Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Toylines from a Forgotten Time: The Case of the Hidden TROLL Page

While TROLLing the internet last night, I came across this off-the-beaten path page ( of Battle Troll photography. It's connected to a page of some guy's photography. I have no idea what this guy was doing taking pictures of all these troll dolls, but there they are. The funny thing is, there seems to be no link from the main page to this particular troll page. You just have to sort of already know it's there. Which, coincidentally, is the trick to seeing magical trolls in the real world. The OTHER way to find the hidden troll page is to be googling "Battle Trolls", which I may be the only person in the world doing.
One of the themes that I will soon be developing on this blog is my nostalgia for forgotten toylines, particularly from the 90's. It seems like 80's toy lines get a lot more attention online, but I have to work my butt off to find images or references to Street Sharks or Battle Trolls. But they are something that many people remember, yet no one is writing about (with good cause?). So Battle Trolls, I'm here to do you a service.These things are...hideous. Which is sort of intentional and sort of...not. Looking at them makes me feel funny. But I do hold a special place in my heart for them, even though I never had any of them. They're too dated and too weird to not be worthy of my attention. And besides, they have that certain X-treme TROLLS aesthetic that has been lost to the ages, but kept cropping up in the 90's. For a while there it was like TROLLS TROLLS TROLLS. Seriously, they were like Beanie Babies, I swear. I remember whole corners of mom and poop knickknack shops dedicated to TROLL displays. And I loved it.As toys, they're kind of baffling. They're made to hold accessories, but have NO articulation. I guess they were meant to play like the old wrestling figurines and just be smacked together has hard as possible by little hands to simulate a battle (BATTLE TROLLS). Also, their accessories seem to be a weird mish-mash of day-glo repaints culled from other lines like Swamp Thing and Pirates of Dark Water. Well, that's ok. The trolls were meant to get by on their good looks alone. That and their foofy, foofy, hair. Besides, I think it's against Troll Code to have articulation. Wait, scratch that. I can think of at least two Troll Subsidiaries that were articulated. Also of note is that these were from the time of Ninja Turtles where it was considered appropriate to flesh out a line by having your weird characters simply dress up in what were basically different costumes. Pirate Troll! Ninja Troll! Robot Troll! Anything goes with Battle Trolls!
In closing, Battle Trolls were the G. I. Joe of the 90's. Suddenly some executive woke up, eyes widened and asked "Why do trolls just have to be for GIRLS?" And these hideous manifestations of the 90's were born. But I love them for it. Sure, they can't always aim their weapons, but they were from a time of gross-out toys, and the didn't HAVE to. They just had to make your mom question why you would want something like that. What mom didn't realize is her disdain turned their purchase into a self fulfilling prophecy. They may be ugly, but heck, I sure could go for a few. Personally, I think they would like great lined up in a glass case together. Preserved in time, turning people's heads making them think "Just what the heck ARE those things?" They're Battle Trolls.

And thank YOU Korey Luna Photography ( for letting me steal your images and reuniting the world with these forgotten TROLLS!


Purple Peppermint Yetti said...

dude I totally saw that pirate troll at the good will a few weeks back! I didn't realize what it was or I would have got it.

kgbmidi said...

You're welcome. Glad to see you credited me.

Korey Luna

Lee Knoll said...

Dude yes! I own all of those plus several more!

Lee Knoll said...

Dude yes! I own all of those plus several more!