LOGOS AND MODELS OF JACKSON STARS, TEAM GJ AND GROVER JACKSON
As you might know, import Charvel and import Jackson guitars have been built in Japan since spring of 1986. From 1986 through 1994, Jackson had a contract with Kyowa-Shokai (a trading company), who had Chushin Gakki (a factory in Nagano prefecture) build the Charvels and Jacksons for sale domestically and abroad.
"Jackson" not allowed
When the contract expired in 1994, Kyowa-Shokai opted not to renew their contract with Jackson, partly due to the fact that Grover Jackson had sold Jackson USA to IMC. However, Chushin Gakki, the factory that had been making the MIJ Charvels and Jacksons up to this point, apparently felt that there was a market for Jackson guitars in Japan. However, due to the expiration of the trademark license for the brand name "Jackson", they were precluded from using the brand name "Jackson" on guitars for sale in the Japanese Market. Therefore, they continued to produce guitars with "pointy headstocks" (for which they hold Japanese Trademark Registration No. 2150759) under various brand names, such as "Grover Jackson", "Team GJ", and "Jackson Stars".
Finally Jackson Stars
The brands "Grover Jackson" and "Team GJ" were phased out after 2001, and Chushin Gakki currently sells guitars under the name "Jackson Stars". The same factory still continues to make the MIJ Jacksons for the U.S. market.
Some Jackson Stars are made in America. However, if they are sold in Japan and distributed through Chushin Gakki, they must have the "Stars" on the headstock.
Links and sources
www.jacksonstars.com - the Jackson Stars site
www.jacksonguitar.org - Jackson Guitar Fan Club
Interview with Mr. Itaru Kanno, Kyowa-Shokai employee and designer of the "Doug Aldrich Signature Model
This article was kindly supplied by QuantumRider of JCF who lives in Japan.