They say in New York City you can find just about everything. This includes all different types of people, ranging from your average Joe to eccentric types — all with their own hobbies. Accompanying these folks are their treasures and knickknacks which are littered across their households. Many are oblivious to the gems they might have tucked away in their attics or basements but then there are collectors who really value what they own (as unusual the objects may be) and proudly showcase what they have.
For this blog post, I decided to interview Charlie, who is a native New Yorker and has been a huge fan of Chucky and the Child’s Play movies as long as he can remember. He recently has started up an Instagram where you can find pictures of his pride and joy — his Child’s Play and Chucky merchandise collection. Please go check it out if you are a fan of horror memorabilia — there’s tons to see!
J: So, let’s get to it — where do you keep most of your collection?
C: For the time being everything is in storage. I do have some stuff with me in my apartment though.
J: Is it like, stuff you can’t part with?
C: Yeah, well right now I took out my pins…everything in my storage is really accessible to me. Literally when you open the door everything is right there. There is a Chucky doll in the front guarding the storage. He’s at face level.
J: Oh, so you take pictures from the storage facility?
C: Yeah, actually, moving and putting things in storage was what inspired me to start documenting everything. I always wanted to document it for myself and it sucks that I couldn’t do it while I had everything out and decorated in my old apartment. Now if I’m at a store and I see something, I can check my Instagram and be like, do I have this?
J: You don’t think of it when everything is out and set up.
C: No, you really don’t. But now that I started it’s like my collection is with me everywhere I go. (He pulls out a Chucky doll to show me) This Chucky doll is actually a doll from Spencer’s (a variety store in the US) He cost me like $80 and this one has a hard body, there is also a soft body version which is $30. (shows off a Glenn doll) This Glenn here cost $34.99, but he goes for about $600 on Ebay now.
J: I can’t believe it’s worth that much.
C: They had a whole bunch of them in Spencer’s because no one was buying them. They pull things from the shelves and put them away only to be uncovered years from now. I’ve been noticing a lot of collectors on Instagram acquiring things from warehouses and they also sell them at comic cons for 90-130 bucks a piece. These were in like normal variety goods stores and toy stores for like ten bucks.
J: Yeah! I’ve noticed at cons you see things in the package that are really old collectibles and I often wonder, where did they get this?
C: It’s in pristine condition. I imagine there’s some warehouse, hopefully they didn’t destroy them all, but I’m sure there’s thousands of Glenn dolls out there cuz those stores were littered with them when Seed of Chucky came out.
J: You only have one of those right?
C: Of that one, yeah, and I only have two pieces of Glenn in general. One is a family set of toys and then I have the doll. They don’t really make too many Glenns. There are maybe one or two out there that I don’t have. That movie also didn’t do as well.
J: How big would you say your collection is now?
C: Um, it’s pretty big (laughs)
J: An estimated amount?
C: I don’t know, how many pictures are there on my Instagram…
J: And that’s not everything.
C: No it’s not, and I took a lot of pictures — I’m trying not to post everything at once. I feel bad I’m not putting a crazy amount of effort into the Instagram but I want to take nicer pictures down the line.
J: I think you might eventually if this keeps getting more popular and you enjoy it.
C: My Instagram I think will evolve but for the time being it’ll just be all these photos documenting my collection. Some of the photos are from my old apartment when I had everything out.
J: Wouldn’t people be afraid with all the Chucky dolls everywhere when they came over?
C: Yeah, I don’t know why. (laughs and pulls out another doll) I think Dreamrush makes this one, I paid $60 for it. Dreamrush is one of the Japanese companies.
J: Oh, so that’s a Japanese brand doll.
C: Actually I prefer the Japanese brand dolls, Mezco I believe is a Japanese brand and they bought designs of Chucky and Tiffany and manufacture it.
J: I think Japanese products tend to be more detailed. You have quite a few Japanese products, right?
C: I like the Kanji! (Japanese characters) I like how Japanese looks so I love the movie posters too. I have a bunch of movie posters from around the world that I printed and compiled myself just to have in a binder. I put up a video of that before. Eventually, I wanna do individual pictures, comics…
J: When would you say the collection started?
