With all the rage of vintage trolls and so many collectors, I am going to offer some tips for repairing them and making your own OOAK creation.
there are many different types available, Dam trolls are the most popular, with the 2-1/2"-3" topping the list. these were created by Thomas Dam in the early 60's. many other companies followed.
since this guide is for repairing and remaking them, I will not go into the history.
cleaning and preparation:
here is a list of helpful items to have on hand-
*clean towels for drying and wiping
*butter knife for scraping.
I first remove the old hair and carefully scrape to remove the remaining hair and glue, you need to be careful not to cut or damage the plastic.
if I am replacing the eyes, I remove them at this point and save the clips.
I now prepare a sink full of warm water and scrub the troll with a toothbrush dipped in dish soap. this should remove most of the dirt. wipe and dry and allow water that may have gotten inside the body to dry thorougly.
for stains and problem areas such as darkening or ink, I use a acne product such as oxy 10, you may need to leave this on for several weeks. I have found it to be fairly effective at least to lighten some of the stains .
update..I have found using the oxy cream with heat is much more effective. I try 5 minutes at 200 degrees usually helps. check after 5 minutes and heat longer if necessary. it does make the body soft, but it hardens back up when it cools. also a caution, when treating cover the area around the spot evenly. I have found that the cream can leave light spots. but covering the entire area being treated makes the skin tone stay even.
*small pliers are helpful
most of the eyes on the small Dam trolls are 6mm size. they an be purchased on e-bay and are reasonably priced, they come in a variety of colors and usually sold in small lots. spiral eyes can be purchased on etsy.com (search for 6mm animal eyes)
glass or plastic? depending on what your troll came with will help you make a decision.
the plastic eyes simply push in and are secured with a clip (the clips are usually included)
the glass eyes usually come without clips and I use the old ones I removed if available. glass eyes are a bit trickier as being too rough will cause them to break from the wire.
first clip you wires to about 2" and thread them through the holes in the eye sockets. use your pliers to add the clips, if no clips are available you will want to carefully bend the wire tightly against the inside of the head to make them secure.
update 6 mm spiral eyes can be found on etsy. search for 6mm animal eyes, tip try buying clear eyes and painting the backs for different colors. fingernail polish works good for this.
most of the vintage trolls came with real fur hair. the hair was actually Icelandic sheepskin and varied in length up to 9" inches, it is available on e-bay in dyed colors from dealers such as terrelltimm and mohairwigcompany update there are new seller on ebay and on etsy.
you can either glue the new hair in or simply stuff it in depending if you want it more secure or not
first cut your leather strip of hair aprox 1-1/2" wide by aprox 6" long. fold your leather in half long ways with the leather to the outside. using the the jelly roll idea , roll the hair tightly.
at this point if you are gluing, appy glue to both surfaces, I use a product called shoe goo, which removes easily from surfaces not meant to have glue on them. once it cures it is very durable.
push the hide into the cavity. carefully glue around the hairline, taking care not to get it in the hair.
allow it to dry as per directions on glue.
at this point you should have a decent looking naked troll.
Outfitting your troll
I usually have a variety of outfits available on etsy.com . you can also find items such as shoes, tiaras and other accesories from other sellers
update the item number for shoes on ebay is
It this point you should have a nice looking troll at a fraction of the cost of one someone else has remade.