TIMEMACHINE magazine

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1993 22 THINGS YOU OWNED AS A CHILD THAT ARE WORTH A FORTUNE TODAY

TLC

The 90’s Greatest Fashion Moments PLUS THE DEAL, THE SOUP NAZI, THE ABSTINENCE

Furbies Ring Pops Gel Pens Instant Messenger & More

Do You Remember?

FUNNIEST UNDERRATED SEINFELD EPISODES




From the editor Welcome, my fellow 90’s enthusiasts! I hope this 1993 issue of TIMEMACHINE is as fun for you to read as it was creating. For as long as I can remember, I recall listening to today’s music, watching today’s movies and shows, looking at today’s style and values, and wonder what went wrong!? Without a doubt I would choose to go back to the days with less responsibilities and worries, more soulful and talented musicians, and more iconic and nostalgic memories. This magazine is for those who can relate and would love to go back to collecting trolls, watching Seinfeld and hearing Biggie Smalls on MTV if we could. Inside this issue you’ll find those songs you had on repeat when you got your first Walkman and totally forgot about. Along with some hilarious toys that bring back the good old days, and fashion you want to hate but really wish was still in style. You’ll probably also learn a thing or two that may surprise you, such as the worth of your favourite childhood toys today— who would have known your old troll collection would come in handy today. While I may not be able to build a time machine this is the closest thing to it, and I hope you enjoy traveling down memory lane with me in yet another memory-inducing, funny and interesting TIMEMACHINE. Please let us know if theres any 90’s toys, music, trend, icon, or news that you want to read about next time. 90’s kids forever!




“The Golden Era” by Jordan Runtagh

Whenever anyone brings up hip hop’s golden era, chances are they’re talking about the ’90s. Originating in the Bronx in the 1970s, the genre that would later become a global phenomenon grew substantially in the ’80s and, by the time the ’90s rolled around, had fully matured both artistically and commercially. When you think about hip hop in that decade, two names hover above the rest: 2Pac and The Notorious B.I.G. If you’ll recall, though, the ’90s was also a

period in which hip hop expanded from being purely a coastal phenomenon. Southern anthems like “Back That Thang Up” by Juvenile and Fiend, Silkk, Mia-X and Mystikal-featured Master P song, “Make Em Say Uhh!,” dominated the charts. Meanwhile, the East and West Coasts held it down with their own distinctive hits, respectively, including JayZ’s “Can I Get A…” and Warren

G ft. Nate Dogg’s “Regulate.” If any of the aforementioned songs come on right now, in any region, hip hop fans will react. And that acknowledgment likely manifests with head bobbing, rapping along, or dancing.

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27 Rebirth Of Slick (Cool Like Dat) Digable Planets 1992 / Reachin’ (A New Refutation of Time and Space)

Another Grammy winner, this song was the trio’s only Top 40 hit. Using jazz in the song’s soundbed was still a relatively new production technique, but became an infectious trend during the time period.

30 Tennessee

Now That We Found Love

1992 / 3 Years, 5 Months, & 2 Days in the Life Of…

29

Heavy D and The Boyz 1991 / Peaceful Journey

Both sassy and sincere, this track had a hook that became embedded in your brain, whether you liked it or not. Not to mention, Heavy D and his brightly-colored outfits got it in in the video!

Regulate

25

Warren G ft. Nate Dogg 1994 / Regulate...G Funk Era

Sixteen in the clip and one in the hole! In this G-Funk classic, Nate Dogg came to the rescue of his boy Warren G. so that they could execute their planned night of canoodling with ladies at the East Side Motel.

ii

26

Arrested Development

Not only did this curious and somber song win Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group in 1993, but the video, shot in Georgia, remains iconic to this day.

i

The Choice Is Yours Black Sheep 1991 / A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing

Members of the Native Tongues’ clique served up some options for listeners with a dance-floor instigating song that features the infamous “engine, engine, number 90 line we all know and love.

and i

CANNOT

LIE 23

Make Em Say Uhh! Master P ft. Fiend, Silkk, Mia-X & Mystikal

I let my tape rock ‘til my tape POP. Smokin’ weed and bamboo, sippin’ on private stock

1998 / Ghetto D

No Limit’s glory days; there was a tank in the video, and Mystikal wasn’t yet locked up for sexual assault. 22 Hypnotize

28

24

911 Is A Joke

I’ll Be There For You/You’re All I Need To Get By

Public Enemy

Method Man ft. Mary J. Blige

1990 / Fear of a Black Planet

Public Enemy’s first Top 40 hit, this Bomb Squad-produced song shed light on the slow response time of emergency assistance in black neighborhoods.

