of these were released as dolls in the 80's although a few were planned to be. Although Integrity Toys have brought their status up by releasing commemorative dolls of 9 of them in recent years.
Techrat appeared in as much as 12 episodes once he had been introduced, and was much more developed than Zipper and had a more visible role, he was something of the Misfits' counterpart for Synergy, he had a slight connection to Minx, but he was never planned as a doll in the 80's, and he was practically the helper of Eric who was kinda the helper of the Misfits.
Regine and Astral had their own episodes in the cartoon, had the Jem-style, and were planned but never released in the 80's line, but then again they only appeared in one episode each, and they were no musicians.
Lindsey, Anthony, Danielle and Howard all first appeared within the first two episodes and re-appeared several times throughout the series. None were planned as dolls in the 80's. But Lindsey was very colorful and visible as the announcer of what happened in the bands' careers, Anthony directed Jem videos and dated Shana.
Craig, Jeff, Sean and Zipper. Three of these four guys were love interests for the main characters. Some appeared earlier than the others but all re-appeared in the series. Craig appeared in least episodes, but he was both a musician that nearly joined Jem and the Holograms, a love interest for Aja, and brother of Stormer. Jeff appeared before two of the others, and almost married Kimber. Sean was a musician, but is definitely second to Jeff since Jeff appeared first and more, Sean was the second love interest for Kimber and not introduced by the main writer. Zipper appeared from the first episode and in more episodes than the others, but was a helper for Eric without much personal involvement or personality.
Deirdre and Terri would actually place slightly higher than the remaining Starlight girls since they were somewhat featured in cartoon stories, while some Starlight girls should almost be D-listed since they barely ever spoke a word in the entire cartoon, but I wanted to gather the remaining ones on this list since they as a group are quite visible.
Emmett and Jacqui were seen in several episodes, even if just in photos sometimes, Emmett invented Synergy based on Jacqui, and Jacqui had her own song, and their importance as parents for several of the main characters says alot.
Harvey was the father of Pizzazz, and played an important role of being a source of money for the Misfits, enabling them to do many things to be counterparts of Jem and the Holograms, before Techrat partly took over with his gadgets.
Mrs. Bailey was there from the beginning until end of the series and appeared in more cartoon episodes than the Stingers, and got a bigger part in the recent live-action movie played by Molly Ringwald herself (for most part I don't count things that happened after the 80's for this list though).
Harriet, Joanie and Xanthos is stretching it, I know, but this is the C-list so there's more room for characters down here. All three are re-appearing. Harriet has a visible re-appearing role for both the Holograms and the Misfits and was somewhat a counterpart for Lindsey, Joanie was created by Christy Marx and appeared early and is the second most important person at Starlight Music after Jerrica, and Xanthos is a re-appearing character that was introduced in a Christy episode in a somewhat featured role.
- Lindsey "Lin-Z" Pierce
- Anthony Julian
- Craig Phillips
- Jeff Wright
- Sean Harrison
- Countess Danielle Du Voisin
- Howard Sands
Remaining Starlight girls:
- Emmett Benton
- Jacqui Benton
- Harvey Gabor
- Mrs. Bailey
- Harriet Horn
- Joanie Stuart
- Richard Xanthos
This is what some will refer to as "secondary characters", and perhaps even characters on the C-list count as such. Here are some characters that are somewhat featured in atleast one episode. I find they fit into the Jem universe well because some are musicians, some even sang in featured songs, some are colorful, some had developed personalitites and full names, some are the same age as the main characters, some are relatives of main characters, some are re-appearing, some are created by Christy Marx and so on. The more they covered one or several things of the above, they are higher ranked here, but at this point it's very hard to rank them in a fair way. So expect this list to become even better re-organized at some point. None of these were released as dolls though.
Yes the Limp Lizards are all the way down here, even though they had one re-appearing unofficial song in the cartoon, because they were never introduced by individual names nor had any speaking line.
Surprisingly few female characters on this list. Not sure why, because the Jem cartoon would seem to have alot of them. Perhaps it's because female characters dominate the above lists. But anyone is welcome to suggest more characters who deserve to be included here.
