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The Troll Doll - A Classic Childhood Toy

I enjoy painting fantasy art, going to art shows, creating delicious dishes, being with my grandkids, taking walks, and reading good books.

troll-doll

Trolls Were My Favorite Childhood Toys

My favorite childhood toy was the troll doll. Back in the sixties, the troll doll was a huge fad and I owned many of them. I remember having a collection of troll dolls; all with different colored hair. My best friend would also collect troll dolls since that was the thing young girls did when I was in grade school. They were small enough to carry around in a shoebox. We played with these little dolls instead of Barbie.

I fondly remember all the hours my friend and I played in our bedrooms with our family of trolls. We would take turns between homes every day after school. We would set up a whole troll village in our bedroom using all types of empty boxes we could find turning them into miniature doll furniture and houses. Remembering the days when kids could play with things they found around the house using imaginations and very little money.

We also would take bits of felt and hand sew their clothes. Troll clothes were easy to make. We could also take tiny brushes and comb their hair standing straight up and tie with a bit of ribbon. Ribbon also made great belts to hold their clothes on.

To be honest, I cannot actually remember when we stopped playing with our troll dolls, but I bet boys had something to do with it!

I still have a few of my original troll dolls after all these years. This tiny doll still makes me smile, just as it did many years ago.

Photos by Nancia

60s Dam Troll Doll

60s Dam Troll Doll

Brief History of the Troll Doll

The Troll Doll Began in 1959

Originally created in 1959 by a poor Danish woodcutter, Thomas Dam, for his daughter at Christmas. Thomas carved the troll doll out of wood from his imagination. When the other Danish children saw the troll doll, they wanted one also. Thomas Dam's company, Dam Things, began producing the dolls out of plastic and called them Good Luck Trolls. They quickly became popular in several European countries in the early sixties and then spread to the United States by 1963. They became one of the biggest toy fads in the United States between 1963 and 1965.

The original troll called Dam dolls were of the highest quality including wool hair and glass eyes. Later other toy companies such as Russ and Hasbro made knock-off troll dolls that were not of the same high quality like the Dam troll. The troll doll enjoyed popularity off and on through the decades. There are many people who continue to collect the troll doll and have them in all sizes and different colored hair.

The Norfin Troll Doll is also made by the company Dam Things. Beginning in the 1970s, Dam started making troll dolls called Norfin. There are some differences between the original Dam troll doll and the newer Norfin trolls. They are harder to find today in the United States, but searches online can result in the Norfin troll doll that collectors are looking for.

Photo from Google Images: The 60s Official Site

Trolls have a face "only a mother could love"! I just love their expressions and happy faces.

— Nancia

Are Troll Dolls Making a Comeback?

Trolls are still being used in movies and stories today. I see them depicted in fantasy movies and animated features. The newest "troll" is the Box Trolls movie due out at the end of September 2014. There is also been a rumor rumbling around that there will be Troll movie based on these dolls from the 60's. I am still waiting to see.

UPDATE: 2016 released the new animated movie Trolls. I have not seen it yet to post a review but from seeing the trailers and toys in the local stores they definitely do not look like the trolls of my childhood. However, I do love the bright colors of their hair and hope the story has a good message for children.

Flashback: When I talk to anyone of my age, they all remember the troll doll and owning more than one. I wish I had my whole set but a few did survive my numerous moves over the years. I also hunt thrift stores, garage sales, flea markets and online for the original troll doll that I remember playing with as a little girl.

Retro Troll Dolls or New Troll Dolls?

Collectors Guides

My Trolls

My Trolls

Collecting Troll Dolls

As you can see from this "yellowed" newspaper photo, I was still collecting troll dolls as an adult (way back when)! The caption with this photo reads:

Nancy Johnson, Recreation Coordinator for the City of Rocklin, displays her favorite Christmas toy - Trolls. She has everything from a baby troll to holiday trolls. Christmas seems to bring out the child in all of us.

Not too long ago in 2009, Dam Troll celebrated it's 50th anniversary of producing the troll doll. Collectors including myself are always on the look out for one of the original Dam troll dolls from the early sixties. I have found one recently at a yard sale for very little money. Beyond the value of a collectable troll, owning an original from the sixties means more in wonderful childhood memories than what it might be worth in monetary value.

Photo courtesy of The Rocklin Herald

Troll Collectors - Look Here

Newest Trolls - 5 for $1 at Thrift Store!

Newest Trolls - 5 for $1 at Thrift Store!

Newest Trolls - 5 for $1 at Thrift Store!

