Garbo's friend Sam Green visited her one afternoon and she left the living room to fix drinks and Sam reached for some peanuts, a few of which dropped on the floor. Bending down to retrieve them, he noticed a tiny figure peeking out from under the divan on which he was sitting.
“It was a troll,” he says. “You know, those little plastic dwarfs with the ugly, wild, magenta and turquoise Dynel hair? When I bent down further and looked underneath the sofa, there was a whole row of them at least a dozen, a whole little community of them – in a kind of formation.”
He said not a word about the discovery, but on subsequent visits, when left alone in her living room, he never failed to check under the couch – and never failed to find the trolls there, always in a different arrangement. Another time in her living room, he noticed a miniature glass candlestick on the floor: “She ‘didn't know how it got there' when I pointed it out.”
Why the trolls? The look on Sam Green's face says it's a silly question: “Why not? Children play with dolls. Garbo played with her trolls. They amused her. Alone late at night, when the Sandman wouldn't come – maybe she couldn't get to sleep, maybe she acted out little scenes or games or fantasies with them from some favorite fairy tale – who knows? You tell me.”
They were America's biggest toy fads
Troll dolls, originally known as Leprocauns and also known as Dam dolls, Wishniks, Treasure Trolls, and Norfins, became one of America's biggest toy fads beginning in the autumn of 1963, and lasting throughout 1965. With their brightly colored hair and cute faces, they were featured in both Life Magazine and Time Magazine in articles which commented on the "good luck" they would bring to their owners.