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Integrity Toys

11 Jem (and Jerrica) Dolls From the '80s and Today

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Integrity Toys

Truly outrageous as ever, Jem of Jem and the Holograms fame (or Jerrica Benton, if you’re opposed to acknowledging the hologram-created alter-egos of singers/record label owners/altruistic foster home angels) remains an icon of animated coolness that transcends the '80s era she so fully embodied. The star of 65 episodes of a television show centered on friendship, music, magical earrings, romance, dudes named Rio, and synthesizers in equal measure, Jem’s popularity hasn’t waned in the near-30 years since she made her broadcast debut. Like any proper star of stage and screen, Jem’s essence has distilled down to doll size a number of times over the years, including a run of dolls in the eighties and a brand new line that’s not even two years old yet. 

1. Jem/Jerrica First Edition – 1985

Photo courtesy of Pranceatron

The first Jem/Jerrica doll isn’t that impressive (a large forehead and a tendency for hair color to fade isn’t a good look for anyone), especially considering its rich source material. But the 1985 issued Hasbro doll does include two totally on-point outfits (one for Jem, one for Jerrica) and earrings that light up. While this first doll may not be the best looking of the bunch, it did come with a series of instructions on how to style her hair for maximum coolness—both in Jem fashion and for a Jerrica look. 

2. Glitter ‘n Gold Jem/Jerrica – 1986

Rock´n Gold Jem/Jerrica ( in box )

This second edition, the Glitter 'n Gold doll, was a real upgrade—it had a more refined overall look, bendy joints for dancing power, another styling guide, and appropriately star-shaped earrings to match. Known as Rock ‘n Gold Jem in France and Belgium (a name-change theme that continues to pop up in the '80s editions), the set included two different outfits to mix (one for Jem, one for Jerrica, though they were adorably interchangeable). The doll also came with a very flashy cassette tape that included three hot jams: “Glitter 'n Gold Theme Song,” “Depends on the Mood I'm In,” and “Love Is Here.”

3. Rock ‘n Curl Jem - 1986

Consider Rock n’ Curl Jem (known as Rock ‘n Roll Jem in France) a rock star doll on a budget. While she came with extra long hair (you know, for curling), the doll didn’t include a Jerrica outfit, blinky earrings, a stand, or a cassette tape for listening pleasure. She does, however, share the same face mold as both Glitter ‘n Gold Jem and Flash ‘n Sizzle Jem, so at least she fits in with the rest of the bunch. 

4. Flash ‘n Sizzle Jem aka Rock ‘n Flash Jem – 1986

Roxy in box , Flash'n Sizzle Jem in box

Reportedly the rarest of the early addition Jem dolls, Flash ‘n Sizzle Jem (or, if you’re French, Rock ‘n Flash Jem) returned the dolls to their high standards. With a Jerrica outfit, flashing earrings, a doll stand for sweet posing, and a cassette tape with three songs (“Jem Theme,” “Time Is Running Out,” and “Set Your Sails”), Flash ‘n Sizzle already came with plenty—but she also included yet another awesome hair styling guide. And, while Jem usually gets the best outfits, this time Jerrica took over, sporting a jaw-dropping yellow and pink hoodie minidress that fans would probably still wear today.

5. Rockin’ Romance Jem – 1988

RockJem.com

Behold, the dark period of Jem dolls. Before the doll line was cancelled in 1988, a number of new editions were worked up—some even made it into Hasbro’s Pre-Toy Fair 1988 catalogue or popped up as prototypes—so while these dolls don’t actually exist, we do know what they would have looked like. A few Rockin’ Romance Jems have shown up on auction websites, but that doesn’t make them quite official. What is official about this doll is that she would have come with “the most outrageous hair ever,” a wavy and crinkled affair that featured one heck of a top ponytail. Now that’s romance!

6. American Beauty Jem – 1988

Photo courtesy of Pranceatron

The other great unreleased Jem doll, American Beauty Jem was a red, white, and blue doll. It was intended as a riff on an episode of Jem and the Holograms that featured the girls on a nationwide tour and that ultimately concluded with a big, bad, bedazzled jam about America.

7. Hollywood Jem – 2012

Integrity Toys

For fans of Jem, June 27, 2012 is a day that will live in glorious infamy, as it was the day that Integrity Toys announced that they were teaming up with Hasbro to issue a whole mess of new Jem dolls (including other characters!). The first product of that collaboration was Hollywood Jem, a Comic-Con exclusive with a limited run of just 500 dolls. Despite her hip look, Hollywood Jem does pull from a classic Jem look, including an outfit from the episode “One Jem Too Many” and a hairstyle most reflective of Jem’s actual tresses. 

