Wild Hair Creatures
Hey, remember the troll doll craze? No, most of you readers weren't born yet, but let me tell you a long story. Back in the 50's a Danish woodworker name Thomas Dam created some figures called Trolls. In the 90's they finally became popular and there were many imitations. Then they weren't popular anymore. Okay it wasn't a long story. And I suppose there's that movie that just came out, so perhaps you do know about them.
So let's move on. I certainly won't admit to collecting them in my early teens, and I certainly won't mention that I was oblivious as to how that would make someone a social pariah. BOYS don't collect dolls of course, so theoretically you will forget this paragraph even existed. But safe to say they captured the collectors market for a time. I did mention that there were many imitations, mainly from Russ, which tended to make symmetrical and often simplistic versions, while the Norfin (Thomas Dam ones) trolls were more expressionate and came in many sizes and themes. They were also more expensive and tended to only be sole in specialty shops or Disney World.
So with the huge lapse in popularity, it's curious that another homages - not really an imitation - should arise. A small company called Wild Hair Creations spun off from another small company called Design Masters. They wanted to create some interesting and topical troll dolls, and while I'll get to the early releases a bit later, let's look at the main line:
Cryptids aren't a new topic here. I covered the Cryptkins short while back, which were a blind box sort of deal. These at least come in a windowed display box, so you don't have to blindly hunt down the collection. Each is numbered, and they look nice on a shelf.
The first three are: Sasquatch, Mothman, and el Chupacabra - three notable cryptids. I like how Sasquatch has a camera like a vacationing Japanese tourist, ready to snap pictures of the elusive human camper. Or perhaps he killed the campers and stole their camera. That gives the devilish grin an all new meaning…
Mothman is one I'm not too familiar with. I think that's the one with the glowing eyes that hover in the skies. The details are nice with the combination of an insect's compound eyes, owlish beak, and Dracula hair. Most have the traditional single swoop of troll hair, so it's nice to see a different approach. El Chupacabra is another cryptid that we don't usually have a visual reference for. I especially like the goat skull trophy, and the defiant look that says, "Yeah I killed your livestock, waddya gonna do about it?"
The final three are: Jersey Devil, Yeti, and Cthulhu. I thought the Jersey Devil was sort of like the East Coast's Chupacabra, but again it's not one reportedly seen often enough to give it a distinct look. So here they've gone with a traditional Devil motif, as if we're about to bargain our souls away in a Twilight Zone episode.
The Yeti is pretty much an arctic Sasquatch, so it's another reimagining of an existing cryptid. I can't really fault them, since I don't think there are all that many to choose from. Even the cryptkins had to resort to repaints and things I've never heard of before. Wildhair, however, goes a step further and brings out Cthulhu, which from my understanding is a literary figure rather than an elusive specimen from nature. It's hard to not love it though, since it's the definite winner of the bunch. Great detail, nice color combination, and an overall strong design.
So here's where I get in trouble and lose the majority of my reader base permanently. But I'm not one to play anything cautiously, so I'll continue anyway. I mentioned that they started the company creating topical troll figures, and as you see below, they're mainly around Trump caricatures. There were a few versions: a traditional outfit and another where he dons wrestling attire in order to battle it out with Kim Jong-un. Since I try to have a relaxed attitude I live, I appreciate the marketing text regarding all of these. It plays well into his larger-than-life image, but doesn't get bogged down in petty insults. You can tell the creators know that it's comedy gold, but are still just trying to have a good time.
They've also created a Party Animal lineup consisting of a Donkey (D), Elephant (R), and Eagle (I). The box art contains images of numerous vintage campaign pins, which are a cool throwback. Some of them are a little feisty, but seem to relay a time when there the fighting spirit was there, but didn't seem so life or death. It's seemingly rare to see an objective take on anything political, so hopefully these can be a brief reprieve from all that, and just have some good natured fun.
That said maybe admitting that you collect trolls isn't the most socially damaging thing…