All posts by Taffeta

This blog is owned by a certified Misfit fangirl. I've collected Jem for 14 years, and the recent Integrity storm has taught me that the character I am weakest over is definitely Jetta. This blog belongs to the site, Britrock, which has been my shrine to Jem, as well as my salespoint and my babblebox for more than a decade now. This is the first time that interaction has been possible like this, though, so it's nice to have an outlet to share my thoughts in a more coherent manner. I also collect My Little Pony, which I have done for (gulp) 30 years now. Outside of collecting, I work as educational support in a further education college and I am currently gathering material together to return to university in order to do a PhD in Mediaeval Japanese warrior literature. My interests, you might say, are a bit diverse... I speak Japanese, workable French and can read enough of Spanish and German to get by. This blog is predominately an English outpost - but I don't mind comments (so long as they are not offensive ones) in any of these languages. I'm not able to reply in German or Spanish, though,..it was too long ago.

One Head Too Many – Or two, as the case may be…

^^ What happens when you upset the Misfits.

So Clash. Is it wrong to admit that the reason I bought Clash was largely because I wanted to play around with her heads? Because I absolutely wasn’t going to. Even though I knew she’d be part of Wave 6, I was not really looking to get her, and my focus was on Regine.

But I have a rather twisted sense of humour, and so that twisted sense of humour led me to a fun conversation with my sister, whose sense of Jem affection and humour is much the same as mine, and it ultimately led to my getting Clash.

Before I get into the disturbing world of our imagination, however, let me just do a quick assessment of Clash as a doll. Or maybe I should say, dolls. I think most fans would agree that it would’ve been really awesome to have a cross looking Jem head as the third head, to do the One Jem Too Many switch with, but sadly we got a generic blond head instead. Not really sure what that is meant to be – maybe the girl from Video Wars, but it isn’t totally clear.

The other two heads really nicely show Clash in her season 1 and season 2 guises – a change of identity that seems to suit the character in question.

So here they are. Clash’s two looks. What immediately struck me on switching the heads about is how different the expressions are with the different hair styles. Integrity have gone all out bad girl for the aqua and orange head, much in keeping with her behaviour in season 1. But the purple head is modelled very much on the Clash we see in Glitter and Gold, when she turns and looks and seems a bit out of her depth somehow. This Clash is that Clash, because her hair is longer and a little curly.

I was a bit torn over this. I intended (and still intend) to display the aqua and orange head, because it’s a Clash I never had from the original line. But in terms of pretty, the purple head wins it. She is gorgeous. The season 1 head has attitude, the other has a sense of class. I am even contemplating whether to try and get a body for the second one, just because she’s so pretty – but I expect, given my space constraints, that will fade. I just like how different they look, because to me Clash has always been a character who changes through the show.

So playing around with Clash – and as you can see from the above image, I had her swinging from the manga shelf at one point, whilst she currently is lunging behind Jetta, trying to smash her cymbals in Jetta’s ears – was a whole other bunch of fun. If you’re doll squeamish, or get offended by off-beat humour, maybe don’t scroll any further on this post. πŸ™‚ This is a Misfit blog, after all.

So with heads comes one obvious photo opportunity. That is, there has to be at least one image of the headless ghost. Trick or Techrat eat your heart out, because Clash is geared up for the whole shebang. Not only can she remove her own head, she can also hold it very successfully under her own arm without any help. Epic Hallowe’en tricks coming your way. Who knew she was so talented?

And, of course, if one head becomes a bore, there’s always the option of juggling your identities. And I mean that in a literal sense, of course…

Clash takes her buddies to the shops. Or the cleaners. Or HeadsRUs.

I could make a really indepth and intelligent comment here about how the multiple heads represent Clash’s inner turmoil in trying to figure out her own identity, especially when rejected by her idols and pushed aside by the appearance of Jetta. But honestly, I just wanted to play with heads.Β  Is that really so wrong? I am a Misfit, after all…

 

 

Wave VI – Regine, Clash, Danse…

So, wave VI.

This is actually the first wave with which I have been around and waiting at the time the pre-order notices first came up, and typically, it was also the most chaotic. I think I have seen the best and worst of the online community/trading in general since the dolls for this line were announced – the best because of the kind people on the Jemcon board trying to help others to find dolls from places they were still in stock, and the worst, because of the number of people who missed out and the number of dolls currently on Ebay at scalp prices. Not that I want to turn this into a rant or anything, but there’s something very low about hogging all the preorder dolls just so you can try to rip off a buyer by charging double the price on Ebay when it comes out.

I don’t want to rant about these dolls, though. In fact, the opposite. Of the four, I preordered two and purchased the third just this last week, since I judged (correctly, as it turned out) that she was the one who would still be in stock. I decided that I don’t really want Video, so the three I have are Danse, Regine and Clash.

Coming to Clash in a minute.


