Vintage Toy of the Month: Synergy!

“It’s show time Synergy!” This was just a simple phrase uttered by a rock star that unleashed a world of music and magic in a cartoon known as Jem and the Holograms. There are many things that can define the 80’s, and to forget about the cultural impact of Jem and the Holograms s a crime against pop culture itself. Since this is a New Year and a new chance to look back monthly on some exciting vintage toys from yesteryear, what better way to start all the vintage toy goodness than by looking at the name that says it all: It’s show time Synergy!

Hasbro released the Jem and the Holograms doll line in 1986. The dolls were a success. They even gave Barbie a run for her money and thus the Barbie and the Rockers line was born. Though the Jem line was short lived, these dolls have continued to become highly sought after by collectors both new and old. I was fortunate enough to come across a loose complete (package and all) Synergy doll. Enough of the rambling, let’s look!

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We’ll start with the packaging first. The bright neon colors instantly transport me to when I was a kid. There is just something about this packaging, much like that of the She-Ra Princess of Power line. The pinks and yellows look lush. The font is electric. The image of Synergy has a great deal of fun 80’s charm.

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In the upper left corner is a sticker that details information regarding a Smash Hit Tape Offer featuring such acts like the Thompson Twins, New Edition, and Toto!

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Another closer photo shows off the image of Synergy. The detailing on this image is amazing. From the sparkles in the hair to the glistening effect on her knee high socks, the image is simply sublime. I miss this kind of packaging. In our current toy times, packaging is nothing like it was back then. Over to the right there is also a blurb about the included cassette tape. I have got to find a cassette player, but more on that later.

On its side, the box shows off some images of the actual doll with varying looks:

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Her hair can be styled in different and electrifying ways! Or so says the box. I have never personally been very good at styling doll hair. I tend to prefer leaving the hair as is.

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Now this is when things get truly outrageous! I love that the back of the box is nothing but a splashy image of Synergy chock full with neon lights. The back of the box also has a brief bio about what role Synergy plays in the Jem universe. The interesting thing about this doll was that she was a hologram with the ability to transform Jerrica into Jem. I also like that her doll looked nothing like her appearance in the cartoon. This was a truly space age meets aerobics look. A side image of Jerrica and Synergy hints at other items available for sale.

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Here are the accessories that came with Synergy. I like the stands for Jem dolls. The clasp wraps around her leg and everything just works! (Also, each character had a color specific stand) Her hair pick is pretty nice with a rounded look and the holograph computer certainly makes for an interesting item.

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Some closer images of the hair pick and holograph computer show off the vivid coloring for the plastic. I truly lucked out with this item, because everything looks so nice.

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Another fun accessory that came with Synergy was the requisite cassette tape. Each Jem doll came with a fun cassette and on Synergy’s A side, one could jam out to the Jem Theme song, Friend or Stranger, and We Can Change It.

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Flipped around, the B side is just a Synergy instrumental. I have got to find a cassette player and see if this cassette still works. I will report back once I find out.

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Before we get to the doll, there are still a few more things we must look at that came with Synergy. There were quite a few offers that came with this doll. This ad is full of excitement for one amazing offer.

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Join the Jem and the Holograms Fan Club while also scoring a freakin’ Jem MTV Concert Jacket for $3.00 and 1 Jemstar Point! Now that is an offer. What a perfect blend of pop culture. It is such a shame that the show is no longer on television, much like music is no longer on MTV. Ba-dum-bum. After all this time, it is still strange that the music is not part of MTV anymore.

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For those that are interested (because I know I am) here is the back of the fan club booklet.

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This ad for the Dream Tour is connected to the front sticker on the upper left corner of the box. It contains all the information about the songs on the offered cassette. A mixture of Jem and the Holograms music and other bands sounds so awesome. I would have eaten this up as a kid if I had actually owned a Jem doll. For a fun detour about my personal stupidity on never originally collecting Jem dolls, head over here.

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One last item that came with Synergy was this glorious poster featuring the Glitter ‘n Gold look as well as some other images of Jem fashions. The art work is just stunning. Check out some of the images of the other Jem fashions below:

Flipped around, the poster features a breathtaking array of the other Jem items available for sale. Check more images out! There is so much to take in!

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My personal favorites are of the Misfits and the Rockin’ Roadster. This car was everything and is right up there with the Barbie Dream Vette. If I could drive those vehicles in real life I would. Cross country; with the perfect mix tape.

Are you ready for the main event? It’s show time Synergy!

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The doll is amazing. Even after all these years, she holds up really well. I do not know her prior history; all I know is that she came to me in loose complete condition. She looks as if she was never played with because her hair is immaculate as are her clothes. The purple for her arms and legs look a little faded, but aside from that, everything looks amazing! Notice how easy it is for her to stand with her calf clipped into the stand. Her clothing and booties are also amazing. Everything looks to be in perfect condition.

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She gives good face. I love the headband as well as the face application. I am unsure how hard it is to tell in the picture, but there are also purple metallic fibers in her hair. It makes her look electric. I know that there can be complications with metallic fibers in rooted hair, but for some reason I really like this with her. The look just works.

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Jem dolls were fully poseable and that is what truly set them apart from Barbie. Legs and arms opened out while the wrists were also jointed. Knees and elbows had an internal bend and the only concern I could ever possibly have with a vintage Jem doll is that their waists are held together with a band. I have spoken to some truly outrageous Jem fans about this and I have been assured that it is usually a rare instance for the bands to snap. Hasbro must have known what they were doing.

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Let’s do a little comparison, shall we? In the winter of 2012 Hasbro and Integrity Toys released a new line of Jem dolls that were pricier than the Hope Diamond, but they were pure perfection. The new line is continuing to thrive, but how do they stack up to each other?

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The vintage Jem doll is a little shorter than the new one, which says a lot because the original Jem dolls were very tall. Articulation is clearly updated with the new dolls, as well as over all tooling.

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The new dolls have a more seductive gaze in the face while the vintage dolls had a more simple appearance to go with the look of a line aimed at young girls. Both have wonderful hair and that wild make up that characterized so many of the characters from Jem and the Holograms. I honestly could not pick my favorite out of the two lines. I enjoy them both so much.

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The unique thing about this stand is that Synergy can be posed in a variety of ways, like in this photo. She can’t really hold the computer like the box displays, but she does strike a cool pose.

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Jem and the Holograms was a special line of dolls. I instantly regret my faulty logic in never wanting to own them as a child because these dolls are still hot items on the secondary market. Mint, loose, or barely hanging in there, it does not matter. Fans are willing to shell out all kinds of dough for these dolls, and that is hopefully something that Hasbro is paying attention to. I feel like they are, because why else would there be an all new adult oriented line? Now we just need to get Hasbro to realize that a true return to form is just what Jem needs.

That is about it for the January Vintage Toy of the Month! Around the 15th of every month, NERDSociety looks back on a vintage find from the past. Be sure to check back soon. Also, for those wanting to learn more about Jem, head on over to, the greatest place to go for all things Jem. For a more extensive look at the new Jem dolls, be sure to also look around the official Hasbro and Integrity Toys site for Jem and the Holograms. Take care everyone!

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