Bobbleheads - they've taken on an interesting place in our culture, from being ornaments on car dashboards to being part of sports arena giveaways. Some are collectible, some are customized for fun, and some are just plain funny. What is a bobblehead, though? How did bobbleheads first bob their way into pop culture? And more importantly, how can you get a bobblehead in your likeness?
Bobbleheads have been since the mid-1800s. Early models were made out of ceramic, with the head of the doll attached to the body by devices like a spring. The idea is that touching the head lightly with a finger would allow the head to nod up and down, or bobble, hence the name "bobblehead". Bobbleheads have come in a variety of figures, from real life people to animals to fictitious creatures like space aliens. Bobbleheads have also become rather collectible. Some figures, like early models of The Beatles or certain sports figures, are often bought at five times the original price, or more, depending on both the condition of the doll and the amount of dolls that were made. The more rare a doll, the more the doll costs.
The bobblehead has risen and fallen in popularity over the years without rhyme or reason. Currently, they are enjoying a new popularity, what with sports stadiums and arenas having bobblehead nights of a particular star, often a popular player of the current team, or a sports legend of that team's past. Sometimes even the sports announcers get the bobblehead treatment. Any toy store will also have several bobbleheads for sale, as the dolls are common both in children's play chests and on parents' work desks.
Dwight Schrute on NBC's "The Office" may have been many TV viewers first glimpse of a custom bobblehead, and also the idea that some companies will create custom bobbleheads. Believe it or not, though, it is also possible to get in on the bobblehead doll fun by having a bobblehead of you, a friend, or a family member made. There are many websites that offer custom made bobbleheads ranging in price from $70 to several hundred dollars, depending on how detailed and life-like you want the doll to be. There are websites that specialize in bobblehead dolls for wedding cake toppers, graduation gifts, special occasions, etc. Some of the dolls involve placing a love one's photo on the face of a bobblehead doll, while others will actually shape a doll so that it looks like you or your loved one.
Bobbleheads are fun to play with, funny to look at, and also serve as conversation starters on your work desk or in your car. Custom bobbleheads, especially, make great, unique gifts for friends, loved ones, and even yourself. After all, how many people can say that they have a bobblehead of themselves?
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