Let’s begin with Regine.She’s the chief victim of scalp selling, and the reason is simply this. Hasbro made only 500 Regine dolls. Regine is one of the more sought after but never made characters and over the years I have seen many custom versions. It was a given she was going to sell out quick and sell out quick she did. I bought mine from LaureBelleCouture in France (awesome seller by the way) and he was one of the last places to have her when I did. I should add that I put my order in the evening of the day they were officially announced. That’s how quickly she sold out. For that reason, I decided my Regine is going to stay in her box permanently. I can’t debox something that much in demand.
I always imagined her hair more aqua for some reason, although it’s blue in the cartoon. Her accessories are a bag and stuff, which are a bit odd as well in my opinion, but the doll herself is stunning. Her hair is really super curly, and although her outfit has always struck me as a bit bizarre, IT have pulled it off very well. I could add a whole in box photo here but there are tons of those on the web. Instead I wanted to use a close up, so people can really see in detail how awesome she looks.

But because she is staying in box, that curly hair will never be played with. Sigh. Such is life.

For that reason alone, perhaps, I bought Danse.

I still don’t know why I bought Danse. I never intended to. If I had predicted my preordering beforehand, it would’ve been just Regine, or maybe Regine and Clash. But no, for some reason, it was Danse. And you know, I don’t regret it. Because Danse is utterly stunning. I am lacking in words to describe that fact.

Danse is sold with two outfits. One is her ballet outfit from Only Me and the Music. Everyone has gone nuts over this, but I’m not a huge fan and I want my Danse in her original outfit. I must say that I’m not keen on the fabric used for the sash, and I think that the trousers are really delicate just by looking at them, but the doll herselfΒ  – despite doubts from many people – really looks like the show, down to the colours. I played around with that hair a lot, trying to get it right, but ultimately I decided on the Danse Time look.

As for Clash…how to explain Clash. I guess I’ll save that for a whole new post πŸ˜‰

Presenting: Sophie Devereux. (Kind of).

So, as I mentioned in previous post, a long time ago I created a Stinger called Sophie Devereux. I never did write about her background properly, but lately I’ve been kinda inspired by the IT Stinger dolls to make her a reality in the way I did with Jewel.
I should make something clear right up front. Sourcing this doll and the material to make her clothing sent me all over the world, and for that reason, she is still in some ways a work in progress. So although this is my introducing her, there may yet be more to do.

I decided to make her out of a Laka Orion doll from the Color Infusion line by IT. Of course, the moment I decided this, she disappeared from Ebay completely. I hunted around and eventually found her on a French website. This actually made me very happy, because, of course, Sophie is French. This way, my doll is too. Parfait!

Because these dolls are quite hard to find and expensive, and because I’m not an insane doll collector who thinks that that kind of priceΒ  for a doll to rip apart is fine and dandy, I haven’t done anything about her face paint at the moment. I think that, maybe, at some point I will get this done by someone who knows what they are doing – I’m happy to play around with bait vintage heads that cost a couple of bucks, but this is a bit different. As she’s a Stinger, though, extreme makeup isn’t really important, so we’ll see. Just right now, I guess, she still is “Laka”. (Laka means nothing in my mental world, though, so I don’t wholly care).

Sophie

I’ll come to the outfit in a minute, but first, lets talk about the hair.

Now, Laka has some nice blond hair. I’ve never liked blond dolls that much, but I agonised over this and decided that Sophie in her Stinger gear needed to be blond, even though in Jewel’s World she has reverted to her natural dark hair. This is her in the eighties, therefore I chose the blond doll and not the brunette.

This is her pretty much out of the packet, after washing and combing through her hair. It’s fine, but it’s not “Sophie” somehow. I always wrote about her having wisps of curls around the face, so I had to do something with that.

Sophie

So here she is after. TI only left this in straws for a few hours while we had a visitor and I went out, so I don’t know how well it will stay in. I don’t really like the product in the hair that IT use so I try to get most of it out if I can. Still, I like the curls better with the face shape.

So as I said, no paint yet. I would like to darken her lips, I think, and do something with her eyeshadow, but I need to figure this out first.

Onto her outfit.

Sophie

I am quite happy with how this turned out, especially since I actually maimed myself in the making of it. The tights are spare Stormer fishnets, becauseΒ  I am really bad at making tights, and the shoes are Jetta’s which she’s borrowed for the image – I intend to get her some of her own, but wanted to see whether I needed yellow, gold or black and I’m still undecided. The dress and the skirt I made and all are stitched by hand. I really fell in love with the fabric for the dress – it’s black with tiny flowers and butterflies on in gold, and it was just perfect. I did use a pattern for the dress, though I adapted it to suit what I wanted, and the skirt I made from scratch, sketching a pattern from Stormer’s skirt to get the right dimensions and then stitching it accordingly. As I said in my last post, I don’t use a machine, I can only sew by hand, so it took some tme. The lace is from China, and I think it’s really pretty.

