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Bobblehead

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A bobblehead, also known as a nodder, wobbler or bobble head, is a type of collectible toy. Its head is often oversized compared to its body. Instead of a solid connection, its head is connected to the body by a spring or hook[1] in such a way that a light tap will cause the head to bobble, hence the name.

History[edit]

During the seventeenth-century, figurines of Buddha and other religious figures called "temple nodders" were produced in Asia.[2] The earliest known Western reference to a bobblehead is thought to be in Nikolai Gogol's 1842 short story "The Overcoat", in which the main character's neck was described as "like the necks of plaster cats which wag their heads".[3] During the nineteenth-century, bisque-based bobbleheads were being made in limited quantities for the US market.[2] Many of the bobbleheads in the US were produced in Germany, with an uptick in imports during the 1920s and 30s.[4] By the 1950s, bobbleheads had a substantial surge in popularity, with items made of either plastic or bisque.[2]

By 1960, Major League Baseball had gotten in on the action and produced a series of Papier-mâché bobblehead dolls, one for each team, all with the same cherubic face, and a few select players over time.[5] The World Series held that year brought the first player-specific baseball bobbleheads, for Roberto Clemente, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, and Willie Mays, still all with the same face.[6] Over the next decade bobbleheads were also created with ceramics.[7] Within a few years, they would be produced for other sports,[8] as well as cartoon characters.[9] One of the most famous bobbleheads of all time also hails from this era: The Beatles bobblehead set,[10] which is a valuable collectible today.[4]

The next increase in popularity took place during the late 1990s.[11] Although older bobbleheads like the baseball teams and The Beatles were sought after by collectors during this period, new bobblehead dolls were few and far between. What finally prompted their resurgence was cheaper manufacturing processes, and the main bobblehead material switched, this time from ceramic to plastic. It was now possible to make bobbleheads in the very limited numbers necessary for them to be viable collectibles. On Aug. 2, 1997, the minor league Birmingham Barons gave away Barons Bobblehead Doll bobbleheads at a game.[12] The first major league baseball team to offer a bobblehead giveaway was the San Francisco Giants, which distributed 35,000 Willie Mays head nodders at their May 9, 1999 game.[1]

The variety of bobbleheads has grown to include even relatively obscure popular culture figures and notable people.[13][14] The new millennium would bring a new type of bobblehead toy, the mini-bobblehead, standing just two or three inches tall and used for cereal prizes and such. Post Cereals in particular packaged 22 million mini-bobble heads of MLB players with its cereal before opening day in 2002.[15] [2]

On November 18, 2014, it was announced that the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum would open in 2016 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The National Bobblehead HOF and Museum held a preview exhibit at RedLine Milwaukee from January 7tu, 2016 through April 30, 2016,[16] which showcased the largest public display of bobbleheads in history.[17] The 2000s also saw the rise of a competitive market for personalized, on-demand bobbleheads, typically 6–7 inches tall, from a number of on-line vendors.[18] In 2015 the Pope Francis bobblehead became so popular that a nationwide shortage was reported.[19]

January 7, 2015 marked the inaugural National Bobblehead Day.[20] In 2016 the Guinness Book of World Records mark for world's largest bobblehead was set at 15 feet tall. Named "Goldie", it was the result of a collaboration between Dino Rentos and BobbleHeads.com.[21]

Thanjavur dolls of India[edit]

Thanjavur Bobblehead Dolls

Thanjavur Dolls of India bobblehead dolls are of a class known as "Thanjavur Thalayatti Bommai" in the Tamil language, meaning "Tanjore Head-Shaking Doll". They are a native art form in the Thanjavur region of Tamil Nadu state in South India. These dolls are usually 6" to 12" tall (15 to 30 cm). They are made of clay or wood and painted over in bright colors, and are often dressed up in fancy clothes.[22] They form a part of an elaborate display of dolls known as "Golu (kolu)", exhibited in Indian houses during the "Dasara (Navaratri)" festival in Sep-Oct.[23]

In pop culture[edit]

