Ed. Note: Welcome to the second edition of Bobble Bulletin, which provides updates on bobblehead collecting including news, significant sales, new releases and more.
National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum Set to Open
The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum is putting the finishing touches on the Museum for an opening in January. Located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the Hall of Fame and Museum will have over 6,500 unique bobbleheads on display along with exhibits related to the history of bobbleheads, how they’re made, the stories behind them and more.
On January 5 and 6, members will have an exclusive opportunity to preview the Museum before the general public.
The Museum, which started with the collection and passion of two long-time friends, also produces bobbleheads for retail sales as well as for individuals, organizations and teams across the country.
Negro League Bobblehead Series Kickstarter
Last week, the Hall of Fame and Museum launched a Kickstarter Campaign in conjunction with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum to produce the Negro Leagues Centennial Team Bobblehead Series which honors and celebrates 32 of the most influential Negro Leagues players. A majority of these players have never had a bobblehead, and a key mission of the bobbleheads is to help keep the legacy of the Negro Leagues and its players alive.
Within 24 hours of launching, the Kickstarter hit its $10,000 goal and it is now approaching $40,000 from over 450 backers. The project has already been featured by outlets including ESPN and the Kansas City Star and was chosen by Kickstarter as “A Project We Love”.
Even though the campaign has hit the initial goal, the cost of producing the full series is over $100,000. The campaign’s organizers agreed to take on the risk if the demand was validated by the Kickstarter. Going over the goal will help alleviate this burden, enable us to produce additional bobbleheads featuring other teams and players, and promote the series more broadly.
You can check out the Kickstarter here. Backers get the best pricing in addition to unique and exclusive benefits in the Negro Leagues Centennial Series.
Vintage bobbleheads have continued to draw top dollar at auction including the following bobbleheads that recently sold on eBay:
- A rare Boston Red Sox classic nodder sold for $4,500 while this pristine Redskins classic nodder sold for over $2,300. These are just a few of the many nodders that have recently fetched over $1,000 at auction.
- Three-Foot Tall Bobbleheads have continued to be popular with collectors with most selling in the $800-$1,500 range including this one of Eli Manning which sold for just under $2,000.
- It’s not just older or over-sized bobbleheads fetching big bucks. This bobblehead featuring Chicago White Sox 2005 World Series MVP Jermaine Dye sold for over $800 recently while this set of Cleveland Indians Ketchup, Mustard and Onion bobbleheads sold for around $600.
We’re in the peak hockey and basketball stadium giveaway season for bobbleheads, but the activity really picks up when baseball season rolls around. Many teams have started to announce their promotional schedules for next year or will be announcing them in the coming weeks and months as the season draws closer. For example, the Milwaukee Brewers announced their promotional schedule earlier this week. It’s a fun time for collectors who start circling dates on their calendar. In recent years, teams have announced their standard promotional schedule followed by a series of special event games which usually include several bobbleheads.
National Bobblehead Day
National Bobblehead Day is coming up on January 7. National Bobblehead Day is an official National Day and is celebrated each year on the same day, which was established by the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum in 2014. Bobbleheads have been a trending topic on Twitter each of the past three years. Fans enjoy sharing their favorite pieces while teams and retailers often have promotions, giveaways or special announcements.
In this section, we’ll answer one question that came in over the past month. Submit your questions by emailing [email protected].
Question: Why are some of the bobbleheads that were produced in recent years selling for so much money? For example, the Wisconsin Badgers Bucky Badger Back-to-Back Final Four Bobblehead is nearly impossible to find, but it was available for $40 just a few years ago.
Answer: The Bucky Badger bobblehead is the same type of case as the Jermaine Dye bobblehead that sold on eBay mention above. In the early 2000s, advances in production technology made it possible to lower the minimum production quantity while keeping the retail price affordable. The bobbleheads of the 1960’s and early 2000’s had to be produced in pretty large quantities to keep production costs down.
Because of these advances, production quantities of many of the retail bobbleheads that were produced in the early 2000’s through today have been very low—sometimes as few as 72. Once these bobbleheads reach the hands of collectors and are no longer available for the original retail price, their prices can skyrocket like these examples.
Someone likely needed that Jermaine Dye bobblehead to complete their White Sox World Series collection and they have become very hard to find. Similarly, only 504 of the Bucky Badger bobbleheads were produced and each one is individually numbered. As fans and collectors see them and realize they missed out, the value continues to climb.