1995 / Tical

Balancing gritty with heartfelt, supportive lyrics, Meth hits Mary J. with a solid assist on this hood-turned-mainstream love hit.

The Notorious B.I.G 1996 / Life After Death

Rapping about everything from Blues Clues to “sex in expensive cars,” Biggie helped Bad Boy keep momentum with this timeless record that features Total’s Pamela Long on the enchanting hook. 21 Can I Get A… Jay-Z ft. Ja Rule & Amil

i just love your ways... 10

TIMEMACHINE

June 1993

1998 / Volume 2… Hard Knock Life

Just a bit of advice: Never perform this song at a work karaoke party. It’s naughtier than we all remember, but Amil and Ja help Jigga with the heavy lifting.


20

18

13 So Wat’Cha Want

O.P.P.

Doo Wop (That Thing)

Naughty By Nature

Lauryn Hill

Beastie Boys

1991 / Naughty By Nature

1998 / The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill

1992 / Check Your Head

Hailing from New Jersey, the Naughty by Nature boys struck gold with the Jackson 5 sample of “ABC” and a contagious chorus that asked if we were down with O(ther) P(eoples’) P(roblems).

L-Boogie knew her audience well, and pandered to both genders in the song that earned her Grammys for the Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song in 1999.

The second single from the already-established group’s third album, “So Wat’Cha Want” lit up the summer of ’92 and bestowed upon us some pretty wild photo negative visuals in the video

They face a court case when the child support late. Money-taking and heart-breaking, now you wonder why women hate men 17

19 Scenario

C.R.E.A.M.

A Tribe Called Quest

Wu-Tang Clan

The Low End Theory

1994 / Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)

1992

Aiding in ATCQ’s transition to the mainstream listener’s ear, “Scenario” exploded with a technologically progressive video and gave Busta Rhymes his rapping debut. Rah, Rah, like a dungeon dragon!

Produced by RZA, “C.R.E.A.M.” was the raspy second single from the Staten Island hip hop collective and is often considered the group’s most successful track. 16 The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly) Missy Elliott Supa Dupa Fly

in the

U RE T U F CAN’T WAIT TO

12

Missy and Timbaland were lethal in the ’90s, and this early Misdemeanor Top 20 hit was accompanied by a Hype Williams-directed visual. Word to the fisheye lens and the trash bag, right?

Baby Got Back

15 U Can’t Touch This MC Hammer Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em

1990

SEE SEE SEE u

o o if y pen

1997

Hammer pants first made their debut on the Arsenio Hall show, and “Stop… Hammertime” was a widely used motto in the early ’90s as a result of this hip hop crossover’s “too legit to quit” power.

u

p t e h

14

Sir Mix-A-Lot 1992 / Mack Daddy

Not a man to mince words, Sir Mix-ALot got busy describing his desires in this early ’90s ode to ladies with large rear-ends. 11 Gangsta’s Paradise Coolio ft. LV 1995 / Gangsta’s Paradise

Not only was this creepy-sounding song on the Dangerous Minds soundtrack, but the video featured the film’s star, Michelle Pfeiffer, having a staring contest with the Compton rapper.

Mama Said Knock You Out LL Cool J 1991 / Mama Said Knock You Out

fo

r me

Shirtless in the middle of a boxing ring is how you picture LL when you think of this endearingly tough Marly Marl-produced song that revved the engine for his career and earned him a Grammy in ’92.

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Music

06 Killing Me Softly Fugees 1996 / The Score

Before her Miseducation album, Lauryn Hill’s vocals spilled into radio airwaves and had little girls singing into their hair brushes and women grabbing for kleenex.

Come through, have sex on rugs that’s Persian

05

03

Gin & Juice

Nuthin’ But A G Thang

Snoop Dogg

Dr. Dre ft. Snoop Dogg

1994 / Doggystyle

1992 / The Chronic

In addition to giving America an idea of the laid-back, West Coast lifestyle, the video captured one of the best behind-your-parents’ back house parties ever.

