The kittycat used to sleep on my bed at college. The middle bear I got during elementary school, and the bear on the right has joints in its arms, legs, and neck so it snuggles into you if you hug it over your shoulder. Then, I found a seriously awesomeo radical bit of my late elementary/early middle school days: my old Jem dolls.
For the uninitiated, Jem (tm) was Hasbro's attempt to merge pop music with a Barbie-type doll. A cartoon was eventually made for three seasons featuring the dolls as characters. Barbie was large-busted, small-waisted, and 11.5" tall. Jem and her group, however, were more properly proportioned and more like 12.5" tall. Jem dolls also came with their own stand, which made playing with them or lip-synching to the cassette tapes that were sold along with the dolls. Above, this is Clash (left) and Synergy (right). Clash was part of the bad girls' rock group, The Misfits, and Synergy was the computer that help Jerrica Benton use holograms to turn into Jem. Clash used to use her computer to jam Synergy's signals...or maybe this is more than you even care to know.
That's Glitter n' Gold Jem (left) and Jetta (right) of the Misfits. Jetta played saxophone, like my sister Miss Kitty. Another cool thing about the Jem dolls is that they were more flexible. Barbies only have knee, hip, and shoulder joints that move in one, maybe two directions. However, Jem dolls had knees, hips, elbows, and shoulder joints that had varying degrees of bending and a human-like range of motion. Jem dolls also had one hand open and one hand semi-closed, so they could actually hold a microphone or saxophone or something. Even cooler was Glitter n' Gold Jem, whose elbows, knees, and ankles, as shown above, flex in and out. I used to use this doll for figure sketching as a kid.
"Look at me with my crossed legs and my hand on my hip. I'm so all that. Waving like the queen of preteen girls' role models in plastic, elbow elbow wrist wrist..."
High Plains Drifter Barbie finds Jem putting on airs again, after all these years in the plastic tub. HPD Barbie was originally a Malibu Barbie from the late 1970s who, despite our best and overt efforts, we couldn't throw away. We threw her in a trash can in the early 80s, but she fell out of a hole in the Hefty bag. We threw her in the back of Dad's truck as he went to the dump in the late 80s, and she fell off the truck. I thought I'd left her at home when I went to grad school in 1998, but she ended up in the bin with the Jem dolls. And HPD Barbie doesn't take kindly to articulated-plastic-joint tomfoolery.
"You best knock that sisy-Oprah-book-club-hand-wavin' shit out, princess."
"Whatever. You can't kick my ass, HPD Barbie. You can only flex your knee twice."
"Yeah? Let's see how you like my Scorpion Death Lock, Singy McPrissyPants."
"Auugh! AAAAUUUUUGGGGHH!! Jetta! Help me! I'm tapping out! Auugh!"
"You started this, sister; you're on you own. She's got painted-on tan lines; I'm no match for her."