Monthly Archives: April 2015

Comics have provided fun, entertainment and excitement for many generations, having become hugely popular over the decades. The world of comics – and the exciting and memorable characters – has become a global phenomenon, particularly over the past few decades. This is because comics have proven to be hugely influential in a variety of industries, with the characters now appearing on the big screen, the small screen, and even in the games that we play.

Spiderman
Some of the industries in which comics have been influential:

There are a number of key industries in which comics have had a huge influence over the years, and this has led them to become popular amongst a wide range of age groups and audiences from kids and teens through to the older generation that grew up with these comics. Some of the industries in which comics have really made their mark include:

The movies:

Over recent years, there have been more and more movies based around comic book characters. These have proven immensely popular, with many breaking box office records around the globe. From the extremely popular Spiderman, Batman and Superman movies to more recent franchises such as Iron Man, there have been many comic based movies that have become huge global hits.

TV series:

It’s not just the big screen that has been graced by comic book characters over the past couple of decades. We have also enjoyed watching some of our favourite character brought to life on the small screen, with a number of television shows and series based on them. This includes series dating back to the 1950s and 1960s, such as Captain Pugwash through to more recent shows such as The Crow: Stairway to Heaven, The Mask animated series, and Night Man amongst many others.

Games:

Comic book characters have also infiltrated the world of games, with both video and even casino slot games based on them. Gaming sites such as Uptown Aces have lots of comic book character games. These include a wide range of slot games such as Captain America, the Incredible Hulk and Iron Man amongst others. There have also been many video games based on these characters, including Batman, Hellboy, and Spiderman to name but a few.

There is no doubt that some of our favourite comic book characters have helped to bring excitement and fun to a variety of industries. These characters have been given a new lease of life through their popularity in the world of television, movies and gaming.

Troll Force Viking 1

Troll Force
Viking
5 1/2 Inch scale
By: Toys N’ Things
Price Varies

Troll dolls first came to popularity in the 1970s, where a handful of hippies and stoners would place one on their wall. Apparently they were actually invented all the way back in 1959, but for all intents and purposes, Trolls didn’t really exist until sometime in the mid 1990s. You see, up to that point, troll dolls were likely the least popular holdover from the 70s. But sometime in the 90s, some kid found a troll doll and he told another kid it was cool and suddenly we were off to the races!

If you weren’t alive during this period, you might look back on troll dolls and think they were some brief phase that wasn’t a big deal. Of course, you’d be wronger than humanly possible. You see, the troll craze was huge. 1,000 times more popular than He-Man, Beanie Babies and Pokemon combined. I’m not kidding either. Trolls suddenly just appeared overnight EVERYWHERE! And everyone collected them.

Troll

Adults bought them. Kids bought them. Hot teenage girls bought them. EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN THE UNITED STATES (and quite possibly the world) WAS OBSESSED WITH TROLL DOLLS! Why were troll dolls so popular? I can’t say for sure, but I know manufacturers loved them because you could make 100 troll dolls for about a nickel and then resell them for at least three times that. All you had to do was slap some new hair on one and BOOM, new type of troll doll. Even though there were “official” Troll dolls, there was no copyright on the troll design, which meant everyone made trolls. Millions of trolls, of every shape, size and variety.

Eventually they started putting clothes on troll dolls. Then they’d add little gimmicks to them. Even if you didn’t want to collect troll dolls, you were forced to because it was virtually the only toy being sold at the time. I’m not kidding. I cannot understate how much troll dolls just infiltrated every facet of childhood life in the 1990s. This led to Hasbro and Ace Novelty releasing honest to goodness Troll “action” figures with Battle Trolls (“They’re outta conTROLL”) and Stone Protectors. The latter of which ended up with a cartoon, video games and god knows what else.

So naturally, someone would knock those off. At this point troll dolls had reached maximum saturation, with even gumball machines being filled with trolls. This led to the good folks at Toys N’ Things to create Troll Force! The subject of today’s review.

It’s hard to say exactly what Troll Force is. Are they a team? Do they fight each other? Do they all live in one big hippie commune? All I know is that they released 12 different figures in six different themes. Each theme had two figures. Today’s review is of the Viking, from the Medieval Warriors (labeled as just Warriors on the back of the card) theme. His partner in crime (or enemy?) was the Roman figure.  Continue reading