The first single off of his debut solo album, “Nuthin’ But a G Thang” is Dre’s only song in Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. The Cali producer and rapper earned major cool points for his innovative sound early in the decade.

10

04

Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See

The Notorious B.I.G. ft. Puff Daddy & Mase

Busta Rhymes

1997 / Life After Death

1997 / When Disaster Strikes…

Puffy made sure everything was over-thetop. Seeing him and Ma$e on a golf course for the Bad Boy World Champion PGA Tour was an entertaining substitute for an already-deceased Biggie Smalls.

Another Hype-directed video, Busta already had his footing as an artist, and burst on the scene with a tribal themed video to support his second album’s lead single. Glow paint, y’all – buy some.

02

Mo Money Mo Problems

California Love Tupac ft. Dr. Dre 1995 / All Eyez On Me

From this Dre and Pac collabo, a timeless Cali anthem emerged alongside a video of epic proportions.

09 It Was A Good Day Ice Cube

,

1993 / The Predator

Taking a break from his gangster South Central lifestyle, Cube took some time out to tell us about a liesurely day in his life where positive vibes were on full flourish. 08 Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem) Jay-Z 1998 / Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life

A specialist at piggy-backing on pop culture iconography, Hova used music from Broadway musical Annie to help paint a picture of his experiences growing up in New York City’s concrete jungle. 07 My Name Is Eminem 1999 / The Slim Shady LP

“My Name Is” was Em’s rambunctious introduction to the world, and with the help of Dr. Dre and in-your-face controversial imagery in the video, it clearly accomplished everything they aimed to, plus more.

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01

me

Juicy The Notorious B.I.G. ft. Total 1994 / Ready To Die

Everyone knows this song, even your grandmother; spread love, it’s the Brooklyn way! “Juicy” was Biggie’s first single and, in most cases, is rapped word for word by fans.




SEINFELD EPISODE GUIDE

The Most Iconic Episodes The most memorable moments All 9 seasons and 169 episodes For novices and big fans The Contest, The Abstinence & more!

ILLUSTRATIVE GUIDE

The Most Iconic Seinfeld Episodes Saying a lot about the show about nothing. At long last, you will no longer feel overwhelmed when looking at the long list of Episodes titled “The —”. Following years of speculation about when and where the historic sitcom would arrive Online, it finally became available to stream in 2015. But with 169 episodes in the Seinfeld archive, it’s understandable if you’re intimidated by the idea of entering the vault without a guide. In the interest of both helping novices prioritize and reminding veterans about forgotten jewels, we’ve listed some of the funniest and greatest episodes to exist. The list is based less on cultural significance — you may not find the most recognizable episodes on the list — and more on the density and quality of jokes, the inclusion of multiple strong narrative arcs, and, to a lesser extent, how well the comedy and stories have aged. That said, even the worst (well, maybe the fourth-worst) episode of Seinfeld is better than most of what you’ll currently find on network TV — and now it’s just an Online search away. The bingeing is going to be real, and it’s going to be spectacular. BY LARRY FITZMAURICE

Saying a lot about a show about nothing TIMEMACHINE

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SEINFELD EPISODE GUIDE

THE CHAPERONE THE STALL Season 5

THE PUFFY SHIRT Season 5

Larry David has described this episode, centered around a “low talker” who accidentally convinces Jerry to model the titular shirt on the Today show, as one of his favorites of the series. George suffers living with his parents, and his insults towards Jerry’s shirt end up costing him his new hand modeling career.

Kramer's phone-sex plotline feels ripped from Seinfeld's more sex-obsessed early seasons, but what redeems the episode is George's failed bromance with Tony — including quite possibly the only worthwhile acting performance from Dan Cortese. Elaine and Jerry's new girlfriend have an awkward and tragic meeting in the washroom that neither of them know about until later in the episode. "I don't have a square to spare".

THE INVITATIONS Season 9

Even if George didn’t directly kill Susan, the way he deals with what should be a tragic moment is so brutally, uncomfortably funny that it hurts almost as much as actual grief.

Season 6

Jerry accidentally kills his girlfriend's doves before she competes in the Miss America pageant — but he doesn't seem to care. George switches the Yankee uniforms from polyester to cotton, and it goes horribly — yet Jerry has no sympathy. George may be the more obvious jerk, but "The Chaperone" is an important episode because it serves as a reminder that Jerry is a pretty big dick, too.

