The in-show music video’s mimicked the wild new era of MTV. With over 100 songs written by TV writer and lyricist Barry Harman they remain one of the features that made the show unique and that fans still fondly remember today. (Music by Ford Kinder & Anne Bryant, Lyrics by Barry Harman)

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The competition with rival band The Misfits was fierce, the tension held throughout the show and got knocked up a notch in later episodes with introduction of a third band – Euro Glam Rockers The Stingers.



The 80’s was a decade of excess. Big money, big bands, big hair. JEM took the post glam punk look and ran with it. Outrageous outfits, overloaded on hair spray  and our retinas were never the same again.

jem and rio 2


From boyfriend troubles, trouble with The Misfits and squabbling with her band mates / best friends Jem was full of relationship dramas – and we loved it.

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Jem had friends, enemies, betrayals and frenemies. The drama was born of genuine passion and the values of Jerrica, Starlight Music and The Starlight Foundation.

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5. GLAM 

Jem brought the glitz, glamor and sparkle. Style, 101 outfits like her competitor and inspiration Barbie. The outfits, the big bright hair, the earrings,  music videos, live performances, pastel colors, sequins, shiny stuff, light shows, sell out audiences – JEM never missed an opportunity to dazzle the audience in the show or the fans at home. JEM was Barbie with a glam-punk-bubblegum bit of edge to her and all the dramas of being an adult woman in an all girl band.

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No outfit too outrageous – from spandex aerobics outfits for The Misfits in their music videos, to stylish ski outfits on holiday, long flowing summerdresses, leggings, short tight mini-skirts and more, Jem was the true rock ‘n roll pop Barbie with no shortage of outfits who (temporarily) left Barbie scrambling in the wind looking outdated, uncool and out of style.

Synergy_ Jem

jerrica benton


Jerrica Benton balanced her JEM superhero like secret identity with her civilian identity. One element of the show that played up this angle was the love triangle between JEM, Rio and Jerrica that mimicked the infamous Superman / Lois Lane / Clark Kent love triangle and the constant dramatic tension it created in the lead characters.


In addtion to The Jem show also playing up the well known superhero trope of the secret identity, Jem also incorporated another classic superhero origin mainstay – that of deceased or missing parents – creating sympathy for our tragic heroine, in addition to suffering from often unsolvable real world problems typical of 1960’s Marvel Comics. Relationship dramas, struggling to pay the bills, manage her band, the fight to keep Starlight Music afloat and look after orphans. Jem/Jerrica was an over achiever with a heart of hold who fought the good fight and didn’t back down from a challenge.

While JEM was an american made show, it shared many similarities to Japanese SHOJO Magical Girl shows – with magical transformations, empowered females fighting the good fight and plenty of action in each episode to entice in audiences of girls and boys.

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While the main characters of JEM are good friends, they have their share of disagreements and in-fighting, pretty much mirroring the old Marvel Fantastic Four comic – who were always a FAMILY first, and superhero group second. The same dynamic worked well in JEM with friends family and frienemies keeping us guessing how things would play out each episode.

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Whether your taste in music and fashion leaned toward bubblegum pop and pink, hair metal in spandex, hard rock leather or goth-punk, Jem gave us the goodest of the good and the baddest of the bad, providing plenty of character variety for fans to love or loathe. The good natured girls of Jem and the Holograms had the fun and sass of a Kylie Minogue or Taylor Swift, but behind the scenes had all the frailties, insecurities and trauma that often accompany successful artists.

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The Misfits were the bad girls who at first come across as overly cliched, but as the show progressed revealed more depth and subtext to the characters. We see the light side of The Misfits, and the dark side of The Holograms, leaving us with colorful but ultimately very human and relatable characters. The show constantly surprised us with it character depth and thoughtful storylines.

