I began collecting bobbing head dolls in 1995 when it became obvious to me, that collecting sports cards was getting out of hand. Between all the new card companies that started in 1990, the “rookie” and “insert set” craze, my 11-year-old 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 1995, 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 275 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 2018, 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 papier 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.