Box Trolls Trailer #2

My Box Troll Movie Review

By now many if not all of you have had a chance to see the Box Trolls Movie released in late 2014. I was really looking forward to this animated movie and was anxious to see how they made the trolls. Take a look at this movie trailer clip to see a little bit of how they did the stop action filming.

This animated movie is different from most of the animated movies coming out today. I really enjoyed the retro look and coloring of this film. The effect is almost on the theme of "steampunk" which is usually set in the late 1800's to early 1900's. The clothing of the children makes me think that this is the time period the film makers were going for.

I found the Box Trolls to be endearing in their own ugly way. They begin with us thinking that the trolls are evil and bad and then we find out that this is the opposite. You will be surprised to learn who the real villains are and how the main character saves the village. I found the message to be typical of most fairy tales with a happy ending.

My opinion is that I feel most children today would find this animation a little slow moving and may not relate to the time period depicted in this film. I would recommend this film to adults who enjoy the classic time of the "turn of the century" with a British feel.

Please share your favorite childhood toy:

Nancy Johnson (author) from Mesa, Arizona on May 10, 2016:

Wilma, thank you for the information on your collector dolls. I am not able to add to my collection at this time. I hope another Troll Doll collector can take them off your hands!

Aibrean82 on January 31, 2013:

I had one of these, growing up in the 80's. In fact, I still have him since I find it very hard to give him up... Definitely one of my favourite toys!

Nancy Johnson (author) from Mesa, Arizona on October 10, 2012:

@LiteraryMind: You are welcome! Weren't they just so much fun?

Ellen Gregory from Connecticut, USA on October 10, 2012:

I had forgotten about these -- I wonder where mine is? Thanks for the nostalgic walk.

Scanabella on September 14, 2012:

Now I want to start collecting again! Awesome little dolls!

Irrevocable on September 01, 2012:

I had one of these when I was little...I miss my troll - have no idea what happened to it.

Kristen from Wisconsin on August 25, 2012:

Trolls must have made a comeback in the 90's because my sister and I had tons of them! We also enjoyed playing with them as well. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

Nancy Johnson (author) from Mesa, Arizona on August 13, 2012:

@LoriBeninger: You are welcome for the memories. I feel the same way when I look at my little trolls from years past.

LoriBeninger on August 12, 2012:

I loved my troll dols and still own several vintage ones including my very first! Thanks for the memories.

Nancy Johnson (author) from Mesa, Arizona on August 12, 2012:

@RichLeighHD: Very creative. I bet you could start a new style of trolls.

Nancy Johnson (author) from Mesa, Arizona on August 12, 2012:

@pawpaw911: I am glad that I helped you remember trolls. I bet you saw lots of them at school. They are small enough to travel.

Nancy Johnson (author) from Mesa, Arizona on August 12, 2012:

@banapple: Oh brothers, they can be trouble! Its not too late, ha ha. I love how the trolls came with all colors of hair.

Nancy Johnson (author) from Mesa, Arizona on August 12, 2012:

@Zodiacimmortal: Thank you for adding this lens to your favorite lenses. I really appreciate it.

Nancy Johnson (author) from Mesa, Arizona on August 12, 2012:

@Elsie Hagley: They do have a face you just have to love. I am glad to share the memories.

Elsie Hagley from New Zealand on August 12, 2012:

My Grand children loved the trolls, I was always fascinated by those faces. Thanks for sharing, brings back nice memories.

Kerri Bee from Upstate, NY on August 12, 2012:

I had a ton of these. I used to get them at the arcade when I turned in my tickets.

Kim from Yonkers, NY on August 12, 2012:

I have a surfer one & CHeerleader one.

I've added this to my Favorite Lenses lens

banapple on August 12, 2012:

I had so many favorites. Waterfuls, cabbage patch dolls and I also had tons of troll dolls with different colored hair. My brother cut all of their hair off, though. Did the same with my barbies. Should have got him back for that!

pawpaw911 on August 12, 2012:

I kinda forgot about trolls. They were big when I was in middle school.

RichLeighHD on August 12, 2012:

I absolutely loved trolls! As I started getting a bit older though I started giving them haircuts and 'dying' their hair with pen.... So if I were to look through my old things I'd no doubt come across a couple of skinhead trolls and a few with dodgy dye jobs...

anonymous on August 12, 2012:

I still like Trolls they are great

Nancy Johnson (author) from Mesa, Arizona on July 26, 2012:

@TamaraG LM: I remember Pound Puppies! So cute and so soft. My sons had a collection of them.

TamaraG LM on July 26, 2012:

I loved Pound Puppies!

TamaraG LM on July 26, 2012:

I loved my pound puppies!