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The central storyline in Jem was Jerrica Benton denied her rightful inheritance from her father to the Starlight Music company – thanks to the shows very own Gordon Gecko style embezzler crook – Eric Raymond. The guy we loved to hate – BOO! You suck Eric! Stop hassling Jerrica! A cliched over the top ruthless power suited 80’s businessman who knew greed was good and he didn’t care whom he hurt or ruined on his way to the top in pursuit of fast deals and hard cash.



The Starlight Foundation / Starlight House for foster girls (former home of JEM’s deceased parents) was another nod to the real world where many youth are not able to stay with their actual parents or guardians for a variety of genuine reasons. When the show added in a call number for teen runaways it received many responses and praise. Jem never shyed away from good values and looking after one another, without coming across in a preachy way.

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While the PSA’s of He-Man, G.I. Joe and Transformers were kind of hokey and a bit annoying, the JEM PSA’s were lesss preachy and more practical, in addition to the show featuring full stories and sub plots where characters grappled with real world issues integrated into the flow of the main story in a show such as abusive parents, financial debt, drug abuse, and homelessness.

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Starlight House (for orphans / runaways) was more than a temporary refuge for vulnerable young girls. Jerrrica and her firends were dedicated to educating and shaping these young women to bring out their potential and give them something in life to aim for, moving past their trauma to find a way to function in life.

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The JEM show explored sensitive topics like the death or estrangement of ones parents, reconcilations, forgiveness and the trauma/depression of how missing family members affects us all as human beings. In addition to this, JEM emphazied family is not just who is related to you by blood, but the people you are closest to in life, whom you can count on when you are down.

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Lead image



*Work in Process / Jem by MarcoalBiero

*Starlight Girls from Jem Wikia


*Factual notes cross referenced from


JEM fan art profile by Elvis Moura – https://www.deviantart.com/dcnauta/gallery/

Jerrica Benton profile art


Teen Runaways PSA and call number reference

http://www.loony-archivist.com/jem/primer/marx.htm [


menasor skull 1

With 2023 here already and 2022 on the back burner, time for a New Year, Old Year, Good Year, Care Bear, Pear Square, Voltaire, Swissaire Toy Haul.

First up a couple of bots in the hood with Dead End and Studio Series Hot Rod.

transformers studio series

Grabbed a Transmetal Legacy Megatron on sale and was suprised at how decent it turned out.

megatron beast 12

Dug out my old RID Build King, which I have never combined before just to mess about with it.

build king

Another sale deal Legacy Motormaster at nearly half price and thankfully no  yellowed plastic or damaged in box from manufacturing / defect plastic as was on many of the units produced.

legacy menasor 1

With my old shithouse Menasor making way for one a bit less shit, time to sell the old Combiner Wars ones on ebay, while I wait on my final bot to arrive on the Legacy one this year. Got my XTB bots in bot mode as I never completed that one, but it all works out. The XTBs make nice Voyager scale robots to go with my other Decepticons.

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Picked up Bee Movie Ravage at half price on sale. The full RRP price of AUD $20 was garbage.

ravage bee movie toy

Red Robin on sale, meaning after prices hikes it’s basically the price of a toy from early last year.

red robin

Catching up on my Beast Wars with Tarantulas. A surprisingly nice figure.

tarantulas beast wars

Couple of new Marvel Legends with the What If wave Red Skull who fits in best on my movie figure shelf, and a new Ghost Rider. Been after a GR for years and this one is decent.

red skull ghost rider

Traded in my old model AOA Apocalypse at “ebay your toys now ya bastard” and picked up the new release same buck version in early 90’s toon/comics deco.


More Fist on the North Star volumes arrived, and I read all of V1-5 over a couple sessions in the back yard summer heat sitting in the shade sipping on cider or whisky while body parts exploded.

fist north star manga

New big ass Lugia figure found at the local shops that I love to pieces. In the Pokemon Select range that comes with nice display bases in a large scale  with basic articulation. apparently I got the X-Men Beast reissue as there he is on the side there. He had to clear the way last month to get the Christmas decorations out.

