Rewind to 1959 and the sixties: Troll Doll, a product of the ‘60s for the baby boomers of the ‘60s became one of the biggest beloved toy crazes in the United States. Yes, that would be the Troll Doll – originally created in 1959 by Danish woodcutter Thomas Dam for his daughter.
Personally, I have several of them. Flash forward 30 years. The dolls popped up again, this time as a toy craze in the ‘90s. So, I was one of those baby boomers who passed on the tradition, and bought new Troll Dolls for my daughter.
Enter 2016. Once again, the beloved Troll Doll has been resurrected, this time as a major motion picture by DreamWorks Animation’s “Trolls” accompanied by all the merchandising that goes along with a theatrical release campaign. The musical film release date: November 4, 2016, stars Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, James Corden, Kunal Nayyar, Gwen Stefani, Russell Brand and Ron Funches.
Troll Barbie Doll commercial, Mattel, Inc.
Unlike Barbie Dolls (1959) which have stayed a current toy for 50 years and that continue to be hotly sought after collector items, the Troll Doll was not known as a must-have keepsake/collectable item throughout time. Yet, when the Doll was resurrected in the ‘90s, even famous Barbie had to get in on the craze.
Old School is New School
Other retro dolls that come to mind that became cult faves and eventually had full-length, theatrically released motion pictures include: Gumby (1950s), Gumby: The Movie (1995); GI Joe (); and Elmo (1979) and The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland (1999).
I could go on and on about other beloved toy dolls that have resurfaced decades later as mega media enterprises with their own film. But, the point is – old school will at some point in time – always be new school. Simply put, you can’t keep a good thing down for too long.
Gumby – created in 1950s by Al Cloaker. Short TV films ran on NBC in the 50s, before entering syndication in 1959. 1982 saw a Gumby revival thanks to the now infamous skits with Eddie Murphy and SNL gang. In 1995, Gumby: The Movie was released as an independently released theatrical film by Cloaker’s productin company.
Barbie – created in 1959 by Mattel co-founder Ruth Handler. A live action comedy feature film announced in 2014 is currently in production. Sony…
Elmo – originally designed in 1979 by Carolyn Wilcox. Elmo’s most recognizable portrayer was Kevin Clash (1985-2012). In 1999, The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland was released.
Abbe Sparks is the author of Socially Sparked Blog,which reports on the people, brands, places and things that socially spark our lives in the worlds of entertainment, digital, tech & activism. A social media and digital content diva and activist, Abbe has been writing about entertainment, technology and activism for over 20 years. Her newest hat: enrepreneur. Newest venture: founder/editor of Socially Sparked News (launching soon). @asparks01