Promotional merchandise by American corporations[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Not Panicking Ltd (2 January 2012). "h2g2 - Nodding Dogs - Edited Entry". Retrieved 26 January 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c Frank Hoffmann, Frederick J Augustyn, Jr, and Martin J Manning (2013). Dictionary of Toys and Games in American Popular Culture. Routledge. p. 22. 
  3. ^ Steve Rushin (2013). The 34-Ton Bat: The Story of Baseball as Told Through Bobbleheads, Cracker Jacks, Jockstraps, Eye Black, and 375 Other Strange and Unforgettable Objects. Little Brown. p. 205. 
  4. ^ a b Jean McClelland (February 7, 2016). "Bobblehead figurines a fun beginning for collectors". Herald Dispatch. 
  5. ^ Associated Press (September 20, 2007). "Bobblehead collection SRO at Minute Maid Park". ESPN. 
  6. ^ Blane Ferguson (February 25, 2015). "Bobbleheads signify a dream come true for Brewers". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. 
  7. ^ David Seineman (June 3, 2015). "Record Price For Vintage Yankees Bobbing Head Doll, $60k, Signals Hot Memorabilia Market". Forbes Magazine. 
  8. ^ Harry Rinker (September 25, 2007). "A big $500 nod for 1962 football bobblehead doll". The Morning Call. 
  9. ^ Robert Santelli, Jenna Santelli (2010). The Baseball Fan's Bucket List: 162 Things You Must Do, See, Get, and Experience Before You Die. Running Press. p. 193. 
  10. ^ Tim Neely (2011). Warman's Beatles Field Guide: Values and Identification. Krause Publications. p. 39. 
  11. ^ Sharon M. Scott (2010). Toys and American Culture: An Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. p. 47. 
  12. ^ Ticket Information, Birmingham News, Apr. 3, 1997.
  13. ^ Daniel P. Finney (October 14, 2016). "This Iowa man can put your face on a bobblehead". The Des Moines Register. 
  14. ^ Marc Bona (February 11, 2017). "Dying man donating bobblehead collection to hall of fame". Washington Times. 
  15. ^ Terry Lefton (February 14, 2002). "Posting Up: Cereal Brand To Launch MLB/Bobblehead Promo". Sports Business Daily. 
  16. ^ Gary D'Amato (December 13, 2016). "D'Amato: Bobblehead plan gets a nod". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. 
  17. ^ Barry Adams (January 10, 2016). "On Wisconsin: Sports, history, business and fun with bobbleheads". Wisconsin State Journal. 
  18. ^ Daniel Finney (October 23, 2016). "Man builds personalized bobbleheads as business". Washington Times. 
  19. ^ http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-pope-francis-dolls-20150924-story.html
  20. ^ Paula Jacobs (January 7, 2017). "When National Bobblehead Day Isn’t A Laughing Matter". Forward Magazine. 
  21. ^ http://www.albanyherald.com/multimedia/goldie-becomes-world-s-biggest-bobblehead/collection_efbe5566-fe91-11e5-a292-db4889aaea3f.html
  22. ^ Trisha Bhattacharya (March 3, 2013). "Elegance in motion". Deccan Herald. 
  23. ^ Lalithaa Krishnan (September 10, 2015). "Heralding Navaratri". The Hindu. 
  24. ^ "Practice Your Bobble!". Retrieved 26 January 2016. 
  25. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2N4VIXM1RJk. Bobblehead sequence begins at 2:15.
  26. ^ Fans Waiting in Line for Release of Wackel-Elvis, 06/11/2001, Die Welt (German)
  27. ^ Elvis Audi Werbung. 26 May 2008. Retrieved 26 January 2016 – via YouTube. 
  28. ^ Wackel Elvis. 22 July 2007. Retrieved 26 January 2016 – via YouTube. 
  29. ^ "Bobbleheads". 
  30. ^ Jacob E. Osterhout (September 7, 2010). "B'klyn teen creates world's largest bobblehead - NY Daily News". 
  31. ^ "Chicago Sun-Times - Chicago : News : Politics : Things To Do : Sports". Chicago. Retrieved 26 January 2016. 
  32. ^ "Selling Out". Selling Out. Retrieved 26 January 2016. 
  33. ^ "EXHIBITOR magazine - Article: What About Bobbleheads?, March 2007". Retrieved 26 January 2016. 
  34. ^ "What's next for Dave Brown?". 22 May 2012. Retrieved 26 January 2016. 
  35. ^ "Action News 5 "Bobblehead Dave Brown" OFFICIAL PROMOTION RULES". 24 April 2011. Retrieved 26 January 2016. 

Collectible and Custom Bobbleheads

Bibliography[edit]