TROLL VILLAGE by Marx Apr 17, 2011 18:37:15 GMT -6
Post by countzackula on Apr 17, 2011 18:37:15 GMT -6
Here's something fun...the TROLL VILLAGE by Marx. I'll admit, I've always admired Marx toys, but from afar...too expensive to track down and collect. I love a lot of the small-scale playsets for plastic figures of army men, dinosaurs, wild west fellas, and all that jazz. I just love all the older plastic playsets made by companies like Marx. I really dig all the neat-o background elements and props they put in...you don't really see a lot of unique play elements in modern army man style playsets today...well, sometimes...I guess.
Anyway, like I said...I'm no hardcore Marxist...(heh, heh)...so I don't do any heavy research on the old toys. When I discovered this, I knew nothing about it...complete surprise! It has that awesome kitsch factor that I just love. I did a bit of research (and I use that term loosely) and found out this set is...kinda, sorta rare (maybe). It's hard to hammer down a concrete parts list, so I'm not sure if mine is complete...so, if there's someone out there that's a true Marx fan...let me know!!! As far as I know, this was made in the 60s or 70s. I'm pretty sure they made at least two versions. I'm pretty sure mine is the first version. I know they made one with hand-drawn/painted box art. I've seen sets with parts in alternate colors. Any other insight from anyone is appreciated!
Obviously, the box art is different from the actual product...the box art sample seems like a hand-made model...like a prototype or something. The mountains and such seem to be made of painted plaster and the trees made of paper! Only the trolls, animals, and other unnatural elements are actually part of the plastic playset. Of course, the set was hand painted...hand painted by ARTISTS!!! Yeah, I totally picture a small factory full of goateed men in berets working feverishly on these sets, back in the day.
So, here's the actual goods! BEHOLD!!!
Why...what a nice little set! I do mean it, this set is actually pretty small. You'd think the box'd be about the size of a board game, but 's fairly compact. Still awesome, though. I'm not sure if the parts were ever used before in other Marx playsets, or if these particular parts were reused or not.
The play mat is just paper...good, tough paper. Most of the 3-D elements are made of hard plastic. The smaller pieces seem quite brittle so if you get your hands on them, take care. Others are just soft plastic...such as the trees. The trolls have little tufts of "real" hair on their heads. Be careful you don't slice your digits on those sharp cave edges!
I know some may not know the secret world of trolls...I know Troll dolls were all the rage back in the early 90s. Personally, I hated 'em as a kid. They eventually made boy-oriented troll action figures, but I never bit on those, myself...ehhhhh. I did have a weird fascination with a troll pencil topper charm my grandma had in her bingo bag, though. In general, I found out that trolls weren't just a 90s thing. Apparently there was a troll craze in the 70s (I think it was the 70s, anyway). Troll dolls themselves supposedly came about in the 60s and eventually became popular. I suppose I could do more heavy research, but I don't like trolls THAT much...I just mainly like this set! I mean, just look at it!!!
Let's take a close look at the denizens of the troll world. Okay, here are the headliners...the trolls themselves. These are what most folk would think of when it comes to trolls...at least in a pop culture sort of way...the weird, naked, ugly-mugged, hairy little bugger we know and love (or hate).
Wha-?! No, uh...well...I guess they don't need clothes. Assuming, from the palm trees, they like in a tropical environment. They seem to possess no genitals, so modesty's out. They could be asexual? Maybe the males possess a "tuck"? Eh...let's not get into this...creepy. Anyway, I love the faces on these guys. If I ever have kids, I can only dream they'd be as handsome as this! Long live the Church of Little Richard...woooo-oooo-oooo-oooohhh!!!!
Alright, I'm no scientist, but are these supposed to be trolls or some other species?
They appear a bit more "human" in appearance...very caveman-esque. They are generally troll-like and equally naked and sans genitals...except the one guy. Is he the chief? He does have a little toucan perched on his shoulder...maybe he's some shaman and that bird is his spirit totem...or maybe he really loves Froot Loops? I'm guessing he may be a blacksmith or a cook (or both), since he does appear to be the only mentally competent one amongst this whole crew...sorry to be so shallow, but...pfff...I am a jerk, technically. He just seems so worried and burdened, like he's gotta look after a bunch of little hooligans all day long. The weird cave dudes both brandish blue clubs which they hide meekly behind their backs...waiting...waiting to strike at unsuspecting victims. Don't let those innocent expressions or calm demeanor fool you...they're the village rabble rousers. I picture these guys comin' down from the hills and picking on the other trolls on a daily basis. Wow, a Fred Flintstone rip-off and two guys that look like Doug characters living alongside trolls...man, I love it. I wish I could shrink down and live here!
Onto the wildlife! Hoooooooo!!!!
There's the donkeys (or asses...I prefer asses), pygmy giraffes, and equally pygmy camels. Weird! What an odd assortment. Then there's the weirdest of 'em all...the humanoid elephant people. Hubba whaaaa-?! Maybe they're Battle Beast day care escapees, come to play with the troll kids? There's also the disembodied fish head...or maybe and alligator...hard to tell. They apparently live in Wild Horses Canyon, but not a single horse 'round fer miles!
Okay, aaand here's a nice scale comparison shot...with all the most popular small-scale vintage toys I could gather!
Gotta love 'em...little rapscallions!