Jem Evolution

The Jem Story | Jem evolution

From early Jem doll prototypes in the 80's, until the big news in 2012 of the new commemorative doll line, alot of changes have been made along the way.

In the 80's, while Hasbro was still trying to decide the look of the first batch of dolls to release, the cartoon interpretations were also starting to take shape, and have since then undergone a parallel development with the looks of the dolls, of new features like makeup, hairstyles and fashions.

Jem books were also put into work early on, which could be one of the reasons why the characters bare so little resemblance to the cartoon. Instead, the look in the books was often based directly on the dolls or Hasbro's artwork of the dolls. There is also of course several other interesting interpretations of Jem, like promotional pictures and video covers.

This page will concentrate on the character "Jem" to begin with, and will show you how Jem changed through it's years, the dolls, cartoon, and sometimes doll box artwork, books artwork or something else.

M

As most Jem fans probably know, Jem was first to be called "M", as in "Music", "Magic" and "Mystique" or even "MTV".

This is one of several prototypes of what Jem looked like early on in the development. Very different compared to the final result, but already here Jem was supposed to wear pink, but the haircolor is hard to make out.

M

It looks almost as if they started over from scratch. She is still called "M", and still got a hairpiece and wears pink. The hair is now more obviously blonde. A somewhat more recognizable Jem outfit, the bright pink minidress has begun to take shape. The belt is red and says "M". The hairpiece is now all pink and looks kinda like the leaf she's now got on top of her minidress. No boa, necklace or gloves any more. She now has a bracelet.

M / Misty

By now Hasbro had learned they couldn't trademark a letter of the alphabet. So for a while the name was changed to "Misty".

The design was "watered down" as they described it, to make it easier to animate. Most obvious changes were the hair and makeup. She still had an "M" on her belt, and now even "M" earrings, and the collar was removed.

This may also be where the hair and shoes turned pink.

Dates: Cartoon model design dated May 30, 1985.

Jem

Finally she became "Jem", because they wanted a name with the same ring to it as "M", to fit into the already created Jem theme song.

Her earrings were now shaped as a "J", and she has a "J" on her belt.

Dates: Cartoon model design dated May 30, 1985.

Jem

The changes here don't appear to be much, but this is where one of the most noticable changes took place, the earrings finally changed shape from a "J" to stars. And no hairpiece anymore.

"Truly Outrageous" Jem

Jem debuted in cartoon shape, with a much more simplified look.

The dress is re-designed, she has a new shape of the collar, the top is tighter and has no leaf print, and the bottom part is cut differently. The stripes on the belt are red instead of white. The cartoon version has no tights.

In the cartoon, the hair was all pink when she was Jem and all blonde when she was Jerrica instead of a mix like on the doll and doll box artwork.

Dates: Cartoon model design dated Jul 17, 1985. Cartoon episode "The Beginning" October 6, 1985.

"Starbright" Jem

This is the final version of Jem in her main minidress. The belt became silver with blue print and white stripes. The bracelet, which was only worn by the doll, became silver with a gemstone on it. The doll didn't have starshaped earrings, but that was corrected later in the same edition.

The cartoon version still had no tights, and now the bracelet was gone.

The doll artwork had pink and blonde hair at the same time. Dress looks cut straight, much like the early designs. No bracelet.

Dates: Cartoon episode "Starbright Part One: Falling Star" July 5, 1986.

Glitter 'n Gold Jem

Jem goes gold, glitter and gold. A new luxurious look for Jem, which was supposed to set her far apart from other fashion dolls. She now got a new eye makeup, which was usually only seen with this outfit in the cartoon, and a slightly different hairstyle which also went with the outfit in the cartoon.

The doll now smiled, had star-shaped earrings, and a different shape of the shoes. And for the first time in the doll line, a doll came with chrome hair strands.

Infact everything about Jem turned into gold, the doll came with a cassette tape with a golden sticker featuring the Glitter and Gold theme song, accessories like the microphone and shoes were golden, and there was of course a cartoon episode called "Glitter and Gold". This year the shape of the dollboxes changed and became larger, and the Jem and Rio doll (as well as the fashions and roadster) featured the Glitter 'n Gold Jem logo.

Dates: Cartoon episode "Glitter and Gold" March 15, 1987. Doll released 1987.

Rock 'n Curl Jem

A new fashion, makeup and hairstyle. Released the same year as Glitter 'n Gold Jem, and introduced in the same episode as the Glitter 'n Gold Jem. The new eye makeup, which looked different on the doll and in the cartoon, became Jem's new regular makeup in the cartoon and didn't only appear with this particular outfit. The different hairstyle only went with the Rock 'n Curl outfit in the cartoon.

The doll set the new trend of not coming with flashing earrings, which was probably the downside of all the energy invested into the Glitter 'n Gold doll. Probably it was time for Jem to get cheaper, and only "Flash 'n Sizzle Jem" came with flashing earrings after this, and the unreleased dolls weren't planned to have flashing earrings either. But since no extra outfit was made for Jerrica, why did they keep the blonde hair for this doll?

