5 1/2 Inch scale
By: Toys N’ Things
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.
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.
On the positive side, the Troll Force packaging was pretty sweet. It’s unique to each themed character, so the Viking gets the Medieval Warriors design. It’s a castle backdrop with a door, tons of brightly colored weapons (despite the weapons actually appearing in the sets being more realistic colored) and a fun explosion graphic right where the bubble sits.
It mentions that the card is printed on recycled paper, but they might have well had just said that everything here is recycled, from the figure to the bubble itself. Of course that also means the card and bubble are very cheap and prone to tearing, creasing and generally looking like troll poop. Don’t expect to find many of these in pristine condition.
The back shows off the other figures in the series and reveals the themes and names.
Incredibly, this figure reuses some of the sculpting from Masters of the Universe knock offs like Galaxy Warriors. It’s of the latter variety, with the longer arms. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly who created what in terms of these bodies, but it’s fair to say that they had been recycled dozens of times by the 90s where they ended up as Trolls.
Troll Force has some unique elements to it, as the Viking here actually uses a paint scheme from a Wrestling Champions knock off line, where he was designed to look like Demolition. That’s right, not only is this figure a knock off of Trolls, Master of the Universe, Galaxy Warriors, but also of Ax & Smash of Demolition. We’re reaching critical mass here in terms of knock off.
The paint is a mixed bag, with lots of overspray and missed spots, but it’s a knock off so overall it’s not terrible. As is the design is good, but rather than the black that the Demolition knock offs originally had, this has a more interesting brown. I’m okay with that, but it’s worth noting.
Despite the body being quite good, the head sculpt is a generic ugly troll head. Incredibly, there was no variance here, so all Vikings should have orange hair and eyes. Which to my recollection was the most popular design for “basic” troll figures. The head sculpt basically renders this useless as a knock off collector, because trolls aren’t cool and there’s very little novelty here.
Underneath the head is a newly sculpted neck piece to allow the troll heads to fit. That means this body can’t even be mixed and matched with other knockoff lines. A real bummer, that.
Articulation is the usual for these style of bodies, with neck, waist, arm and leg articulation. The legs are technically on ball joints, but you only get swivels out of them. At least they’re not on rubber bands.
Originally he came with a shield, another weapon and this ax here. Sadly the card stock was so cheap that the bubble popped loose enough that Viking Troll here lost his other two weapons somewhere. They’re knock off weapons that showed up in lots of lines, so it’s nothing worth crying over.
In general, this line comes with some decent accessories.
Packaging – 6
Sculpt/Paint – 6
Articulation – 6
Accessories – 7
Value – 6
It’s hard to judge this line or this figure on your usual merits. Suffice to say, I’m happy with this purchase, but it’s totally a novelty type thing. You can’t work this into Galaxy Warriors or other knockoffs, despite how bizarre they all are. The troll stuff just sticks out too much.
For what it’s worth, the Viking Troll seems to be the hardest to track down in the Troll Force line, so expect to pay more for him.
And while you might think this is the bottom of the barrel when it comes to knock offs, remember that even this line was knocked off by another company with Troll Fighter.