Ohio is Home to the World's Largest Troll Collection
Ohio's Troll Hole Museum Showcases a Collection of Unique Troll Dolls
By Sierra Sumner
If your childhood was like mine, you remember the neon hair and glassy-eyed troll dolls. These small plastic toys were spotted everywhere and had distinct features of a short body with an enormous head of hair on top.
They are also known as "good luck trolls" in the States. In the United Kingdom, they are also known as "gonk trolls."
Now you can come see your childhood favorites--visit the Troll Hole Museum in Ohio, where they have a Guinness World Record for the largest troll doll collection. The museum also features over 10,000 + troll items with scenic backdrops featuring waterfalls and a sculpture garden.
"If it looks like a troll, smells like a troll, acts like a troll and can be legally sold, then this is the place to get it," says the Troll Hole.
These troll dolls were originally made in 1959 by a Danish woodcutter named Thomas Dam. He originally made them for his daughter carved from his imagination; the demand for the toys grew when other children saw his work. The original troll dolls were made with sheep wool and glass eyes.
They became extremely popular in the United States in the 1960s. These toys became of the largest to fads in these years and cheaper imitation were made as opposed to the original sheep wool and glass eyes doll. After the sixties, the dolls' popularity grew and shrunk from 1970s to the 1990s.
In the 1990s, the trolls became featured on various video games and gained it own video shows. During the nineties, the troll doll showed up in the Disney/Pixar film Toy Story, then subsequently in Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3.
This year, Dreamworks releases its movie about these troll dolls in the movie Trolls. It features Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Zooey Deschanel, Russell Brand, James Corden, and Gwen Stefani.
Troll Hole and DreamWorks Disclaimer
Since DreamWorks is producing the movie Trollz, the Troll Hole Museum has released a disclaimer about the affiliation between the museum, the origination of trolls, and the new movie.
"The Troll Hole is a privately owned entity and its owner has been involved in collecting and sharing trolls going back to the early 1960's, more than 30 years before DreamWorks ever came into being or thought about trolls."
The Troll Hole Museum comments that "DreamWorks has done a wonderful job at bringing 'Trolls' to the public as a toy, but trolls are, in fact, an ancient mythological creature dating back to antiquity, with the first written record of the word "troll" being found in the manuscript of the ancient book 'Edda', an account of Norse mythology. To learn the true story about trolls, visit the Troll Hole Museum, Alliance, Ohio."
The Museum and Art Emporium
The museum has daily guided tours with the last one starting an hour before their closing time. Reservations are recommended.
The guided tour covers the rich history of the toy, from its ancient mythology to the modern toy. It also includes waterfalls, troll grotto, troll bridge, a 10" troll mountain and the Guinness World Record troll Collection.
The Art Emporium is the Troll Hole Museum's gift ship that carries products from local artisans to international artists. The are currently developing an online store, so it can be more accessible to the public for purchasing unique merchandise. The store sells anything from souvenir shirts to actual troll dolls.
They have thousands of vintage trolls in their inventory, including Russ Troll, Treasure Troll, Norfin Troll, Dam Trolls plus many other brands. The Art Emporium carries many new troll-related products and receives its stock from all over internationally.
Troll Hole Art Emporium Events
"At the Troll Hole Art Emporium we hold regular workshops in numerous art mediums, and host special events that involves the whole community." The museum has new events happening all the time and have a schedule of upcoming happenings on their website.
Currently, Director/Producer/Photographer Charles Bailey, who has produced works for the Grammy Award Winning bands Motley Crue and Nine Inch Nails, is creating a series of short and featured length (30 min.) films for the Troll Hole.
Adults - $10
Students/Seniors - $8
Children - $6 (ages 6 - 12)
Children 5 years old and younger - free
Open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 AM to 5 PM.
Sierra Sumner is a writer from Massachusetts, Hawaii and California. She loves the outdoors, such as hiking and kayaking, and has traveled all across the US. She hopes to continue her explorations and to encourage others to expand their horizons.