For more Dam troll pictures, go to my Flickr page !

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Happy Halloween! 2010

Queen of the Night, escorted by Dracula


Trick or Treat!

Witches and Fortune Teller

Darling Halloween Girl

Halloween Girls with Norfin Witch

Death with Draculas

Frankensteins and company

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My troll STINKS! How to fix...

Sometimes, time (or previous owners) has not been kind to trolls. Its so sad to excitedly get a new troll, only to find that it STINKS. I'm talking about the prevasive type of stink, that does not wash away with a simple bath. How to get rid of the bad smell is a good question that pops up on the Yahoo Damthings group every now and then. I wanted to post some of the great advice that has been given to help the situation.

Mostly, time and fresh air will be the ultimate healer, but here are a few things you can do to lessen the smell:

  • Replace the hair. When hair is damaged enough to have such a horrible smell, it often will not come out. Try washing it first, and if it is still bad, its better to just replace it.
  • Soak the troll in efferdent tablets overnight. They smell minty fresh in the morning.
  • Bury the troll (sans hair is best) in clean kitty litter, and leave for a while. One Damthings member left hers for a month, and he came out much refreshed. 
  • Stuff the troll full of febreeze. You have to remove the hair in order to access the inner cavity. This helps to a lesser degree, but any little bit helps!
  • Bleach the troll (sans hair).
  • Boil the troll in RIT dye (though only if you want to change the color of the troll).

Friday, March 12, 2010

Horse Trolls

Dam Horse Trolls

Horses are definitely some of my favorite animal trolls! I love them so much, they tend to be a reoccurring feature in my troll art:

Dam horses come in two different sizes: the larger, 6 inch (7" to the top of their ears) Limited Edition horse, and the mini, 2.25 inch horse.

Limited Edition Horses

Dam had ceased making animals. In the 90's, Dam briefly produced a limited number (only 400 each) of 4 animal trolls (lion, large horse, elephant, & cow) that were based on their old, 1960's animal molds (except for the L.E. Horse - they weren't made in the 60's). They were only sold to Fan Club members at the time. L.E. animals came with a round, gold tag with the DAM logo on one side, and "Limited Edition" on the other. The horse was the only L.E. animal that had real mohair (the others had fun fur).

They came in two colors: Bay/Tan and Gray. They have brown airbrushing on their hooves, foreheads, cheeks, and along their spine. A slight orangey airbrushing was applied to their feathers (longer hair around their feet). Both colors have brown eyes.

Out of all the L.E. animals, the horse is the least common.

Mini Vintage Horses

These little darlings were made in the 60's, and seem to be very popular with collectors :-). The most common little horse troll is Bay/Tan, with orange airbrushing on the hooves, ears, & cheeks (though the cheeks are sometimes a pink blush instead). An uncommon horse color is chocolate. They have darker vinyl, and brown airbrushing.

Regular horse color with chocolate horse.

Chocolate pony

The most common eye color for the mini horse is amber. There are some little horses with different colored eyes (like the little horse with pink eyes below), but they are few and far between. Little horses also (for the most part) came with more natural colors for their mohair (white, black, tan, peach, yellow, brown, salt & pepper), but just like with the eyes, there are some uncommon ones with more wildly colored hair.

Mini pony to the left has his original (and unusual) pink eyes.

Little horses also sometimes came with felt saddles. They were very cute, and often had a felt heart on the sides.

(I'll try to find a photo of the saddle... :-) )

The L.E. horses do not have a Dam imprint, but the mini horses have 2: one on the bottom of their back, left hoof, and one on their tummy.

Dam Danish Horse Troll

There is a version of the mini horse that is more uncommon. It has the "squisher" version of vinyl (often associated with trolls made in Europe), and has an articulated head (whereas the regular mini horses' bodies were all one mold). Its airbrushing is darker, though sometimes he has white airbrushing on his nose. The Danish pony also has short, bushy mohair, while the regular pony has long, straight mohair. The ears are also a bit different; larger, more pointed, and perked up more than the regular mini.

Danish pony head, Danish pony, and regular pony with original tag.

This poor little Danish pony lost his body! So his owner Sherill got in contact with Soeren, who works at the Dam factory, and he made her a new body! (Isn't that nice??)

New body without tinting or airbrushing. A very "fresh-out-of-the-factory" look to it :-).

See how different the two skin tones are?

After dying and new mohair! Doesn't it look fantastic?!

Newly redone Danish pony outside with regular mini pony.

This photo shows the difference between the ears very nicely.

Rauls Horse Troll

Until a recent influx of minty Rauls animal trolls from Argentina, the Horse troll was one of the harder-to-find animal trolls that Rauls made. Like most Rauls animals, it has rabbit fur, but unlike most, it does not have the string attached to the top of his head. Its tail is part of its mold instead of hair/fur, and its made of thinner, softer vinyl. "Made in England" is on its tummy.

*All the photos in this post have been used with permission.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Photos of Thomas Dam

Thomas Dam
Creator of troll dolls

Piggy Piggy Trolls

Dam Pig Troll Banks

In the 1980's, Norfin started producing animal banks, the Pig being one of them. They came with little, plastic keys that unlocked the stopper in the bottom, enabling you get remove your coins. Dam has now re-released and are producing many of the animal banks again, including the 3 poses of Piggy banks.

In the 80's there was also a larger size of Pig bank:

(Older, large sized Pig bank with newer Pig bank)
I love these two together :-)

The newer keys tend to be blue, the older ones were white.