- Lena Lerner (Re-appearing singer included in one song, character created by Christy)
- Randy James (Re-appearing drummer included in one song, by Christy)
- Limp Lizards (Re-appearing iconic band, by Christy)
- Laura (Sings her own song, very featured Starlight girl for one episode)
- Miguel Alonso (Raya's father, re-appearing, by Christy)
- Dominic Lerner (Musician son of Lena, featured in a music video, re-appearing, by Christy)
- Bobby Bailey (Sings in a song)
- Nick Mann (3 episodes, very featured, by Christy)
- Jamie (Jerrica's third identity)
- Red Johnny Mac (The Beast, a colorful guy, more or less seen in three music videos)
- Princess Adriana (A royal Kimber lookalike, by Christy)
- Fitzgerald Beck (Very featured and colorful personality)
- Johnny Deacon (Singer included in one song, by Christy)
- The Bluebloods (Band of Craig Phillips and Mason Hawthorne, by Christy)
- Misfits Girls (Anti-Starlight girls, colorful style, very featured, by Christy)
- Fifth Ave. Boys (Re-appearing triplets, singers signed to Starlight Music, by Christy)
- Prescott A. Wentworth III (Huge Jem fan that re-creates Starlight Mansion)
- Lexa (Like a female Eric Raymond, by Christy)
- Adrian Lassiter (Another Eric Raymond type bad guy, owns radiostation, by Christy)
- Luna Dark (Singer included in one song, by Christy)
- Georgia (Featured starbright badgirl who switches sides, by Christy)
- Stefan Horte (Danse flirt in Danse's homeland)
- Cisco (Danse's flirt)
- Robin Goodfellow (Robin Hood type, Danse's flirt)
- Mrs. Farnsworth (Very featured personality)
- Rosa Alonso (Raya's mother, re-appearing, by Christy)
- Mr. Llewelyn (Riot's father, re-appearing)
- Mildred Llewelyn (Riot's mother)
- Martin O'Carolan (Ba Nee's father, by Christy)
- Peter Dvorak (Danse's father)
- Flo Burns (Jetta's mother, by Christy)
- Bertie Burns (Jetta's father, by Christy)
- Roland Owens (Musician, by Christy)
- Ron Cox (Musician, by Christy)
- Buzz Montgomery (Clash's father)
- John Montgomery (Video's father)
- Mrs. Montgomery (Video's mother)
- Kieu Chinh (Ba Nee's mother)
- Max Conley (Kimber's flirt)
- Pit Slurman (Cool Trash editor, iconic with his magazine)
- Manny Malone (Discovered Synergy, re-appearing even in books, by Christy)
- Danny (Befriended Starlight girls, re-appearing in superstar clip, by Christy)
- Swensen (One of few nordic characters, Jem's flirt)
- Pierre Larquet (A New Orleans detective that flirts with Shana)
- Steve (Coach for Jem and the Holograms in the Battle of the Music Stars, Kimber's flirt)
- Miguel (Eric's right hand from Starbright, by Christy)
- Luis Geraldo (Guide at Aztec temples in Mexico, Raya's only ever flirt)
- Paco (Mexican and featured role)
- Angus Bean (Shipwrecked, Stormer's flirt, very featured in a music video with Stormer that got cut out entirely)
- Geraldine Pathos (Actress, re-appearing)
- Jack Sobieski (Social worker, by Christy)
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Musician)
- Taps Tucker Band (Jazz quartet)
- Uto Kenyak (Ba Nee's penpal)
- Link (Friend of Roxy)
- The Skulls (Musicians and Eric's thugs, by Christy)
- Neco and the Zomboys (Friends of the Misfits)
- Frederick Vincent (actor)
- Bobby Braddock (student at South Highschool)
- Victor Krucak (artistic director of the Zagreb ballet)
- Reginald (prospective English lord)
- Lord Trevor (friend of Jetta's parents)
- Maria Castello (owner of gallery and night club)
- Andrew "Andy" Martin (gambler)
- Ramon Chavez (thief in Mexico)
- Elzer Marcus (radioman, by Christy)
- Dirk Hayes (concert promoter in Las Vegas)
- Sir Hugh Ridley (musician and promoter)
- Martino Grandzetti (racecar driver)
- Sigourney Reaver (actress)
- Lily LaRose (legendary chanteuse in New Orleans)
- Johan Dvorak (Danse's great grandfather)
- Yaki Tori (designer for the Stingers)
- Meryl Saint (actress)
- Switch (Radioman, Kimber's schoolmate, by Christy)
