Saturday, December 28, 2013

A bobble-foot you say?

A few days ago a really good buddy of mine posted a picture of a bobblehead he had.  The discussion that soon followed was about how cool the Hrbek/Gant bobblehead was.  I'll blog on that specific bobblehead at a later date, but this gave me an opportunity to show a very cool bobblehead that I had.  Another really good buddy of mine mentioned within the comments about the infamous Larry Craig bobble-foot the St. Paul Saints gave out a few years ago.  I knew I'd blog about the bobble-foot, and figured this was the perfect time.  

If you don't know who Larry Craig is and/or why his foot bobbles, you really need to start reading the paper or watching The Daily Show at the very least.  Here are a few articles about the bobble-foot.  

I had been looking for this bobble-foot for quite a while.  I knew eventually I'd find it but I wasn't ever going to pay eBay prices for it.  Currently there is a seller wanting $375 for this bobble-foot.  I can see $100-$200 as it is a rare bobble-foot and it intrigues plenty of different collectors.  I had come across local Craigslist postings for the bobblehead but pretty much all of them wanted $100 or more for it. Again - not a bad price, but I didn't want to pay that much for it.  I came across a garage sale posting (again, on Craigslist) that simply had one line that said "St. Paul Saints memorabilia."  As with a lot of garage sale postings they don't allow the viewer to email them but sometimes do include a phone number.  I called and the gentleman I spoke to mentioned a different assortment of Saints bobbleheads.  That's all I needed to hear, so I made the quick 15 minute journey to the sale when I had time, I think it was the 2nd day (which I knew might screw me over).  I didn't see any bobbleheads right away, so I asked and he had them stored in the garage.  I saw the Craig bobble-foot right away.  Let's face it, most people who put on garage sales just want their crap to find a new home and if they can make a couple bucks while doing so, its a win to them.  The guy was asking $50 for the bobble-foot.  Not a bad price at all, but I like to negotiate (ask my wife).  I told him, I wasn't trying to low-ball him...wait for it, wait for it...I low-balled him.  I offered $20, figuring he'd laugh at my offer and stick to something close to $50, his response, "Make it $25 and you have a deal!" I quickly agreed to that price, packed up the bobble-foot and was on my way.  I was quite happy with that deal but wouldn't consider that one of my top 5 garage sale deals - something I'll post about in the near future.  For now, check out the pictures of this one-of-a-kind and eccentric bobble-foot!  

Thursday, December 26, 2013

1965 Heroes vs. 1965 Katrina

In previous posts I've mentioned these 2 sets.  The 1965 Heroes set are SGA bobbleheads.  The Katrina bobbleheads are not. I'll try to explain all differences between these bobbleheads, that truly look very very similar to each other.  The Heroes set of bobbleheads were given away by the Twins, the difference between these and all other SGAs, there are 10 different Heroes bobbleheads.  Those 10 were all given away at the same game.  So while one person might have gotten a Jim Perry, someone else got an Earl Battey.  I've read online that 1000 of each of the 10 players were given away.

Here are pictures of the full 1965 Heroes SGA set as well as the Katrina set.  As you can see each SGA bobblehead comes with its own COA, while the Katrina set has 1 COA for the complete set. 

Here are comparison pictures of one bobblehead, Jim "Mudcat" Grant, both the SGA form and Katrina bobblehead. The SGA has "Ecumen" on the base, as they sponsored those 10 SGAs, while the Katrina set has the name of each player on the base.  The Heroes SGA set has the names on the back of the bobblehead.

