I began collecting bobbing head dolls around 1991 when it became obvious to me and my 11-year-old son, that collecting sports cards was getting out of hand. Between all the new card companies, the “rookie” and “insert set” craze, my son and I could not keep up with all the new cards.
I had collected hockey cards since the late sixties. On one of my card searching trips to a show in Cleveland, Ohio in the early 1990’s, I purchased a Chicago Black Hawks Hockey Mini from a dealer friend of mine. It had been autographed by the great Bobby Hull with a gold colored Sharpie pen. I thought it was an interesting item. It also seemed like a perfect item to add to my hockey collection.
Collecting the dolls has been more challenging than collecting sports cards because the dolls are not as plentiful. What I really like is that the dolls can be displayed and appreciated a lot easier than sports cards. Cards are nice but there is something to be said for collecting figures that “bob” their heads and acknowledge me when I walk in the room! My collection has now grown to over 250 dolls and covers the sports of hockey, football, baseball & basketball pieces. I have taken a lot of kidding from friends over the years who say, “You collect dolls?” It seems crazy but even my wife has gotten to like them. As a matter of fact, she is the reason why I have this informational website dedicated to the 60’s hockey dolls. Spring of 2001, Barb was working on her Master’s degree. She needed a project for her “Introduction to Web Design” class for school, so she decided to create an informational web site containing my hockey bobbing head dolls. I supplied a few pictures and gave her information about the dolls; she wrote the software code and structured the site per her class instructions. She taught me a little code writing along the way, and I took over the web site project after she submitted it for her final grade. It was an interesting experience for me and a successful project for her. In case you are wondering, yes, she did receive an “A”!
As of August 2016, I am aware of 68 different hockey dolls that were produced from 1961 through 1976.
Over time my collecting transitioned to restoration. At first I experimented with my own dolls and then branched out to offering my services to fellow bobbing head doll collectors. I would like to make particular mention of a person who was very instrumental in getting me involved in doll restoration. This individual taught me a lot about the restoration process. His name was Larry Reed aka the BOBBIN DOCTOR. I first met Larry in 1999 and at that time he was well known as the “go to” person for paper mache bobbing head doll restoration. He had a great reputation in the hobby. He did great work and he was a wonderful man with a down home character. Unfortunately he passed away in 2006.
Restorations may not be for everyone but for those of you who would like a nice looking doll on your shelf, I may be able to help you achieve that goal.
MY ORIGINAL WEBSITE (http://www.frontiernet.net/~hknodder/Index.shtml) WAS STARTED AUGUST 19, .2001
This new website was launched May 9, 2015
P.S. The dolls in my collection are not for sale.