A man named Thomas Dam invented these as a toy for his daughter.
Thomas Dam lived in Denmark with his family. He was a bricklayer, a fisherman, a baker—eventually he tried being a woodworker. In 1959, he made a small doll out of wood with glass eyes and wool for hair and gave it to his daughter Lila for her birthday. He based the design on local legends about trolls that lived in the woods.
It wasn’t long before his daughter’s friends all wanted one and Thomas was struggling to keep up. He built a shop in his shed and started making the dolls out of rubber. However, that wasn’t enough to keep up either. In the 1960’s, Thomas bought a factory and started a business, Dam Things, and started marketing the Troll Dolls all over the world.
Unfortunately, Thomas never patented the dolls and his sales in the United States eventually stopped earning him money. It wasn’t until 2003 that Dam Things started making money on the original toy again from the United States.)