As for maiming myself – I still have a bruise on my foot from where I somehow managed to tread on my sewing needle. It was quite bloody. The things I do for my dolls…

So at long last, Sophie Devereux, French fraudster and Stinger drummer, has joined the ranks. Pictures of her with the other Stingers to come when I figure out what to do about her drums…

In Stitches….Stinger Style…

So, a long, long time ago, way back in the dark ages, I used to actually make fashions for my Jem dolls.

Don’t get me wrong. I am nowhere near the calibre of people like Tommy, ShanasFashions or the awesome people who sell on Ebay and Etsy. However, for my own personal Misfit needs, I used to have fun selecting fabric and making patterns from existing outfits (WITHOUT damaging them, I hasten to add!).Β  Anyone who has visited my Collection pages will see Taffie-Fashions dotted around the place; particularly my Misfits and Mexican dolls, as well as the outfits for my custom dolls. I’ve dug out a couple of old pictures of outfits that aren’t clearly visible on my Collection site, too, like No Hands Roxy wearing one of Roxy’s fashions from the Fan… —–>

<—-and Pizzazz 1 wearing my version of Winning is Everything (I called it Total Eclipse, because that git Rio took the name Universal Appeal, which I never forgave Hasbro for. That was one of the most epic Misfit songs and Pizzazz wore Winnin’ Is Everything during it. It should so have been called Universal Appeal. Oops. Rant mode off…).
My version was more modelled off the animated form of the outfit than the real one.

 

I have fond memories of going to buy fabric when I used to go visit my good friend Gem every so often. All the awesome fabric shops were up by where she lives, and I remember I always bought more than I needed. Most of that fabric is gone nowΒ  – I had no space so donated it to a charity craft project so that it could go to good use. However, with the new IT dolls, my interest in making stuff has been rekindled.

Now, I have never been able to master a sewing machine. Everything I stitch has to be done by hand, so it takes a lot of time. So if I’m going to make something, generally I have to really want to make it.

Going off on a tangent now, but a long time ago I created a Stinger character. I never fully finished writing her introduction, so I guess most people who read any of my fiction -especiallyJewel’s World – wondered who the heck she was and what she was doing there. I never thought of making her. There was no point; there were no Stinger dolls.

But now? Now there are.

So this is my project. I want to bring Sophie Devereux to life. It’s a painstaking project, especially since I want to do it right.

Thus far I have part of her outfit plotted out and stitched. I have lace for her hair and I have some extra IT Stormer tights for her to wear, too. Next job is to track down the exact doll that I want for this to work.

Jem is so good for my creativity πŸ˜‰ Although my wardrobe is now full of black, yellow and gold fabric…

Integrity by name, Integrity by nature…

Now I know this will come as no surprise to the people who have been involved with IT for a long time, but I was really very impressed recently with Integrity’s customer service. So much so that I felt I ought to comment on it here, because we live in a world of complaining and sometimes it’s just right to give credit where it is due.

So my Jetta (loose) and my Pizzazz (IS) had some hand issues going on. Both of them had a faulty joint with one of their left hands – it had fused and wouldn’t move. I had to change hands over on both dolls because I was worried about them getting knocked and broken.

Following advice given to another member on the Jemcon board, I contacted IT about the problem.

Bear in mind that I am not a member of the W club. I am not in a country with an official IT distributer, and I did not buy any of my dolls direct from IT (albeit they did come from IT dealers). In spite of this, IT were very kind and helpful, and promised to send me out some new hands as soon as possible, no charge.

Today, they arrived. In the envelope were two pairs of hands – one pair for Pizzazz, one pair for Jetta, all in working condition.

Dolls now have their hands in perfect shape. I now have an extra spare of each right hand because obviously they sent the pairs…and at their own cost and expense.

Five stars to IT customer service. Even give that both dolls are currently still available, I was very impressed.

And, on another positive note, today I received a message from a Jem friend I lost touch with a long time ago. We parted on bad terms, but I hope now we’ve cleared the air. I hate being at odds with people, so it was awesome to hear from them after all this time πŸ™‚

Halcyon Wave: Nostalgia of Collecting Times Past…

So I’ve been renovating Britrock for the last month and a half, and during the course of my doing so, I found a really old account of my collecting history, which had some details about my original Jem collecting that I had flat out forgotten.

Re-reading it reminded me of the excitement and passion that I had first felt when I got infected with the Jem bug, and most particularly, the stories behind my obtaining my pet Misfit dolls.

The page in question is no longer linked to the main site, but for the sake of posterity, I wanted to keep that memory alive. For that reason, the text copied below is from that page, last edited 31st August, 2006 (but almost certainly written some time earlier, given the detail and the fact it mentions me studying my undergrad degree at university, which I completed in July 2003). It also mentions a number of people who, in the long distant past, helped to make my Jem world online particularly special. Reading those names made me wonder what some of them were doing now. And one, in particular, with whom I ended things on very bad terms due to misunderstandings that, sadly, we never got to work out.

It contains a little bit of the magic and enthusiasm of a newish Jem fan…and a reminder why I was ever here in the first place. I guess everyone has those emotions about their collection…

The original link still exists here, but is marooned from the main site.