8. Classic Jem – 2012

Integrity Toys

Classic Jem followed Hollywood Jem just one month later—also available in a limited run (just one thousand dolls this time around). While Classic Jem is a modern gal (she is, after all, considered a collectible, not a toy), the doll features a very recognizable Jem outfit (no, really, you may recognize it from that very first edition). For added flash, this Jem comes complete with a corded microphone for rocking out—and while that might not sound so cool, it’s pretty impressive to see Jem clutching something that looks like a real microphone, not just a piece of plastic. 

9. Jerrica Benton – 2012

Integrity Toys

But what about Jerrica? Neither Hollywood Jem nor Classic Jem featured a Jerrica outfit, so Integrity went ahead and made a Jerrica-only doll. Like Classic Jem, her outfit is very recognizable—both from the show and from the first edition doll. But how will this Jerrica become Jem? With included Synergy-friendly star-shaped earrings, that’s how!

10. Glitter ‘n Gold Jem – 2013

Fashion Doll Chronicles

Like Classic Jem, this year’s Comic-Con exclusive from Integrity and Hasbro looked back on vintage Jem dolls for inspiration, giving fans an updated take on the 1986 Glitter ‘n Gold Jem. This time around, however, outfits for both Jem and Jerrica were included, all the way down to individual sets of tights and weirdly realistic pumps.

11. Broadway Magic Jem – 2013

Shugashug

The latest Jem doll is a super-exclusive only available to members of Integrity’s own W Club and with a slim run of 500 dolls. A meticulous take on Jem’s look from the “Broadway Magic” episode, her iconic dress looks so spot-on that it proves that the new Jem line is only getting better and more adherent to its source material. Her hairstyle might not exactly be canon, but that misstep is forgotten in the face of extra trinkets like tiny Broadway tickets and a fake love letter from Rio.

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Pop Culture
5 Bizarre Comic-Con News Stories from Years Past
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At its best, Comic-Con is a friendly place where like-minded people can celebrate their pop culture obsessions, and each other. And no one can make fun of you, no matter how lazy your cosplaying might be. You might think that at its worst, it’s just a series of long lines of costumed fans and small stores crammed into a convention center. But sometimes, throwing together 100,000-plus people from around the world in what feels like a carnival-type atmosphere where anything goes can have less than stellar results. Here are some highlights from past Comic-Con-tastrophes.

1. MAN IN HARRY POTTER T-SHIRT STABS ANOTHER MAN IN THE FACE—WITH A PEN

In 2010, two men waiting for a Comic-Con screening of the Seth Rogen alien comedy Paul got into a very adult argument about whether one of them was sitting too close to the other. Unable to come to a satisfactory conclusion with words, one man stabbed the other in the face with a pen. According to CNN, the attacker was led away wearing handcuffs and a Harry Potter T-shirt. In the aftermath, some Comic-Con attendees dealt with the attack in an oddly fitting way: They cosplayed as the victim, with pens protruding from bloody eye sockets.

2. MEMORABILIA THIEVES INVADE NEW YORK

Since its founding in 2006, New York Comic Con has attracted a few sticky-fingered attendees. In 2010, a man stole several rare comics from vendor Matt Nelson, co-founder of Texas’ Worldwide Comics. Just one of those, Whiz Comics No. 1, was worth $11,000, according to the New York Post. A few years later, in 2014, someone stole a $2000 “Dunny” action figure, which artist Jon-Paul Kaiser had painted during the event for Clutter magazine. And those are just the incidents that involved police; lower-scale cases of toys and comics disappearing from booths are an increasingly frustrating epidemic, according to some. “Comic Con theft is an issue we all sort of ignore,” collector Tracy Isenhour wrote on the blog of his company, Needless Essentials, in 2015. “I am here to tell you no more. It’s time for this garbage to stop."

3. CATWOMAN SAVES THE DAY

John Sciulli/Getty Images for Xbox

Adrianne Curry, winner of the first cycle of America’s Next Top Model, has made a career of chasing viral fame. Ironically, it was at Comic-Con in 2014 that Curry did something truly worthy of attention—though there wasn’t a camera in sight. Dressed as Catwoman, she was posing with fans alongside her friend Alicia Marie, who was dressed as Tigra. According to a Facebook post Marie wrote at the time, a fan tried to shove his hands into her bikini bottoms. She screamed, the man ran off, and Curry jumped to action. She “literally took off after dude WITH her Catwoman whip and chased him down, beat his a**,” Marie wrote. “Punched him across the face with the butt of her whip—he had zombie blood on his face—got on her costume.”