C: My first one ever was when Bride of Chucky just came out in theaters. That was in 1998, I remember I saw that movie with my mom. It was a toy store right across the street called toys and variety or something. My mom and I — our ritual was to go to a diner and then the movie theater together. I saw this Chucky doll in the toy store which I posted and I bought it. (searches for picture and shows me)
J: So that’s from Child’s Play 2.
C: I’m not sure why they had it but I remember it as the day I saw Bride of Chucky and I had seen the Chucky movies since I was 4 or 5 years old. My mother also called me Chucky.
J: Did the movies leave an impression on you?
C: Definitely, I was scared at first and I’d have to have my mom with me. I’d be looking behind me and behind the couch…but it was more like “fun-scared”. I never had nightmares or anything like that. Actually, in my life I’ve only ever had one Chucky dream.
J: What was that dream?
C: It was actually recent. He was just a doll, he didn’t move or nothing…but I knew what he was capable of in the dream. He’d kind of suddenly disappear after that, kind of like in the movies he’d just be gone from where he was. I felt like I was trying to keep him from killing…it was kind of weird, I actually had a little bit of fear, but again it was kind of fun.
J: Yeah that’s just it too, some people love fear. We love watching horror movies and getting scared, we shelve it into a fun area of our brain we don’t actually get scared. It’s like an escape – that’s one of the reasons why I watch them.
C: Yeah, same. Definitely.
J: So love for Chucky started when you were young but when did it become a passion?
C: Like I said I’ve always loved him but I had never really thought about a collection and it just kind of happened. Growing up, I felt like there wasn’t a lot of Chucky stuff but I also wasn’t really looking being a child and all. I don’t really have a time stamp.
J: Why did your mom call you Chucky?
C: It was cause I loved the movies and I’d do crazy shit as a kid. I’d go into the kitchen and take out the knives and run around the house. I’d have like four knives in my hands.
J: Did that ever scare your mom or was she always cool with it?
C: I don’t know, I think she was afraid that I would hurt myself.
J: I’d be afraid of being hurt by you.
C: (laughs) Yeah I guess I was just imitating Chucky but I never had those intentions. Even my older brother tells me that story. Speaking of that time, you know what? To this day nothing beats the experience of watching Chucky on the USA channel around Halloween-time. For some reason they had deleted scenes that the VHS never had and I’d record them each time and I felt like I would get different scenes. They would also have interviews — these are hard to find — and they’d have Chucky commentary with Brad Dourif doing the voice.
J: You have knowledge of all these like, little Easter eggs that any big fan would love.
C: I posted a Chucky book and one fan asked me, they said, “I know it’s a tall task but could you take a picture of every single page?” (laughs) “Oh you could just do a couple at a time.” Do you know what a pain in the ass that would be? But you know what, I did one better and tried looking for the e-book which was insanely hard to find.
J: There’s one out there?
C: There actually is and I tracked it down. I don’t even know how, but I challenge you try to find those files. I sent it to her after but I don’t know if she actually got to look at it yet.
J: And you got the e-book out of this experience now! So, if you really had to think about it — cause we are all attracted to the things we like for certain reasons – to what could you trace back your love for Chucky ?
C: I don’t know, that’s tough cause it’s been with me for so long. My middle name is Jason and you think I’d be more attracted to Friday the 13th – I missed being born on it by a few hours so I was born on Saturday the 14th. (pauses) I guess the concept of Chucky. He has everything, the movie is a slasher, it has voodoo — I believed in the chants as a child.
J: So the magic aspect; isn’t Chucky immortal?
C: He is immortal. Maybe that has something to do with it.
J: I know I love The Exorcist — the religious angle made it taboo to watch in my family. I gravitated towards it because it had to do with the devil.
C: The Exorcist scared the shit out of me. Chucky did but in a different way and I got over it quick. I used to prefer Chucky movies to cartoons when I was a kid.
