For the Love of Trolls
Nowadays, in a sea of electronic playthings, it is easy to forget the past glory of the greatest non-mechanical toys of all time. Think about it—Slinkies, Yo-Yo’s, Matchbox cars, Barbies, My Little Pony—the list goes on and on.
And while all of those toys are legendary and a large part of some of my fondest playtime memories, there is one toy that has constantly been put on the top shelf—out of reach for the reminiscences of our inner child. And that toy is…the Troll.
I love these things—my all-time favorite will forever be rainbow Troll. But I must admit that the older version of me is left a little bewildered by these creatures. Where did the idea for this odd toy come from?
So I did a little snooping. And come to find out—the origin of the Troll is a rather charming tale.
As with all good stories, this one is, in fact, a rags to riches chronicle devoted to creating happiness in the lives of children—but it all began with one child in particular. The creator, a Danish man named Thomas Dam, invented the dolls in 1959 out of necessity: One Christmas, too poor to provide a gift for his beloved daughter, Lila, Dam was forced to craft a present with his own two hands. So he carved the tiny figure out of wood, giving her glass eyes and a head of hair made from sheep wool. Popularity blossomed once the children of their small town took notice of Lila’s new knickknack. Thomas Dam was elated. Little did he know that these impish-looking leprechauns would eventually leap to the forefront of the toy industry.