“J.N.Reisler” - TROLL dolls  (made in years- 1966 to 2007)

 

    Trying to locate info on the J.N. Reisler trolls was not an easy task. There is a website on the Reisler company [http://www.tohan.dk/reisler_modelfigurer.htm] but it is in the Danish language and you need to know how to navigate the website to get to where photos are located of the Reisler troll dolls. According to this website the Reisler trolls were made between the years 1966 to 2007. The Kai Reisler Company Ltd. was better known for their model figures that it produced (see 1967 advertisement shown above, this advertisement was obtained from the Danish company’s website). For those who collect the J.N. Reisler Trolls (or Vikings), the GRUM, a horned and tailed (a.k.a. devil) troll is probably the most commonly  recognized. The “J.N.” imprinted on the bottom foot of the horned troll, are the initials of the man (model maker / designer)  John Nissen who designed these trolls for the Reisler company. His name also appears on the back of the large Vikings (the small Vikings however, are unmarked, but were probably designed by him too).

    The same mold used for the Grum,  “horned” Reisler was also used for other troll versions which wore felt outfits but these versions have NO horns & lack a tail too. It would seem that the Grum troll was probably the first to be introduced or produced, as the horns are chopped off on those Reislers which wear the felt clothing/outfits. Also the Reislers with clothing have no holes for a tail (just a slight dimple where the tail would be).

     According to Debra Clark’s “Troll Identification & Price Guide” book, the early Reisler Grum trolls (those produced in the  mid-1960’s) can be identified by a “blush” on their faces & horns, they also have a spiral (burst-like) plastic type of flat eye which is not found in the later versions.  Turquoise eyes are the most commonly found in these trolls, but as shown in the photos below other uncommon colors like green, yellow or grey eyes have occasionally surfaced. Older horned Reisler’s also have a white/ivory rubber-type of tail which often shows signs of cracking due to age and many of them have fallen off or simply disintegrated. The Grum’s are decorated with rabbit fur trim on the head, lower belly & tail tip. There is a hole in their bodies for the tail. Debra Clark’s book states that the newer Grum’s are about 1/4” smaller than the older ones. Some of the later Grum’s also have a more dome-like plastic eye. 

     VALUE of these GRUM, horned (devil) Reisler trolls can vary anywhere from $20 up to $35, depending on the condition with the older ones (from the mid-1960’s) being worth slightly more than the newer ones.

 

 

      I was fortunate to also obtain a Reisler couple in their original Christmas outfits, which I assume are meant to represent Mr & Mrs Claus or perhaps their little elf helpers.  The Danish Reisler website has a similar couple with blue eyes listed as- Julenisser– Trolde som nissepar (google translates this as- Christmas Elves, trolls as nissepar).

     The couple I have, both have white mohair and lovely green spiral (burst-like) eyes. A lovely gentle blush on their faces makes one think they just came in from the cold. The clothing on these two are glued on. According to troll folklore, the nisse, were good friendly trolls/elves who could be trusted and who loved all kinds of animals. But if you wronged them then they could become very vindictive and turn against you. Debra Clark states in her book that the Reislers dressed in clothing are harder to find and more rare.

     VALUE of these Reisler trolls with felt clothing (no tails & no horns) can vary, anywhere from $35 up to $55, depending on the originality and condition of the troll, the hair and their clothing.

    Smaller versions of the Grum Reislers and Christmas versions, were also made into key-chains , various souvenirs, as well as mini-pencil toppers (i.e. Minigrum). One packaged pencil topper found on the Reisler website indicates that it was made around 1968. A mint in package and a loose pencil topper that I have in my collection are both marked on the back & arms- © 1966 J.N. Reisler  Made in Denmark. These mini’s have blue eyes which are often missing, as they are very easy to pull out.

 

  At some point the Reisler company also produced a few of these trolls in which the horns were removed and they were dressed in various felt clothing with mohair glued to their heads. One unique couple that I came across for lack of a better term I would describe as an “ethnic” version. To me their felt outfits look Bavarian in nature. The Reisler website identifies these as- tyroler–trolde, I was told that a Tyroler (aka- Tyrolean) is someone from Austria and these trolls are dressed in their native ethnic outfits.

  I found it interesting that the clothing on the pair I obtained was attached to their bodies by short straight pins (definitely a safety hazard and not child-friendly), but others with this similar outfit have their felt clothing glued on. The silver sequins however, were secured with short straight pins. These versions have no horns and lack tails (there’s a dimple in their behind where a tail would normally be positioned, see photos below). I discovered two body types which were used for these trolls. One has a slightly different rounded domed-head (see photos below) in which the area where the horns are located were actually filled in. Mohair was wrapped around the outside of her head and a hat was glued to the top of her hair. The boy has a slanted head and tufts of mohair are inserted into the holes where the horns had been removed. The boy shown in photo (at right) had clothing which was either eaten by moths (or perhaps a mouse). Based on photos of other ethnic boys and what was left of his outfit I was able to salvage the pieces to re-make the outfit. Photo (below) of the boy with the black background is what an original cross-section looked like. So I embroidered a floral cross-section on the re-made suspenders of the boy I have. These  trolls stand about 4 1/4” tall.

   Viking Troll Dolls

  There are also some very unique Viking trolls made of vinyl that were designed for the Reisler company by John Nissen. However, only the large Viking is marked on the back of his neck– John Nissen  Denmark. The Reisler website lists the large Viking as being made in 1966. He has rabbit fur trim for beard and back of head, solid blue plastic eyes with anchor securing tips, his outfit consists of belt with gold dome, a felt tunic & cape, his head does turn but his stationary arms are straight. These large Vikings stand 7 inches high to the tip of their horns. Debra Clark’s book has him VALUED at $65 if he is in original condition with felt outfit & cape and at $35 if he is nude.

     The smaller Vikings are unmarked and have sheepskin / mohair trim on their faces, with blue plastic eyes (no moving parts), their hands face outward and have a curl to the fingers. Small guy stands about 3 3/4 inches high to the tip of their horns. Debra Clark’s  book has him VALUED at $30 if he is in original condition with his felt cape.

      A photo from the company’s website shows that miniature Vikings were also made into key-chains and sold as souvenirs. Debra Clark’s book indicates these Viking key-chains are more recent (probably from late 1980’s to early 1990’s).

 

A unique Christmas Reisler with long kinky mohair beard, dressed in elf type outfit on a white manual pull-string music box that plays “Jingle Bells.

Heart with inscription written in gold script on front of the box says, “Glaedelig Jul” (Danish– Merry Christmas).

J.N.Reisler Trolls

Group photo of some of J.N. Reisler Trolls. A couple in Christmas outfits (Christmas Elves) as well as a couple in an “ethnic” (Bavarian type) outfit.

Rounded Rectangle: Click HERE to view “unmarked” Viking trolls