It's been nearly 30 years since the musical animated series Jem and the Holograms first hit the small screen, introducing viewers to a truly outrageous (and mysterious) rocker chick; her bandmates Kimber, Aja, Shana, and Raya; her hunky guy (his name was Rio); and some mean girl-band rivals. The joint collaboration by Hasbro, Marvel Productions, and Sunbow Productions boasted edgy Japanese animation, action, adventure, and even romance. Oh, and a whole lot of music.
With its original run airing during the heyday of the MTV era (you know, when the Music Television network actually played music), Jem, which originally ran from 1985 to 1988, was punctuated with catchy tunes and music videos — usually three per episode — as well as plenty of girl power. At a time when boy-oriented cartoons like Thundercats and The Transformers were making headlines, it truly was outrageous.
Decades before Hannah Montana was doing double-duty as a student with a secret pop-star persona, this popular animated series followed the adventures of Starlight Music exec and foster-home owner Jerrica Benton (voiced by Samantha Newark) and her pink-haired pop-star alter ego, Jem. A holographic computer, known as Synergy, helped Jerrica transform into a singing superstar, while her superspecial earrings helped her project holograms, protect her band, and keep her dual life a secret — even from Rio.
It wouldn't be an old-school cartoon without some bad guys, so Jem's group, the Holograms, frequently had catty encounters with two rival bands: the Misfits and the Stingers (you've got to love a band with a lead singer named Riot).
Three decades after Jem first had us jamming to tunes like "I Got My Eye on You" and "Like a Dream," a live-action Jem and the Holograms movie is now in the works, with actress Aubrey Peeples taking on the role of the rockin' title character, and Ryan Guzman playing Rio. In addition, iconic '80s and '90s stars Molly Ringwald and Juliette Lewis have signed on to the movie. (No word yet on what their roles are, but oh, the possibilities!)
— Molly Ringwald (@MollyRingwald) May 21, 2014
And with filming for the Jem flick just getting started, there's definitely renewed nostalgia for the original animated series, so it's no surprise that Jem will be represented at the ultimate pop culture convention this summer in the form of a one-of-a kind collector's item. Yahoo TV has an exclusive sneak peek at a special-edition Jem doll that will make its debut at Comic-Con 2014.
Move over, Barbie, because the 12.5-inch Rockin' Romance Jem doll rocks the character's trademark bright-pink hair, Jemstar earrings, glitzy bracelets, and a microphone, as well as a totally '80s wardrobe.
The commemorative-edition retro pack, a Comic-Con and HasbroToyShop.com exclusive, also showcases the artwork for the original, never-before-released Rockin' Romance box art created for the original 1980's doll line, and the exclusive souvenir comes in a mirrored outer box. Truly a gem for any Jem fan.
However, unlike Barbie, Jem will have to fly solo. There's no Rio doll to accompany the rock star — yet.