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During the 1960s and the 1970s, and even into the 1980s, toy maker Hasbro, Inc. fumed while Mattel’s Barbie became more and more popular. In an attempt to grab some of Barbie’s market share, Hasbro introduced Jem and the Holograms in 1986. The Jem line of rock ‘n’ roll fashion dolls stood 12.5 inches high, and unlike Barbie, they had large feet and jointed bodies—the better to display their very eighties’ outrageous, lame-laden outfits, wild hair colors and ‘dos, and exotic make-up schemes. A popular Saturday-morning animated series supported the doll line. Aired from 1985 to 1988, the show featured the singer Jem and her band The Holograms. Jem’s real name is Jerrica Benton. Jerrica maintains her Jem persona with the help of a holographic computer called Synergy and designed to be “the ultimate audio-visual entertainment synthesizer,” a legacy from her deceased father. Jerrica commands Synergy to project her Jem hologram via microprocessors in her earrings. In 65 episodes, Jem and her pals Kimber, Aja, and Shana face off against rival bands, The Misfits and The Singers; try to keep Jem’s two identities secret and separate; protect Synergy from villains who would hope to exploit it; and support the Starlight Girls, the 12 foster children who live with Jem and her band members. Each episode includes music videos of original tunes. Riding the popularity of MTV and its 24-7 visualization of popular music, the Jem TV series was the third most watched children’s show in 1987. The show, however, could not help Hasbro meet sales goals for the doll line, perhaps because it was in head-to-head competition not just with Barbie, but with Mattel’s Barbie and the Rockers. Hasbro ceased production of the Jem line in 1987. In 2012 Integrity Toys, Inc. announced its intentions to release a series of collectible dolls based on the Jem TV series.

  • Manufacturer: Hasbro, Inc.
  • Material: vinyl | molded plastic | synthetic hair | paint | fabric | printed cardboard
  • Origin: China
  • Object ID: 114.789
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