Source of good luck
Part of the dolls charm was that it was so ugly - it had huge ears and a pot belly, no forehead and long strands of sheep's wool for hair. Danes believed the dolls were so ugly that you had to laugh at them and if you were laughing, nothing bad could happen to you. Soon the dolls became a source of good luck to people around the world. Initially they were favored by high school and college girls but soon grown men were carrying them around on their travels.
The second popular doll of yhe 1960's, right behind Barbie
United States First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson bragged that she owned one and apparently plenty of other people did as well, as in the late 1960s, Troll Dolls were the second largest selling dolls in the United States.
The Troll Doll was originally known as the "Dammit" doll in honor of its creator, Danish woodcutter Thomas Dam. In 1959, Dam could not afford to buy his young daughter a birthday present and instead carved for her a doll inspired by the legendary trolls which were believed to live in the Nordic forests and would bring luck to any humans who could catch them. Dam's daughter took to the doll and dressed it up and showed it to local villagers. The doll attracted the eye of a Danish toy store owner and soon Dam was selling versions of the doll all over the world, selling more than a million of the in the United States in 1964 alone.
Originally created in 1959 by Danish Woodcutter Thomas Dam, the dolls became popular in a few European countries in the early 1960's, right before they were introduced in America. The originals, also called "Dam Dolls," were of the highest quality featuring sheep wool hair and glass eyes. Their sudden popularity, along with an error made in the (C)Copyright notice of Thomas Dam's original product, resulted in cheaper imitations and knock-offs which flooded the American market. Also known as "Wishniks," " Treasure Trolls," "Norfins" and other tradenames, it was not until 2003 that a Congressional law allowed the Dam family of Denmark to restore their original American copyright and become the only official manufacturer once again.
Troll Dolls in America
Troll Dolls became one of America's biggest toy fads beginning in the fall of 1963 and lasting throughout 1965. With their brightly colored hair and cute faces, they were found in stores everywhere in America. They were featured in both Life Magazine and Time Magazine in 1964 in articles which commented on the "good luck" they would bring to their owners.
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