Prototype = A first or preliminary model of something, from which other forms are developed or copied.
When developing new ideas for trolls, a prototype would be made first to test it out. Not all ideas went on to be produced. Many times the reason for this would be complications due to mechanical reasons, such as difficulty getting it out of the mold. Often prototypes are not airbrushed, or have simple airbrushing, with out eyes and hair. It is really, really exciting to find one - only a very few, if not just one, are ever made.
The following are rare prototypes that didn't make it to production.
This guy is really cool! He has 3 faces that you can change. You twist the orange knob on the top of his head, and it turns his head inside his helmet to reveal the next face. Its a little hard to turn his head - the noses of the other faces impede the rotating process.
The angel is the first prototype that I fell in love with. Her wings are part of her mold, and since she is made to be suspended and flying, she is unable to stand on her own. I was told that her wings made it difficult to pull her out of the mold. The hair and eyes on the angel below are not actually attached to maintain the integrity of the prototype :-).
Søren Petersen (he worked at the Dam Factory for many years) was experimenting with making baby animals. Above is the baby giraffe prototype he made (standing with the dog prototype, reindeer prototype, and rare spotted cow).
The Bee, before and after airbrushing.
This guy is incredibly cute! His eyes would have been probably painted on.
The Viking's head rotates side to side, and the face plate of his helmet comes down. I love how detailed he is!
This little Penguin is just precious. The photo on the left shows his bank stopper, and the photo on the right shows his Dam imprint.
In the 60's they made a really beautiful prototype of a Santa and Reindeer. There's only one of these in known existence.The set was broken up and sold separately several years ago. Sherill became the lucky owner of the Reindeer. For Christmas in 2009, the Dam Company released (to much excitement) a Santa and Reindeer set that was inspired by the prototype (though it looks rather different).
Large Reindeer prototype with rare small Reindeer.
Reindeer with rare Dam riding stick horse head.
The Viking's head rotates much like the Knight's does.
There are an extremely small handful of these young monkeys. They come with both rooted hair (which is more unusual), and regular glued mohair.
Young Monkey with Forrest clothing.
Rooted-haired boy, and another that Stuart remade into a girl.
Young Monkey prototype (in the middle) with other Monkeys.