Wednesday marks the re-release of this decade's version of the collectible Troll dolls that have magically remained in the cultural zeitgeist since their invention in the 1950s.
Originally released in Denmark by a fisherman named Thomas Dam, the grinning hair disasters (that were once pointy eared and properly clothed) were given a new opportunity to torment parent's bank accounts with a new rounded-ear, butt-ass naked look by Russ in the 90s.
If you were cognizant of the world at that time, you'll recall seeing the Trolls literally everywhere, from unfunny novelty t-shirts to tiny pencil toppers to an ill-fated TV show called Trollz. Everywhere, their cute frozen smiles and welcoming open arms haunted us.
"Trolls left the market in the early 2000s after several legal disputes and mis-marketing by U.S. licensors," explains Toy Joy curator Lizzy Newsome, who is planning a full day of in-store celebration for Wednesday. "Because of this, some of the early 60s trolls can be quite valuable. I always recommend checking out eBay. You never know."
But the days of nostalgic collecting are about to get a swift kick to the dimpled rear. Newsome announced to Toy Joy regulars that it is time for another generation to share in the pseudo-pagan/mythical childhood fun of the Trolls. (Oh, and just think of the resurgence in bingo hall good fortune!)
Dark Horse Comics, the largest independent comic book publisher in the U.S., is releasing a new collectible series of Good Luck Troll Dolls this Wednesday that brings these dolls into the 21st century of collecting.
Unveiled first at San Diego Comic Con, the latest collection of the dolls contains 15 new color combinations. "Most customers remember the classic trolls from the 80s, which the Dark Horse release resembles. The main difference is the new trolls come in a variety of skin colors beyond the original peach," reports Newsome.
In fact, the chubby lil' bodies of the latest trolls range from purple to grey to yellow to blue, and their signature updos can be either orange, blue, white, pink, yellow or purple. To up the excitement, the Trolls are all packaged in "Mystery Boxes" so there's no way to predict what color combo you'll end up with.
Clothing, however, is still not an option for these tiny new exhibitionists. "Non-human characters seem to get away with [not wearing pants] a lot. Donald Duck doesn't wear pants, and neither does Kermit the Frog," says Newsome. "I personally like to just put bows in their hair."
If you're up for the nostalgia and the potential risk of hoarding Troll dolls in your basement, Toy Joy is throwing a party on "Troll Day," with giveaways all day long and free rainbow sprinkles on every item sold in the Toy Joy cafe. Troll hair styles are also highly encouraged.
Troll Day kicks off at 10 a.m. on July 25. The shipment of Good Luck Troll Dolls will be on sale until supplies run out.