Bobbleheads became increasingly popular ever since sports teams started giving them away to commemorate special sports events. While these game day giveaways began in baseball, almost every popular sport is now releasing bobbleheads. A lot of people are developing a hobby of collecting these small plastic statues of sports stars with over-sized heads that bobble. In fact, the bobblehead market is booming.
Despite being the most sought-after game day giveaway items, there are several instances where these bobbleheads fall short of expectations. With all of the technological advancements, it seems that mistakes in shaping mounds of resin can still happen. There are many bobbleheads in circulation that look bad.
Terrible Bobbleheads In Baseball And The NBA
While a lot of terrible bobbleheads come from baseball, bad bobbleheads are as much part of the baseball culture as any other sports promotion. As compared to world-famous baseball athletes, no one expects minor league athletes to resemble their bobbleheads closely. The Sacramento River Cats’ 2013 Barry Zito bobblehead, for instance, looks nothing like its real-life counterpart.
Perhaps the makers didn’t put too much effort in making it look realistic as the bobblehead seems more like a generic baseball athlete. In fact, it can resemble any dark-haired baseball player. Additionally, the patchy beard on the bobblehead looks fake rather than natural-looking.
Furthermore, the glove on the bobblehead is placed on its left hand, suggesting that the bobblehead is a right-handed pitcher. Barry Zito made a name for himself as one of the best lefties in the early 2000s.
It is mistakes like these that make you think the maker is not a real fan. Whatever the case may be, bobblehead designers should be meticulous in every detail when it comes to sports personalities. Fans are bound to realize these small mistakes, which will significantly affect the bobblehead’s future value.
The NBA has its fair share of terrible bobbleheads. In November 2015, The Houston Rockets Honored James Harden with his Bobblehead doing the cooking dance. However, it seems that this bobblehead release was just in response to a troll. Li’l B, a renowned rapper, was trolling James Harden as he insists that James Harden stole his cooking dance, which James used as his celebration routine.
People described the bobblehead to look nothing like James Harden. They proceeded to make of the bobblehead, suggesting that it seems more like Mr. T.
Defects Can Develop During The Manufacturing Process
Aside from having inadequate information attributed to poor research, flaws may also spring up during the manufacturing process. There are several stages from the manufacturing process where defects may develop. The designing stage, for instance, requires a lot of skill and attention to detail.
The designing stage is the most critical because the slightest mistakes can ruin the bobblehead entirely, as the overall outcome largely relies on this stage. The artist begins with sketches of the bobblehead figure before molding the actual shape with clay to create a clay prototype. The earth is then slightly baked to harden it, making it suitable for carving.
Once the clay prototype is complete, a series of molds are created to begin the molding stage. These molds are essential for mass-producing the bobblehead parts. It is also the designer’s task to figure out how to best tum the three-dimensional prototype into a series of plastic parts.
The next stage is assembling and packaging. Assembling includes adding the final details such as paint and adding accessories. All these stages are prone to developing defects. Even if the design is perfect, without proper handling, the molding and assembly stage may encounter several problems.
Why Custom Bobbleheads Have Better Quality
One of the reasons why bobbleheads are increasingly popular is that they are customizable. There are plenty of online stores with user-friendly websites that allow anyone to order their custom bobbleheads at affordable prices.
As compared to large scale manufacturers, custom bobblehead makers put in much effort into every single piece created. This is why defects are less likely to happen. Similar to large scale manufacturers, there are several steps in creating a custom bobblehead.
Custom bobblehead makers start with creating a design and clay prototype. Several molds are created for every single part of the bobblehead. Once the bobblehead is constructed, true artistry then comes into play. The artist paints on the bobblehead doll carefully and meticulously to match the photo provided by the customer. Small brushes and several artist tools are used to make sure that everything is done attentively.