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How Did You Get Into Jem, then?

I began collecting Jem properly in the summer of 2001, although I had a Kimber doll from before this who had
initially been picked up at a toy fair with the intention of trading her,
along with a Truly Outrageous video. My only experience of Jem as a child
was through a small snippet on an English MLP video advertising the show,
with animation from the Abracadabra video. Consequently I dismissed
the show as something weird to do with witches and magic and nothing worth
paying attention to. As a child I never even saw a Jem doll, and I was never
really a doll girl.

Kimber, aka "Kimmie" in festive garb. This is the very doll - my first ever Jem doll :)
Then everything changed.

By chance, I proof-watched the copy of Truly Outrageous, and for the first
time I got into the idea of what Jem was all about. Not witches or magic,
but rock and roll. It was entirely due to this that I kept Kimber, and didn’t
trade her on, because upon my very first viewing of Jem, Kimber and Stormer
were my favourite characters. Also, whilst some Kimber dolls from this country
are rather demonic looking, my Kimber was a beautiful beautiful doll, with
a cheeky face and vibrant red hair.

Later I would learn from those more informed than myself that my Kimber
was special, because she was a second edition doll without the light pink
streaks. In my mind she is TRUE kimber, and no other Kimber doll comes close
to being as pretty.

But that does not tell the full story. Just because I decided I could not
part with Kimber did not make me a Jem collector, and for two or three years
poor Kimber spent most of her time in an ungainly barbie dress pushed away
into the drawer of my cabinet. She’s never really forgiven me for that, I
don’t think…

The thing that made the difference was my sister, who had collected
jem dolls idly for a year or two and who had accumulated Danse, Jem, Video
and GG My Synergy - the catalyst into the slippery slope towards Jem collecting
Jem from toy fairs and car boot sales persuading me to help her look on Ebay
for Jem items. After she had bid on a (rather scary looking) Pizzazz and
won her, we were looking at other dolls, and she, by dint of her very competent
persuasion gene, enticed me to place a bid on a Synergy
doll for $5, with her original leotard. Synergy as a doll rather fascinated
me by her purpleness, so I gave in, and the auction finished at $5. Synergy
was mine.

From the moment that doll arrived in my house, things changed dramatically.
I had never been a doll person, but there was something very special about
Synergy, and the more I looked at her, the more I decided it was time to
find Kimber and make reparation for the years stuck at the back of the drawer
in Barbie garb – I bought her Permanent Wave. Because, of course, my Synergy
did not have anything bar her leotard, she rather adopted the “boa” (see
the picture) that I had made intending to use it in some doll outfit or other,
probably for Kimber. However, Synergy had other ideas – she still has the
boa, to this day πŸ™‚ And she and Kimber sit together on the Jem shelf, presumably
plotting about what to get me buying next πŸ˜‰

And the collection?

Of course it didn’t stop there, for, in buying Shana, Aja and various other
dolls for my sister, I found myself becoming drawn all the more to the Jem
line myself. Stormer: My very first Misfit!!
Synergy and Kimber had cast something of a spell on me, it seemed, and one
afternoon, when I happened to be browsing ebay items I stumbled across two
Ebay lots from one seller (sadly I forget his name, because he was the sweetest
seller and sent me Winnin’ Is Everything complete as a freebie). One was
Stormer (my other favourite
at that time!) in all of her garb, and a lot of Jem fashions. As I recall,
the seller had several lots up on auction, and there were two lots which
each contained a doll and some fashions. After having BIN’ed Stormer in a
heartbeat, I looked at his other auctions and I found that one of the lots
he had contained the fashion Music Is Magic which had appealed to me when
I’d been outfit shopping for Permanent Wave for Kimber. The lot cost $35
BIN and I took the gamble, inwardly feeling funny at spending so much on
a Jem lot. I remember vividly – the doll was first Jem,
and the other fashions were Jerrica’s outfit, Sophisticated Lady (Which I
gave to my sister to clothe her then nude Stormer doll), Command Performance
and There’s A Melody Playin’. It wasn’t until I had made my friend
Krista almost catatonic with shock that I realised that There’s A Melody
Playin’ was a sought after outfit, and that I’d just bought it complete for
the effective price of $7!
Ironically I did not even have an Aja
at that point, but I soon put that to rights, for I got a Second Edition
Aja with her earrings for
$5 and rescued a Second Edition Shana
for $7. She had tangled, messed up hair and noone had wanted her, but I painstakingly
recurled her into ringlets and she’s one of the most gorgeous Shana dolls
I’ve seen.

