One of the most iconic, yet potentially least fearful slasher killers, Chucky, emerged in 1988 with the film series Child’s Play. The film follows a possessed Good Guys doll seeking a way to return back to a human body, while leaving murder in his every step. One thing that makes the Child's Play franchise work is the recognizability of Chucky. Because of this, I thought it would be interesting to do some digging to see how this doll represents its generation.
The Good Guys Doll
Chucky is a Good Guys doll, possessed by a killer named Charles Lee Ray. The Good Guys dolls are based off of a cartoon show in the film, although the prop was inspired by the Corky doll from 1987. Fun fact, Corky’s voice actor Edan Gross, also voiced that of the Good Guy in Child's Play! The Good Guys Doll features a striped long sleeve shirt, overalls with various tools on them and red sneakers. He even comes with the trendy shoulder length hairstyle, adored by many men from the 80’s.
In the 1980’s bright colours and turtlenecks were popular, much like the striped sweater worn by the Good Guys dolls. While in some films it appears that the overalls are denim and in others corduroy, both fabrics were major trends in the 1980's. At the time, Wrangler and Levi’s jeans were most popular, with a slightly baggy straight leg fit, true to Chucky’s attire. The tools printed on the overalls reflect the social climate of the 80’s, where the labour force made up the most common jobs at the time. Along with this, athletic shoes were everywhere, specifically Nike and Air Jordans.
The Good Guys doll features bright red sneakers that mirror this trend, with an imprint of tools on the soles to match the overalls. Most people would recognize a Chucky costume on Halloween, as long as they’re wearing overalls and a striped shirt, making this doll's fashion timeless.
Riding the coattail of Cabbage Patch Kids’ popularity in the early 80’s, Good Guys dolls were a hot commodity. Being hard to get is not the only thing that Cabbage Patch Kids and Good Guys dolls have in common, they also share a resemblance in their chubby cheeks, wide eyes and variety of accessories. The Good Guys doll came equipped with a construction helmet and tools, and throughout the film Chucky wields several weapons, including knives.
Fashion can act as a historical timestamp through displaying major trends at the time. The Good Guys dolls from the Child’s Play franchise are no different. Through the use of 1980’s trends in fashion, toys and the social climate this doll acts as a historical piece from the 80s.