The true history of trolls goes back many centuries with early Scandinavian legends featuring countless numbers of them. Children are fascinated by such stories as 'The Three Billy Goats Gruff' and most youngsters acknowledge the possibility of a troll lurking beneath that bridge.
Yet although trolls have, for all intents and purposes, been with us for many centuries, very little
is known about early trolls.

Most of us associate trolls with the craze that took over in the 1960s when Dam first introduced vinyl trolls. The look of the modern day troll is also synonymous with that of the Dam trolls.

At first, the Dam trolls were hand-carved creations made by Thomas Dam in the late 1950s. These originals later went on to form the moulds for the vinyl versions which appeared during the 'Sixties. Most young girls of the time were besotted with their little outfits and brightly- coloured flowing hair that made them great to pamper and brush!


The Dam trolls were an overnight success and many other companies were licensed to produce trolls using the Dam moulds. One of the other prominent firms of the time that was producing from the Dam moulds was Uneeda which made the Wishnik line of trolls. These early trolls fetch high prices among collectors today, some even reaching several hundred pounds.

The early animal trolls that these companies produced are even harder to come across and so have gained in value. Some of the animal trolls produced included elephants, giraffes, cows, seals and turtles, with perhaps the most difficult animal to track down being the alligator and the most common animal produced during this era the horse.

 But as with any collectible, high prices will not be realized unless the item is in good condition and also with trolls it is important that they come complete with
their all-important clothing - a nude troll is not nearly as appealing as a clothed version!

Apart from Dam and Uneeda, many other companies created trolls and this can make identification quite difficult for collectors. For example, some trolls were never marked, or only marked with 'Made in Hong Kong' for example. Some of the other names to look out for are Skandia House trolls, Bijou Toy Inc., Diener, Knickerbocker and there were wooden trolls made by a company called Henning. Some trolls, such as those made by Reisler and Horseman, didn't look anything like the Dam trolls. 

The list of manufacturers is long as they all jumped on the troll bandwagon. A little later, Russ began to produce trolls and they created some very good examples which have also become highly sought after.

Some collectors stipulate that they will only collect Dam, others collect all and every troll they can find. 

Not all trolls that you come across will have rigid bodies. Some have vinyl heads and stuffed bodies. And some of the early trolls have rabbit fur hair. There have also been trolls produced as promotional items which become collectable. Burger King gave away sets of trolls in 1993 which today would be worth around a couple of pounds each. Weetos has also run several troll promotions with its packs of cereal. One such set was called the 'Band of Musicians' which had the added appeal of Professor Weeto sporting troll hair!    

   To see just how collectible trolls have become, you need only look on the Internet. Ebay, at any given time, usually has in excess of 200 entries for trolls. One collector was offering his collection of over 1,000 Dam trolls for a staggering price of $25,000! But although the early trolls now fetch good money, troll collecting can still be a very affordable hobby for both young and old. Collectors should also be aware that there was - and still is - associated troll memorabilia such as troll earrings, jewellery, notebooks and folders and salt and pepper shakers to name but a few.

Yet not all troll collectors like the vinyl Ny trolls. A growing band of collectors favours the Ny Form resin trolls. Ny Form is a Norwegian company whose trolls are very distinctive with long crooked noses and only four fingers.

 Love or hate them, where can you find such an original gift?"


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