Thursday, May 24, 2012

Toy Regrets- Attack of the 50 Foot Doll

Hello dear readers. It is time for that wonderful trip down my brutal tragic past of toy collecting memories. For those who are just tuning in, check out this previous installment of Toy Regrets to fully understand what kind of madness that's about to go down.

Growing up I was a Barbie girl. There were many other dolls on the shelves, but I only had eyes for Barbie and her awkward unfolding karate chop arms. She had the best clothes. The coolest cars. And a dreamy man made of plastic. That sounds really weird, but his name was Ken if that changes anything.

Well in the late '80s Barbie got a real run for her money by way of Jem. As in Jem and the Holograms. Needless to say I was obsessed over Jem and all her songs. Unlike Barbie, Jem also had a really nasty arch nemesis. Pizzazz and her other trashily fun bandmates made me yearn for the days when I too would get to wear tight animal print dresses and have a wild mane of green teased hair.

There was only one problem with Hasbro's Jem dolls. They were gigantic compared to Barbie. Couple that with my serious neurotic ways as a child, and there was much back and forth with wanting to have my own Jem doll. Everytime I'd watch an episode of Jem I'd say, "Oh I just would love a Jem doll!" I'd go to the toy aisle with good intentions, fully ready to pick out my first Jem doll. There was always some nervousness about who I'd pick first. Every time I'd chicken out and pick something else instead. I just had serious issues with buying another doll that would be larger than Barbie. How would they coexist? What kind of world would have disproportioned Barbie and glamazonian Jem attending the same parties? These were serious issues.

So I did nothing. I simply played with the idea of wanting Jem dolls. The waiting was fine for me. I truly believed that Jem would be around for a long time, so my indecisiveness would be safe. After all, Jem truly gave Barbie some competition. Would we have even seen Barbie and the Rockers had Jem not come along? These are the important philosophical questions of the day people! However Jem soon began to fade away from the toy scene, apparently her longevity wasn't as strong as I had thought.

As the line of Jem dolls slowly started disappearing from the shelves, my heart started to panic. Would I get over my issues and finally nab a Jem doll before it was too late? Finally my point of personal growth had arrived to the conclusion that I would actually pick out my first Jem doll, if the opportunity were to ever present itself.

One weekend, my baby brother and I were going to spend the weekend with our Nana. Since we didn't see our Nana that much, she enjoyed taking us to a store and spoiling us just a little. On the way to Walmart I whispered to my brother, "I'm finally going to do this, I will get a Jem doll!" He looked at me like I was coo-coo-crazy. I was excited, so it didn't really matter. I felt like I was stepping out of my comfort zone, showing off my wild side and announcing to the world that I was not some neurotic mess of a child!

So there we were, walking through the toy aisle in Walmart. My eyes fell upon the remaining Jem dolls on the shelves. The Glitter 'n Gold Jem doll was smiling at me from her plastic tomb. She was telling me, "Miss M, you are here! Finally. Pick me! You will never regret it! I am wearing gold lamé, your favorite!" I reached out and held the box in my hands. I did love gold lamé. The Glitter 'n Gold Jem doll had that "new look." As did the Glitter 'n Gold Rio. There was even a Glitter 'n Gold Roadster in a badly beaten up box. It was all so new and exciting. I felt like a rebel.

I started to get nervous. I had wasted so much time turning away Jem dolls before, that I wasn't sure what to do. That was when Barbie suddenly appeared, perched up on my shoulder, whispering in my ear, "Oh Miss M, what are you doing? Jem? Just look at how tall she is. And those arms! Does she have cankles? Listen kid, I get that you want to try something new, something different, but stick to what you know. Barbie is the only doll for you." I nodded. Barbie's attack on Jem's character was clear: Jem was a dangerous and new choice. Barbie was the only doll I knew.

Jem cried out in her tomb, "Wait! Barbie has been around forever, don't let her win. Now is your chance, pick me Miss M! I come with a cassette! I'll help you sing, I'll turn you into a star! You won't end up hating yourself twenty years from now!" Oh it had just gotten out of control. All the voices were just too much. I was exhausted. My brain was telling me to listen to Barbie, but my heart was pleading for me to pick Jem.

I picked neither. To end the madness of choosing, I decided to go in the opposite direction with Ariel. Tyco had just come out with a new line of Little Mermaid dolls to accompany the Disney movie. The display for the Little Mermaid dolls was new and shiny. I placed Jem back on her bare shelf and went about my way. Barbie approved of picking Ariel. The Little Mermaid dolls were shorter than Barbie. The blonde bombshell was pleased with my decision. Barbie was still safe, high atop her perch of perfection. No one would be outdoing her.

As for Jem, she sat on that shelf looking on at me as I made a grave mistake. She knew I wouldn't feel it immediately, but Jem knew that there would come a time that I would regret that fateful day. Secretly, I knew she was right.

Years would go by and I would grow older. My love for Barbie would still be there, though our relationship would be different. I realized that Barbie could use her powers for good and evil. She was a bit chaotic with her sense of perfection, and goodness knows I have been far from perfect.

