As a child, my toy box was mostly devoid of the kind of big name toys made popular in the neon-tinted heyday of the eighties – while I was happy with a murderer’s row of Barbies and Popples of various sizes (do you remember Popples? No one else ever remembers Popples), I never had a Teddy Ruxpin, a Cabbage Patch Kid, a Pound Puppy, a My Little Pony, or a Simon. The coolest thing I had was an ALF doll, and even I suspect that was only cool to my older, foul-mouthed cousins and not to the rest of the innocents who populated my grade school.
What I never had, and what I always wanted, was a Jem doll. Star of the 1980’s cartoon series, Jem and the Holograms, Jem was simply everything. Sure, her dual personas – as rock star Jem and music company executive Jerrica Benton (the most amazing eighties heroine name ever) afforded her the ability to be both a businesswoman and a major music star (along with being an excellent friend and the head of charitable foundation), but the show was also packed with awesome tunes, surprisingly wacky action sequences, a love triangle with a dude named Rio for chrissakes, and the use of earrings to trigger the hologram (the hologram! The eighties! Yes!) that allowed Jerrica to become Jem. Jem and the Holograms was awesome and Jem dolls were awesome and I never had one and it was just very sad.
Until now! As is their style, Hasbro has released a whole mess of amazing Comic-Con exclusive and special edition toys and action figures, a number of which hearken back to the glory days of the eighties. Yes, including a brand new Jem/Jerrica Benton doll – a Glitter ‘N Gold Jem/Jerrica Benton doll, no less. When Jem/Jerrica showed up at my door earlier this week in advance of Comic-Con, I did the only thing a girl could do with one of her childhood heroes – I took her out for a (truly outrageous) day on the town.
Despite repeated claims that she’s tuckered out, Jerrica wakes up looking fresh as a daisy. I remain dubious.
An eager consumer of media, even Jerrica can only tolerate The Today Show in the morning. She expresses a personal preference for their graphic stylings, admitting that they remind her of a really great Holograms show.
Jerrica’s morning secret? Drinking an iced coffee larger than her entire body while wearing her (faux) mink stole. I try it out. It works.
Finally ready for the day, Jerrica primps in the bathroom, completing her look with both gold bangles and those crucial star-shaped earrings. Curiously, her hair remains untouched by a brush but just as resplendent as ever. I marvel at it.
Initially confused by the proper way to hail a bus, it’s Jerrica’s turn to marvel at something, this time New York City’s public transportation system.
A big movie fan, Jerrica was quite pleased when I told her she would be accompanying me to a screening of The Spectacular Now. An even bigger Miles Teller fan, Jerrica actually hit the floor when Kyle Chandler popped up as his dad. “Coach!” she screamed, muffled only slightly by the plushy screening room carpet.
Now a skilled bus rider, Jerrica waves to new friends on a cross-town bus. Most of them wave back.
Jerrica, already tuckered out by bus-riding and movie-watching, gets a second wind when I tell her we are hitting the Home Run Derby at Citi Field for the evening. She goes missing for the most of the night, at least once she discovers an adjacent Dippin’ Dots booth.
Inspired by Pitbull’s Derby performance, Jerrica holograms into Jem in order to entertain rowdy baseball fans on the way home. This may not be an actual picture of the actual performance on the subway, but it definitely happened. Definitely.
A big animal lover, Jem greets the cats as soon as we get home, cuddling my Oscar and assuring him that her mink stole is very, very much faux.
A shockingly gracious guest, Jem volunteers to do the dishes. Immediately after this picture was taken, she fell in the sink, but her hair still looked perfect.
Exhausted by our day out on the town and eager to ship off to Comic-Con, Jem retires to her box.
Good night, Jem/Jerrica.
Want your own Glitter ‘N Gold Jem/Jerrica Benton to embarrasingly/awesomely tote around your own city? Here’s the technical info, straight from Hasbro:
JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS Glitter ‘N Gold JEM/JERRICA BENTON Doll
(Integrity Toys/Approximate Retail Price $140.00/Available through HasbroToyShop.com, Booth #3329 at Comic-Con International in San Diego)
Under license from Hasbro, fans will be dazzled by Glitter ‘N Gold JEM/JERRICA BENTON from Integrity Toys! This fully articulated 12-inch fashion doll features hand-applied eyelashes and pink and golden blond accented rooted hair, styled in the JEM signature look. As a tribute to the original doll from 1986, this themed mini-giftset includes two complete looks! The first look, allows JERRICA BENTON to attend the Glitter ‘N Gold Award ceremony in style while the second truly outrageous look completely transforms JERRICA into JEM, the rock ‘n roll star with a heart of gold! Set includes doll, two outfits, two pairs of shoes, Jemstar earrings, Glitter ‘N Gold Award (with removable gold album), wireless microphone accessory, limited edition Glitter ‘N Gold doll display stand and exclusive certificate of authenticity. Following the convention, a limited number will be available on HasbroToyShop.com.
Comic-Con kicks off tomorrow in San Diego. Jem/Jerrica will be there, will you?