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At a Glance

U.S. Trolls

2305 Market Street Wilmington, NC 28403


Hours: Open seven days a week. The store is open 10 a.m.– 6 p.m. six days a week. On Sundays it is open from noon to 5 p.m.

The troll store also has a weekend story time.



In case you haven't noticed, we here at Interesting America are rather partial to trolls, as evidenced by our stories on “A Troll in the Park” in Gaitlinburg, Tennessee; “America's Troll Capital,” Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, and the one on this page that examines the endearing Fauni trolls of U.S. Trolls in Wilmington, North Carolina.

The possibility that trolls represent something other than mythic beings appeared in modern times when the late scientist Ivan T. Sanderson wrote the essay, “Now Meet the NonTerrestrial,” in the January 1959 issue of Fantastic Universe. Sanderson and others actually believed that reports of trolls, gnomes, fairies, kobolds (little creatures allegedly inhabiting mines in Germany) and other “little people” may describe genuine denizens of a parallel reality or higher dimension who occasionally make their presence known in our world. Needless to say, it's a pretty wild idea not shared by many scientists and researchers, but it's something that a troll afficionado would find quite tantalizing.






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Trolls in the Family

Fun Places to Visit

Fauni Trolls: Fun, Friendly and Educational (Wilmington, North Carolina)

By Abby Slutsky — January 7, 2011

The U.S. Troll store, currently located in Wilmington, North Carolina, has been delighting customers with trolls for over 30 years. The Kuuskoski family, which owns the store, previously made trolls in Finland. Although Scandinavian folklore routinely depicts trolls as evil, the Kuuskoski family creates friendly trolls that appeal to children and adults.

(Original Troll Characters, Concept, Stories and © by Helena, Minna and Johannes Kuuskoski.)

Helena Kuuskoski began making stuffed, lovable trolls in 1952. Her hobby attracted locals, and visitors so she started selling trolls in Finland. She began calling her trolls Fauni Trolls, named after the Greek God of the Forests. Her troll business, surrounded by acres of wooded land, was the perfect setting for her trolls, who lived in the imaginary world of Trolldom, a land with abundant forests. Her family obtained permits and created Trolldom Park, a theme park, without rides, that had costumed troll characters. The park provided entertainment while educating people about trolls.

After a visit to the leopards' class at northern infant school in portchester, england, the Troll Council was happy to send the students an Official Trolldom Diploma. (Original Troll Characters, Concept, Stories and © by Helena, Minna and Johannes Kuuskoski.)

Although the park was well visited, eventually the Kuuskoski family moved to the United States in the 1970s because Finland tax laws made it difficult to operate the park and store profitably. Today it seems appropriate that the store is in their home on Market Street, in Wilmington, North Carolina. The warm, inviting atmosphere and service make customers feel as valued as family members. Helena passed her infectious enthusiasm for trolls to her children, Minna and Johannes, who help run the family-based business.

A Brief Description of Fauni Trolls

There are approximately 40 or 50 different Fauni trolls. They are hand-made out of fabric, felt, leather, and occasionally real fur. All trolls are soft, cuddly and come with a story about their life, background or interests. The trolls are friendly and have ethical moral values. Most Fauni trolls have names that describe their appearances.

Each troll is unique. Some have furry mustaches, interesting hats, or unusual hair. Some trolls are available in more than one color. Large, medium, and small trolls are available, and larger trolls are more expensive. They range in price, but trolls are between $6 and $37.

There are trolls that appeal to any age because there are humans who can relate to the different problems that the trolls face. The troll community includes busy parents, troll kids, preschoolers, grandparents, lovers and adventurers. Many trolls have jobs and responsibilities. Some are protectors, mail carriers, writers or have other professions. Just like humans, many trolls have weaknesses. For example, they may be absent-minded or overly curious.

Trolldom: A Magical Place Where Trolls Live

Fauni Trolls live in Trolldom, a magical forest that is in an unknown part of the world. Like any land, everything in Trolldom is not perfect, and trolls are not the only inhabitants there. Mudhats reside in Trolldom and are enemies of the Trolls, often causing them problems. Sneaky is the leader of the Mudhats. The antics of the Mudhats usually involve the wrong behavior. Many of the troll stories involve problems caused by Mudhats and end with solutions.

friendly Trolls have some very nasty neighbors, the Mudhats, who live in the awful Mudswamp just outside of Trolldom. (Original Troll Characters, Concept, Stories and © by Helena, Minna and Johannes Kuuskoski.)

