Let’s begin with a small history of bobbleheads. 2000 : Bobbleheads seemed to be 20th century relic by the turn of the century until a promotion by the San Francisco Giants brought the bobblehead back to the public eye. The Giants offered a Willie Mays bobblehead to the first 20,000 visitors on May 9th to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Candlestick Park, which was the last year of the Giants playing at that stadium. New variations of the bobblehead were made including the mini-bobblehead, bobble computer sitters, bobblehead banks, and even bobblehead air fresheners. The Guinness Book of World Record for largest bobblehead was set for a bobblehead in the likeness of TV show host Chuck Woolery. The bobblehead weighed 900 pounds, was 11 feet tall and was originally displayed at the McCormick Place, Chicago, Illinois.
How are bobbleheads made? We begin with the head of the bobble head doll. The body is made of hollow plastic that is covered by felt cloth. On the head, a metal clasp is connected to the downward portion of the head to connect into the bobble head dog’s body. At the far end of the body is a bolt that acts as a weight for the head. When attached to the body, this allows for the bobble head to sway and bob around. Without the weighed bolt at the end, the bobble head would simply rise to the top of the body in a fixed position. Next up is the body of the bobble head doll. The body, which in this case is about 4″ (10.16cm) in length, is made of a hollow core like the head, but the mold is not enclosed in order to allow space for the head piece to attach to the body. To attach to the body, a small metal anchor is attached inside the upper portion of the body to allow the clasp from the head to rest in the center of the anchor. When the head is attached to the body, the bobble head bobs and glides with ease. The movement can be endless as long as the bobble head doll is in contact with motion to jostle the parts enough to cause movement.
The first mass promotion of the bobbing head doll was done for Major League Baseball’s World Series and these bobble heads were imported from Japan and made of paper mache. Shortly thereafter, the switch was made to ceramic for the bobbing head to become more durable and long lasting. Throughout the 1960’s, bobble head dolls became very popular. Sports teams made bobbing heads of their most popular players such as Willie Mays and even baseball team mascots like Mr. Met were enshrined in ceramic. The first bobble head craze ended in the early 1970’s. New collecting crazes began and went full steam ahead into the 1980’s including lunchboxes, action figures, and video games.
Bobblehead is a collectable doll which has characteristically oversized head that is connected to the body with spring or wire and when the head is lightly tapped it would bobble from which doll got its name. Some of the alternative names are bobble heads, Thanjavur thalayatti bommai, bobble head dolls, Tanjore head-shaking doll, bobbing heads, moving heads, nodders, nodding heads, akabeko, wobblers and nodding heads.
When it comes to collecting bobbleheads, there are few terms that are important to know when shopping or researching online: Retail – This means that the bobblehead can be purchased in a traditional brick-and-mortar store or at established online sites. These are mainly distinguished by the brand and theme of the set. This usually makes them the easiest to find, but limited edition versions go quickly.
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