- Cindy Tucker (Re-appearing reporter, by Christy)
- Flint Westwood (based on Clint Eastwood, re-appearing)
- Bob Merrit (Featured character from a top episode)
- Liz Stratton (Joan Collins type, two episodes, by Christy)
- Marla Martell (Female magician, before Astral)
- Christine (Assistant of Xanthos, by Christy)
- Devon Silverstone (Magician with a featured role, hits on Jem)
- Hector Ramirez (Wellknown character that appeared in other Hasbro/Sunbow cartoons aswell)
- The Washington Marauder (Memorable bad guy)
- Rick Franklin (skiresort owner)
- Owen Beech (record store owner, by Christy)
- Mizz Sally Brand (concert arranger in Texas)
- George Kenyak (brother of Uto)
- Ronald Kyte (thug hired by the radiostation KBST's owner)
- Dave Danielson (promoter and friend of Eric)
- Terrance Landau (real estate agent and friend of Eric)
- Connie Long (female host of TV-show California Beat)
- Terry Stone (male host of TV-show California Beat)
- François Truchet (French director)
- Frack (Magician wannabe)
- Mademoiselle Yvette (old woman in New Orleans)
- Vera (works at the Zagreb ballet)
- Professor Frick (Magician)
- The Ben Tiller Band (male orchestra)
- Miss Sanford (social worker)
- Mick (ticket scalper)
- Cherise Jubilee (spoiled actress)
- Tony Cassini (Italian promoter)
- Jean Lafitte (legendary pirate in New Orleans)
- Richard Carling (photographer of the Jem and the Holograms fashion book)
- McDuffy (pilot bully)
- Maurice (butler in New Orleans)
- Mark Rockwell (Owner of record company Rockwell Records)
- Mama Lou (old woman in New Orleans)
- Ellen Sue Tanner (chairwoman of the World Hunger foundation)
- High Lama (of Shangri-La)
- Andrew (musicologist and Shangri-La expert)
- Linn (Jem fan in China)
These neither made it to the cartoon nor doll line, some were once planned as dolls or cartoon characters. Some are from other sources like the new comics and live-action movie or even an 80's book.
- Mongrels (Male and female twins once planned for an animated Jem movie in the 80's)
- Graphix (Unreleased Hasbro prototype once planned for cartoon, but was intentionally scrapped and only got a very unfinished doll look)
- David Michael Springer (Appeared in two different storybooks by different companies!)
- Erica Raymond (Female version of Eric Raymond in the live-action movie)
- Blaze (Character of the new comics)
- Patti Paine (Pizzazz' cousin and reporter in a Jem book)
So to sum the listing up from A - X, some Jem fans may actually think some of this is a really weird order, especially the further down on the list you read, or atleast some may wonder if anything can change the order?
Well it's not easy to make a list like this. This is certainly not simply a "favorite character" list, it's extremely well thought through, and it's much easier to have opinions about a single character when having it all presented like this. If you disagree with any of the following list, I'd suggest to first read the reasoning for each level, and not to compare the character to someone in the same category, but first of all to the above or lower category to realize the difference. Some fans may only go by whether the characters were released as 80's dolls or not. But I highly doubt that anyone would place any of these characters higher or lower than one step up from this list, meaing the top of B could be moved to the bottom of A. But on this site, different opinions are very welcome. Please share any opinions on the forum.
And as for changes, in my opinion, bigger or smaller roles in new official interpretations, or even popularity among fans, are things that could affect the importance of these characters. So I'm keeping that in mind. So if you have an opinion about something, or I missed something when making this list, or if you just want to know how I thought, feel free to share in the forum.