If people could visit Trolldom, they would see many fascinating activities. Trolls look out for their young in Trolldom. Sometimes Moko Trolls, Trolldom's message carriers, transport young trolls’ baskets through the air. Visitors might also see young trolls climbing trees.

A design of Trolldom is available for visitors to see. The Kuuskoski family hopes to one day create a Trolldom Park in the United States where troll enthusiasts can come visit their favorite trolls.

Highlights about a Few Trolls

Trumpetnose, the troll leader, is a writer. Trumpetnose is a friendly dark-haired troll. Bugbear is an adventurous, cheerful troll who looks like a bear. Boxtroll, is a blue troll, made out of box shapes. Little Busters are furry, child-like trolls, who love to explore.

tRUMPETNOSE (at left), is a poet and the long-time leader of Trolldom. At right is his good friend and excellent assistant, Murriboy.
(Original Troll Characters, Concept, Stories and © by Helena, Minna and Johannes Kuuskoski.)

There are many other trolls in Trolldom, who help promote educational values and demonstrate positive qualities. Fauni troll creators do not consciously create new trolls for Trolldom, but they gradually evolve when the time seems right.

Visiting U.S. Trolls

Visitors can explore the store seven days a week. The store is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. six days a week. It is open from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. In the store, trolls are busy climbing ladders or nestled in baskets. The store also sells plastic, pre-owned trolls.

Boxtroll is a big, friendly kind-of-square Troll from Boxplanet, a square planet somewhere in Outer Space. it is so far away that people haven't discovered it yet. Not only is the planet square, but everything on the planet is square (and blue) as well. (Original Troll Characters, Concept, Stories and © by Helena, Minna and Johannes Kuuskoski.)

The troll store has a weekend story time. There are pillows and chairs, so children and adults are comfortable. Story selection is based on the audience. Often the story time concludes with a discussion that encourages audience participation. Store proprietors are happy to accommodate requests and provide a story any day of the week. However, advanced scheduling and a minimum of five listeners are required.

Of course, those who buy a troll will enjoy reading the story about their troll repeatedly. The Trollforest website provides short biographies about the different trolls. Children are also encouraged to write to trolls and can receive responses.

LITUSKAs are the brave Guardian Trolls of Trolldom, standing side-by-side at trolldom's border to ensure that Bad Guys don't get in. they look very friendly and sweet, and they are, but they can also be stern and tough. They have incredible eyesight and excellent hearing. They can just look at a person and tell whether they are a Good Guy or a Bad Guy. (Original Troll Characters, Concept, Stories and © by Helena, Minna and Johannes Kuuskoski.)

In addition to selling trolls, the Kuuskoski family created a line of Troll charms in 2007. These are smaller trolls, made out of fabric, that are only two or three inches tall. They are adorably furry with playful hair, mustaches or other facial details. Similar to regular trolls, charms have names and interests. Several troll charms love sports. Some troll charms like to read. There are also charms of Mudhats who are enemies of the trolls. Troll charms are only $6.00 and come with a charm clip or ribbon. They are ideal as Christmas ornaments, and some are specially designed for the holiday. Many standard size Fauni trolls are available in charm sizes. Since they are tiny, troll charms are for hanging rather than play. They are perfect for the person who wants to accumulate a troll collection at a reasonable price.

If you are in Wilmington, North Carolina, a visit to the U.S. Troll store will delight and educate children and adults alike. The cuddly trolls are soft and easy to pack making them the ideal souvenir or gift. After visiting U.S. Troll, you may become enthusiastic about trolls too. end-of-article_dingbat


Abby SlutskyAbby Slutsky is a freelance writer and poet whose work appears both on the Internet and in print (she has had articles published in Sasee Magazine and Learning Through History). She has a BA in English writing from the University of Pennsylvania, a Masters in Education from Chestnut Hill College and a Juris Doctorate from Boston University. In her spare time, she volunteers for a hospice, plays Mah Jongg and shuttles her two boys to USTA junior tennis tournaments. A resident of Pennsylvania, she enjoys cake decorating, writing and traveling.

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