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Found a nice Water Pokemon display base/stand at the shops. Bit overpriced, but  a quality piece that looks great on the shelf.

poke mon select water pokemon

The water Pokemon back on the shelf go down a treat.

water pokemon on shelf

Also in the last month or so picked me up some more wrestlers.

Ultimate Macho Man in early 90s outfit, with a basic Undertaker to use for the alt heads that came with my other Ultimate Undertaker.

macho taker

Couple of stone cold southern wrestler classics with Dusty Roads and the King, Jerry Lawler.

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Finally found a ring at Target for RRP. Everywhere online was selling these for 2-3 times the price. It’s just a fucking plastic square you scalping morons.

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Unboxed my recent wrestlers pick ups with Dusty, The King, Mankind / Austin two pack and The Giant / Flair two pack. Great figures and at yesterdays prices as these are older figures bought new online from a retailer with plenty of inventory.

rasslers group photo mattel big show giant dusty flair austin king mankind

That’s it for this months toy haul. Apart from this 90’s Extreme Dinosaurs bike I picked up. You can use it for whatever pleases you. As long as it’s something green and mean.

hulk bike gang1



tails sonic sylvanian families toilet

Another month in the crapper, Tails on the can looks rather dapper.

Tails making use of the royal throne accessories that go with Sylvanian Families toys, but also anything else in that scale really. A nice accessory set my Mrs picked up for me.

On today episodes of “Parts Swapping  Skeletor”, the cherry ripe delicious jewel head on the Origins 2002 stylin’ profiln’ Skeletor body, and the 2002 head on a green man at arms body with accessories from the vanilla release. Each a delicious shade of evil.

skeletor origins masters mattel

Toy of the month award for me goes to Masterverse CATRA, and the classic style He-Man in the same line is simply stunning.

HEMAN catra mattel masterverse figure 1

Out of package and on the shelf with some other She-Ra toon Hordak goons, Catra is a stellar figure.

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Up close and catty with Catra

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Picked up the mutant module reissue vintage TMNT set – mainly as it was cheaper to get a new Krang, than a loose complete one thanks to overpriced assholes on ebay selling toys with parts missing for more than an arm and a leg… often missing an arm or leg.

baxter 1000

Shuffled and dusted ma Pokemon shelf-a-roos, putting the OG Starter three into their own little menageries.

pokemon miniatures figures display

I wish I had more space for Pokemon as they are packed in like sardines now. But thanks to the risers at least they are visible in a Where’s Wally sort of way.

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There is not a day that goes by that these colorful critters don’t add a bit of cheer whenever I am near.

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The bird Pokemon in recent years have been some real stand out releases with impressively articulated wings.

pokemon shelf 2022 b nov

Getting into the wrestling – old shows, classic characters with mostly Mattel figures. Andre, Sting, Nash, Flair with blue cape.

ric flair kevin nash sting andre giant mattel figures

Ultimate Undertaker and Kane. Older figures re-released with extra heads ‘n bits making them fairly definitive versions for my purposes.

kane undertaker figure ultimate mattel

If Catra had not taken toy of the month award, it would have gone to Ultimate Ric Flair. Fantatic head sculpts, good accessories and a truly spectacular robe that really impresses.

ric flair figure ultimate mattel

Austin and Taker out of package, and an old blu-ray best of Sting career matches I grabbed on ebay.

sting undertaker mattel stee austin

All three heads are excellent for taker, even if one is undersized, while the other two are oversized. I will definitely pick up another cheap undertaker to make use of the extra heads.

mattel undertaker alt heads

Sgt Slaughter and some Lil Woodzies, whipping these bubbas into shape one baby push-up at a time.

sgt slaugther mattel woodzies

The sweaty over injured and often under paid beefcake men parade.

mattel wrestlers figure undertaker macho man stone cold sting flair kane