Knock Off

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

It’s hard to characterize Sungold as distinctly bootleg toys, since the company existed for a long time, marked their product and had many of their toylines legitimately bootlegged. So starting off a new feature on the site about bootleg toys, with a toy that’s not a bootleg in the most direct sense of the term isn’t exactly full of journalistic integrity. But the truth is, Wacky Knockoffs didn’t have the same ring to it and people seem to interchange the terms of knockoff and bootleg pretty freely these days, especially where it comes to Sungold toys.

Skate machine
Sungold produced a ton of Masters of the Universe type knockoffs throughout the 1980’s and into the mid 1990’s with a variety of different concepts. Most were pretty straight forward lines, inspired by the sword and sorcery genre. Naturally it was only a matter of time before wrestlers, mutants and monsters all followed. Today though, we’re taking a look at one of the later releases, which doesn’t really fit into the aforementioned categories very organically. It’s the SKATE MACHINE!

Galaxy Warrior
After years of producing MOTU knockoffs, Sungold freshened up their line with a rather obscure and pretty hard to find late addition to their offerings. A spinoff of the Galaxy Warrior line, it was titled, Galaxy Warrior: End of Time – The Last Battle. The figures were more colorful, reflecting the early 90’s neon craze and offered up a bit more in terms of weapons and armor. Perhaps strangest of all, the line used largely all new sculpts of bizarre creatures that seemed more like Mego Star Trek aliens than He-Man bad guys. Continue reading


Throughout the 80s and into the 90s, many companies produced Masters of the Universe/Wrestling figure knockoffs. These tend to look alike, with some being better than others. Often they sort of resemble a real wrestler or character, but none of them are quite as egregious as this “Hulk Hogan” figure. Bootleg-a-mania is running wild, dude!


The head sculpt here is so blatantly supposed to be Hogan, it’s a wonder that the real Hulkster never sued. The likeness is just as good as the Cocoa Pebbles character that Hogan took to court a few years back. I suppose the real issue would likely be tracking down just who is responsible for making this figure.


You see this toy has no identifying marks. Even if you find one in package, this same sculpt including the Hogan head, has been used on dozens of figures through the years. Wrestling Champions, Sun Gold, Muscle Warriors and various others all seemed to “borrow” the same sculpts from one another. This guy probably comes from the Super Champs or Wrestling Champs line. There were several versions of him.


Unfortunately this Hogan isn’t as good as some of the rest. Phony Hulkster lacks leg articulation. I sort of hate these bootlegs/knockoffs without the leg articulation. It makes them less poseable and it just shows corner cutting. I know, I know, it’s a bootleg. Still I prefer a bootleg with a little pride, ya know?


He’s also considerably smaller than some of the better knockoffs and he’s dwarfed by Remco’s AWA figures. Still I have a place in my heart for little bootleg Hogan figures. I wish they still made these.


Today’s bootlegs tend to be of the Mexican wrestler variety, such as these guys. I’d say around 1996 or so was the last time I saw this type of figure on the market. I’m not sure why they stopped showing up, but I would buy a ton of them if they showed back up in my local dollar stores… Of course, they’d need the leg articulation. A Hulkster that can’t do the leg drop is a deal breaker for me. This Hogan knockoff isn’t too hard to track down in some form or another if you’re in the market for one.


Details are sketchy at the moment, but a new toy line is being created by the guys at Zoloworld. It’s called Warlords and Warriors and it appears to be a retro toy line based on the “knock offs” of Masters of the Universe. Of course, if you’re like me, you see this as so much more.


At 5 3/4″ these toys will rekindle my love for old toys like my Imperial Dragons and my Conan from Remco. Along with a ton of other figures that I mixed right in, including guys from Sungold and the like. While I don’t know what all this line will encompass, I’m hoping it will borrow heavily from that Remco spirit.

I have no idea what all this toy line will include and the figures above are just examples of some of my old Remco loves. However, the concept is sound and I hope it can grow and be successful.

More information can be found at their Facebook page Warlords and Warriors and I can’t wait to see what reveals they have next!


There is nothing wrong with your computer. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are now controlling the transmission. We control the horizontal and the vertical. We can deluge you with a thousand channels or expand one single image to crystal clarity and beyond. We can shape your vision to anything our imagination can conceive. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the deepest inner mind to the farthest corner of Big Lots, it’s time for… TALES FROM THE TOY AISLE!

So this TFTA will be completely themed. I was out this past weekend and hit up some new stores where I noticed a lot of different stuff than I usually cover here at Infinite Hollywood. Which led to me decide that this TFTA would be TRANSFORMERS THEMED! I rarely give Transformers much coverage here, but these knock offs at Big Lots had me quite interested.


First up, check out the Monster King! He’s got several smaller robots that form together to make his larger form. It also looks like he has some arm attachments or something. Of course, I really liked his face.


Yup, not only is he being marketed as a Transformer knock off, but he’s some sort of Mazinger Z Machine Robo Mugenbine bootleg. The Mazinger-esque face is so cool and that really almost made me buy this guy. He was a huge figure on an even bigger card for $10. Eventually his lack of paint aps and my general shrewdness made me decide against it. Anyone know if this based off an actual Mazinger Japanese product, or is a Japanese knockoff as well? Josh B over at CollectionDX was kind enough to point out that this is a bootleg of Machine Robo Mugenbine. Thanks to him and them. That said, I don’t feel too bad not knowing that off hand as apparently even he had to consider it homework when he did his review of one of this guy’s mates… Monster King Review!

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