THE SECRET CODE Season 7

If you don’t pour out an entire container of Bosco after this episode, you clearly have no respect for the dead.

THE RYE Season 7

Actually, maybe this is the worst thing Jerry does during the course of Seinfeld. George pulling the marble rye through the window on a fishing hook cements the episode’s canon-level status, but Elaine’s oral-sex-focused subplot is curiously undersung — especially since a poorly played saxophone is always funny.

THE DEAL Season 2

Larry David specifically wrote this episode to satisfy NBC brass’s continued demands to get Jerry and Elaine back together, and it’s easy to see why they were eager to split them up shortly thereafter. The highlights of this episode include Jerry’s birthday gift to Elaine of $182 cash, George’s outburst in the coffee shop, and the intense back-and-forth discussion between Jerry and Elaine deciding on rules for this..uhm, arrangement.

THE CONTEST Season 4

Even today it’s easy to marvel at how much comedy is packed into these 22 minutes without feeling like overkill: George’s odd choices for masturbation material (“Glamour?!”), Estelle Costanza yelling at him in the hospital room, the sponge bath, “I’m out!” Elaine’s JFK Jr. obsession, and the episode ending with the gang ostensibly watching Kramer have sex with the naked woman in the apartment across the street. At this point in the show’s run, Seinfeld had already incorporated several clever masturbation jokes into episodes. But here, they created an entire episode about it without once saying the word. Peerless TV, no question.

THE MANGO

Season 5

Talk of faking orgasms on a single episode of network TV that aired in 1993 is groundbreaking stuff. Elaine admits to “faking it” during her relationship with Jerry. Meanwhile, Kramer’s fruit-obsessed subplot helps George get his sex life back.

THE OPPOSITE Season 5

What if doing the exact opposite of what you would typically do could improve your life? Taking a hard look at the show’s power dynamic, treating George and Elaine like elevators: One goes up and the other goes down, while Jerry remains neutral.

THE HAMPTONS Season 5

"You have nothing better to do at three o' clock in the afternoon? I go out for a quart of milk, I come home, and find my son treating his body like it was an amusement park!" The Contest, Season 4 10

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June 1993

SHRINKAGE! A brilliantly constructed episode in which George is the victim of a series of misfortunes, then seems to get the satisfying revenge he seeks — before getting a tomato slammed in his face.

THE FUSILI JERRY Season 6

One word: "ASSMAN." It was a million-to-one shot, doc! The impending divorce of George's parents comes to a head here, and it's defused in a brilliant way when Kramer accidentally uses the same "stopping short" move on Estelle that Frank once employed to jump-start their romance many years ago. Also, the introduction of Elaine's recurring boyfriend Puddy, played with aplomb by Patrick Warburton.

THE NOSE JOB Season 3

George’s horrified reaction to his girlfriend Audrey’s plastic surgery — which he talked her into — speaks to his despicable core, but there’s something ultimately dissatisfying about seeing Kramer


SEINFELD EPISODE GUIDE

THE PITCH Season 4

Season 5

THE MARINE BIOLOGIST

THE ABSTINENCE

A significant episode simply because it introduces Seinfeld’s greatest tragic figure: Susan, whose debut involves being the target of Kramer’s explosive disagreement with some spoiled milk.

George has told a lot of lies — a lot of lies — throughout Seinfeld, but his pretending to be a marine biologist to impress a former classmate-cum-love-interest is one of his greatest and most flimsy. And yet, he almost pulls it off. More physical-comedy genius from Kramer, too, as he shakes sand out of his pockets following a disastrous golfing day at the beach. George pulling a golf ball out of a whale is an iconic ending and Jerry’s favorite moment of all nine seasons.

George abstains from having sex and becomes a genius, while Elaine also stops having sex and becomes a moron. Watching Elaine act like an idiot has its charms (given that she’s probably the smartest written female in a sitcom of all time), and watching George ace Jeopardy! is a special thrill. But what puts this episode into underrated territory is Kramer’s subplot of suing the tobacco industry, with our favorite Seinfeld bit player Jackie Chiles.

THE VIRGIN Season 4

A setup for the all-time classic “The Contest,” this episode is one of many in which George both intentionally and unintentionally enacts incredible cruelty towards Susan.

