Whoopass – The History of the Bobblehead

The bobblehead gained its popularity in the 1960s when Major League Baseball decided to begin using these dolls as promotional products for some of its teams and players. Back then these dolls had several different names including head nodders, head knockers, bobbing head dolls and wacky wobblers. Roberto Clemente, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, and Willie Mays were some of the first MLB player dolls that were ever created.

Let’s go back even further than that. The first bobblehead dolls, which were actually made in Japan by Lego, were hand painted onto paper-mache. These dolls were generic looking, usually just modeled after the same male in a different team uniform. Some dolls were modeled after team mascots.

Today the most sought after dolls are those that were made in 1960 – 1962. Bobbleheads from these years usually have a square or round orange or white bases. From 1962 – 1966, dolls had green bases and from 1967 to 1970 the bases were painted gold.  Below is a 1960’s Philadelphia Phillies bobble head doll with a round white base. The doll in the picture below is from a miniature series and has a magnet on the base, since it was common to place the doll on the dashboard of your vehicle.  You can see that the doll is of a more generic look male than one you would see today.