Roxy with her hair up looking chic in an outfit she stole from Pizzazz. She's good at wardrobe theft, my Roxy...:)
At this point, of course, I had no idea that my loyalties were going to take
a step or two towards the bad girls of Rock. I disliked Jem (I kept the doll
who had come in my lot, but she was relegated to the shelf in much the same
way as she still is, I let her keep her stand and her clothes but that’s
about it) but I had no favourite between the Misfits and the Holograms. I
didn’t even like Roxy at this time
– in Truly Outrageous she’s not a well developed character, and at that time
I considered the doll to be ugly. Ooh, but then things changed. After acquiring
Clash off an Ebay auction,
I found the first Roxy doll that I knew I just had to have. She was cheeky
and impish and nothing she was wearing was her own, inspiring the wondering
that she’d possibly raided aMy first Pizzazz...cheeky as heck :)
few wardrobes before appearing on Ebay. Once I’d won her, of course, Roxy
grew on me more and more and with the acquisition for the first time of the
Jem series, I began to see her in a new, favourable light. Roxy had none
of her original wear, but I did not have Pizzazz
at this time, though she did follow before August was out, so she slipped
quite happily into Winnin’ Is Everything, and made good use of Pizzazz’s
stray guitar, something she apparently felt the need to pinch from her previous
home before flying the nest πŸ™‚

So, why take the Misfits’ side??

Well. Then, of course, came the turning point.

Jetta.

From the moment Talent Search began, I was a little unsure as to what I should
expect. People had told me so many things about this fourth misfit – she
was evil, a compulsive liar, a lesbian, a goth. But Jetta was none of these.
She was pure pure genius. She made me laugh from the first moment she appeared
waving her saxophone at the crowd and her lack of intimidation was priceless.
She was a British cartoon character in an American show which I could identify
a little bit with, because her accent was at least 80% real (if slightly
emphasised) and she wasn’t a stereotype. From then, I decided that Jetta
online had to be rehabilitated….and so Britrock, in essence, if not in
form, began to take shape. One of the first things that Britrock possessed,
alongside the collection pages, were character biographies for the Misfits,
because some serious rehabilitation needed to be done. With the appearance
of Jetta, the Misfits as a whole became more and more the focus of my interest,
since they were just so funny, sometimes silly, sometimes reckless, and altogether
real. They had a depth that other characters did not necessarily possess,
and I have always rather been drawn to the underdog. In honesty, too, I could
recognise more of myself in them than I could in the Holograms, for whom
everything always seemed to end up hunkydory and happy. Jem’s hypocrisies
and banal relationship with Rio made it too much for me to be equally fond
of both Holograms and Misfits and so, in the end, I chose which side I was
on. Britrock was born. πŸ™‚

This is she - the infamous JETTA, in one of the first pictures I ever took of her. She has since discarded the BARCODE disaster outfit to another inferior JETTA in favour of better threads ;)
Getting hold of Jetta herself, however, proved to be a nightmare in itself.
As Britrock’s figurehead, she was a vital acquisition, but a variety of factors
seemed to contrive to keep her away from me. Firstly, my Jetta came complete
with everything, even her box, but had been displayed, and it was this that
I wanted, for I wanted her saxophone, her shoes and everything she came with
in one fell swoop. I won an auction held by a “US ONLY” seller, thinking
with all innocence that, even if he was inflexible about shipping to the
UK, he would happily, as many have done before, ship to my dear friend in
VA.

Apparently it wasn’t so simple. The transaction was difficult from start
to finish, for he would not sell to me until I pointed out to him that I
had a US address to ship to and he had no choice. Then, once I thought that
had been resolved, and after I had sent him payment (in US cash, but I kept
the receipt from the Bureau De Change so I knew what I’d send) he told me
I owed him $20 more. At that point I was stuck – pay $20 more which I did
not owe or say forget it and lose the money I had already paid and my precious
doll. I was resolved by that point that Jetta needed to come to England,
where she belonged, and I handed the seller over to my friend in VA. I
don’t know what she said to him to this day, but within a week of handing
the matter to her came a glowing ebay positive from the seller on my ebay
account, the promise of three free Jem tapes (Raya, Synergy and Rio, I think)
and no further trouble.
Jetta moved on to VA, where I knew she would
be safe and sound.

The tragedy of September 11th meant that of course shipping out of the VA
area was likely to meet with delay for some time, but I knew this and I knew
Jetta was safe in my friend’s hands, along with a bunch of other stuff she
had acquired on my behalf. Come October, and the box was sent.

Mail from VA takes on average five days, but twelve days later Parcel Force
told me that the box had not yet left the US. I was afraid by this time that
Jetta was never going to make it “home”. However, Parcel Force were proven
wrong that very afternoon when the box turned up and Jetta, after a long
and arduous journey, finally took up residence in her new home. Suffice it
to say that, in light of all this, Jetta is perhaps my most precious Jem
doll, alongside my beautiful Kimber πŸ™‚

So, who exactly is your favourite character? Is it Jetta?

Actually, a lot of people assume that, because my site is Britrock
and because I often fly to her defence, Jetta is my favourite character.
It’s true that she’s one of them, but I am equally loyal to my first Misfit
favourite, Stormer, who generally needs a lot less defending, but is just
as dear to me πŸ™‚ Roxy and Pizzazz do not come far behind, and Clash, Eric,
Synergy, Shana, Aja and Kimber follow πŸ™‚ But Jetta and Stormer are my darlings
πŸ™‚

And Since?