This was the first doll to come in a smaller box and without an artwork version on it, which is what the unreleased dolls in 1988 would have come in.

Dates: Cartoon episode "Glitter and Gold" March 15, 1986. Doll released 1987.

Flash 'n Sizzle Jem / Command Performance

New fashion and eye makeup again. Here Jem gets the softer, light blue/purple makeup she kept until the end of the series. Introduced in the episodes "Aztec Enchantment" (aired first) and "The Jazz Player" (animated first). The doll's eye makeup now corresponded more with the cartoon.

The Flash 'n Sizzle doll fashion wasn't featured in the cartoon, although it resembles the fashion called "Command Performance" in the doll line, which was kinda featured in the cartoon but with another color.

Dates: Cartoon episode "Disaster" October 27, 1985. Doll fashion released in 1986. Doll released in 1987.

American Beauty Jem

A new hairstyle as seen on the cartoon version (although Jem has been seen in similar hairstyles earlier in the cartoon). But one of the most interesting things about this Jem's new style, was the different star earrings, which now consisted of several red stars, almost as an update to the original Jem star earrings, but only for this fashion. The doll appears to have a new shape of bracelets. For the first time, a Jem doll has clear shoes. Was to come in a smaller box and without an artwork version on it, like previously seen with the Rock 'n Curl released in 1987.

Dates: Cartoon episode "Rock N' Roll Express" November 3, 1987. Doll to be released in 1988.

Rockin' Romance Jem

The doll, for the first time, had wavy hair, and this was actually the first Jem doll to come with a necklace (other than the one attached to the top of Glitter 'n Gold Jem/Jerrica). The earrings seen in the cartoon are the regular star earrings, while the doll was to come with white pearl earrings.

On top of most Jem doll fans' wishing lists, maybe for the truly outrageous design, but also because it was the only unreleased doll that actually has shown up on the second hand market.

Dates: Cartoon episode "The Day The Music Died" February 24, 1988. Doll to be released in 1988.

Hollywood Jem

A new glamorous outfit and hairstyle to go with it. Something in the style of Glitter 'n Gold Jem, but with a new movie theme. This might have been a more expensive doll, since a similar effort was put into it, with a corresponding cartoon two-parter episode, and it's own theme song.

There were speculations about this doll, long before the prototypes were revealed to Jem fans online, and Jem fans weren't aware of what outfit was really going to be worn by the "Hollywood Jem" doll. See the 2012 Hollywood Jem, for example of another one of the outfits.

This fashion was actually introduced earlier than Rockin' Romance Jem in the cartoon, but as for the doll, it never got as far into production.

Dates: Cartoon episode "Hollywood Jem" January 12, 1988. Doll to be released in 1988.

"2011 Jem"

Nothing new in terms of looks, except for the re-drawn hair. This is what Jem looked like in her appearance in a 24 pages collaboration comic with some of Hasbro's toylines Candy Land, Stretch Armstrong, The Micronauts, Battleship Galaxies, The Action Man, M.A.S.K, Transformers, Inhumanoids, and GI JOE. But since Hasbro was not really releasing anything new about Jem, she looked the same in her original outfit, but with another, updated, hairstyle (compare to the 80's artwork to the right). Synergy though, looked very different for some reason.

Dates: Comic available from October 13, 2011.

2012 Hollywood Jem

This is one of the few times that the doll was based on the cartoon look. The cartoon version in this case, pre-dates the doll version by as much as 25 years. So the look is not new, other than the doll design and interpretation. The doll is part of a commemorative doll line, and is the doll company Integrity Toys' choice of an outfit they probably thought fit these current times best, while the name "Hollywood Jem" was originally intended for another fashion in the 80's, as seen above.

For the first time, a Jem doll has all pink hair. The new body mold is slightly shorter and thinner compared to the 80's dolls, but still highly articulated. These dolls are alot more detailed with things like hand-applied eyelashes, painted fingernails, and hand-made shoes. The starshaped earrings don't flash though.

Dates: Cartoon episode "One Jem Too Many" September 24, 1987. Doll released July 12, 2012.

2012 Classic Jem

Back to the original look, well the original finished look with the silver belt, which I called "Starbright" Jem, as seen above. Body mold and most details are similar to the 2012 Hollywood Jem doll, with the news of blue eyebrows. This doll seems to have a mix of details from the 80's doll, cartoon, and artwork version. The dress resembles the artwork. The tights, bracelet, shoes, microphone and stand resembles the doll. And the haircolor and earrings resemble the cartoon. As for the rest of the details, we're awaiting it's release in December 2012.

Dates: Doll to be released in December, 2012.

Several stages in the early development are not covered yet, but check back for more details, and for any future doll releases.

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