My friend Kit Schackner, who lives three-tenths of a mile from Mimi Michalsky but has never met her, was the other big troll collector in my group of Facebook friends.
She told me they were the hottest thing when she was in middle school. So hot, in fact, that her science teacher banned them from class.
Kit, who to this day revels in her role as neighborhood gadfly, remembers a troll revolt as her first act of organized insubordination. One day, when the teacher's back was turned, "someone" — Kit admits she was likely the guilty party — "coughed on cue.
"And all the trolls came out," she says. "It was a beautiful thing to see."
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Troll aficionados can regale you with the varieties and makes of trolls, from the original Dams to the Russ Berries and the tiny naked miniatures that came in gumball machines. Like any good modern tale, the troll juggernaut comes with its own legal side drama.
Faced with a lawsuit from Dam Things, Russ announced in 2004 it would stop making the critters. Of course, you can find trolls of every make, vintage and description — including Russ Berrie trolls — on eBay.
As for me, well I wish I still had troll or two. I found a cute one on Amazon, dressed up like a French schoolgirl with a red-and-white striped shirt, going for $24.99.
It's as tantalizing as anything else I lust for online, but I feel a little sheepish pressing the button. Where would I display it? And how would I explain that I just bought it this year?
No, it seems that I'm in between my troll-acquiring periods. The first one, of course, was during the mid-60's. And the next one? Whenever I become a grandparent.
Also of interest: 10 favorite childhood games. >>