Since I began collecting Jem, I’ve learnt a lot about Jem items and
collectibles, developed my collection and got thoroughly immersed in more
than one character debate when the subject of the Misfits happens to come
up. However, in my time in the Jem community – Β and I still consider
myself a relative newbie here – I have also met some very special people
indeed, who deserve a mention here. Firstly there are people who have helped
out with website and information needs – Laura Dunlop was the first person
to loan me Screen Captures in bulk and of course, Krista of Jem
vs Pranceatron has always been an angel in terms of Jem information. I consider
her website the best there is for Jem id, and often refer back there, even
now. Alongside them, however, there are other people. On the Truly Outrageous
Jem Mailing list, Peter, Cade, Maria and I had some fun and good debates
over all kinds of topics and though now Maria has sadly left us (and is much
missed by all), I still think fondly of the “pseudo Misfit” days. Next I
must mention my Roxy-mad friend Sally, who’s one of the most talented
artists I know, and who has donated pictures for Jewel’s World, as well as
playing proof reader for my Misfit fiction with a critical and honest eye.
She was one of the first Jem people I encountered online, and she’s still
one of the best I know πŸ™‚ Of course, a mention must be made here to the many
Ebay sellers who have contributed to my collecting, particularly Tom Bahr,
and Floortje Smits πŸ™‚ There have also been those who have helped me with
Jem music, particularly Steve N (And Rama!) and Kai πŸ™‚

And of course, last but definitely not least, my rather insane Aja obsessed
friends, Krista S and Gemma Dawn. Krista and I have known each other
for years through My Little Pony πŸ™‚ We chat and trade regularly,.I drive
her mad and she kindly made my Roxy a special fashion all of her own, which
you can see on the Custom Fashion page. Gemma and I, on the other hand, met
through Jem sales initially, but our proximity in terms of location has led
to many meetings and of course collaboration between Jewel’s World and the
Teenangel Outsiders fictions πŸ™‚ Although they might have rather off-base
preferences in terms of favourite character, they’re both sweethearts and
I love them both to bits πŸ™‚

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If any of the people mentioned in the above copy-paste (other than Gem, who I am still in close contact with) is still involved in Jem and reading, please drop me a line and say hi πŸ™‚

The Stingers Hit Town (Part 2): All In The Style

Riot

Gazing out at the garden through rain-stained window panes, Riot reflected on the fact that there had to be an easier way to make money than pandering to crazed doll collectors.

I have to be honest about this. Much as I am not a fan of the Stingers, and have always hated blond dolls, I do like how Integrity has done the Stinger dolls. However, now that my group is complete, and after some time primping and displaying Minx and Riot with Rapture in their new home in the display case, I’ve come to some conclusions about Integrity’s Jem line and the thought processes behind their creation.
I AM RIOT!

Let’s talk for a minute about shoes.

Shoes?

Yes, shoes.

Not just any shoes, however. Shoes that go with Stinger dolls, that have cute little laces and zips. Things like these:
Riot's Boots

<—-Riot’s boots. Sold on doll, nicely zipped with laces tied. Very intricate and impressive, albeit I have no intention of ever trying to get them off.

The reason for that is that there are also a second type of stinger boot, which are something along the lines of…

 

Minx's Bootsthese:

Minx’s boots —–>
Unlike Riot’s, Minx’s boots are NOT sold on doll. They are conveniently pushed away in the accessory slot. While trying to put them on the doll without an involuntary amputation occurring, I decided that Integrity had a master plan when it came to this kind of accessory.

In short, anything easy to put on the doll, they sell on the doll. Anything else, leave it to the poor souls who end up buying it. Bracelets, zip-up boots…guitar straps. Don’t get me started on guitar straps, since Rapture and Riot between them have destroyed my poor nails trying to get the straps on the guitars without breaking either strap or guitar. And then Minx’s boots. I swear they’re still not on properly. She looks fine and she can stand, but yeah, if she was able to complain, I think she’d be telling me in her best German-accented English that her feet hurt.

It isn’t just about feet, though, or guitar straps. Another big issue lies in the whole earring thing. In fact, right now my Astral doll doesn’t have her earrings in, because I’m too chicken to fight with them. One ear isn’t well pierced, and I didn’t like to shove a needle into it. At least, that was until I got Minx, who apparently comes with her own needle-piercing kit.

All right, I know the pins are for the hat, but honestly, the hat goes on fine without pins. (Or maybe mine just has an extra magnetic head, who knows?) But the pins did wonders for piercing Minx’s ears and getting her hoops in just fine.

UnfortunPainful stuffately, Minx isn’t the only Stinger I unboxed today who has (an) earring. And unfortunately, I did Riot first. So unfortunately, we had this scenario going on.

Ouch. He really doesn’t look so very amused, either.

