Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Toy Chest Tuesday! Rock 'n Curl Jem

Remember a few posts ago when I lamented my sad existence over a Toy Regret for never being quite bright enough to pick up any Jem dolls back in the day? Well if you have forgotten go here to catch up. For those who remember, I briefly teased that all might not be completely regrettable in the world of toys, because it looked like there was a Jem doll in my life after all.

So in honor of a whole new Jem line, there is no better way than to celebrate a new Toy Chest Tuesday by looking at a priceless Jem of yesteryear, Rock 'n Curl Jem!

Hasbro released this Jem doll in 1986. She came in a much smaller package unlike the regular line up of Jem dolls. This doll did not come with a stand or cassette. But she did come with some cool stuff, so let's look!

The packaging for Jem dolls was always one of my favorites. The bright pinks with purple, yellow, and orange was just a lot of fun. There was so much brightness, with a dash of cool star power. It was very much a late '80s style. Anyways the tagline for Rock 'n Curl Jem was, "With a wild new hairstyle- long and curly!" This version of Jem came with really long hair that had some curl to it. The purpose was to create different and unique styles for Jem. She also came with a stage fashion, earrings, two bracelets, pumps, hairpick, and a microphone.

Here is a closer look of the doll. I am still weary of removing her from the box. For now this Jem will stay mint. As you can see her hair was long, much longer than the other Jem dolls. There were also streaks of pink in her blonde hair.

One side of the box detailed exactly how Jem's hair could be rocked out for some fun looks.

The description explained for us to "style Jem's long, curly hair!" Can I just say styling a doll's hair was always easier than it looked. I love how the pictures made it look so simple. I don't think I could ever style a doll's hair like the pictures above. It would just look like a mess. I once cut a Barbie doll's hair because I wanted her to have a new look. Her "new look" came with some bald spots and an eventual buzz cut. I'm not a talented person at all. 

The back of the box was really cool. There was a full sized photo of the doll and here you can sort of see how large the Jem doll was. At 12 1/2" inches this doll was massive compared to other dolls. Her body was normal for a doll. Usually dolls have tiny sickly looking bodies. The Jem dolls were like, "We're healthy, but we also know how to enjoy a cheeseburger." She also had articulation at the wrists, which was yet another reason as to why this doll was different from Barbie. (Or at least the Barbie dolls of that time. There wasn't that much articulation in an old school Barbie.) Jem dolls always seemed like a special breed of doll. I don't know how to explain it exactly, but I wish I had collected them when I was young. Oh how dumb we are in our youth. The lace pink bows were also such fun additions to this doll. The whole stage fashion was a recreation from the animated cartoon. I believe this look was featured in the later series of the cartoon.

The use of music, fashion, and glamour was such a big part of this line. From the dolls and accessories to the fantastic playsets, the Jem line was one of a kind. Sometimes dolls get a bad rap for being pieces of plastic that are supposed to stand around and just be pretty. Jem though seemed to incorporate multiple aspects for a truly outrageous and interactive experience for fans both young and old.

Thanks to ebay I was able to pick this doll up at a really decent price. I'm glad I can say I have at least one Jem doll. So enjoy these pictures of Rock 'n Curl Jem! Be sure to comment your own memories of Jem dolls. Did any of you have Rock 'n Curl Jem? Were you able to do some fun and crazy hair styles? I look forward to finding out! 

Also be sure to check back soon as I crown a new Heroic Hottie for the month of July this week!  


  1. Oooh, Miss M, this is truly outrageous! Congrats on your first ever Jem doll! I personally love Rock 'n Curl Jem (she was the 6th Jem doll I bought as a child, at K&K Toys... told ya I remember all that stuff). Although she was billed as the "budget" doll (no cassette or light up earrings), I loved the plastic hoops that you could take in and out, her groovy wavy bracelets, and new scalloped pumps. Jem fans really debate the smiling face of the 2nd year Jem vs. the 1st year's more mysterious face. Hmmm... 1st year is my fave, but of all 3 smiling Jem's I think R'nC's face is the prettiest. And no, her hair does none of the things the box says. Personally I think she looks fab boxed, but if you want to take her out, be warned... don't do much with her hair. Some of them have nicer hair than others, but all it takes is one or two combings and you have a frizzy mess, then a matted mess. I actually bought one NRFB last year and took her out, thinking her hair couldn't possibly be in the same state as all of the loose ones I'd been finding at flea markets and antique stores. Nope, it's a mess right out of the box. And it looks so pretty in there too, doesn't it? I think it just has a weird texture that is not the same as the other curly girls in the line. I ended up washing my NRFB dolls' hair, conditioning it, and combing it out to get it looking fabulous. You can read my Rock 'n Curl adventure on Flickr starting here... http://www.flickr.com/photos/sourgrapes75/6034347094/in/set-72157626802609253/

    Looks like you got a good one with nice pink hair though, as the pink can fade out of her hair over time. Sometimes you see them and they are all blonde, other times still rockin' lotsa pink. I'm so happy for you! Congrats on your Jem, you finally have one! Yay!

    1. I know, it is so nice to finally have one! I've seen Rock 'n Curl Jem dolls go for a lot on Ebay, but it must have been an off night because I got her at a really really low price. And this one came from a collector that had taken good care of her. The pink is really pretty. But with her issues with hair, I think I'll leave her in the box.

