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Monday, January 25, 2010

Viking trolls

The Viking is a theme that appears over and over throughout the history of Dam trolls. There is something so intriguing about their horned helmets and lovely details (such as swords, and engraved designs).

I have the following listed by size.

This wonderful Viking couple are Dam's newest addition to its Viking lineage. The lady Viking doesn't normally come with a helmet, so I was very excited to find one who did! (Nothing says "Viking" more to me than a horned helmet :-) ). She has 2 tunic colors available: brown, and a soft green. She is one of the only newer Dams that I've seen that comes with jewelry - she has a beaded necklace on a black elastic string. The male has a removable sword tucked into his belt, and a silver mesh tunic emulating chain mail. He has black straps on his pants imitating the straps vikings used to secure their boots and leggings:

One of my favorite details on this couple are their buttons:

The Viking on the left is a bank from the 80's. They are remaking them now, as well as other animal banks (though the remakes to me are slightly less detailed than the older ones, it is still nice to be able to purchase a Dam animal bank again!). His coin slot is incorporated into the detailing on the back of his helmet. I love his shield with spike! The troll on the right is Sven dressed as a Viking. I've also seen this outfit on a 5 incher. His helmet, shield and sword are make out of a plastic backed fabric instead of plastic or vinyl, making them a bit flimsy (mine's missing his shield). Still cute though :-).

Vintage Vikings

(used with permission)

(used with permission)

The lady vintage Viking is the regular 6 inch, medium sized vintage troll, but with the Viking hat incorporated into her mold (you can see what that would look like without the hair if you scroll down below to the "Redone Vikings" section). Often her mohair was styled in braids, one coming down on each side. The male Viking is his own, unique mold. His helmet and hand-held knife are all the same mold, which is neat. Straps on his leggings are also part of the mold, and are a really nice detail that you don't usually see, since it is often covered by his tunic. The vintage male Viking differs from the newer males in that his mohair surrounds his face, whereas the newer males just have a beard. Both the vintage male and female Vikings had felt tunics that open at the sides, that were held together with a belt. Lady Vikings had a very thin, gold braided belt, and the males had felt belt tied in the front. Some males in Europe were made with a leather belt that had a buckle, like this one (he also has an original tag!), and this one. Their helmets were either painted gold or silver. The lady Viking is more uncommon than the male, but finding either of the vintage Vikings is exciting!

(used with permission)
All original!

Newer Vikings

There are no newer lady Vikings unfortunately (the Lady in the middle is vintage). The males are the same body molds as the vintage male Viking, and come in two endearing faces. They have fun fur beards instead of mohair, and their helmets are airbrushed (whereas the vintage Vikings' were painted). They have felt tunics that open in the front and the sides, that are held together with a rope string. The string has a very cool knot to tie it off.

Ceramic Vikings

I love Dam's ceramic pieces! Here is a Viking with his matching lady. I'm not positively sure that the lady is a Viking (without the helmet or Viking trimmings, its always hard to say for sure!), but since they are a matched set (and not all women were Viking warriors with helmets), I like to think that she is at least his Nordic wife, waiting for him to come home :-).

Dam made a lot of lovely ceramic pieces that were not circulated, including these wonderfully dynamic vikings:
Photo 1
Photo 2

Photo 3

Photo 4
Photo 5
Photo 6

Redone Vikings

(used with permission)
Isn't his beard AMAZING?

(used with permission)
Love this matched pair!

(used with permission)
Such a great Viking hair/beard style!

(used with permission)


  1. Ashley, I appreciate your sharing your vast d-base of knowledge. Where do you learn all this stuff? Anyway, I'm very interested in learning about the American vs Euro produced troll differences, and your post here was fascinating. Can you share any other tidbits, for discerning the telltale signs of a Euro produced troll, from ebay posts by folks who may not know exactly what they're advertising? What I mean is, what are a couple of things to ask a Seller, if they haven't specified, and you suspect you're looking at a Euro-produced troll, but not sure? Thx in advance

  2. I actually started a blog entry specifically about this right after the Viking entry :-). It's called "American vs. European trolls." The main characteristic of a Dam Euro troll is whether the vinyl is "squishy." This mainly applies to Dam trolls, since other companies used different (and often cheaper) vinyls. You can also sometimes tell by just looking at the photo - some trolls have different physical characteristics, like the distinct diamond pattern on the Euro giraffe. Check out the entry above this one...there's some good tid bits there :-)

  3. Hello Ashley,

    what a great Blog about my favourite dam trolls. We've 25+ of them in the house. It all started with a big 608 Dam troll we found in a charity shop. He was naked and his big eyes shouted:"please take me home". He, "Brunhorr" is now the godfather of our Dam family, maried and with children, cousins etc.

    For 10 years now we are traveling with another troll called "Bahh". Its not a Dam but a Uneeda'. We take photo's of him all over Europe. You should see the reactions of grown-ups if you position a troll, take your tripod and SLR camera, let your daughter assist with a reflector etc. Big fun.

    Bahh is OK but if there had been a 608 in the family when we started these photo serie we would have selected that troll. Now we have to be loyal to Bahh even if we had to reinforce him with a metal wire "skeleton" to be ablle to let him stand.

    Anyway, Dam trolls remain our favorite. As a professional photographer I appreciate your great photo's and photoshop work. The best I've seen. Lot's of fantasy and craftsmanship.

    I signed as a follower. I'm #13. Will this bring bad luck? Well 25 trolls in the house will bestrong enough to avoid this.

    All the best from The Netherlands


  4. Regarding the vintage vikings, you say they had helmets painted either gold or silver. Yet there are some that were not painted w/ those colors. I have an original w/ tag that is natural w/ a slight brn airbrushing on helmet horns & even on sword (no hint of any metallic color on either sword or helmet). I ck'd w/ a magnifying glass too.

  5. How cool - I would love to see it :-)

  6. Mark, what a great story! Do you have your photography with Bahh posted online? Lol, I definitely know what you mean when you talk adult's reactions to a troll being your main subject matter ;-). Uneeda's Wishnik trolls are my second favorite brand after Dam. It would be lovely to see the photos of Bahh all over Europe!

  7. Do you happen to know what year the newer Viking trolls were made? I have seen them with 1965 stamped on their foot, but if the vintage ones were stamped 1965 as well, it seems the newer ones had to be made in a different year. Thanks!