Troll dolls were a big toy fad from 1963 – 1965. The dolls also called Leprechauns, Dam dolls, Gonks, Wishniks, Treasure Trolls, and Norfins. The story behind the troll doll is that a poor Danish fisherman named Thomas Dan who in 1959 made a troll doll based on his imagination as a Christmas gift for his daughter. Soon troll dolls became popular in Europe. The original troll dolls had sheep’s wool hair and glass eyes, but cheaper imitations came out when the dolls gained popularity.
I bought my first troll doll at Cathy’s Gift Shop in Greenwich Village. It was the size of my fist, and I bought smaller, thumb size ones there too. Most troll dolls came naked with wild colored hair and beady eyes. You could dress them up and create a family of troll dolls. It was said that rubbing the hair of a troll doll brought good luck.
The tiny troll is over fifty years old. She kept her shape!
Someday I hope to go to Scandinavia and bring back an authentic troll doll.