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Troll dolls

Updated on March 25, 2013

Have you gone Troll Crazy?

Me, you and millions of other people around the world! In 2003, the Toy Industry Association named Troll dolls to its Century of Toys List, a roll call commemorating the 100 most memorable and most creative toys of the 20th century.

Trolls have been a part of folklore forever--as bad and mischievous creatures who lived in caves, in logs, and under bridges. Trolls are believed to be good luck, which certainly has helped the sale of troll dolls--troll dolls can be found in houses, in cars, even at work, purchased with the hope that they will bring luck to their owners.

Troll dolls, originally known as Leprocauns and also known as Dam dolls, Gonks, Wishniks, Treasure Trolls, and Norfins, became one of America's biggest toy fads from the autumn of 1963 through 1965. The troll doll is sometimes mistakenly referred to as a Kewpie doll.

Trolls became fads again in brief periods throughout the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, with as many as ten different manufacturers (such as Russ Berrie, Jakks Pacific, Applause, Hasbro, Mattel, Nyform, Trollkins and Ace Novelty) creating them.

History

Originally created in 1959 by Danish fisherman and woodcutter Thomas Dam, the dolls became popular in several European countries during the early 1960s, shortly before they were introduced in the United States. Dam, a poor woodcutter, could not afford a Christmas gift for his young daughter Lila and carved the doll from his imagination. When other children in the Danish town of Gjøl saw the Troll Doll, they wanted one as well and Dam began selling them locally. The originals, also called "Dam Dolls", were of the highest quality, featuring sheep wool hair and glass eyes. Their sudden popularity, along with an error in the copyright notice of Thomas Dam's original product, resulted in cheaper imitations and knock-offs which flooded the American and North American shelves.

These imitations, also known as Uneeda's Wishnik Trolls, Treasure Trolls, Gonks, Norfins, and other trade names, commonly shared the signature tall hair, lovable face and potbelly. It was not until 2003 that a Congressional law allowed the Dam family of Denmark to restore their original U.S. copyright and become the only official manufacturer once again. A division of Uneeda, a company that made millions of dollars various times by manufacturing Troll Dolls in the U.S., challenged the restoration of that copyright in court. They lost when the court ruled that the Dam Company was the sole owner.

Many people collect trolls; the Dam Troll dolls maintain the highest value. Some collectors have thousands of troll dolls, ranging in size from miniature gumball machine prizes and pencil toppers to dolls over one foot tall.

The troll doll franchise also included The Trollies Radio Show, which was a direct-to-video musical with trolls singing hits, such as "Kokomo", "Woolly Bully", and "Doo Wah Diddy", as well as some original songs.

In 2005, trolls were modernized in an animated series called Trollz, which stars five trolls who live in a world of ogres, gnomes, dragons, and a bit of magic, but who have the same problems to deal as teens everywhere: boyfriends, pimples, clothes, money, school, and figuring out what it means to grow Trollish.

Dam trolls for sale!

Thomas Dam, a poor Danish woodworker, carved the first Troll doll from wood in 1959. It was an instant success. As the doll's popularity continued to increase, Thomas began making them from rubber filled with woodshavings. An enormous family business was born. From 1963-1965 trolls were the second biggest selling dolls, right behind Barbies. Other companies copied Thomas Dam's Trolls, producing cheap imitations that never met the fine craftsmanship of the Dane's dolls.

How to tell the difference between fakes and the real thing? Look for the 'Dam' imprint on the back of the troll, or on the bottom of its feet. Dam trolls had felt clothing that was often riveted to the body (very different than the clothing on the later Russ trolls, which often is made of synthetic fiber and has Velcro closures). Many older trolls are found naked today because the felt was fragile and often disintegrated. Dam trolls should be marked "Thomas Dam" in a circle on it's back.

What does the authentic marking on a Dam troll look like?

Take a look..................

The marking says Dam Troll and is inside of a circle. This marking is located on the Troll's back.

Dam Trolls

Check-out this great collection that includes a How-to video on just HOW Dam trolls are made!

Russ Trolls

Russ Berrie and Company, Inc., sells a wide variety of gift items, including stuffed animals, mugs, picture frames, figurines, and various home accessories through retailers located around the world.

In 1992, Russ Berrie and Company's fortunes got a lift, when the popularity of one of its oldest products, Trolls, first introduced in the 1960s, escalated dramatically. Although they had not been a big seller for many years, suddenly the company's trolls--squishy dolls with rubbery faces and hair that stood on end--were experiencing wild demand. To meet this clamor, Russ Berrie and Company's designers began to churn out hundreds of different troll products, and the company's Far Eastern suppliers raced to keep output high. By the end of the year, pushed by the troll fad, the company's earnings had soared to $300 million.

Applause Troll dolls for sale!

Applause Inc. is a leader in design innovation, marketing year-round gift products for consumers of all ages. The company specializes in plush toys, figurines, and collectibles and is known worldwide for its high-quality, emotionally appealing product lines, featuring the most popular classic, promotional, and collectible characters in the marketplace.

In 1992, Applause released The Magic Trolls Babies, the first product from the company's newly created Toy Division. Magic Trolls Play Friends and Play Sets accessories came next, soon followed by "The Magic Trolls" animated TV special, which debuted during Thanksgiving week 1992

Groups of Troll toys and dolls - These are mini-collections for sale!

What a great way to add to or better yet.............to start a collection than to buy a Troll lot of toys! These toys are used.............and vary in age from vintage to now. Most toys are collected from different sources, cleaned and sorted for you. Some toys may be in need of a more detailed cleaning by you-the collector. Some toys may show wear, this will be stated in each individual ad if applies.

A great way to find that rare toy to add to your collection, and an even better way to 'jump start' a new collection!

Troll commercials

Katrina's Toys

We specialize in Troll dolls!

At Katrina's Toy's we are constantly scouring all of our great local suppliers amassed over the years looking for those coveted and rare Troll dolls, and accessories so that we can offer them up for you in 'one' convenient location!

We are your reliable and trusted on-line source for Trolls!

Visit us www.katrinastoys.com

If you LOVE trolls please sign in!

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    • profile image

      Andrea chavez 2 years ago

      I love the trolldolls and troll babbies

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 6 years ago from Canada

      Ah the trolls...beautiful and I love them. Just make sure your generic module titles are changed to match the theme of your lens (It is a requirement for giant squid too) Best wishes