The Myth Of The Superstar

There is no doubt that there exists such a thing as Superstar dolls. These cast off dolls, as far as I understand, consisted of remaining bits and pieces used for first year Jem dolls among other stuff, and are generally identified out of their (not marked as Hasbro) packages by the style of their wrists. According to popular belief, only two actual issue Jem dolls came with what have been dubbed 'superstar' wrists - Raya and Synergy.
Well, this is a fallacy.
Logic dictates that the parts have to come from somewhere in order for them to be put into the melting pot of 'superstar' reject bits and pieces. Logic also dictates that, since Synergy and Raya both have these style of wrists, then they must be a form of Hasbro doll wrist design and not a reject design or something unrelated to the Jem line.
But the most compelling evidence lies here in Europe, the UK as much as anywhere else. Over here, there are dolls from the first year of production sold IN ORIGINAL 1986 HASBRO JEM PACKAGES that have these wrists. And they are not occasional oddballs, but more they seem to be uniformly meant to be that way.

Dolls found with this style (not including true superstar dolls)
Raya (observed MIB and loose)
First Edition Shana
First Edition Aja (observed MIB and loose)
First Edition Kimber (observed MIB and loose)
First Edition Roxy (observed MIB and loose)
First Edition Stormer (observed MIB and loose)
First Edition Pizzazz (observed MIB and loose)


Dolls found with this style:
Second Edition Kimber (pink streaked)
Second Edition Kimber (red)
Second Edition Shana
Second Edition Aja
First Edition Aja (Hong Kong)
Video (observed MIB and loose)
First Edition Kimber 
First Edition Shana
Flash & Sizzle Jem
Glitter and Gold Jem
Rock & Curl Jem

Dolls found with this style:
First Edition Jem
Clash (observed MIB and loose)
Pizzazz (edition unknown)
First Edition Stormer
Roxy (edition unknown)

So what if Hasbro in Europe had their dolls produced with the 'superstar' style of wrists? What then? And what if Hasbro Inc and Hasbro Europe both decided to apply the mould of wrist design to Raya and Synergy for the second year? What if, like the different head moulds used, and different battery plates used, there are also different official wrist moulds used?
Pursuing this line of thought further made me examine my dolls more closely, and particularly their wrist designs. Interestingly enough, some of my other dolls have an almost crossover style of wrist  -the whole of the hand, joint included protrudes from the wrist but is not ball and socket like the 'superstar wrist. (Listed dolls are only some of the ones I have seen and verified with my own eyes, there may be more and there may be dolls of that edition with alternative wrist styles. It seems to be that 90% of the "protruding" wrists are seen on Hologram dolls and the later editions of Jem, whereas 95% of the inserted wrists come from Misfit and First Edition Jem dolls.)
Though I'm willing to concede that on some dolls the 'inserted' wrist can be played with so much that it perhaps slips out of joint, it does not explain the 'display only' and 'mint in package' dolls which follow this pattern. I'm generally of the opinion that they probably are more or less the same, only it depends mainly on their manufacture as to how far the joint protrudes from the socket.
BUT...where does that leave the 'superstar' label now?
ACTUAL superstar dolls, it seems, are something quite different and perhaps more in the minority than has been assumed. But with more information about the European side of doll production surfacing all the time, it is only a matter of time before these variations are more widely noticed.

Since certain quantities of these dolls also appear in America, generally loose from box, it is my belief that a quantity of them were also sold in North America (Canada also, since I have it on good authority that at least Roxy of the ball wristed dolls has been found there boxed). It is also possible, of course, that the dolls are imports.
Since I have direct evidence to support the fact that ball wristed dolls were sold as official issue in parts of Europe, I shall refer to them as European, but they were not necessarily exclusive to this continent.

There are two types, it seems, of ball wristed first year dolls...both of these can be (and often are) found in the UK.
Firstly are the versions Made In Hong Kong. I have in my possession loose and boxed ball wristed Misfits - the boxed dolls are in Dutch language boxes, but I've picked up several loose ball wristed dolls made in Hong Kong from the UK, including Stormer, Roxy, Pizzazz, Shana, and Kimber, many of them in original outfits. However, I'm still on the look-out for a Hong Kong ball wrist Aja...I'm certain of her existance.
Comparative height of ball wristed and normal dolls
The second type of ball wristed doll is the one more commonly (yet mistakenly) referred to as a superstar doll. Of these I have an Aja doll Mint in Box with no country of manufacture given on the box. I've also found two loose ball wristed Aja dolls in this country with no country of manufacture on her back. And it's not just Aja. Kimber, Pizzazz, Roxy, and Stormer have also shown themselves on the second hand market here in original clothes, but without a country of manufacture on the back. No Shana has yet appeared, but like Aja above, I'm sure she's out there somewhere.
These ball wristed first edition dolls sometimes carry variations as regards their original outfits as well as their smaller proportioned body sizes and distinctive facial features. More of this can be found on the doll's individual pages.

The picture shows very clearly the proportional differences between an ordinary doll (Danse, in this picture) and a ball-wrist (Here I have used Aja). It is not just confined to the wrists. The dolls have a significant height difference (both dolls have their feet on a level surface), a difference in torso proportions and their rear ends are differently shaped also ;) (Undignified for them both, poor girlies!). There are some differences among the normal dolls also in terms of sculpting - Chinese dolls tend to have smaller proportions on the chest from what I've found, and Misfits have smaller butts (It's true! I swear!) but none is quite so distinct as this difference here. As well as the balled wrists, the European doll also has a more defined "ball" at the waist.