Troll dolls were created in 1959 by Danish fisherman and woodcutter Thomas Dam. Dam could not afford a Christmas gift for his young daughter Lila and carved the doll from his imagination. Other children in the Danish town of Gjøl saw the doll and soon wanted one.

Dam's company Dam Things began producing the dolls in plastic under the name Good Luck Trolls. It became popular in several European countries during the early 1960s, shortly before they were introduced in the United States. They became one of the United States' biggest toy fads from the autumn of 1963 to 1965. 

The originals were of the highest quality, also called Dam dolls and featuring sheep wool hair and glass eyes. Their sudden popularity, along with an error in the copyright notice of Thomas Dam's original product, resulted in cheaper imitations. 

The Dam company never stopped its production of trolls in Denmark, where they were always a popular item. In the late 1980s and into the 1990’s, the Dam trolls started making another comeback across the US, Europe and New Zealand. 

In 2013, DreamWorks Animation acquired the intellectual property for the Trolls franchise from the Dam Family and Dam Things and became the exclusive worldwide licensor of the merchandise rights, except for Scandinavia, where Dam Things remains the licenser.

In 2003, The Toy Industry Association named troll dolls in its Century of Toys List, a list of the 100 most memorable and most creative toys of the 20th century.

Two Trolls

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