From Concept to Design
all began in the early 1980's. The Hasbro toy group began to seek out new
ventures, and one of those ventures was going to be the fashion doll market.
But they didn't want to just create another Barbie immitation. Their doll
was going to be unique. Their doll was going to jump off the shelves of
the toy stores. They needed something to grab attention. And along came
Jem. Hasbro bought the Jem-Flashing earrings concept and the rest was history.
doll was going to have flash (literally). This doll line was going to capitalize
on the MTV era. The dolls would all come wearing the latest clothing found
in music videos, be decorated in rainbow colored hair and makeup and even
have her own musical group.
Jem was named simply "M." That was another way in which Hasbro might tie-in
the dolls with the huge MTV popularity. The flashing earring gimmick was
going to be a way for "M" to transform out of her secret identity of "Misty."
Secret identities were big in the 80's. Everyone who was anyone had one.
And Hasbro's doll was going to be a normal woman by day, something that
young girls might be able to relate to, and a truly outrageous pop star
by night. But no one would know that the two women were the same. This
was due to her "magic" earrings.
"M" had all the makings to compete with Barbie, and blow her off the shelves.
Now all she needed was a band. Originally, the 3-girl band, The Holograms,
were going to be an all-male band, with Jem as the lead singer. Fortunately
though, Hasbro came to their senses and created Kimber (Guitar), Jade (Keyboards)
and Aria (Bass Guitar). Who the heck are Jade and Aria? Well, those were
the original names of Aja and Shana. So there they were, M and her band.
During this time, Hasbro and Sunbow Productions also began work on 15,
8-Minute animated segments to air on television to promote the dolls. They
hired Christy Marx who began to breathe life into M's world. Included in
her work was research in the field of holography. It was decided that M's
earrings would be hologram projectors. Thus, the name M and the Holograms.
But silly Hasbro. They didn't realize that you can't copyright a letter.
So M became Jem, Jade became Aja, Aria became Chandra, and eventually Shana,
and Rue became Roxy. A few instruments were switched at the last minute,
such as giving Aja's keyboard to Kimber. But it still had the "M" on the
end of it. And so began Jem's career.
singing voice belonged to a relatively unknown young woman named Britta
Phillips. Britta was breaking into the "jingle singing" business,
when she got her job as Jem's voice. Britta did all the singing of
Jem herself, as well as some of the back up singing for the Jem and the
Holograms songs. The music was provided by Ford Kinder and Anne Bryant.
So there was no real Jem and the Holograms band, or even a regular band
that played the music for the show.
Jem, Britta has joined several bands of her own. She was the bassist
and a sometime vocalist for the band The Belltower in which she performed
with her husband. Not long after that band broke up, Britta joined
another band called Ultra Babyfat.
band released an album, "Silver Tones Smile" which is still available domestically
and from online music companies.
all started many years prior to the beginning of the cartoon. Emmett
Benton, owner of Starlight Music, had a vision after experiencing the death
of his wife Jacqui. He had a theory that music fans might be able
to further the music listening experience by having a holographic projection
of the band to go along with the actual music. He was actually planning
the next step up from the V.C.R. or the Laserdisk Player. But his
computer, Synergy, became much more than what he'd planned. Synergy
was able to create holographic images of just about anything! The
3-D images actually appeared to be exact copies of real life objects.
They had the capability to actually fool people into believing they were
real. Emmet programmed Synergy with the likeness of his dead wife
Jacqui. Emmett was dying and Synergy, who had a limited intelligence,
was to be a sort of mother to his teenage daughters Jerrica and Kimber.
He had also planned for other gifts for the girls, musical instruments,
clothes and even a car.
had created a pair of hologram transmitter earrings in the shape of 2 red
stars. This was to be Jerrica's birthday gift. The wearer of
the Jemstar earrings would have a direct link to Synergy. Unfortunately,
Emmett never got a chance to reveal his gifts to his girls.
Synergy revealed herself to Jerrica through the earrings which she received
in the mail a short time after her father's death. Synergy herself
led the girls to the gifts.
came up with the idea of starting a rock band with her sister and 2 friends
Aja and Shana. The band was created to compete with the corrupt Eric
Raymond and executive embezzling from Starlight Music in order to promote
one of his bands the evil Misfits.
knew that she couldn't be a rock singer and a business executive for Starlight
Music at the same time. So, she used Synergy to project a holographic
disguise over her body through the earrings. This fooled Eric into
believing that Jerrica and Jem were 2 separate people.
Jerrica hadn't planned was the huge popularity Jem and the Holograms would
gain. So now the four girls are adjusting to their new lives as rock
stars, and competing with their arch-rivals the Misfits.However, as Jem,
Jerrrica had led on her own boyfriend Rio who didn't know she was really
Jerrica. This created a wild love triangle between Rio, Jem and Jerrica.
In the last seasons of the show, Raya, a drummer joined the band.
As well as a new addition to the Misfits and new rivals the Stingers, a
threesome from Europe. Jem even found herself with a new problem.
She was falling for Riot, the lead singer of the Stingers.