Collecting Bobbleheads – A Beginners Guide
Bobbleheads are a fun collectible that can not only be found at baseball stadiums across the US. But bobbleheads also feature political and historical figures as well. We often see these plastic figurines at estate sales across Puget Sound, and if you’re looking to start a collection, let’s learn a little more.
Did you know that bobbleheads have been for quite some time? While some report that they got their start thanks to a Russian short story written in the mid-1800s, others say they were first produced in Asia in the 17th century.
Regardless, bobbleheads are now seen as a more modern item to collect and got their start in the US in the early 1900s at sporting events. They finally took off in the 1960s thanks to Major League Baseball.
Interest ebbed and flowed from the 60s to the 70s, with less interest until 1999 when the San Francisco Giants celebrated the 40th anniversary of Candlestick Park with a limited giveaway of a Willie Mays bobblehead.
Bobbleheads are now common at both major and minor league baseball games.
What’s Worth Collecting
The most popular subjects are the bobbleheads that are worth the most money. We often see collectors focus on a specific team or time period, but a collection that includes a variety is also worthwhile. It’s your preference.
Here are a few of our favorites:
Vintage Baseball Bobbleheads
It’s no surprise that baseball bobbleheads are the most popular, and rare pieces in good condition can push into the thousands, with most going for $50-100 on eBay.
Proof that bobbleheads are exclusive to baseball, the 1964 Beatles bobbleheads were issued in four-, eight- and 16-inch figurines. John, Paul, George, and Ringo are all featured as their bobblehead with the 16-inch John Lennon selling for $2,575 in April of 2014.
Superheroes are adored in all forms, and this is especially true when it comes to bobblehead superheroes. Popularity varies greatly and includes classics like Capitan American and the Hulk, but also includes Loki, Dr. Strange, and Spiderman.
Along the same lines as Marvel characters, Star Wars bobbleheads are a great find. The classics like Darth Vader and Hans Solo are popular, but modern characters like Rey and Kylo Ren are also a perfect addition to your collection.
When we say limited edition, it usually means 100 or fewer were made. The most valuable are often oversized and signed.
How to Get Started
Like with most collections, you’ll want to focus your efforts on a team or subject. Once you’ve decided, set a budget for yourself.
Then, head out to estate sales or start your search online. eBay and Etsy are great places to get started but be on the lookout for fakes. If the deal seems too good to be true, it likely is.
Finally, as your collection grows, be organized. Figure out a way to display your bobbleheads and keep them arranged in a way that is both logical and aesthetically pleasing.
If you’re looking to find bobbleheads locally, check out our upcoming estate sales. You never know what you might find!