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.



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.


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

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

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™‚



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


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.

Let’s talk for a minute about 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