This toy was somehow…different, in small but significantly odd ways. The mind that invented it had to be different. And the minds of the children who fell in love with it were definitely different, too.
We are so glad that a toy was made just for us!
One Christmas, I opened a box to find the best toy ever: A Troll Village. Perhaps you don’t know what a Troll Village is.
To my surprise, I learned that a Troll Village doesn’t have any trolls. Instead, it has one-inch-tall plastic cave-men with rigid [stiff] little bodies and fuzzy glued-on hair.
Most of the cave-men are naked, except for three: The first two are twin brothers with some kind of painted-on animal skins, each of whom hides a dangerous-looking blue club behind his back.
These brothers apparently don’t get along.
The other cave-man with clothes has a very important-looking orange animal-skin suit, and he wears permanently on one shoulder a rare cave-parrot.
It was clear that this well-dressed and -parroted man must be the most important man in the village. When I played, I made him the mayor.
Get ready…here is a picture of the amazing Troll Village:
WAIT! WAIT! You only THINK it’s not amazing.
Please–take a moment to expand the picture in its own window and zoom in so that you can fully immerse yourself in the awesome, breathtakingly-realistic prehistoric world of the Troll Village.
In the zoom, you can see one of the be-weaponed twins in the lower left foreground, behind the animal pen and below the brown pine tree. The tip of his blue club peeks over one shoulder.
Or wait–Here’s a better picture from Tracy’s Toy’s (She’s also crazy about her village–as who wouldn’t be?):
For some reason known only to the Marx company, there were no cave-women included.
The village was similar to a Shaker community in that it had a severely limited future. [Shakers didn’t have sex.] I corrected this by importing three equally-rigid plastic women troll dolls gotten out of a gumball machine. Probably not out of this one:
(You can get full directions for this costume at inchmark journal.)
The three troll women were very popular with the cave-men, who, being cave-guys, hadn’t considered that actual trolls could reside in their Troll Village.
I let the ladies have the only residence [building to live in], a small grey cave-dome, so that they could enjoy a little privacy. The other building with bars on its door was clearly the jail intended for those cantankerous [argumentative] twins.
Besides the non-troll citizens, the animals of the Troll Village were another surprise to me. These were not the ones usually thought of in association with cave-men:
The mayor’s prehistoric parrot, plus camels, giraffes, donkeys, and one bipedal [walking on two feet] elephant. I don’t remember hearing about one of THOSE in prehistoric times.
Since the elephant stood so comfortably erect, I made him a full-fledged village member. He always looked happy about this. The expressions on the faces of the giraffes and camels looked a little sad, as if they wished they were bipedal, too.
The more astute [observant] (or less bored) among you may have noticed that the village in the picture has two elephants. Mine had only one. What can I say?
If the fabulous Marx company erred, I don’t fault them for it. Encountering even one prehistoric permanently-perpendicular pachyderm [elephant who always stands up] in a lifetime is more joy than one little girl has any right to expect.
The Marx people were no slackers. Arboreal [tree-like] offerings ran the gamut from bushes to trees, from pines to palms–even a sprinkling of stumps.
The little boys of the village, who were molded in a seated position, I would seat on the stumps to go fishing in the painted pond.
The Marx people had thoughtfully left air bubbles trapped between their knees during the molding process so that the boys could hold toothpick fishing poles in the holes left behind.
(See more cute food prep ideas at LinseyDavis.com)
The village even had tiny barrels. It is impressive to think that cave-era barrels could be achieved by the industrious application of flint tools to the wood of those early trees. Perhaps the hoops were of plant material.
(One must reject entirely, for lack of any hard evidence–just one speck of red paint indicating rust, for example–Fotheringale’s ridiculous notion that the Iron Age had arrived early in the Troll Village.)
I would pretend that the mayor opened the barrels using his parrot’s beak, and then all the villagers would get drunk. (Caution: The upcoming video features professional drinkers–Do not try at home.)
The best part of the toy, besides the cute animals, was the set of rock walls that loomed hugely behind the village.
One of them had a large arch at its top, with a floor upon which you could stand the cave-people. The other had a shallow cave at the top where you could also stand them.
Or, if you were my little sister embarrassing me, you could immediately push the walls together to make an deep cavern, like the Marx people intended.
These rock walls (or cavern, if you must be a little five-year-old smart#ss!) had little scattered ledges just large enough to stand a cave-man, a troll woman, or a bipedal elephant.
The little gray elephant against the immense gray-brown rock was almost invisible. He liked to stand there, discreetly keeping an eye on his cave-community.
The Christmas that I got my village, I played with it for hours. It remained my favorite toy forever afterward, even years later when I no longer played with it.
Sadly–heartbreakingly–my mom gave my Troll Village away the day I left for college (along with everything else of mine I left at home–but that’s a story for another post!).
Until a couple of years ago, I still had the tiny elephant and one of the camels, both of whom had come with me to college. Somehow though, a few years ago the elephant departed—probably to join a special prehistoric bipedal quadruped community. I miss him and his cute little face.
I do still have the one sad little camel, although after all the years he retains only three of his legs. I suspect that, in secret, he is practicing walking on only two of those, and that someday, he, too, will be gone.
One likes to imagine that the camel and the elephant will become the best of bipedal friends, and that, someday, the camel will no longer be sad.
Good grief, this was a long post! For the two of you who stuck with me this far: Have the merriest of Christmases!