J: If you had to look at the fan base and identify what the fans love about Chucky, what do you think that is?
C: I feel like a lot of them are really young, believe it or not. Like 20 and below which is surprising because they didn’t grow up with Chucky…
J: I feel like you have to grow up with Chucky because the recent movies were not really big.
C: I guess it could be the parents.
J: You know, there are girls who especially like the character Charles Lee Ray, the serial killer from Child’s Play who is basically Chucky. I think there is something about serial killers that attracts many, many people. There are people who are really obsessed with serial killers and romanticize them. Charles Manson still gets love letters in jail.
C: Yeah, that’s crazy. Charles Lee Ray was only in the movie himself for just a few minutes. (pauses) You know what I just remembered? Ah man, I might regret talking about it!
J: What is it?
C: When I was a kid, right? I only thought of this more recently but it’s the craziest thing. I had anger issues as a kid, at least I think I did. I remember having this like — feeling in my nails, and I got nervous or anxious…I remember I would just pull my nail to the right and…I thought I’d snap and black out. I’d pick at my nails and if I didn’t do it I thought I’d snap.
J: So you just felt that way but it didn’t actually happen.
C: Thinking back, it sounds pretty psychotic, what if I could have grown up to be a serial killer? (laughs)
J: Well I wouldn’t think of it that way. That’s not true because we all cross symptoms with serial killers. At the end of the day, they aren’t these inhuman beasts from hell people like to make them out to be. They’re actually just people and many of us have things in common with them.
C: I did kill a lot of worms when I was young.
J: Do you think when you were younger you felt strange about what you did?
C: No…I’m just glad I didn’t act out when I look back on it.
J: Like I said, serial killers and criminals have had a different experience than us on this earth that has made them a certain way. Many people relate to them because they have that outcast of society/rebel thing going on for them.
C: You know, I’m a certified mental health aid. When I was taking the course I felt like there was a lot wrong with me. While you’re taking the course you start thinking about people you interact with everyday. If you read about all the symptoms you start diagnosing yourself. Everyone is crazy it seemed to me, because we all overlap with these things. For my job at that time I was supposed to be able to diagnose people who need special treatment. Everyone has things that set them apart from others and as you’re learning you realize stuff about yourself too.
J: Many people who major in psychology diagnose themselves in the beginning. It’s really typical. Anyway, moving on from that…could you tell me about your favorite Chucky memory?
C: God, there’s so many. What captivates me is how he’s always able to come back. I think it was in Bride of Chucky where he says “Fine, kill me – I’ll be back, I’ll always be back! But dying is such a bitch.”
J: That goes back to the immortality thing.
C: Yeah, and just recently one of my followers posted a video recently [“of another quote I love”] where Chucky says, “I’m Chucky the killer doll – the most notorious slasher in history, and I dig it!”
J: He’s not human; he’s transcended that and maybe that’s part of his appeal.
C: The Chucky movies actually have a lot of inspirational, everyday things you can live by. Even Tiffany when she came along, she had said “I clean, I cook the dinner and the least you could do is wash the dishes.” That’s some real shit. (laughs)
J: They still have their humanity!
C: I think from Bride of Chucky on is when you see the more human side of Chucky. Where he could be more relatable and stuff, but the first three movies are on a pedestal to me. Who knows what could happen with the new movie coming out? I heard the trailer drops soon.
J: Yeah I heard a little bit about it, Jennifer Tilly was talking about it…Curse of Chucky was really good. I loved that one.
C: Me too. I do miss the old animatronics though which I believe they still had but covered it with a lot of CGI. I remember an aerial shot in Child’s Play 2 where you can see Chucky climbing up a long staircase and he really does look like a live/moving puppet or toy.
J: Well, hopefully with the new trailer gives us promise for this new Chucky movie that it’ll be another great one.
C: Let’s hope.
Thanks for reading guys. Again, remember to check out Charlie’s Instagram which I linked above. (Username is TheChuckyGuy) Definitely give him a follow if you’re interested in seeing what else he digs up!