THINGS YOU DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT

Season 8

THE SERENITY NOW Season 9

Lloyd Braun finally loses to George — but let’s face it, George is forever a loser. Elaine is swarmed by marriage proposals and other propositions from men who can’t resist her “shiksa appeal” — including Jerry and George. George is right, too: “Hoochie mama” is more fun to yell than “Serenity now!”

THE CHINESE RESTAURANT Season 2

The long wait at a busy restaurant. This episode is as groundbreaking as Seinfeld gets — it drives home the “show about nothing” conceit and makes it work structurally, laying the groundwork for many future TV shows (as well as many future episodes of Seinfeld). It’s best moments — Elaine attempting to eat off a patron’s plate as part of a bet, the restaurant’s host yelling “Cartwright!” when George’s girlfriend calls looking for him — make it an above-average episode with a narrative device that delivers the rest of the way.

It was originally titled "The Seinfeld Chronicles" but was changed because of a failed ABC show called "The Marshall Chronicles" In the pilot Kramer was called Kessler because the guy Larry David based the character on hadn't given consent yet to use his name

It was set in NYC's Upper West Side, but mainly shot in LA

"I've driven women to lesbianism before but never to a mental institution" The Truth, Season 3

THE YADA YADA Season 8

It was the first TV series to get more than $1 Million a Minute for advertising (previously only commanded by the Super Bowl) Jerry was offered $5 Million an episode to do one more season but he declined because 9 was his favourite number Each episode has a Superman reference in it

It won 10 Primetime Emmy Awards

76 Million viewers tuned in for the series finale. 58% of TV watchers that night

THE ALTERNATE SIDE Season 3

We get a taste of how cruel Elaine can be when she breaks up with an older boyfriend after he has a stroke. George trying to be an amateur parking attendant offers some laughs, but let's face it — you're here to hear Kramer utter, "These pretzels are making me thirsty."

THE BETRAYAL

Season 9

Ah, the infamous “backwards episode,” which was hated at the time of release. It gets a little confusing, but getting Elaine drunk to “open the vault” and George’s black-spray-painted Timberlands remain something to behold, in forward or backward motion.

Seinfeld didn’t invent yada yada, but it did propel it to stratospheric pop-cultural prominence — unlike spongeworthy, people still say it today. As for whether or not Tim Whatley converted to Judaism for the jokes, does it matter? He tries to use mistletoe on Elaine during Hanukkah in “The Strike,” so either way, his commitment to the religion is dubious.

THE PEZ DISPENSER Season 3

Sometimes all you need is one unforgettable moment to make a Seinfeld episode — and here, Jerry clapping his fingers together for the Tweety bird Pez dispenser is that moment. We also get our first whiff of Kramer’s beach-scented cologne, as well as tragic dovetail between an intervention for Jerry’s friend and a Polar Bear Club meeting.

THE PARKING GARAGE Season 3

This feels like a urine-laden replication of the groundbreaking “Chinese Restaurant” episode. Hilarious banter between the characters as they spend hours searching for the car — and RIP, Elaine’s fish, you never stood a chance.

THE CHEEVER LETTERS Season 4

After Kramer burned the Ross’s cabin down in “The Bubble Boy” episode, it’s up to George and Susan to deliver the bad news to Henry, Susan’s serious, gruff, humorless father. Jerry, meanwhile, starts dating Elaine’s assistant Sandra, who is, simply, a crazy person. A hand on his leg leads to some upstairs dirty talk on Columbus Avenue, until Jerry takes things a little too far.

It began and ended with a conversation about a shirt button TIMEMACHINE

June 1993 10


SEINFELD EPISODE GUIDE

THE BUTTER SHAVE Season 9

Another patently ridiculous episode, à la “The Frogger.” Kramer’s lotion becomes appealingly aromatic after he bakes in the sun too long, causing Newman to have cannibalistic thoughts. The montage of George pretending to be handicapped at Play Now! set to Sheena Easton’s “Morning Train” is its own highlight reel.

THE MAID Season 9

THE RED DOT Season 3

Jerry accidentally sends Elaine’s boyfriend back “on the wagon”, and George invests in a bargain cashmere cardigan for Elaine as a thank-you gift for his new job. This sweater soon becomes the bane of George’s existence as nobody has any interest in a sweater with a red dot on it. George’s sexual indiscretion during his tenure at Pendant Publishing (“Was that wrong?”) is one for the ages.

