Based on the bug-eyed, mad-haired dolls, a hit of the ’90s, the musical comedy Trolls will be out in the theatres next month. Here’s four things to know about the iconic figurines.

They’re more than 50 years old.

While Troll dolls are commonly thought to be a thing of the ‘90s, they’ve actually been around since 1959. Their popularity first peaked in the early ‘60s, and demand for them soon spread across Europe and over to the US.

They were born out of love.

Danish woodworker Thomas Dam carved the first doll from his imagination for his daughter when he could not afford to get her a Christmas gift. He turned it into a business when the other children of their town also wanted one.

They weren’t always known as Trolls.

The originals were called Good Luck Trolls. Also known then as Dam dolls, they were of the highest quality and featured sheep wool hair and glass eyes. By the ‘90s, however, Troll Dolls were manufactured with cheaper materials.

There’ve been numerous imitations.

As with anything that becomes a fad, reproductions flooded the market. Many opportunists took advantage of an error in Dam’s copyright notice and it was only in 2003 that copyright privileges were returned to his family.

Image: Nick Foote/

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