Some careful persuasion and erm, the assistance of a mechanical pencil nib (don’t ask) got the stud in at last, but I don’t think Riot is really very fond of me right now, especially since I just rammed a rod about a centimetre in length into his head, which is only about two centimetres across. Trepanning may be less popular a medical treatment these days, but it’s still alive and thriving in doll collecting communities everywhere.

One other thing I must comment on before I close on today’s torture of poor unsuspecting Jem dolls is the hair. Hair!Integrity hair seems quite delicate, which is interesting. Riot’s hair is simply…mad. Especially out of the packaging. I always called him popcorn hair, but when you look at this kind of an image, you get this impression of a stable, and a sack of hay. However, I am generally quite impressed at how much like the cartoon he – and they in general look.Β  The hair, though puffy and a little fragile, lies quite convincingly without too much work needing to be done to it. MinxMinx was a bit different, since I wanted to comb hers out as straight as I possibly could, in order to make her fit the animation properly.That was harder to do than I imagined, since I didn’t want to go to any drastic lengths with it. As I said, it’s not designed for major league abuse. Also, a very good tip. When hair is damp, don’t put hat near it. If you do, you get black fuzzies on the head. Fortunately not many, but you know, black fuzzies aren’t generally good with platinum blond.

So anyhow, my Stingers, for better or worse, are complete. It’s a Hard, Hard Life, ya know?

 

The Stingers Hit Town!

The Stingers Hit Town

Manipulation is the name of the game…Rapture’s “Mind Games”

“The goal is control of your soul!”

I should have expected it really, when I made the impulse decision to buy my first Stinger doll.

I never have been a fan of the Stingers – a sort of underground resentment of these blond bombshells that edged my Misfit girls out of the central villain role in the cartoon series. If I had to pick one of the three to say I had a fondness for, it would be Minx…so I suppose it’s a bit surprising to me, let alone to everyone else that my first Stinger doll ended up being Phoebe Ashe.

So the adventure of Rapture is a bit of a funny story. I’ve been complaining to people about UK post for a while, but this really takes the biscuit in my opinion.Last night, I checked the tracking number on Rapture’s parcel, and according to USPS, it said she had entered the UK, awaiting delivery to destination. After this, I checked both Royal Mail and Parcelforce sites. Both of which said…and I quote…”your parcel has been received and is being prepared to be dispatched overseas”.

…She just came from there.

No, Rapture. You’re not going on tour to the continent just yet.

So this morning I phoned the postal peeps to find out what was going on. Unfortunately the parcelforce people had absolutely no idea what was happening, since as far as they were concerned the tracking number didn’t exist. They were very helpful, though, and sent me to Royal Mail, who informed me that they also couldn’t track down the information for this parcel.So I went back to USPS, who kindly told me that the parcel had been delivered, yesterday, at 6.19am. This may seem an obvious statement, but I think I would have noticed. Not least because some postman banging on my door at 6.19am would be noticed down the whole street. We also don’t get post deliveries before eight…we don’t get them AT eight…actually we’re lucky if we get them before lunch. So something about that didn’t ring right.

I phoned back RoyalMail. Very helpful lady now informs me that no, the parcel hasn;t been delivered (again, I had noticed this…) but that it was waiting at my local depot for me to collect it….Which is hard for me to do when the website is telling me it’s going back overseas.

…So I went to the depot and trotted out the whole story to them. They know me there, fortunately, and so I paid my custom fee (honestly, for once I didn’t even care that there was one) and, finally, took my doll home.I still have no idea why it said it was delivered at 6.19am yesterday, or why they wanted to ship it overseas. But since the package was Rapture, I assume it was one of her mind games.Rapture is now enjoying the hospitality of my desk, where Stormer is giving her the wary eye now instead of me.

She’s also not wearing her bracelets.After the Stormer hand trauma, I don’t think Rapture’s hands are coming off.

Knowing my luck, and the track record with this doll so far…they’ll go missing in transit.

*FOR SALE* Spanish Jem/Jerrica MIB

So I’ve tried putting her on ebay, but I figured that I might have better luck trying to part with her in the midst of the Jem community, rather than there.

I have two Spanish dolls remaining to me. Originally I was going to sell both of them, but for some reason, Kimber seems to be staying. I don’t know why, since I don’t regret selling Aja – but there we are. So instead, I’m just selling the one.

Quick FAQ
Who is Spanish Jem? (Should I say, Who is she, Anyway?)

Spanish dolls were, obviously, made in Spain. As far as I know, they were made for the Spanish market. They are bonafide variants and very hard to lay paws on – more so than the Mexican dolls in my experience. They are better made than the Mexican dolls and their boxes are slightly different; as are their accessories. They are all stamped Made In Spain between the shoulderblades.

Why are you selling yours, then?

Well, you guys know already, I don’t like J-J. I have kept my Mexican one, but I don’t have any attachment to this one. More, though, my variant passion was always Mexicana, and that hasn’t changed. I acquired this on a whim, but I think she can do better in terms of a good home.

