Trolls are the leprechauns of Norse culture, ancient beings who guard treasure and love to play tricks, dance, and fornicate.
In the late 1950s, an impoverished Danish wood carver named Thomas Dam couldn’t afford a doll for his daughter, so he carved an ugly troll for her and gave it white hair.
Dam told his daughter the troll would bring good luck.
Sure enough, a toy store owner saw the doll and asked if her father would make more.
The pinched and paunchy dolls became a worldwide fad in the early 1960s and then again in the early 1990s.