DreamWorks Animation has acquired the IP for the fad-tastic Troll doll franchise from the Dam Family and Dam Things of Denmark with plans to reintroduce the bouffant characters to a new generation. The company has named American Girl veteran Shawn Dennis as head of brand development to cultivate the franchise.
Dennis has joined DWA to oversee Trolls in addition to other businesses within the company’s vast portfolio of branded IPs. Dennis most recently served as SVP, marketing, product development and publishing at American Girl. Previously, Dennis served as group head and VP of global branding at Dell and chief marketing officer & VP for the National Football League, which followed eight years with MasterCard and seven at Universal Studios in a variety of roles.
The DWA announcement does not reveal specifics, only saying the company has “big plans” for the iconic brand. The Troll doll phenomena was born in 1959 when Danish fisherman and woodcutter Thomas Dam carved the first Troll doll for his young daughter, as he could not afford to buy a Christmas present. The Trolls went on to become a huge craze in the 1960s and enjoyed resurgences of popularity in the 1990s. In 2003, the Toy Industry of America put Trolls on its list of One Hundred of the Century’s Most Treasured Toys.
DWA is now the exclusive worldwide licensor of the merchandise rights for the classic Troll Dolls, with the sole exception of its birthplace of Scandinavia where Dam Things will remain the licensor.