      But what you did to fix your Rock 'n Curl Jem's hair is nothing short of amazing. OMG you got her hair to look fantastic! Her hair looks so awesome. And that commercial is a mess, particularly the shot of Jem with those micro braids. lol Yeah, like I'm getting that look to happen! lol But your pictures are fantastic, it is nice to see some good pictures of what she looks like out of the box and what her items are. I can only see the shoes, so I wasn't sure what everything else looked like. I also love her dress. It is probably one of my favorite Jem outfits.

      Anyways, I still need to sign up for jemcon, it has just been real busy and hectic over here. But I am still going to do it! I hope you are doing well.

    2. I'm doing fab-tastic, thanks for asking! Yep, she's got some great accessories and I am in agreement on the dress - it's supposed to be a simpler "budget" dress but I think it's so nicely detailed and mega-stylish. Makes me wish Hasbro had tried more "budget" dolls for this line before going over the top with Glitter 'n Gold and Flash 'n Sizzle Jem(s). Those dolls are both great, but I think the expense for Hasbro as well as for the customers did not help Jem's success. Some other less expensive dolls might have boosted sales. Obviously even at a "budget" price they still created a gorgeous doll - not just Barbie in another swimsuit and spray tan (or spray tanline?).

      Thanks for the comments on the hair restyle, too. OMG, I was sooo terrified to wash it right out of the box like that. It always looks so nice in the box - but it seems to be 50/50 on whether it'll be just as nice when she slides out. Plus - it's not like the boxes for these dolls aren't amazing. They rock and display so nicely!

      Join up with us whenever you get a chance... no worries, we aren't going anywhere. Happy 4th to you!

    3. Yeah I wish there had been more budget dolls too for Jem. Not just the Jem character but for the other characters too. I agree with you on the smiling face for Jem. I think the Rock 'n Curl has the prettiest smile. I loved the Glitter 'n Gold look, but I wasn't a fan of the doll's smile. I felt like for that whole doll, her face should have been less smiley.

      And maybe one day I'll take ol' Rock 'n Curl out and see what happens to her hair. lol I have washed plenty of doll's hair in my day, but I am not good at styling. Though I was able to get my Perfuma's hair back to normal. I slept with her once because I thought it'd be cool to wake up in the middle of the night to play with my toys, and well she ended up with a massive beehive of hair. So I washed it and was able to get it to look nicer. It will never look like it used to look, but my Perfuma does not look like an extra from Mad Men. I hope you had a nice 4th of July!

  2. I think that this might've been one of the only Jem dolls that I didn't get when I was younger! :S lol

    1. Hey Sarah! How are you? I hope well. What were some of your favorite Jem dolls when you were younger?

  3. Me, I'm good thanks, how is everything with you? Hmm, for Jem dolls, which ones did I love the best, well, I loved, loved, loved, the glitter n gold jem, I had her along with the matching Rio and the glitter n gold roadster that went along with them, lol, got them all for one Christmas, I didn't have the original version of the car, I loved how it had a real radio in it! I also loved my Raya, Danse, and Jetta dolls.

    1. I loved how the rockin roadster had a radio in the back of it too. I always thought that was the coolest thing ever. I also loved the outfit for the Glitter 'n Gold Jem doll. I had this love affair with gold lame in the '80s. lol I don't know what that was about. Danse was always an interesting character. Her multi-colered hair was always so interesting from the cartoon.

  4. Hey M, It looks like I've become lucky and picked up some Jem of my own. What a piece of history, or the way of the 80's--however you want to put it. They will never see outside of the box and I highly recommend that you keep the (over 20 years old) Rock n Curl Jem in the box--I'd say if you don't, get a doll display--BUT don't take it out.

    Anyhow, I got Glitter n Gold Jem and Clash--apparently they are both not too big on your faves list, however, as a fan I'm sure you would appreciate them. The conditions are very good, however I'm having displaying problems because the boxes are huge and they wont fit in the China cabinet, so it looks like I'm making a glass door for an adjustable shelf.

    I'm going to write up an article by the weekend (I'm hoping) and I'll send the link to your email that is in the contact section, OR, just check out the website, I'll try to make a deal with everyone else to not post for the weekend so my article stays on top--ha, ha, yeah right...! I can try though.

    Jem was a...uh...truly outrageous...piece of history, a great action/adventure cartoon (which had a better anti-drug episode than G.I. Joe) and simply something to be celebrated because all involved really did try to make something special.

    Your RnC Jem looks pretty good, the left window might be out of sorts if I'm seeing the photos correctly, but it doesn't matter, the front of the box looks nice and clean--so keep it in the box!!! It's at least 25 years old, build a shrine around it...LOL!!!

    1. Wow! I look forward to your article on Glitter 'n Gold Jem and Clash! That should be interesting! I did like the Glitter 'n Gold Jem, I just haven't really cared too much for her face sculpt. She never really looked like Jem to me. But I do like her dress and overall concept. I will be checking your site. I try to check it often but the last few weeks have been a bit crazy. You have a really great site with all kinds of cool news, but I bet you already knew that. ; )

      Oh and speaking of anti-drug episodes, nothing can beat the anti-drug Jem episode. I had a Jem party months ago and showed that episode. We all got a kick out of it, I love that episode.

      My RnC Jem does have some dents in the plastic, but the plastic is still in tact, so that is good. And yeah, I don't know that I can ever remove her from the box. lol It would just be sacrilege. As for the shrine, I'm working on it. lol