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What is a bobblehead

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

So, what is a bobblehead? Part toy, part decoration, part collectible!

So, what is a bobblehead? Part toy, part decoration, part collectible!

We’ve all seen them: those famous plastic or ceramic dolls with oversized heads which bounce to and fro. We’ve seen the miniature likenesses of sports stars, celebrities, politicians, television stars, and more, transferred into a pint size form.

Even Conan O’Brien got a gigantic version of himself created in bobble head form for his late night show. So, how did these miniature creations become so popular? Where did they originate? And what is a bobblehead, exactly?

Below, we’ll delve into the history of the popular doll, its surge in prominence — and subsequent initial decline — and then investigate the different types of figures available in today’s marketplace. So, for aficionados and new bobble head converts alike, read on to learn all you’d ever want to know about the bobble head art form.

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Where Do They Come From?

So, what is a bobblehead, really? According to Pop Culture Spot, the rise of the popular doll can be traced all the way back to the1842 short story, “The Overcoat,” written by Nikolai Gogol. This is the first known reference to bobble heads.

Ancient Japanese and Chinese string dolls eventually transformed to a German-style bobble head; according to Pop Culture Spot what we now know as bobble heads originated from Germany. These German models came forth in the late 1700s and early 1800s, made from ceramic.

What Are They?

Bobble heads — also known as wobblers, bobbing heads, moving heads, nodders, or nodding heads — can be made from a plastic or a ceramic body. In large part due to the introduction of a plastic mold within the last 30 or so years the bobble head designs have expanded and been improved upon. The plastic design allows makers to offer more lightweight body types, as well as an ability to create even more creative overall designs.

With this being said, the more delicate ceramic variety is still a popular choice among buyers/collectors, as well.

Thank the MLB for the Increase in Doll Popularity

Our obsession with bobble heads came about mainly due to the sport of baseball. Through the 1960s, these dolls were popularized thanks to the sport; this first craze, though, waned and eventually died down at the beginning of the 1970s.

Lunchboxes, video games, and action figures brought bobble heads back into the national spotlight during the 1980s. It was during the late 1990s in which the craze hit a new high note; Major League Baseball and most of the MLB teams offered a variety of different promotions during these years for baseball fans.

Different Types for Today’s Marketplace

There are a wide variety of bobble heads available today, in such themes as:

  • Dog
  • Cat
  • Collectible
  • Celebrity
  • Sports
  • Television
  • Advertising
  • Custom
  • Political, and more!
There are even bottle openers, key chains, wine stoppers, wedding, superhero, work, military, and more, available in bobble head form.

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With custom dolls one can actually create themselves in a head-to-toe recreation (in bobble head form). The buyer can input skin tone, eye/hair/beard color, and a variety of other options for your 7- or 12-inch counterpart. So, not only can you find your favorite sports star or movie celebrity in miniature bobbling form, but you can also transplant your own self into that perfect bobble head body!

In the end, it’s a fun art form and a creative way for a fan to show support for their favorite ballplayer or movie star. It’s a nice keepsake for collectors and can liven up a room in one’s home. And in today’s bobble head climate you may even create your own likeness in miniaturized form.

 

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