As I was growing up (late eighties and nineties), goblins were mostly confined to Labyrinth, weird rubbery puppets that came in their own cage, and an excellent PC game that I don’t remember much about. I’m pretty sure it was just called Goblins and there were little bottles or something. Whatever it was about, I know it was fun and difficult!
Kids these days have the Philip Reeves books, although I haven’t tried them myself. But what is a goblin?
A goblin is a mythical creature of Germanic and British folklore, often believed to be the evil, or merely mischievous, opposite of the more benevolent faeries and spirits of lore. Like many such creatures, there is no single version of a goblin; the term is more generic for those small creatures that live in dark places and cause trouble, but in more recent years, the term has become more concentrated on green-creatures that live in caves and terrorize children. They are either simply tricksters and mischievous, like immature children, or malevolent, evil-doers dangerous to human beings. Like many similar creatures, they have the characteristics of spirits rather than beings existing in the physical world. Thus, they share similarities with ghosts and and also with demons as associated with some Christian teachings and lore… They could also transform themselves into humans and mislead people. In later tengu, legends they become more mischievous and even helpful to people. – New World Encyclopedia