If you’re anything like me, you can’t wait until “Cult of Chucky” is released later this year. Any new addition to the franchise is a welcome break from reality and stroll down memory lane. Seeing a new Chucky film is like visiting an old friend – you know every plot twist before it happens, snide remark before it’s made and vicious kill before it transpires – but the whole experience gives you a case of the “warm-fuzzies” non-the-less.
We can probably all agree that not every “Chucky” film has been a winner, but it’s hard to deny that regardless of each film’s successes or failures, it’s always a blast to see Chucky at it again, doing what he does best: relentlessly terrifying children and adults alike.
It’s hard to say when my love for Chucky first began.
Perhaps it started when I was the ripe age of six or seven, long before I was allowed to watch the movie, and could only stare longingly at its magnificent VHS cover in my local video store, vividly imagining what wonderful horrors lurked beneath the beautiful cover art.
Or maybe it was when I finally watched the film many years later, hanging out with fellow horror nerds, relishing its iconic moments and listening to my friends share story after story of their childhood Chucky fears and never ending “doll” nightmares. Personally, I speculate it occurred after watching “Bride of Chucky.”
I enjoyed Chucky’s appearance in the first three films, but was absolutely enamored with all those wonderful scars. His inner evil finally matched his appearance, and I just couldn’t get enough. After watching that film, a seed had been planted (no pun intended)…
I had to own him.
I immediately rushed over to my computer and started searching for the best and most accurate replica money could buy. But not just any Chucky would do; I had to own a life-size doll. I needed to feel like Chucky was in my home. I needed a doll that made his presence known.
And so my search began. Little did I know, it would take four years to finally feel like my Chucky collection was complete, and would have me buying a total of six life-size dolls from all over the world; what an adventure it has been!
The first life-size Chucky doll I bought was TNG Studios’ “Bride of Chucky” scarred replica. TNG Studios is a prop replica company based in Buenos Aires and most well known for their over the top interpretation of Chucky sporting a crazy Mohawk and diabolical face sculpt.
Their dolls are custom built and normally take a few weeks to arrive in the United States once ordered. Amazingly enough, I found mine on craigslist, only twenty miles down the road from my apartment, for only $200, a whopping $500 below retail! The original owner wrote me a message explaining that his son was terrified of the doll and he needed it out the house as soon as possible.
Those words were music to my ears. We immediately set up a time to meet and the next morning he met me ten minutes from my apartment with Chucky safely buckled into the passenger car seat. We did the deal on the street and I proudly carried Chucky home, catching the nervous, curious and fascinated gaze of nearly every passerby.
A couple stopped me and asked if they could take a photo – oh, the sights you see in New York City! I laughed as they both told the same story of Chucky terrifying them as children and how he still scared them to this day. Needless to say, instead of smiling for their photo, they made fake-screaming faces while holding the doll an arms length away. When I got home, I prominently displayed Chucky on my desk and couldn’t stop staring.
I was hooked. Owning one just wasn’t enough.
After just two weeks I had fallen in love with TNG Studios Evil version of Chucky (instead of a sly smile covering his face, his mouth is contorted into a grimace of hatred and his cheeks are covered in blood). I needed the pair! Unfortunately, he was no longer available on their website and had been discontinued. It would take me three years to track one down.
But the search is the most important part of the fun.
I diligently checked eBay every night for the doll (and no, I’m not exaggerating – EVERY NIGHT). Which of course thoroughly educated me on all the different life-size Chucky’s on the market. Suddenly the TNG Evil Chucky wasn’t the only doll on my radar – I wanted both Dream Rush Chucky Dolls: their original Good Guys Doll with a screen accurate box and their scarred “Bride of Chucky” doll with piercing glass eyes. I wanted Sideshow Collectibles “Seed of Chucky” prop replica, which is considered by many collectors to be the Holy Grail of all Chucky dolls.
There was only one problem.
Chucky dolls are REDICULOUSLY expensive, and can easily range anywhere from $2000 to $4000 per doll. Not only did I need to find the dolls, which was hard enough, but I also needed to find them at an incredible deal if I was ever going to own them.
Three years passed. Finally, in 2015, I hit the jackpot. Literally in the dead of night, I found a TNG Evil Chucky Doll on eBay. I was visiting my sister for the holidays and woke up around 2am to get a glass of water.
Before going back to sleep, I habitually checked my phone and there he was in all his glory, posted as a “BUY IT NOW” auction just an hour earlier. I couldn’t press the button fast enough! It was the best Christmas present I could have ever asked for. Needless to say, I had a hard time going to back to sleep.
A few months later I found Sideshow’s “Seed of Chucky” from a long time horror collector who was finally letting one go. My patience had paid off.
We quickly came to an agreement and once again I found myself proudly walking down the streets of NYC with Chucky in my arms, held like a baby, with every passerby staring awkwardly.
To put it mildly, I was thrilled. Before the year was through, I amazingly found another Evil TNG prop and had to buy him. I had spent so long looking for my first one I couldn’t see one for sale and not call him mine. Because their custom props, each one is considerably different from the next. Or at least that’s what I tell myself to justify owning duplicates.
With four of the initial six dolls I wanted in my collection, I set my sights on finally hunting down the last two: the Dream Rush twins. Dream Rush is a company based in Japan that does exquisite work and releases exceptionally low edition sizes on their collectibles.
Only 300 life-size “Bride of Chucky” replicas exist, and only 300 “Child’s Play 2” Good Guy replicas. They can be so expensive that I had all but given up hope until a collector in Chicago saw a photo of my collection and contacted me, telling me he was thinking about selling his Good Guy doll.
I jumped at the opportunity, and after a long week of negotiating, finally came to a deal. I had him in my collection two weeks later, and put him on display without ever opening the box. To me, for this particular version, the box is just as important as the doll.
And then there was one.
To complete my collection I began scouring oversea toy auction sites and prowling online forums, knowing that I would never find Dream Rush’s “Bride of Chucky” replica in the United States for an affordable price (the cheapest I’d ever seen one in the US was for $4000)!
After one more year of searching I finally found him, put up for sale by a devoted Chucky collector in Hong Kong. To this day, it is the only international purchase I have ever made. After sealing the deal, he arrived in less than five days, and instantly became the centerpiece to my entire Chucky collection. Without knowing it, I had saved the best for last.
But of course, a collector is never truly done. Even though, after four years of vigorous searching, I own all six dolls I originally dreamed of acquiring, I still check everyday to see if another has been listed or created that belongs in my collection. Call me a creature of habit; I’ve been searching for so long, it just feels wrong to stop now. Besides, Chucky and I are friends till the end. And my days of collecting are far from over…