Because of its simplicity, the bobble head doll is one of the most identifiable and popular collecting toys. Even the name, which also goes by the names nodder or wobbler, defines the whole essence of this adored sculpture.
The head of a bobble head is attached to the body by a string or a hook, which causes the head to wobble when lightly touched. We already said that the head is large. A lot of people appreciate these goofy figurines and their popularity rose dramatically in the previous decade with the customisable products taking over.
It’s interesting to observe how popular culture grew to adore this wonderful item given its equally whimsical past.
the first dolls with bobble heads
A doll with moving parts has been an idea since antiquity. Even before the invention of the contemporary bobble head, Chinese and Japanese string puppets with nodding heads that mimicked the courtesy nod were produced. Aristocrats in Europe highly valued these dolls, which were painstakingly created from porcelain or wood. The dancing Thanjavur dolls, originally fashioned of terracotta or paper mache, are another type of figurine that was used in India.
A more contemporary form of bobblehead figurines, typically depicting people, animals, and creatures from folklore, was produced in Germany during the 18th century. “Nodders” were the name given to these dolls, and they appear to have been well-known across the continent. The first mention of these dolls appears in Nikolai Gogol’s short story “The Overcoat,” where the character described as having a neck “like the necks of plaster cats which wag their heads” is described.
Sports and bobble heads are related
The New York Knicks baseball team is said to have released the first sports-related bobbleheads in the 1920s, according to several accounts. Given that the squad was established in 1946, there is no evidence to support this notion.
The first mass-produced bobble head for the Major League Baseball World Series in the 1960s is referred to in the following references to baseball player figurines. The paper mache sculptures, which were created in Japan and were imported, are fragile and do not hold up well over time. The dolls had varied team clothes and represented particular baseball players, but they all had the same faces.
When manufacturers switched from utilising paper mache to ceramics, customization became more precise. The creation of bobble heads expanded beyond sporting events during the ensuing decades to include new niches like cartoon characters or well-known performers. The Beatles are represented by some of the most expensive vintage bobble heads, which were also used to promote their albums.
a break of a century
Early in the 1970s, action figures, video games, and lunch boxes took the place of the bobble heads as collectors’ items of choice. By the time they made a comeback, technology had progressed and allowed the bobbleheads to be reimagined as the lightweight, durable products with a high potential for customisation that we know today.
The bobblehead was once again given away by baseball in 1999 during the San Francisco Giants game on May 9th, when 35,000 dolls of Willie Mays were distributed to the crowd.
As other teams released their own customised bobble heads, the fad quickly spread, and a new craze was born. The market for the nodding figurines quickly became oversaturated, and as more businesses employed them as promotional products, their value started to decline. Ronald McDonald had a bobblehead, and The Osbournes released Ozzy dolls as promotional merchandise.
Plastic, resin, or polymer clay are the most typical materials used to make modern bobble head dolls. Molds are frequently used in the manufacturing process to enable the mass production of a particular model. The body, accessories, and facial traits of modern dolls can all be changed. Bobble dolls as gifts or anniversary gifts were created as a result, creating a new market segment.
The various types of bobblehead dolls available today
Bobble head animals are still among the most popular options since they can be displayed on the dashboard of a car and give owners a way to show their loved ones how much they appreciate them. Dog bobbleheads are a mainstay of pop culture and are frequently seen in private vehicles.
Movies, television, and video games have all adopted character-inspired figurines. In today’s comic book shops, you can find bobbleheads of well-known characters. One of the side fads is the mini-sized bobble head, which frequently has a disproportionately huge head and adorable, cartoonish features.
That doesn’t imply that the entire process of making these dolls now involves plastics and moldable materials. There are still artists that produce hand-made, highly accurate bobble head replicas. Offering someone a bobble head that matches their appearance is popular, and many businesses provide their customers with a variety of possibilities. We are one of such businesses; if you have any inquiries or requests concerning bobbleheads, please get in contact!