Services & Restoration Costs for Repairing Bobbing Head Dolls

Clean and Finish

The cost to have a doll washed or cleaned ranges from $35-50 depending upon the extent of the cleaning required.

NOTE: The product I use to clean the dolls does a very good job on tobacco stains and dirt, but it will not remove the brown or yellow discoloration that has occurred over time to the original thick sealer that was applied to some dolls when they were manufactured. In addition, the cleaner sometimes loosens flakes of paint in rough areas of a doll’s finish which would require a repaint of the entire area affected (additional cost) unless the customer requests that I do not perform the selected repaint. The finish consists of applying two coats of a clear sealer to protect the finish of the doll. Paint touchups, the repair of cracks/chips, and decal touchups are not included in this basic service.

Thin Crack Repair

The cost to repair dolls that require plastering of areas of thin cracks and/or small chips ranges from $35-75. This service includes doll cleaning, two coats of clear sealer to protect the finish of the doll and decal touchup if necessary.

Medium Crack Repair

The cost to repair dolls that require plastering of areas of medium sized cracks and/or missing medium sized pieces ranges from $75-150. This service includes doll cleaning, two coats of clear sealer to protect the finish of the doll and decal touchup if necessary.

Large Crack Repair

The cost to repair dolls that require plastering of areas of large sized cracks and/or missing large sized pieces ranges from $100-250. This service includes doll cleaning, two coats of clear sealer to protect the finish of the doll and decal touchup if necessary.

Decal Repair or Replacement

The cost to repair or replace damaged or missing decals is $50 per DECAL. I have the capability to create certain decals using pictures of original doll decals or by creating selected lettering using computer software.  Dolls can have anywhere from 1 to 7 decals on them, so the lower priced dolls are not worth the cost to replace.

Doll finish or sheen

I primarily use a SATIN clear spray on the dolls. There is a light sheen. If you prefer a Glossy or Matte finish, let me know. All my customers have their own preference to how they want the doll to look like.

Repair Estimates

I can provide potential customers with a repair estimate (ranging from $35-250 based upon the schedule above and the complexity of the repair) from good clear pictures of the subject doll and an accurate description of the repair that is required. However, I have found through past experience that the pictures and repair descriptions that have been provided to me sometimes do not convey the full extent of the repair required which in turn makes it difficult to provide an accurate estimate. An alternate option that might help to determine the nature and cost of repair might be to have the customer send me one doll that they thinks is a candidate for cleaning and one doll that they think is a candidate for repair.  In that way I can review both dolls, provide an accurate repair estimate and upon customer approval perform the required work so they can judge for themselves the type and quality of my restoration work. The repair estimate that I provide serves as a guideline for me. If there is a discrepancy between the estimate I provide after reviewing pictures of the doll and my evaluation after I receive the doll, I will contact the customer prior to beginning the repair so we can discuss repair options. I pride myself in the fact that once I have determined a firm repair estimate I have never revised or changed the estimate. Using this option ensures that my estimate will be accurate. For example, a past customer sent me a doll that he said just required cleaning, selected painting and decal touchup along with $100 based upon a verbal estimate I had provided him. When the doll arrived, I noticed that it had a 1/2” wooden dowel rod placed in the body which was supporting the head spring. The customer neglected to provide me with this information. Prior to starting the repair, I immediately contacted the customer and brought this to his attention. He requested that I restore the doll to its original condition (remove the dowel and create the neck post). He then provided me with the additional funds necessary to complete the additional repairs.

As an added note, I usually charge $500-800 to repair football promo dolls due to the fact that they are extremely hard to repair due to their size.


I do not repair any 1968 Merger Series Football dolls and selected Gold Base Baseball dolls. The dolls were poorly made and are extremely difficult to repair properly. The cost that I would have to charge to repair these dolls is more than what you would expect to pay for better condition examples on EBAY. I also reserve the right to refuse to repair dolls that in my estimation are beyond repair or that have been repaired by another restorer prior to being presented to me for consideration.

I will consider for restoration selected Gold Base Baseball dolls with the exception of those that have mascot head which have areas that are airbrushed (e.g., Detroit Tigers, Chicago Cubs and the Braves). I do not do airbrush work but have limited access to this service during cold months of the year which makes it difficult for me to offer this specialized form of restoration to customers.


Payment is due at completion of the restoration. Some of my repeat customers include prepayments (cash or check) when they send me the doll for repair. If the prepayment is higher than the completed restoration price, I will return the difference with the finished doll. I would prefer payment by Pay Palwith no PayPal fees directed to me.

Return Shipping

The cost for return shipping and insurance is the responsibility of the customer. Prior to shipping I will ask the customer to provide me with the amount of insurance that he or she would like to be included in the return shipping charges to cover the item in the unexpected event of loss or damage.  I use USPS for all my returns unless you ask for another service. I do have customers who have UPS or FED EX accounts and prefer to pay for the return shipping themselves.

My Restoration Policy

** I perform restoration on a “first in-first out” basis. This ensures that my customer base will be satisfied with my services. I also work on a 3-4 doll limit per customer at any one time in order to keep shipping charges reasonable as a courtesy to my customers. Prices go up on USPS boxes over 12 x 12 x 12 in size. This allows me the opportunity to begin work on my next customer’s dolls and return them in a timely manner. I have established this policy in fairness to all my customers because I do receive from time to time 8-12 dolls in one shipment for restoration from some of my repeat customers.

** Most important, I do not perform touchup work on dolls in order to reduce restoration costs. It is extremely difficult to match colors exactly as the colors will never match and the difference in shades will be very apparent after I apply the coats of sealer to protect the doll.

** For the good of the hobby, unsuspecting novice collectors and my reputation, I will not create a replica doll of a doll that is real or recognized as issued doll from the 60’s or 70’s. I have made custom dolls which I hope would be an obvious “fake” to any knowledgeable collector. I have made remakes of a NY Rangers hockey mini because of how scarce they are but I have marked the dolls with my initials in various places so no one should think it is real.

Contact Information

If you have any questions or require additional information concerning my restoration services, please feel free to contact me at (585) 278-0093.  10 - 9 pm EST or submit an inquiry through my contact form here.

January 2015