It’s Elaine’s turn to sink to a new, horrifying low — in this case, by pretending to die over the phone when a persistent child keeps dialing her number thinking that he’s calling his deceased nana. (Blame the change of New York City area codes, or don’t.) Possibly the best Kruger-era episode for George (er, “T-Bone”), too.

THE FIX UP

THE PEN Season 3

The only episode that doesn’t feature George, which made Alexander so mad that he threatened to leave the show if the writers ever turned in another script that excluded his character. This episode is marvelous — a headfirst dive into the world of Del Boca Vista, where we’re introduced to Jack Klompus and see the infamous astronaut pen. A muscle-relaxant-fueled Elaine hollering “STELLA!!!!” at the end earns Louis-Dreyfus a million trillion Emmys.

Season 4

Despite this episode’s potent quotable (“They’re real, and they’re spectacular”), the plot concerning whether “they’re” real or not isn’t actually all that funny. You know what is funny? George trying to get discounted airfare while traveling to a girlfriend’s family member’s funeral — and getting into a fight with one of her relatives over double-dipping a chip.

Season 3

A lot of exposition around a broken condom and a possible pregnancy builds to one of the best endings of the entire series, as George repulses his girlfriend Cynthia with his slovenly eating habits. Also, the woman playing Cynthia? A pre-Janice-from-Friends

THE SOUP NAZI Season 7

One of many episodes where the cultural resonance (“No soup for you!”) overshadows the episode’s comedic material — George’s annoyance at Jerry and his girlfriend Sheila calling each other “schmoopie” is funny, and Elaine and Kramer try (and fail) to move armoire into the former’s apartment.

Season 5

Annnnnnd, this might be the worst thing George does in the entire nine seasons of the show. The police officer asking him how, exactly, he lives with himself is a proxy for all of us. Props to the writers for plotting a complicated but totally sound “No bad deed goes unpunished” story involving Jerry and Elaine, where the former’s fulfillment of every comedian’s revenge fantasy results in the latter losing a promotion.

THE GLASSES Season 5

Elaine getting rabies and foaming at the mouth is one of “those moments” that makes this episode stand above many others despite its relatively weak plot. (Another is George showing off the glasses that gave the episode its name.)

"She doesn't even REACH for the check. All I'm asking for is a reach. Is that so much to ask?

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The Pick, Season 4

THE IMPLANT

THE FIRE

The Airport, Season 4

"Look at this picture carefully. Because, I'm not sure..and correct me if I'm wrong, but I think I see a nipple"

THE LIP READER Season 5

THE LITTLE KICKS Season 9

Any time you feel uneasy about attending an office party, remember Elaine.

THE SPONGE Season 7

When it comes to vanity on Seinfeld, does any infraction come close to Jerry adjusting the size number on his jeans from a 32 to a 31? The episode also features the classic Elaine contraceptive plotline that gives the episode its name and coins the pop-cultural catchphrase spongeworthy.

There are many episodes of Seinfeld where single big moments — quotes, images, actions — compensate for an underwhelming plot. While Marlee Matlin’s turn as a lip-reader who helps George learn why an ex-girlfriend dumped him is a decent arc, it’s the image of George sloppily eating an icecream sundae at the U.S. Open that’s almost as unforgettable as Kramer’s ball-boy mishaps.

THE BABY SHOWER Season 2

One of George’s pettiest moments in the series, plus the introduction of Elaine’s on-again, off-again Kennedy obsession. Kramer has the best line in this one during a bizarro dream sequence that shouldn’t work but does anyway: “Cable boy … what have you done to my cable boy?”



Little naked creatures with creepy red eyes and neon tufts of hair..What’s not to love?

TR


OK, ADMIT IT—somewhere, in the past, there has been a troll in your life. However that troll got there, you are in good company—trolls have been immensely popular dolls, and there seems to be a troll or two in almost any household you come across. There have literally been thousands of varieties of troll dolls produced, by many manufacturers. In fact, trolls were the second biggest selling doll of the sixties (the troll heyday!), right after Barbie! And while children of the ‘90s might remember collecting the wildhaired, naked dolls or topping their pencils with the miniature figures, children of the ‘60s were collecting their own versions.

