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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)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Centaur troll

I have been wanting to try my hand at creating a centaur troll, and over the holidays, I finally had the chance to start. I just finished her today, and I'm very happy with how she turned out! :-D

Her jewelry


Long tail :-)


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Preventing damage while storing

Have you ever stored your trolls for a while, only to pull them out and be dismayed by the damage? Moths, fungus, and bacteria can be a huge problem for your collection - even if they are just in a curio! Recently in the Yahoo Damthings group, the subject was brought up, and some great suggestions were given, so I thought I would post it here :-).

Cedar or lavender are both great repellants for little buggers that might decide your trolls look like an excellent meal (plus, they both smell wonderful in different ways!). You can buy cedar picket at Home Depot or Lowe's, and chop it into smaller sizes, or you can get cedar chips and make a sachet. Lavender can be purchased from a local market or online. You can even sometimes find premade sachets of lavender in department stores. I have found online to be the best (or rather, the easiest) source of dried lavender. The added benifit of using lavender is that it is also antibacterial and antifungal. Lavender essential oil can also be used. Though premade sachets of both cedar and lavender can be purchased, its much cheaper to make your own. There are many sites online that tell you good ways to go about making sachets.
Place the cedar or lavender in the box, or in the curio with your trolls, and it will help minimize damage to your trolls.