As a dutiful Child Of The 80’s I went through a troll doll phase. If you were lucky enough to escape that particular pop culture moment, here’s a recap:
Yep. Horrifying and vaguely psychotropic trolls were all the rage as appropriate playthings for children. I think we were supposed to rub their bellies for luck? Kind of like creepy little buddhas, if Buddha joined a punk rock band?
The point here is that I dutifully thought they were cool, because all the other kids at Thornhill Elementary agreed with me. And then one birthday I opened one of my presents and discovered THE MOST TERRIFYING TOY EVER CREATED.
Standing a foot tall (more if you include the hair… and that hair should never be discounted), this troll doll was dressed in the finest 80’s neon roller-skating-wear, complete with elbow and kneepads. Which, again, at the time: cool. But what made it the stuff of nightmares was that this was not a stationary doll. Oh no. This doll fucking moved.
Did I mention it was wearing roller-skating-gear? That’s because it had roller skates for feet (I’m sure the impression was supposed to be that it was “wearing” them, but when you have a demon-doll you quickly realize there’s no way to remove its method of transportation), and if you turned it on it made a disturbing mechanical sound while lurching from side to side like a drunken sailor on shore leave. Slowly, painfully, almost accidentally, that would make the whole thing roll forward, inexorably coming for you in your deepest nightmares. Lurching. Coming for you. Don’t believe me? Check this video out at your own risk.
So maybe your childhood brain could handle a giant-ass troll skating towards you, probably so as to suck your soul out through your mouth. Then you switched the next setting on its back, and the music started. The horrible, broken carnival music that is normally found only in horror movies right before the Evil Clown From Hell pops up and stabs someone through the eye. It wasn’t even loud enough to drown out the continued sounds of the internal mechanics struggling to get this thing closer to your face. It was just loud enough to haunt your psyche for years to come.
Then came the final coup de grace. At this point all you want in life is to escape, but at least this vile creature of darkness was slow-moving, owing to its locomotion-via-lurching. At least you could run away.
UNTIL ITS EYES LIT UP AND TRAPPED YOU WITH EVIL HYPNOTIC POWERS HERETOFORE ONLY KNOWN IN THE SEVENTH CIRCLE OF HELL AND THE PLAYBOY GROTTO.
That shit’s so scary I couldn’t find a single picture of it on the entire internet. Think about it. The internet. That depraved bastion of lunatics and freaks isn’t even ready to face the implications of troll dolls with eyes that light up.
Not terrified of this unholy doll unleashed upon my unsuspecting birthday girl world? Have you really thought about troll dolls’ faces?! Those things were masses of creases, wrinkles, and folds. Now imagine a neon green light emanating from the deep center of each side. Never before or since have I seen such a terrifying visage, lit with the pure fires of evil.
So, as is only natural, I hid it in my closet, waited till my best friend was asleep, set it up to slowly skate towards her head, then sat back and laughed hysterically when she woke up to discover that her nightmares were nothing in comparison to waking life.
Kids are awesome.