ROLLS The story behind the North American craze, and collecting them today By Denise Van Patten


TOYS

We loved collecting things that looked like they wanted to kill you in your sleep Trolls have been a part of folklore forever--as bad and mischievous creatures who lived in caves, in logs, and under bridges. Trolls are believed to be good luck, which certainly has helped the sale of troll dolls--troll dolls can be found in houses, in cars, even at work, purchased with the hope that they will bring luck to their owners.

Trolls in their collectible form were first created by Thomas Dam and his family, in Denmark in the 1950s. The first Dam trolls were carved in wood. Later, they were made of soft rubber. Most of these trolls are unmarked, so it is often difficult to identify trolls from any of the “clone” troll makers. Many of the clone troll manufacturers were from Hong Kong and Taiwan, and the trolls they made were cheap imitations and of low quality. These low-quality trolls flooded the market in the mid-1960s, which caused trolls to become less popular—troll popularity peaked approximately in 1966. Trolls went downhill from there and became almost invisible by the 1980s.

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TIMEMACHINE

June 1993

However, starting in 1989, troll production started in earnest again, when troll nostalgia hit big, causing the second boom period for trolls in the early 1990s. They were found in nearly every toy shop and gift shop. Today, trolls are not as common as in the early 1990s, but can still be found.

They were so ugly... that you couldn’t help but laugh, and when you laugh, luck follows you.

Today’s trolls are made by several manufacturers, including Dam Trolls which only sells their current trolls in Denmark.

Nothing bad can happen to a person who is laughing... While trolls range from large to child-sized in various fairytales, their primary characteristic has always been their extreme ugliness. In their mythology, they often live under bridges or in the mountains, they spend their time tricking humans out of their money, and they’re always hideous. But Dam managed to take the usually ugly features—wrinkly faces, bulbous noses, oversized ears—and turn them into tiny, oddly adorable figurines.

And since, according to Scandinavian tradition, nothing bad can happen to a person who is laughing, Dam thought of his charmingly unattractive little trolls—which he named Good Luck Trolls—as chuckle-inducing talismans. “They were so ugly,” Dam once said, “that you couldn’t help but laugh, and when you laugh, luck follows you.”

Not all Trolls are valuable Even the hair on trolls heads has been varied--mohair, fur, nylon, straw--nearly anything you could think of. The nicest troll hair--often mohair--was found on the early 1960s Dam Things trolls.

Some of the rarest and most sought-after trolls include animal trolls (trolls made to resemble various animals--lions, giraffes, cats, etc.) moon trolls, 2-headed trolls (extremely rare!) and black trolls (also very rare). Large Dam trolls (12” and over) are extremely desirable. In addition to the rare trolls mentioned above (animal, moon, 2-headed, and black), look for original 1960s Dam trolls in their original costumes, with their hair and body in good condition. Dam trolls had felt clothing that was often riveted to the body (very different than the clothing on the later Russ trolls, which often is made of synthetic fiber and has Velcro closures).


TOYS

Many older trolls are found naked today because the felt was fragile and often disintegrated. Prices on trolls range from only a few dollars ($1 to $5) for late, common Russ trolls, to $200+ for rare 1960s Dam Things animal trolls (like giraffes and lions). Smaller, more common animals can be $25 to $50. NonDam troll animals can be much cheaper, especially if their tags are not attached. Small 1960s trolls can be found for $15-$30.

$

Certain rare, vintage Nyform trolls from Norway can bring over $500 as can rarer 12” Dam trolls from the 1960s

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As of 2016, prices on trolls range from only a few dollars ($1 to $5) for late, common Russ trolls, to $200+ for rare 1960s Dam Things animal trolls (like giraffes and lions). Smaller, more common animals can be $25 to $50. Non-Dam troll animals can be much cheaper, especially if their tags are not attached. Small 1960s trolls can be found for $15-$30. Certain rare, vintage Nyform trolls from Norway can bring over $500 as can rarer large (12”) Dam trolls from the 1960s.

