Latex is VERY quick to break down unfortunately. I've used it to work with molding/casting, and you're definitely not gonna get much mileage out of it.
That said, it may not be latex used on the Yoda or the Cave Trolls and the like...
It may just be a similar, and cheap rubber. Wouldn't surprise me. Later Trolls fixed the problem using a stronger material, generally a Silicone rubber that has a longer life I think (I also use these frequently in casting). A means of maintaining the material can be the same way you maintain weather stripping on convertibles, by using silicone sprays. It's a bitch but it could work.
I hope that's able to help some?
Or at least give some reason for anger anyway.