Stopper and Dam imprint:

They also produced a brown version!
(photo coming soon!)
This guy is neat! And extremely uncommon!

Norfin's Ark / Troll Family

Dam made little troll animals, in America known as the "Norfin's Ark" line. In Europe they came in packages labeled "Troll Family." The little pigs came in two different positions (one sitting with their front feet on the ground, the other sitting up with their front feet pressed together by their chest), and were named Claiborne & Montague Pig. There were albino animals made as well, and are more uncommon than the regular colors.

(photo coming soon!)

Rauls Pig trolls

I think the Piggy trolls made by Rauls are some of their cutest :-). Like other Rauls animal trolls, they are covered in rabbit fur, and have strings attached to the top of their heads. Sometimes they have white airbrushing on their nose, ears, and feet, and sometimes not. I've seen them in both natural coloring, and wild coloring (like my yellow one below).

(Rauls Pigs in front, with Dam Pig banks in back)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

American vs. European trolls

I've always found it fascinating that the same type of troll can look so different depending on where it was made! So I wanted to create a running blog entry on the differences between these trolls (which can mainly be put into the broad category of American vs. European), and update as I find examples :-).

The trolls found within this entry will mostly be vintage. During the Norfin era (80's and early 90's) and later, the Dam company had been able to regain their copyrights, and had more control over the general look of their trolls, and who sold them.

There are a few differences between American and Euro trolls that tend to happen across the board, so I will list them here to avoid being repetitive:

American trolls tend to be made of a hard vinyl, whereas Euro trolls tend to be made of a "squishier," softer vinyl (this is a very classic tell tale of European trolls)

European trolls (and I say this from an American stand point ;-) ) are more difficult to find, and therefore sometimes can be a bit more expensive. This is mainly true for animal trolls.

American vs. European Iggy

The lovely green girl on the left was made in America, and the pristine girl on the right comes from Argentina, but is a beautiful example of the European Iggy.

American: came in a variety of colors, the most common being amber.
Euro: larger, plastic or glass eyes of a dark, reddish amber color, or orange, that are a bit more flat.

American: soft pink blush on the cheeks.
Euro: very red blush on the cheeks.

Skin Tone:
American: has a lighter tone.
Euro: has a darker, slightly reddish tone.

The Euro Iggy is a big larger and stockier than the American, with a wider head.

American vs. European Girl, Medium size (~5-6")

When doing comparisons, I like to try and stick to the original felt outfits. For the vintage medium size, I realized I don't have an American in original outfit! So I flanked my European girl with the two sizes of the American medium troll, and underneath put a photo of the American original outfit that came from an old troll brochure.

American: was either in glass or a flatter, plastic spiral, and came in a variety of colors.
Euro: glass in a dark amber color.

American: soft pink blush on the cheeks, if any.
Euro: more red blush on the cheeks.

Skin Tone:
The Euro has a bit of a darker skin tone.

American: came in two medium sizes: 5" (the Go Go girl on the right) and 5.75" (the Ballerina on the left)
Euro: came in one size: 5.75 inches, and has a larger head.

Same jumper, but the American medium size did not come with a shirt, whereas the European did.

Medium trolls from New Zealand:

Medium trolls from New Zealand are interesting, and aren't as easily found. They use the boy's mold for both genders, and have squishy vinyl like Euro trolls, but have a lighter skin tone (sometimes bordering on very pale). Their outfits are similar to the American's, but the girl has buttons, and the boy has shorts instead of the usual one-strapped overall, and a vest tied with a ribbon. The girl also has a ribbon bow in her hair, instead of a bow made of felt. Their eyes are dark amber, and made of glass, similar to the European's. Their hair is more kinky, with a rougher texture than the Euro or American's soft mohair, and is most likely sheep's wool.

Foot imprint:

(used with permission)
A very nice, matching pair. Click to see larger!

American vs. European Giraffes

Though I already defined the differences of the giraffes in another entry, I decided to rewrite the information here. Its good to consolidate :-). In the photo above, the European giraffe is flanked by the two sizes of American giraffes.

American: amber
Euro: brownish, dark amber

American: fuzzy orange spots, ears, horns, and hooves.
Euro: has a more distinct brown, diamond pattern.

Skin tone:
American: usual lighter skin tone.
Euro: darker, more brownish skin tone

Hair color:
American: came in several different colors (peach, white, brown, black).
Euro: brown or black.

American: came in 2 sizes: the larger 12.5 inch giraffe (white hair on the left), and the smaller sized 11.5 inch giraffe (my sweet girl with replaced pink hair with black tips ;-) ).
Euro: tends to be the larger 12.5" size

Danish Horses vs. Regular Horses

(used with permission)
(Danish horse head, Danish horse, and regular horse troll with original tag)

(used with permission)

Major Difference: articulation
Danish: articulated head
Regular: body all one mold

Danish: short and bushy
Regular: long and straight

Danish: more "squishy"
Regular: harder variety

The ears on the Danish pony are a bit larger, pointed, and are perked up more than the regular pony's.

Danish: Tends to be similar to the Chocolate pony (darker airbrushing), and sometimes the Danish pony has a bit of white airbrushing on his nose.
Regular: Lighter color: orangish airbrushing, Chocolate color: darker/brown airbrushing

(used with permission)
Beautifully restored Danish pony flanked by 2 regular horses (see how his head can turn?)

(used with permission)
Good reference for the difference in their ears.

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)