2005-2007 were tough years for Dam and its trolls. In Dam's bid to revive their off-the-radar brand in the consciousness of the young, this horrible abortion of all things trolltastic was commissioned. Trollz was DIC's (you know, with the studio with the perpetual moon outside every kid's window at night) wrongheaded attempt at marketing trolls to tweens. Basically, DIC dragged the "z" of off "Bratz" and tacked it onto the end of "troll," tarting up group of female ciphers before loosing them on a magical realm of acidic animated drama. The folks at Dam were no fools, and quickly sued over what amounted to a pox upon all mankind and an astonishing misrepresentation of their product. According to lies I made up, the program is currently shown to Danish inmates as a disciplinary measure.
7) Dudes With Attitude/Trolls From Treasure Island
While many of the troll spin-offs on this list received the videogame treatment, the dubious Dudes With Attitude, a.k.a. Trolls From Treasure Island, is the sole property developed exclusively as a barely-playable 8-bit instrument of player dissatisfaction. There are many problems with the game, but the biggest is not lackluster gameplay, but rather nonexistent gameplay. Essentially, players "steer" an erratic bareassed goon with an unquenchable lust for treasure through dingy levels. What occurs onscreen has more to do with player rage than player skill, resulting in something akin to an animated wager rather than an actual gaming experience. It's too bad really, because the world had such high hopes for the game based on its allusions to casual nude windsurfing back in 1992.
6) Superhero Trolls
5) Burger King Kids Club Trolls
Remember Burger King's Kids Club? You know, that team designed to appeal to every conceivable type of kid with a lineup choked with stereotypes? The trolls do! Trollified versions of I/Q, Jaws and the Gameboytastic Kid Vid were made even more obnoxious with disproportioned faces, crazy hair and - yes - glow in the dark skin! The only thing that could have made the line any more '90s would have been a President Clinton saxophone solo.
4) Mighty Max Hairy Heads/Dread Heads
3) Ninja Turtle Trolls
2) Battle Trolls
For what the "Big Haired Dudes With Bad Attitudes" lacked in articulation and thoughtful paint application, they more than made up for with an advertising campaign that helped form every little boy circa 1992's masculinity. "Trolls are for girls! You should like these ugly things that stick to pizza!" The message was easily understood and embraced. Advertising aside, the toys' parodic nomenclature made them pretty fantastic. Count Troll-U-La? Trollbot? Trollminator? It was like Mad Magazine was turned upside and shaken until toys dropped out. As perfect as the line seemed, it lasted little more than two years with a planned third wave of action figures canceled before they reached production. It's a shame because after that troll gender rolls went and got all blurry again, dragging society at large with it. What does it mean to be a man?!!!
1) Stone Protectors
Of all the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles clones of the '90s, Stone Protectors was one of the most blatantly self-aware. With elements borrowed from every fad from the past five years, the Stone Protectors weren't just clones - they were clones of clones, which somehow made the protagonist archetype mashups tolerable. Sporting character concepts like "Elvis Samurai" and featuring plenty of brazen rollerblading, the teenage rock band-turned-treasure troll super heroes practically winked at its audience. Even though the franchise faded fast behind the glamour of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and their ilk, with a ridiculous button-masher of a video game on the SNES, a haunting comic book series and plenty of toys in its wake, the Stone Protectors rose to the top of the ill-fated troll spinoff heap by living hard, dying young and leaving a horrible corpse.