JEM HISTORY- From Concept to Design | Cartoon History | Jem Episode Guide | Like A Dream Synopsis
JEM: From Concept to Design

It 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.

Hasbro's 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.

Originally 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.

So "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.

Jem's 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.

Since 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.

This band released an album, "Silver Tones Smile" which is still available domestically and from online music companies.

JEM: Cartoon History

It 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.

Emmett 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.

Eventually 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.
Jerrica 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.

Jerrica 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.

What 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.