The Katrina set is fairly easy to find (typically on eBay or Craigslist, but more often than not, people are asking a ridiculous amount of money for it).  The 1965 Heroes SGA set is much more rare and extremely hard to find.  Most of the individual bobbleheads from this set will sell for $75 to $125 each.  Eventually I'd love to own each of the 1965 Heroes SGA bobbleheads, but at their current rate, it'll take me a while!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Minnesota Twins Bobblehead Sets (Part 4 of 4)

The final edition of this 4 part blog post centers around the fourth team set the Twins and the Twins Community Fund released.  In 2012 the Twins announced plans to showcase each manager the team has had in bobblehead form.  Typically known as the Twins Manager set, it was limited to 1000 sets and sold for $210 a piece.  As a collector this set was the least desirable of the 4, but I recently came across it while looking for the 1991 set.  In negotiating for the 1991 set I inquired about the Managers set.  We settled on a very good price and the seller was happy it was going to a collectors home and wouldn't be resold.  Below is the COA.

I'm sure the Twins will come up with another bobblehead set in the future, when they do, I'll be sure to blog about it.  I'm not sure what other sets they could come up with right now.  Perhaps a Hall of Fame set or a Washington Senators set.

Minnesota Twins Bobblehead Sets (Part 3 of 4)

The 3rd limited edition bobblehead set the Twins and the Twins Community Fund produced, came in 2011. It commemorates the 20th anniversary of the 1991 World Series Title.  1000 sets were produced and sold for $391 each.  Much like the 1987 set, this bobblehead set had 1 problem.  Relief pitcher Terry Leach wasn't part of the original set.  Read more here.

This set contains the only bobblehead (that I know about) of one of my favorite players at the time - Scott Erickson.  This is the most memorable World Series in my mind because it produced the best game 7 ever. Jack Morris vs. John Smoltz with the Twins winning 1-0 in the 10th inning.

Below is the COA for the set as well as a picture of all the bobbleheads!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Minnesota Twins Bobblehead Sets (Part 2 of 4)

In the 2nd part of this 4 part blog post we look at the 2nd set the Twins and the Twins Community Fund released.  In 2007 the Twins announced the release of a limited edition bobblehead set commemorating the 20th anniversary of the 1987 World Series Championship team.  This set had a production run of 1000 and it sold for $387.  The set had one problem, the Greg Gagne bobblehead depicted the player holding the ball with his left hand and a glove on his right.  Gagne was right-handed, so this was a pretty big issue.  The Twins acted quickly, as they sent out letters to those who bought the set. A replacement Gagne would be mailed out within a couple of months.  Below is the picture of the COA that comes with the set as my set is still in their original boxes.  I see plenty of sets that don't have the replacement Gagne, but most collectors will want a set with both versions.

Minnesota Twins Bobblehead Sets (Part 1 of 4)

In 1991 the Twins established what is now called the Twins Community Fund.  This Nonprofit was organized to enrich local and regional communities.  I believe the Twins, through the Twins Community Fund have produced 4 team bobblehead sets.  This is the first post in a 4 post series detailing each set.  None of these sets are SGA or ST bobbleheads.  They look very similar and I've seen some eBay listings and Craigslist ads saying they are SGA, but technically they are not.

The first set was sold in 2005 in an effort to raise money for the Hurricane Katrina relief fund.  This set is commonly referred to as the 1965 Katrina set.  A total of 500 limited edition sets were sold for $265 each. The set included 10 stars from the 1965 Twins team.  There has been some confusion over this set and some SGA bobbleheads of the same players, I'll blog about that in the near future.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

The debate over COAs

A Certificate of Authenticity, commonly known has a COA is extremely important in the world of collecting. Bobbleheads are no different.  The Twins included COA's with all of their giveaway bobbleheads thru 2009. I'm not sure why they stopped, but I don't believe any bobblehead since has had a COA.  The Timberwolves also produced COAs with their early bobbleheads.  Below are a couple different COAs. The first is for Kirby Puckett's first Twins giveaway and the second is Kevin Garnett's first Timberwolves giveaway.  Typically COAs will include a picture of the bobblehead along with the date it was given out.  On the back there is usally a number which indicates the production number.  There is a total production run, but I've read multiple times that number is skewed because the teams typically make plenty more in case they run into any issues when giving them out.  Sometimes they offer season ticket holders, sponsors, and employees the chance of buying these bobbleheads too.  One can never be entirely positive of the true production run of any bobblehead.  

