[Mezco Toyz was kind enough to provide this report by John Charles. Enjoy!]
Terror In The Toy Aisle: Chucky Returns To Toy Stores
By John Charles
Chucky burst onto the horror scene in 1988’s CHILD’S PLAY and has been an icon of horror ever since. During his 25 year reign, he has stared in 6 films (the latest, Curse Of Chucky, is on demand and DVD this October), guest hosted Weekend Update on SNL, presented awards at the Horror Hall Of Fame, and in perhaps one of his highest honors, hosted his own haunted house at Universal Studios.
As soon as the first film hit theatres the public began to cry out for Chucky dolls that they could take home. Major toymakors balked at the idea of making a toy of a killer toy so the first Chuckys available were made by Steven Smith Stuffed Animals. These were mostly sold at the Universal Studios parks and at video stores (a note to younger readers; ask your parents about video stores). Sadly, these dolls were not very screen accurate.
As more Child’s Play films were released, more toys got made by more manufacturers at a variety of price points. Now, as Chucky turns a quarter century old, Mezco Toyz introduces one of the most screen accurate Chucky dolls ever made. Earlier in 2013 they introduced a Chucky Living Dead Doll and a 4 inch plush figure, but their new Mega Scale Chucky stands a full 15 inches tall, features glass like eyes, an articulated body, and real cloth clothes.
Mezco has a rich history of making Mega Scale figures (Mezco’s term for figures 14 inches and up); their Hellboy, Family Guy, South Park, and Thundercats Mega Scale figures have all won numerous toy awards and are highly prized by collectors.
But recreating Chucky from the silver screen was a daunting task. One of the problems toy makers find most difficult is Chucky’s clothing. His coveralls feature a custom pattern that is not easy to reproduce, and his striped shirt, which at first glance seems simple, changes from film to film. Mezco’s Damien Glonek (1/3 of the creative team behind Living Dead Dolls) said “The most challenging aspect in doing this large scale Chucky was trying to match the outfit accurately to the movie. There is no real style guide available for any of the Child’s Play films so we had to recreate the stripes to be silk screened and we redrew the graphics on the jump suit.” Adds Mezco’s Special Projects guy, Mike Drake, “The soles of his shoes even feature film accurate treads! This is a Chucky doll made by Chucky fans and our love for Chucky really shows in the final product”.
Another daunting challenge is Chucky’s box. Since the original film was made in 1988, before the digital printing revolution, no art files exist of the original box designs. Further complicating matters, multiples boxes were used. Fans are rabid about the box and empty boxes made for the films have fetched up to $1500 at auction. Even non-screen used boxes can sell for over $300. Recreating the box for Mezco was in-house artist and ninja, Richard Ford who said “Hey! I’m working! Oh…The Chucky Package design? What an experience it was, and a wonderful opportunity. In the beginning there were quite a few obstacles and an uphill battle against time. Our search to find an original box and high res photos turned into a failed mission, thus began the long process of recreating everything. Using low res photos as reference I was able to bring to life the design you see today. The devil is in the details, as each Good Guy illustration was done with much attention and consideration for the diehard fans. Much time and love was placed into the design, and I can only hope the fans will enjoy it as much as I do. Now, if you will excuse me I have to finish packing for [REDACTED] Take care everyone!”
With the clothing and packaging in place, Mezco faced yet another challenge, Chucky’s body. In the real world, dozens of animatronics dolls, puppets, and little people in masks bring Chucky to life for films. Each has its own variations. Making the task even more complicated is the fact that Chucky’s look is meant to change over the course of the film as he becomes more human and less doll. Seen here for the first time publicly, are Mezco’s wax sculptures of Chucky’s head and body. The green dust helps to accentuate the details in the green wax. To further the verisimilitude of the figure, real metal staples will be used to hold some of Chucky’s trademark red hair in place, just as it was in the film. “This was by no means an easy task” says Mezco’s Mike Drake, “but our sculptors really did amazing work with the reference photos and videos, and I know Chucky fans are going to be thrilled!”
Backing up this claim is Allan Maxwell aka. Dr. Death, Administrator of PrideofChucky.proboards.com who opines “I’d say Chucky has been excellently replicated down to the last stitch, with a fantastic sculpt. His trademark evil grimace is fantastically recreated with this Chucky replica. His screen accurate clothing is also a nice touch. There’s so many things to consider when recreating the infamous devil doll from hell, all the aspects have to come into account in order to effectively recreate this iconic character. From his twisted smirk to his infamous Good Guy attire. Chucky fans get so few options when it comes to Chucky memorabilia and collecting for these films as the members on PrideOfChucky can tell you, it’s nice to finally have another quality product to add to our hungry collections.” Drake adds “With 11 points of articulation and real glass-look eyes, this is without a doubt the best Chucky available!”
Mezco’s Mega Scale Chucky is available in stores this week and is also available online at finer websites. He has a MSRP of $90 and comes packaged in a window box.
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A writer and PR guy by trade, I’ve been in the business since 1987 when I sold my 1st piece to Playboy. My work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Baby Boomer, Newsweek, Psychology Today, Playboy, Omni, FHM, ASB magazine, and others.
I live in New York and need to stop eating hot dogs from food carts.