Rastas, students, elves... The variety of trolls that have been produced is almost overwhelming--one troll collector, Lisa Moss*, has over 4,000 types of trolls!! There have been ugly, pretty, mean, strong, fat and skinny trolls. Some people think troll dolls are cute, others think them outrageously ugly. There have been Rasta trolls, and pencil topper trolls and numerous holiday-themed trolls (santas, elves, reindeer). There are ballerina trolls, college trolls, and “shapely” female trolls with boobs. Trolls have been made out of vinyl, wood, hemp, rubber, glass, porcelain and ceramics.

I wouldn’t be surprised at this point if you are looking for a box in your garage that has your old trolls from your college or childhood!

Trolls have done police work The police department in Tarpon Springs, Florida bought 5000 trolls in 2003 and put them to work. The goal? To build relationships with the area children. “Say no to drugs” bracelets and other objects had been popular. Police handed out the trolls at Halloween and at various community events.

I wouldn’t be surprised at this point if you are looking for a box in your garage that has your old trolls from your college or childhood! Remember, though, all trolls are not valuable today. They were produced in the hundreds of millions, and only mint and rare trolls Remember, though, all trolls are not valuable today.

TIMEMACHINE

June 1993 10


TOYS

What to look for

The sheep’s wool used was dyed three colors and glued on the tops of the dolls for a bushy, exaggerated mane that was“strangely soothing to the touch.

Trolls have been a part of folklore forever--as bad and mischievous creatures who lived in caves, in logs, and under bridges. Trolls are believed to be good luck, which certainly has helped the sale of troll dolls-troll dolls can be found in houses, in cars, even at work, purchased with the hope that they will bring luck to their owners. Trolls in their collectible form were first created by Thomas Dam and his family, in Denmark in the 1950s. The first Dam trolls were carved in wood. Later, they were made of soft rubber, and finally, vinyl. The trolls made by Thomas Dam’s company became known as “Dam Things,” and these are the most popular trolls with collectors today. Most collectors believe that the Dam Thing trolls have the most character, the best clothing, and the highest quality.

Betty Miller became the first woman to fly solo across the Pacific. Her only company for the arduous flight? A Dammit doll. Miller was invited to the White House to meet President John F. Kennedy, and she brought her trusty troll doll with her. They were found in nearly every toy shop and gift shop. Today, trolls are not as common as in the early 1990s, but can still be found. Today’s trolls are made by several manufacturers, including Dam Trolls which only sells their current trolls in Denmark. Trolls have been a part of folklore forever--as bad and mischievous creatures who lived in caves, in logs, and under bridges. Trolls are believed to be good luck, which certainly has helped the sale of troll dolls--troll dolls can be found in houses, in cars, even at work, purchased with the hope that they will bring luck to their owners. Trolls in their collectible form were first created by Thomas Dam and his family, in Denmark in the 1950s. The first Dam trolls were carved in wood. Later, they were made of soft rubber, and finally, vinyl. The trolls made by Thomas Dam’s company became known as “Dam Things,” and these are the most popular trolls with collectors today. Most collectors believe that the Dam Thing trolls have the most character, the best clothing, and the highest quality.

Trolls have been a part of folklore forever--as bad and mischievous creatures who lived in caves, in logs, and under bridges. Trolls are believed to be good luck, which certainly has helped the sale of troll dolls--troll dolls can be found in houses, in cars, even at work, purchased with the hope that they will bring luck to their owners. Trolls in their collectible form were first created by Thomas Dam and his family, in Denmark in the 1950s. The first Dam trolls were carved in wood. Later, they were made of soft rubber, and finally, vinyl. Although Dam Things made the most well-known and most collectible trolls, many companies got on the troll bandwagon and began to produce trolls in the mid-1960s. Trolls have been a part of folklore forever--as bad and mischievous creatures who lived in caves, in logs, and under bridges. Trolls are believed to be good luck, which certainly has helped the sale of troll dolls-troll dolls can be found in houses, in cars, even at work.

10

TIMEMACHINE

June 1993

Trolls have been a part of folklore forever--as bad and mischievous creatures who lived in caves, in logs, and under bridges. Trolls are believed to be good luck, which certainly has helped the sale of troll dolls-troll dolls can be found in houses, in cars, even at work, purchased with the hope that they will bring luck to their owners.

It is estimated that $4.5 Billion has been made from Trolls throughout the world Trolls in their collectible form were first created by Thomas Dam and his family, in Denmark in the 1950s. The first Dam trolls were carved in wood. Later, they were made of soft rubber, and finally, vinyl.



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