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 £. 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 insurance  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 🙂

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.


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 😉Stormer. You know,
Stormer, the deed done, looking Misfitty. And scared. She’s not the only one. It could’ve ended a lot worse.

Why Jem and the Holograms should not get a modern makeover.

I had a long think about this subject and what to write here about the new Jem movie. It’s one of those things which has caused ripples in the Jem community at large and has inspired a lot of mixed opinions. I wanted to try and approach this issue with some objectivity, but when I reflect upon the magnitude of decisions being made, I find it hard to do.

I am and have always been entirely against the idea of a live action Jem movie. More than that, I’m also very against the idea of modernising Jem and her companions into the twenty-first century world.  There is a line of thought among some fans that, as Jem reflected the age she was created in then, a new Jem concept now should do the same with the age we are all living in. Whilst this is probably true, I would ask of those people, would Jem ever have existed if it had not been the Eighties when Hasbro created her? Although it’s true that she reflected her era, she was also inspired by it. The fashions, the music, and also what was considered acceptable to be broadcast in a kids’ show all revolve around the fact that Jem was produced between 1985 and 1988.

Probably the most famous quote line from the Jem series is Kimber’s “Outrageous!” exclamations, which pepper their way throughout the show. The original animated adventure was ultimately tagged “Truly Outrageous”, and one of Jem’s early songs also carries that title. Kimber’s vocabulary – and not just that of Kimber, but also that of other characters – reflects the slang and common culture of 1980s America. If you heard someone say the word “outrageous” today, then you would probably get an entirely different connitation than the one Kimber meant back then. Sure, it’s a word, but that word is part of the structure of Jem because of its frequency. Can we really imagine a modern Jem world in which characters lapse into 1980s slang at a moment’s notice?

Then there is the fashion. It is true that with anime and other concepts, colouring your hair in funny shades seems to be on the up. That said, though, live action with coloured hair is a disaster waiting to happen. The vibrancy of the colours Hasbro picked for their characters completely reflected the 1980s rock scene. True, people like Lady Gaga do use extreme fashion statements in their videos and their promotions, but the fact alone that we identify figures like that as standing out is evidence enough that the world has changed. In Jem’s word, such colours and clothing is every day. Although these are concepts created by a design team in the 1980s, they are also a core element of the show.

Then, there is the issue of social values. This is a movie, not a kids’ cartoon, but as Scott Mendelson of Forbes pointed out with Strawberry Shortcake, there is a general trend to neutralise the shows of the past when rerendering them into the current age. In the 1980s, Rio’s constant anger management issues, and the extremely complex state of his relationship(s) with Jem and Jerrica were just accepted parts of the plot. Riot’s chauvenistic attitude towards most females in the cast, and the flashback of his father beating him as a small boy were just parts of the story which, in a more up to date setting would probably excite objections. I imagine there will be few of the feminist persuasion who would approve of Jerrica meekly allowing her boyfriend to two-time her with her own secret identity. And then there’s the villainy of the show. The Misfits excited negativity even in the 1980s for some of their antics. Do we think that a bomb in the Starlight Mansion would be just ignored in this era of terrorist hysteria? Probably not, and as for the Stingers and their general attitude of fraud and deception, how long before someone suggests they’re a “bad influence” on the modern young?

The concept of the new movie revolves around social media, which is a major issue for me and I won’t lie. Whilst it is a huge part of the modern world, it requires a complete change in the Jem setup to incoroporate something of that nature. I haven’t yet addressed the issue of Synergy – possibly the most key character in the Jem series for a variety of reasons, not least that without her Jem cannot exist. In the 1980s, the idea of a computer being able to project such a perfect holographic disguise was outlandish and it worked for that reason. In the modern era, however, we have  non-existent digital performers such as Hatsune Miku, who you might even call a modern day “Jem” miracle. Japan are also producing robotic stage dancers, and hologramatic technology is far beyond what it was in 1985. That being the case, how on earth is it going to be possible to weave something so unique as Synergy into a modern, digital age? Maybe the focus could be on Synergy’s AI and genuine human personality – but the fact that writers like Mendelson are linking this to an “action movie” puts that in serious doubt.

The Jem movie may be a great production, and it might be a great success. But as many fans do, I feel that the lack of involvement of key members of the original Jem team (Christy Marx, Anne Bryant, to name but two) and the obsession with fan-auditions over social media is weakening the credibility of the project as a whole. The movie markets itself as being about the fandom, but in reality, the fandom were among the last to know and the opinions of those of us who have spent money on Jem products and DVDs (and continue to do so) was never sought.  Unlike many people, I am not overly concerned if this is produced by men or women, since, contrary to Mr Mendelson’s article belief, Jem’s fandom is a mixed gender community and always has been. What is more important is grounding the characters and their setting, and attempting the adventure of updating such a vintage figure requires the guiding hand of those who know her best. The real Jem fandom have been in communication with many members of the original production team over the years. When Roger Slifer had his accident, the Jem community donated and supported him through online communities as though he were their neighbour or their friend. Jem fans have dug up prototype information, unearthed master tape media and involved original performers in Jem conventions which have now been running stateside for almost 10 years. This is not a passive community, and they have some very strong feelings about how Jem should be handled.

For me, social media Jem is a way for Hasbro to reach out and grab the attention of the modern teen generation, at the expense of those loyal fans who have never forgotten Jem since she first disappeared from stores and screens. Whether they anticipate producing toys or not is unknown, which leaves the overall question of what the long term intent of this film is meant to be. Is it a celebration of the 30 years of Jem (2015) or is it the start of something new? The Equestria Doll line from My Little Pony seems to put paid to the latter, so one has to ask the obvious question. If this is to put Jem’s anniversary on the map, should it not be the Jem from 1985 that is remembered, rather than some modern day teenager who just happens to have her name?