Monday, April 2, 2007

Dam Dolls!





Thomas Dam, a poor Danish woodworker, carved the first Troll doll from wood in 1959. It was an instant success. As the doll’s popularity continued to increase, Thomas began making them from rubber filled with woodshavings. An enormous family business was born. From 1963-1965 trolls were the second biggest selling dolls, right behind Barbies. Other companies copied Thomas Dam’s Trolls, producing cheap imitations that never met the fine craftsmanship of the Dane’s dolls.
How to tell the difference between fakes and the real thing? Look for the ‘Dam’ imprint on the back of the troll, or on the bottom of its feet.
Trolls are said to have magical powers, bringing good luck to their owners. But trolls are only lucky if they are the original, classic Thomas Dam Trolls (aka Dammit dolls or Dam Things).
These little imps are mischievous creatures known to live in caves and under bridges. I write a Yooper mystery series set in the Michigan Upper Peninsula. Up there, what do you think we call people living in Lower Michigan under the Mackinac Bridge?
Yup, they’re Trolls. And proud of it.
I had Troll dolls in the sixties. My favorites were two trolls—a bride and groom. The bride troll had pink hair and wore a white wedding dress. The groom had blue hair (same length as hers!) and wore a nifty black tux.
Tell me, tell me, admit it. You had them, too. Right?

9 comments:

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Of course I had one! And I still smile whenever I see one. Thanks for reminding me how silly and cute they are.

Joanna

Deborah P said...

I had one with red hair with white streaks through it. Since red was my favorite color, it was beautiful! Wish I still had it.

Anonymous said...

Some friends and I have an issue regarding the name of the Troll Dolls. We alwasy knew them as Iggy dolls and many of our friends hav eno idea what an Iggy doll is. Did this name come from and original troll doll by the name of Iggy Normous?

Anonymous said...

I have a lot of them, but only one DAM doll. We used to make them clothes out of felt squares: 2 armholes, a sequin or something, done. Squeeeee

Anonymous said...

I also knew them as Iggy Dolls in the 1960s. Where did the name Iggy doll come from?

ally said...

the name iggy dolls came from one brand in particular, which came out with a certain model called 'iggy-normous'

Anonymous said...

The name IGGY actually came from my dad...Cy Russell. He was friends with the gentleman who invneted it and said he had no name for them. My da said..."They look like Iggy" and thus the name was invented. Sadly..his buddy never gave him anything for it. :(

Anonymous said...

I still have my iggy dolls from childhood and wonder what they are worth as I don't think my relatives are interested in keeping them after I croak.

Anonymous said...

I have a whole herd of them, and an elephant and a donkey. They are all Dam, and I would get one every few months when my Grandmother came to town. I named them all and made clothes for them...Inflammable Flaretop, Pensive Penelope Purple, and on. Years of imaginative environments, play time and conversations to create a whole world for them when I was 10.