March 11, 2011

Trolls Trending

TGI the weekend. It has been an indescribably draining week what with the shocking legislative move by GOP legislators in Wisconsin successfully undermining the unions and the people of Wisconsin, the hellish turnaround in Libya, the anti-Muslim show hearing in DC, and then the massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan yesterday. I don’t do cat blogging (okay, I think I did it once), so I’m going with the next best thing.

Maybe it’s twisted going from a novice war photographer’s first experience with decapitation to these little heads but, believe it or not, I used to play with these things when I was a kid (my wife seems to recall boys and girls played with them equally). So, for a respite from the swirling madness, and hoping the offbeat subject matter might also beckon some good, old fashioned Bag discussion, I’m interested in your take on the 2.0 redesign of these little creatures.

Before jumping in, though — and, because I’ve always been jealous of Digby’s ability to splice in those long and incisive quotes — I thought I’d also offer up this slice of cultural analysis, the riff coming by way of The 20s:

The classic troll doll toy recently got a makeover, and the results are utterly terrifying. As you can see, the old troll dolls looked like trolls. Which made sense. That is not the case with these new troll dolls. No, someone decided that the new batch of troll dolls needed to look like a cross between Marge Simpson, Bratz, Joan Rivers, and a homicidal maniac. The one in the center looks ready to feast on your carotid. I don’t know what on Earth compels doll manufacturers to so completely distort the face of every doll they make. My kid has a Barbie and it looks like it spent six weeks at a Columbian rhinoplasty clinic. What parent or child asked for dolls like this? Why can’t dolls look normal anymore? Are these people completely deaf to criticism? DON’T MAKE DOLLS THAT LOOK LIKE THEY WANT TO EAT ME.

That take was stimulated by a piece at NY Mag’s Vulcan by someone a bit older, I’m positive, who likely remembers these toys and can feel the blasphemy as a direct affront to his or her memory, writing:

The once-beloved Troll Dolls have been turned into crazy-skinny alien girls. Also: Trolls do not wear bows in their hair. This is a disaster.

Not to say, by the way, that this palate-cleansing subject came out of nowhere. Roaming around in the Tumblr-verse, the Trolls — as a mirror, I imagine, held up for us to compare life in the ’10’s as compared to the simpler years of 1963 – 1965 — are just running amok right now.

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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