Weird Fighting Trolls From The 90's
Born in Denmark in the 50’s, troll dolls have been popular on and off for multiple decades. In the 90s, like many fads, they became popular again but they were mainly geared towards the female market or at least they were mainly bought by girls. Hardened, battle ready kids never really cared for them as they lacked weapons and fire power. Because of some complicated patent bull shit meaning that troll-like dolls were public domain. Big time toy creators such as Playmates, Tyco and Hasbro saw a gap in the market and decided to jump on the big haired bandwagon.
Watch the Video Review and Battle Trolls Unboxing
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Turtle Trolls
Playmates gave the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles the troll treatment in 1993. God only knows why. File them under farmer Turtles for irrelevance. Not much to say. They are Turtles with troll hair. For some reason.
Troll Warriors by Tyco were a pretty average bunch of brightly coloured figures. Pretty chunky in appearance they looked like they could take a beating and stand up to some abuse. No play sets or accessories were available and the figures were pretty similar to each other. They were given Scandinavian sounding names with personality trails like Bjorn the Brute and Finn the Free Spirit in an attempt to give them personality. Tyco could have done better though. The line was made between 1992 and 1993 comprising 12 figures. Tyco also produced a girl targeted version called Magic Trolls which even crossed over in an animated VHS special.
Hasbro gave us Battle Trolls in 1992. These confusing dudes had personas such as Sgt. Troll, a spoof of Rambo and Trollminatior, a spoof of..well you can guess. The spoofs lacked continuity though as there were just random ninjas and pirates thrown in. The figures were more chunky and Troll doll like and shared some accessories with Hasbro’s Bucky o’ Hare line.Despite this, the figures weren’t half bad. Like a more imaginative Troll Warriors with some cool accessories and add ons to buy.
Special mention goes to the Stone Protectors by Ace Novelty in 1993. Backed up by a pretty decent 10 Episode TV Series and a SNES game they were marginally successful. These guys were less less troll, more rock band with stupid hair but they the influence was still there. They made for some great figures with some even better vehicles. Mortar launching golf cart anyone? It was clear that they hoped to be the new Turtles but just didn’t quite have the charm. There was even a ‘sports’ series of figures just like TMNT. The coolest thing about the figures is that if you rotate the right arm their stone sparks. Cornelius would make a really cool lighter!
The amazing Troll Force is my favourite because of how awful and unsettling they look. These low budget affairs are modelled on what looks like the body of He-man. The same body of He-man. On every figure! They are just too human looking to work. That’s why I love them. Pure bootleg weirdness.
By 1996, a change in patent law in the USA meant that the copyright was awarded back to The Dam company whose founder, Thomas Dam, created the Trolls originally. Goodbye weird bootleg trolls.
The Troll IP is now owned by Dreamworks who created a whole bunch of pink shit with it and a movie that we don’t care about.
Feature image is from the Troll Hole museum in Alliance, Ohio.