Bobbing head dolls on the comeback trail

They're baaaaaaaack.

Like those other collectibles of the early '60s, trolls, bobbing head dolls are making a comeback.


The 7-inch dolls are made of papier-mache or plastic and, in their sports incarnations, feature uniformed bodies with large, spring-attached heads that bob. Some of the heads are caricatures of team nicknames; some have generic "boy" heads, and others have faces of famous players. Dolls exist for the four major team sports.

Two new companies are producing bobbers that feature stars of yesterday and today.


Last fall, Sports Accessories & Memorabilia (SAM), licensed by Major League Baseball, produced a new line of baseball bobbers, featuring Nolan Ryan, Ken Griffey Jr., Tom Seaver and Babe Ruth. The series was a sellout, and, according to president Mark Bloomquist, there are four new series on the calendar. SAM limits production of each figure to 3,000.

The next series, to be released in March, is to offer Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays and Satchel Paige. A late June one is to include Reggie Jackson, his father, Negro Leagues star Martinez Jackson, and Rollie Fingers. The Big Red Machine (Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan and Tony Perez) will appear in August. Scheduled for fall release will be bobbers of Brooks Robinson, Roberto Clemente and Hank Aaron.

Bloomquist says he has finished a prototype David Robinson bobber, which will be produced when he obtains an NBA license. A Magic Johnson bobber is also in the works.

Most SAM bobbers are $39.95 plus $5 for shipping. Bloomquist says collectors can reserve bobbers before production.

Collectors can watch football players bob on their shelves, too, thanks to M. Phillips Ltd. Its first four dolls were unveiled at this weekend's Super Bowl card show and go on sale tomorrow.

The first series has Dan Marino, Emmitt Smith, Lawrence Taylor and Terry Bradshaw. M. Phillips, which holds a license from NFL Properties, plans to release three or four four-doll sets each year, featuring two offensive players, one defensive player and a retired player.

Bobbers are hand painted, numbered and come with a certificate of authenticity. They cost $39.99 each plus shipping and may be ordered by calling (216) 677-1707. For information, call (203) 367-3100.

For collectors who would like to learn more, Tim Hunter (1668 Golddust, Sparks, Nev. 89436) publishes a monthly guide for $5.95 per issue.


Gold MVP inserts

Pro Set showcases Most Valuable Players in gold-foil stamping in a 15-card insert set offered only in Series II 30-card jumbo packs. There are 14 team MVPs and a card of Dallas Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson.

44 of the best

Topps is ending the football season with a limited-edition, 44-card set called "Football's Finest." There are 33 veterans and 11 rookies. The cards are sold only as a set.

Free with 'Follies'

In instant replay card-style, collectors get three cards with the video "The NFL Football Follies" from NFL Films. The 45-minute tape includes the greatest follies and a look at the football card collection of NFL Films' Steve Sabol. Score has made three cards to go with the tape, showing Franco Harris' "immaculate reception," Jim Marshall's wrong-way touchdown and Garo Yepremian's failed pass attempt.


Howe a hockey hero

Upper Deck will honor Gordie Howe with a 10-card Hockey Hero insert set in its 200-card NHL high series. Other highlights include Howe's picks for top current stars and rookies and rookie holograms.

Coming events

Saturday, card show to benefit Arundel High baseball team (expected signers are Denny Neagle and John Stefero), Arundel High School (1001 Annapolis Road, Gambrills), 9:30 a.m. to 4

p.m., (410) 674-6500 extension 252.

Saturday, Babe Ruth Museum celebrates Babe Ruth's 98th birthday, 11:30 a.m., (410) 727-1539.


Saturday, card show and auction to benefit paralyzed baseball player Jermaine Jones (expected signers include Elrod Hendricks, Jess Atkinson, John Kaleo and Marcus Badgett), Calvert High School (Prince Frederick), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., (410) 535-7330 or (410) 535-2845.

Saturday-Oct. 31, exhibit on Rex Barney's 50-year sports career with memorabilia from his Brooklyn Dodgers days, Babe Ruth Museum, (410) 727-1539.

Feb. 13, card show to benefit Babe Ruth Museum (expected signers are members of the 1983 Orioles world championship team), Pastimes and Bambino's at the B&O; Warehouse, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., (410) 727-1539.

Feb. 20, card show to benefit North East Elementary School PTA, North East Fire Hall (Mauldin Avenue), 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., (410) 287-3954 or (410) 287-6067.

Card of the Week

Pacific Trading Cards, which has produced cards of professional indoor soccer players since 1987-88, is back with another set. This time it's a 110-card set for the 13-team National Professional Soccer League. Cards come 12 to a pack, and there are randomly inserted gold-foil cards. (Shown here is the Spirit's Cris Vaccaro.)