Squid Game and the origin of the 1,2,3 star doll: an old acquaintance of Korean babies

Squid Game, the Korean TV series that is conquering Netflix audiences by surprising the streaming giant himself, so much so that the same creator of the show now seems intent on making Squid Game 2, has among its most recognizable “protagonists” the ruthless and disturbing giant doll of “1,2,3, star”.

The most distressing thing, however, is that the robot doll in the show – even recreated by Netflix itself in the Philippines – is inspired by a very popular character in South Korea, especially among children.

The origin of the Squid Game doll

To reveal that the robot child with pigtails that populates the nightmares of viewers belongs to the cultural heritage of an entire generation of Koreans was Jung Ho-yeon, the actress who plays Sae-byeok in Squid Game.

Guest of the Tonight Show by Jimmy Fallon Along with other cast members, the South Korean actress and model explained that the Squid Game doll is inspired by a famous illustration featured in Korean school books from the 1970s and 1980s. Chulsoo and Younghee were two kids who accompanied the children’s years of learning and who, even today, are remembered by young women and men.

When we went to school in South Korea as children, there were these characters in the textbooks, one is a boy and the other is a girl.

The boy’s name was Chulsoo while the girl was called Younghee, and it is she who inspired the game’s giant doll.

It is not the first time that we talk about the origin of the Squid Game doll, since previously the art director Chae Kyung Sun had explained to Netflix Korea how he found the inspiration:

We referred to Cheolsoo and Younghee’s illustrations from textbooks from many years ago when we made the robot.

Squid Game plot

Netflix describes the TV series that debuted last September 17 on the streaming catalog:

Hundreds of individuals struggling with financial difficulties and short of money accept a strange invitation to compete in children’s games.

An inviting prize awaits them, 45,500,000,000 won (about 33 million euros), but the stakes are mortal.

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