4. MAN POSES AS FUGITIVE-SEEKING INVESTIGATOR TO GET INTO VIP ROOM

The lines at Comic-Con are legendary, so one Utah man came up with a novel way to try and skip them altogether. In 2015, Jonathon M. Wall tried to get into Salt Lake Comic Con’s exclusive VIP enclave (normally a $10,000 ticket) by claiming he was an agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, and needed to get into the VIP room “to catch a fugitive,” according to The San Diego Union Tribune. Not only does that story not even come close to making sense, it also adds up to impersonating a federal agent, a crime to which Wall pleaded guilty in April of this year and which carried a sentence of up to three years in prison and a $250,000 fine. In June, prosecutors announced that they were planning to reduce his crime from a felony to a misdemeanor.

5. MAN WALKS 645 MILES TO COMIC-CON, DRESSED AS A STORMTROOPER, TO HONOR HIS LATE WIFE

Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Disney

In 2015, Kevin Doyle walked 645 miles along the California coast to honor his late wife, Eileen. Doyle had met Eileen relatively late in life, when he was in his 50s, and they bonded over their shared love of Star Wars (he even proposed to her while dressed as Darth Vader). However, she died of cancer barely a year after they were married. Adrift and lonely, Doyle decided to honor her memory and their love of Star Wars by walking to Comic-Con—from San Francisco. “I feel like I’m so much better in the healing process than if I’d stayed home,” he told The San Diego Union Tribune.

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Words
10 Pieces of Lying Lingo from Across the United States
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Maligner. Fabricator. Fibber. Con artist. There are all sorts of ways you can say "liar," but in case you're running out, we’ve worked with the editors at the Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE) to come up with 10 more pieces of lying lingo to add to your storytelling stash.

1. HASSAYAMPA

This term for a liar originally referred to a gold-rusher in Arizona, according to DARE. It can also be used to describe an old-timer, especially one who likes to exaggerate. The word hassayampa (also hassayamper) comes from the Hassayampa River, which is located in the Grand Canyon State. According to the Dictionary of American Folklore, “There was a popular legend that anyone who drank of the Hassayampa River in Arizona would never again tell the truth.”

2. JACOB

“You’re a Jacob!” you might say to a deceiver in eastern Alabama or western Georgia. This word—meaning a liar, a lie, and to lie—might be based on the Bible story of twin brothers Jacob and Esau. Esau, the elder and firstborn, stood to inherit his parents' estate by law. At the behest of his mother, Jacob deceived their father, blinded in old age, into thinking he was Esau and persuaded him to bestow him Esau’s blessing.

3. LIZA

Liza or Liza Jane can mean a lie or a liar. Hence, to lizar means to lie. Like Jacob, Liza is an eastern Alabama and western Georgia term. However, where it comes from isn’t clear. But if we had to guess, we’d say it’s echoic of lies.

4. STORY

“What a story you are,” you might say to a prevaricator in Virginia, eastern Alabama, or western Georgia. According to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), story, meaning a liar, is mainly used in the phrase, “You story!” Story as a verb meaning “to give a false or malicious account, lie, tattle,” is an English dialect word, according to DARE, and is chiefly used in the South and South Midland states. “You storied to me about getting a drink,” you might tell someone who stood you up.

5. LOAD

To load or load up means to trick, mislead, or “deceive by yarns or windies,” according to cowboy lingo in northwest Texas. The term, which can also be a noun meaning a lie or liar, might also be heard in northwest Arkansas and the Ozarks.

6. YARN

To spin a yarn, or to tell a long tale, began as nautical slang, according to the OED, and comes from the idea of telling stories while doing seated work such as yarn-twisting. (The word yarn comes from the Old English gearn, meaning "spun fiber, spun wool.") By extension, a yarn is a sometimes marvelous or incredible story or tale, and to yarn means to tell a story or chat. In some parts of the U.S., such as Arkansas, Indiana, Maryland, and Tennessee, to yarn means to lie or tell a falsehood. “Don’t yarn to me!” you might say. Street yarn refers to gossip in New York, Kentucky, and parts of New England.

7. WINDY

Telling a windy in the West? You’re telling an “extravagantly exaggerated or boastful story,” a tall tale, or a lie, says DARE. Wind has meant “vain imagination or conceit” since the 15th century, says OED.

8. LIE

In addition to being a falsehood or tall tale, a lie in the South and South Midland states can refer to the liar himself.

9. STRETCH THE BLANKET

You’ve probably heard of stretching the truth. How about stretching the blanket? This phrase meaning to lie or exaggerate is especially used in the South Midland states. To split the blanket, by the way, is a term in the South, South Midland, and West meaning to get divorced, while being born on the wrong side of the blanket means being born out of wedlock, at least in Indiana and Ohio.

10. WHACK

In the South and South Midland, whack refers to a lie or the act of lying. It might come from the British English colloquial term whacker, meaning anything abnormally large, especially a “thumping lie” or “whopper,” according to the OED. In case you were wondering, wack, as in “crack is wack,” is probably a back-formation from wacky meaning crazy or odd, also according to the OED. Wacky comes from whack, a blow or hit, maybe from the idea of being hit in the head too many times.

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