Updated: 5 days ago
When you hear the word "Troll," odds are you picture a little creature with a tuft of colorful hair sticking straight up. Whether you grew up playing with the vibrant Trolls or are witnessing the revamp of the franchise with your children, these fascinating figurines have a rich history—there's no wonder why people worldwide collect them!
From the first boom influenced by JFK and his wife to the most recent “Trolls” movies, these charming monsters are here to stay. Understand why millions of people collect these furry friends, the qualities used to determine value, and the different eras with this inside look at collecting Troll dolls.
Trolls Rise to Fame
A father and loving husband, Thomas Dam created the first Trolls figurine out of wood following World War II to entertain his children. When their friends saw the adorable creation, he was inspired to sell his wooden creatures to the other children in their town in Denmark. Customers began commissioning larger projects and toys from there, and Dam's professional toymaking career began! When he was hired to create a Christmas window display, he thought his wooden Santa statue needed something extra—and the original Trolls figurine was born.
When he established his first factory in 1959, he began using rubber rotational molding rather than hand-carving wood, switching to the plastic that Trolls are still made of today. By 1962, the Troll's popularity had spread, and the doll became an international sensation, with Troll memorabilia and accessories being sold around the globe. Even the dip in sales in the '70s didn't last long,when a couple reintroduced the rebranded Norfin Trolls at the 1983 New York Toy Fair. Since then, Trolls have had multiple comebacks in pop culture, solidifying the company's success for good.
The Modern Resurgence of Trolls
Many people grew up surrounded by Trolls figurines and found themselves reeling when a DreamWorks movie was announced in 2013, introducing a new generation of the creatures. With Oscar nominations and beloved actors and singers voicing the characters, the “Trolls” movie (and all of the sequels) was an instant hit, leading to new styles of Trolls memorabilia that the kids of today's age love.
Who Collects Troll Memorabilia?
People of all ages are welcome to collect Trolls, with countless options ranging from the original fuzzy-haired figurines to modern clothing and backpacks featuring the characters from the movie. Whether you're looking for a unique vintage gift for a kid's birthday party or are interested in embracing nostalgia with Troll collectibles from your youth, anyone can join in the fun and collect Trolls!
Are Vintage Trolls Figurines Worth Anything?
A common question asked by everyone, especially if you grew up playing with the furry little folk, is if these Trolls dolls are valuable. While most of the original Trolls figurines can be sold or bought for a few bucks, others can go for hundreds of dollars. Depending on a wide range of factors, such as the year of production or rarity, your Troll collectibles could be worth more than you know!
Rarest Trolls Figurines:
Dam Tailed Troll with Original Tags and Outfit
Dam Tailed Troll with Pink Eyes
Dam Troll Animals
1977 Hawaiian Troll with Outfit
3 Qualities to Look for When Determining the Value of Trolls Figurines
Did you discover a box of your old Troll collectibles when cleaning out the basement? Stumble across the classic bright-orange hair at a flea market? Learn how to determine the value of a Trolls figurine by understanding these three qualities:
1. What Material is the Trolls Figurine Made Of?
When you find a Troll, determining its material helps age it, giving you an accurate price tag. Most collectible Trolls are made from hard vinyl plastic, but some of the earliest ones were made of wood and rubber and have a higher value. And no Troll would be complete without the iconic hair, whether it’s the original Icelandic sheep wool or synthetic!
2. Does the Condition Affect the Value of Troll Memorabilia?
Whether you're collecting Hot Wheels or vintage sports collectibles, the condition can always affect the value of an item—and Trolls are no different. The closer to mint condition a troll is, the higher the price. But if you find one with a few scuffs, don't discount it! Plenty of people collect the furry figurines, even with a few surface issues—it just depends on the type of collector.
3. Are There Different Eras of Trolls?
Trolls have been around for over 60 years, so understanding the difference between the eras of production can help you price a Troll in the moment. The figurines from different eras have distinguishing characteristics, names, and preferences, all of which can influence their value. Some collectors stick to one line, while others will buy Trolls memorabilia from any age.
1960s: The original Trolls, formally known as the Wishniks or "Good Luck Dolls," figurines were sold with the encouragement that children could rub their hair for good fortune.
1983: Dolls were imported to the United States by Eva Stark, who reintroduced them as Norfin dolls and revamped the facial expressions of the Trolls figurines to give more variety.
1990s: Wishstone Trolls were made by Ace, featuring a gem in the bellybutton or ear that the owner could rub if they wanted a wish to come true.
2016: When the movie franchise began, a new line of Trolls merchandise was created, covering everything from figurines to children's stationery to CDs and more!
Trolls Movie Franchise
Trolls is a 2016 American animated jukebox musical comedy film produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by 20th Century Fox, based on the Good Luck Trolls dolls created by Thomas Dam back in the 60.
The film follows two trolls named Poppy (Kendrick) and Branch (Timberlake) who go on a quest to save their village from destruction by the Bergens, giant creatures who eat Trolls to be happy.
This first Trolls movie in the franchise was a huge success both at the box office and critically. It was even nominated for an Academy award for best orginial song. The resurgence in the interest in new Troll merchandise and collector items from the past continues to grow as new Troll movies are released. The lastest Troll movie hit theaters in November of 2023 and the music is fun and the new line of Trolls Band Together toys and games will likely be future collectibles.
2020 Trolls World Tour (Film)
2017 Trolls Holiday (TV Special)
2020 Trolls World Tour (Film)
2021 Trolls Holiday in Harmony (TV Special)
2023 Trolls Band Together (Film)
Selling and Collectible Trolls Memorabilia
Many collectors start their search for Trolls online. Scouring online auction sites, joining forums of like-minded Troll collectors, or starting with modern dolls from an online retail website are all great ways to grow your collection. You can also use these online methods to sell vintage items, whether you own an entire line of vintage Trolls figurines from the '70s or have a couple of old fuzzy friends lying around.
Take your Troll memorabilia collection into your own hands by visiting local flea markets, thrift stores, and antique malls. At our locations, you'll find unique booths and discover hidden gems. Not knowing quite what you'll find is half the fun—comb through each booth for the perfect Troll collectible to add to your collection!
After learning about the decades-long history and the qualities used to determine the value of these vintage Troll collectibles, who could refuse their whimsical grins and vibrant hair? Spark conversation with the lovely employees at our Algonquin, Highland, or Melbourne locations and feel inspired to start a collection of Trolls today!