What condition is she in?

She’s in her original box. I took out her tray when I got her because I wanted to check whether her back was stamped and her accessories. I guess that means she’s been out of the box, but the seal was broken when I got her. She has all of her accessories in mint condition, most never disturbed. The only thing she is missing is the free extra cassette advertised on the front of the box. Since that was a freebie extra anyway, it’s not really necessarily part of her set – but I feel I ought to mention it anyhow.
Her box is a bit faded and battered. I have pictures, please see them for more information. I think she could be deboxed and displayed with minimal guilt, but the box holds up enough to keep her in it as MIB, if that;’s your bent. It’s how I’ve kept her for the past 10 or so years.

So what are you asking for her?

Ideally I would like in the region of $200 plus actual shipping to your destination. I am in the UK. (Postage within the UK will be free, and payment can be made in Β£. I will also accept the equivalent in Euros, though I only accept paypal.) I will obtain actual postage charges from the post office, since these are all due to change on 1st April 2014, but at present postage to the US is in the realms of $40 with insuranceΒ  and tracking cover up to $700. I will also consider reasonable offers around this sum.

Will you consider other offers or trades?

I want to sell Jem, really. I may consider part payment in items, depending what they are…but since I am trying to save some of this towards my PhD fund, I am really looking at making a sale if possible.

How do I know you are trustworthy?

You can look up my sales feedback on ebay under the id REIDE which has been my ebay sale point since 1998. Also, anyone who has bought from Hoofprints Jem in the past will hopefully remember that I used to do a lot of business with Jem and My Little Pony.

You said something about pictures?

Some of these are quite large, but can be loaded from this location:
Mint In Box Jem (Full Image, front)
Mint In Box Jem (Top box flap)
Mint In Box Jem (face shot)
Mint in Box Jem (proof of Spanish manufacture)
Mint in Box Jem (back of box)

If interested, please email me at taffeta@blueyonder.co.uk πŸ™‚

Well, Stormer, so now you have…one hand….off…(or “It Takes Alot To Survive In This House”)

Stormer, looking a tad worried after two dangerous hand procedures...

“You want to do WHAT to my hands?!”

Okay, so that’s a funny title for anyone to start off with. But I am sure that this is something that will be understood and appreciated by fellow fans of Jem.

I have collected Jem for what, about 14 years now. I have ripped off doll heads, rooted new hair, painted new faces, made new clothing…even replaced broken or missing hands. I thought I had done everything with my dolls that could possibly be done, and I had the body parts lying around my room to show it…but no, apparently it’s not that simple.

You see, I am an Integrity Jem doll virgin.

I recently buckled to the whole Integrity Jem Doll line craze, on account of the fact Jetta had finally been released. I’m still waiting for my Jetta doll, but in the meantime I had the opportunity to pick up Stormer and her accessories loose. Stormer is my other pet Misfit, so I jumped at it. And so, last week, Stormer came to live with me.

A fact I’m quite sure she’s already regretting.

I actually do have Stormer’s instructions. Like any good doll collector with her dolls’ best interests in mind I shoved those away in the drawer with my bits and pieces of things formerly known as Jem dolls (it’s a bit of a horror show in there, you don’t want pictures) and proceeded to make it up.

The guitar was fine. The strap went on eventually, and I got the cable hooked up. No biggie. The necklace was next, and that kept coming undone, but we got it in the end.

Ultimately, the bracelets were the killer.

I dunno if everyone reading has an IT Jem doll of some description, but unlike the good old 1980s Misfit bracelets that used to stick to the doll’s arm (well, the Mexican dolls’ bracelets did) and which looked rather like Monster Munch covered in gold paint…see fig 1…these are proper bracelets.
Monster Munch vs Misfit Bracelet
fig 1: Spooky Likeness

Not only that, these bracelets lack the convenient slit in the side that the old ones had, for kids and people like me to successfully get them on the dolls’ arms. IT plan for a rather more sophisticated audience. Unfortunately for me, that means that to get on the jewellery for IT Jem dolls, you have to remove their hands.

Gulp.

I’m not a squeamish person. I’m generally game to give things a try. But I swear, my heart genuinely skipped a beat when I pulled Stormer’s hand out the first time. It came out, but you know, getting it back in again was a pretty nerve-wracking affair. Anyone who’s done this will know that there are 3 little notches on the fitting for each hand. Mine snapped back in place 2 notches, then refused to go the third.

I looked at Stormer. She looked at me. I think we were both a little panicky at that point and wondering what was so great about wearing jewellery anyway…but she’s a Misfit and I’m a Misfit fan, so there was nothing to be done but tough it out.

Stormer is now standing on my cabinet, eying me very warily. I can’t blame her. All I can think is that when the next doll arrives…maybe they’ll just do without the jewellery πŸ˜‰Stormer. You know,
Stormer, the deed done, looking Misfitty. And scared. She’s not the only one. It could’ve ended a lot worse.