Let’s begin with a small history of bobbleheads. 2015: A 1961-62 New York Yankees Oversized (14″) Promotional Nodder sold at auction by for $59,750. It was one of only two known in existence. According to John Brey of “The Nodder Exchange,” this was “the most desirable nodder in the hobby, bar none.” It’s a truth that endures regardless of your personal team affiliation, and it’s likely due to the fact that the Bronx Bombers claimed the World Championship during both potential years of production that the uniform was chosen. While five or fewer promotional nodders exist for each of the NFL teams of the era, only the Yankees model is believed to have been produced to represent our National Pastime. And today, just two of those are known to survive.
How are bobbleheads made? There are all types of bobble heads and they’re made from several types of materials. Generally, the most common bobble heads are made from resin and plastic. There are also ceramic and wooden bobble heads, but they are in the minority of the products currently produced. The resin bobble head dolls are solid and generally allow for greater details and finer contouring of the body. Plastic bobble heads are cast from a mold, but not all plastic bobbing heads are the same. Some styles rely purely on the mold as the entire product with the appropriate paint colors added. Our most popular bobble heads use a plastic inner shell that are not solid and are covered with felt cloth. The felt adds a layer of detail, a layer of feeling, and an additional layer of strength to the bobble head. With our bobble head animals, you’ll find that the eyes are made of plastic and some vary from completely solid colors to an eye complete with color and pupil.
The modern bobble head doll typically consists of two styles of body mold: A plastic body or ceramic body. The advent of the plastic mold over the past three decades allows for more unique designs and lightweight body styles. The time tested ceramic bobble head doll remains popular, but is more delicate in nature. There are generally two subsets of design of the plastic bobble heads doll. One style is a durable, sturdy plastic mold. The second is not only sturdy, but also covered in a “flocked” material, which is generally a cloth, fuzz material.
The first known mentioning of the bobblehead doll is in Nikolai Gogol’s 1842 short story “The Overcoat” where one of the characters is said to looks like one. It is also believed that moder bobblehead dolls originate from 18th century Germany where they were made of ceramic. These dolls in turn originate from Ancient Japanese and Chinese string dolls. Modern bobblehead dolls were first made from paper-mache, ceramic and plastic. 20th century bobblehead dolls were first made in 1920s. New York Knicks basketball player bobblehead was produced trhen but interest in them waned by 1930s and didn’t renew until 1950s.
When collecting anything, it is always good to be aware of the price points. Some bobbleheads can command insane amounts, but depending on the total production and the subject depicted, mosst can be found for just a few dollars. Collectors normally focus on one particular team or period, but it can be fun just to browse for random bobbleheads that catch your attention. Upon release, values tend to spike, but once the initial interest subsides, and assuming the supply has not been depleted, deals can be found on almost any bobblehead. Whether you can spend $10 per bobblehead, or thousands, there are plenty to go around for all budgets.
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