Like most dorky folk, I began to inquire about the toys that got away. A part of me always wanted to correct the wrongs I made as a silly child. I would grow to regret passing on the chance to own a Jem doll. After all, Jem only had her one chance in the spotlight. Unlike Barbie's long storied career on toy shelves, Hasbro had scrapped any future plans of a Jem comeback. And while I patiently waited for Jem's return, I had to settle for stalking ebay with the hopes of finding the dolls. Upon seeing the price for those old Jem dolls, I had this to say, "Hundreds of dollas for Jem dolls!? I ain't got time for that!" I realize I could just buy some loose Jem dolls, but let's be real, I'm still neurotic and won't settle for anything less than mint.

So now I sit by quietly awaiting for the return of Jem. Most things get a second chance, third if their lucky, but I have hope that Hasbro will finally find a way to bring Jem back to the toy aisle. I have some major making up to do.

Or do I? Is it entirely possible that I have somehow managed to own a Jem doll after all this time? I guess there is only one way to find out, and I'm not sayin' a word until then. So until next time dear readers, absolutely no Toy Regrets!

I leave you with this...


  1. i loved jem, especially the glitter and gold one!

    1. Hey Sarah! I know, the Glitter 'n Gold Jem doll was so cool. I loved her roadster so much. Thank you for the comment, hope you are well.

  2. My heart sank when you put Jem back on the shelf to take Ariel...noooooo!

    It's sad, I remember doing some of the same things too, I mostly regret opening current action figures, that's why I usually buy 2, one to open and one to keep sealed.
    I always wanted Hot Rod from Transformers, but sadly, I too, put him back--dumb, dumb, dumb!

    Oh the memories...

  3. I do the same thing, there are certain figures I will buy two of. I also have issues with eye applications on certain figures. If I see a hint of a cross eye or heavy lid or whatever, I can't buy it. (It actually helps me save money in the long run. lol)

    But in the case of putting the wring toy back on the shelves, I wish I knew then what I know now. lol

  4. I can't stand crossed eyes either, (I'm glad I'm not the only one)... I collect a lot of G.I. Joe and they are very prone to that, uh...condition...So, I'm very careful with what I choose.

    Jem was a very fun show, I remember it well; a friend of mine is a fan of it and has the boxed set, I'll borrow it when he's done, however I saw an episode or 2 some time ago.

    The dolls are great (for dolls, that is :})ebay prices are steep, but for a piece that is mostly or close to new it would probably be worth not paying an important bill for a month...LOL!

  5. I understand about the G.I. Joe eye condition. You would think that Cobra would offer a vision plan for its employees.

    As for Jem, I love that show. It almost ties with She-ra for my favorite '80s cartoon. When the Hub was airing Jem episodes, I'd have some friends over and we'd watch the Jem episodes all night. Now we own the box sets so we've gone to our respective corners. lol

    And your last comment was hilarious! I mean, it is Jem after all.

    1. Sure, leave us with a total cliffhanger! Can't wait to see...

      Jem is my #1 fave 80s toy of all. And since last time you shared a Toy Regret Story (The Toy Aisle That Time Forgot) I had to share a Toy Regret Story (Netossa At The Outlet Mall), here's my Jem Regret... Not as traumatic as knowing you had that metaphorical piece of gold in your hands as a child and put it back on the shelf, but about 10 years ago I had collected the majority of the Jem dolls NRFB - and then sold them. So imagine my disgust when I decided to start recollecting all over again a couple of summers ago and saw how much the prices had jumped on ebay. UGH! I hated myself for letting them all go... But for every cloud there's a silver lining, and I've had some amazing luck in my re-collection. Plus, I got over that whole "pristine condition" ocd thing. None of this stuff was made to stand the test of time. If it lasts as long as I last, that's good enough for me... I can't take any of it with me anyway. So enjoying it in the moment makes my re-collection that much cooler!

      PS - So glad to see some more folks commenting on your blog. :)

  6. Oh my goodness Ty! That is a big toy regret! I bet you had a great collection. Though I am glad you have been able to recollect some Jem stuff! I still can't believe how the prices are for Jem stuff. Crazy. And I am working on my neurotic ways with collecting. There are some moments where I buy something that is out of the package. It happens once in awhile. One of the reasons I like buying mint, is also for the packaging. Sometimes the packaging is more important than the actual toy. But I do agree with you, sometimes you just need to open it up and enjoy the toy. Life is way too short. And I'm glad that more people are commenting too, it is nice to connect with people that enjoy all this cool stuff. I hope you are doing well, it is always nice to read your comments! And as for the cliffhanger, all will be revealed soon... : )

    1. Yep, I love the packaging too. It doesn't get much cooler than Jem boxart either!! I'm enjoying a mix of boxed and loose stuff in my current collection, LOL. It's fun to just stare at the boxed stuff and remember them all lined up in the toy stores, like this... (where's the time machine!?!?! I want to go back, hehe.)

      But it's also fun to play and pose them too, hehe.

  7. OMG! Ty! I am living for that picture right now! I love it. My goodness, that just brings me back. And I am the same way, there is something fun about just looking at the packaging, but also getting to pose them and just have fun with this awesome stuff. I will now be working on a time machine. lol