The major question I've ran into concerning COAs, what is their value?  I've heard a variety of opinions on the subject.  Some people say they are just as important as the bobblehead while others say the COA doesn't decrease the bobbleheads value much at all, if anything.  I tend to lean towards the latter.  For example, I certainly would pay $20 for a Puckett bobblehead, but I would never even think about paying $20 for a Puckett COA.  The bobblehead is ultimately the bigger prize.  There are some COAs from the early bobblehead giveaways that are pretty rare and hard to find, those are worth a bit more than their counterparts of the mid to late 90s.  I have plenty of COA's but also have plenty of bobbleheads without the COA.  I've never made it a point to collect the COA and probably never will.  

But, to each their own!  

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

3 Tips for selling bobbleheads

I've hit on a variety of aspects of both buying and selling.  I'm focusing this entire post on the selling side.  As you know, I buy and sell bobbleheads (as well as a few other things, nothing major but my mom is trying to make a wave - they are moving to a new house and neither her nor I want to be moving lots of stuff that they don't need in the new house, so her genius idea - have Scott sell it on ebay and craigslist).  I know I know, lucky me - right?

The first part of selling - know what you are selling.  It doesn't take much research to know if you have something worth $10, $100, or $1000.  But asking $1000 or even $100 for something that routinely sells for $10 is absolutely ridiculous.  In terms of bobbleheads, sometimes its hard to know what you have. Other times sellers simply don't care and just want it out of the house.

Craigslist and eBay are different!  I've mentioned this before, but people wanting eBay type money via selling on Craigslist need to realize there are huge differences between the 2 websites.  eBay offers the entire world as a potential buyer while Craigslist offers your local community and neighboring areas.  Typically Craigslist is a cash transaction type of game.  There are no fees and no shipping.  eBay costs the seller money to list and eventually sell an item.  Then on top of that the seller pays a shipping fee as well.

Pictures, pictures, pictures.  Post pictures!  I've responded to a few Craigslist posts asking to see pictures of a specific bobblehead they have listed.  Most of the time, I get a positive response back with requested picture.  There are times where I'll get an email saying "its so and so's giveaway bobblehead."  I'll kindly reply back 2 things.
1. I need a picture if you want to sell it.
2. There are different giveaways of various players.
In the end, I either get a picture or stop the communication.

Those 3 tips will help you, I promise you that.  Do a little research, know the differences (and therefore how to market) of Craigslist and eBay and take pictures!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

3 rare Wolves Bobbleheads

I'm always searching for rare and hard to find bobbleheads.  I've certainly been lucky on many occasions, but with anything, the more time you put into it, good things are bound to happen.  I know quite a bit about Minnesota bobbleheads.  Every once in a while I find a bobblehead that I hadn't seen before.  The Timberwolves have given away their fair share of bobbleheads.  The past several years the season ticket holders have got these bobbleheads.  Here are 3 of the more rare bobbleheads the Wolves have given away. Kevin Love was given to season ticket holders a few years ago.  I believe the Mark Madsen and Mini Crunch bobbleheads were given out during the 2008-09 season.  I think they were each giveaways to a select group of ticket holders who bought their tickets through the Boy Scouts.

Sometimes its better to be lucky that good, but knowing whats available is always helpful!  Check them out, the Love and mini Crunch bobbleheads are a couple of my favorites!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Treasure within the treasure

In my recent post "It's in the details" I explain why you want to look closely at bobbleheads.  Here's another great example.  These 2 bobbleheads were both purchased in bundled lots.  I don't think either seller took the time to examine the bobbleheads or perhaps they just didn't care, but each was autographed.  Joe Mauer & Doug Mientkiewicz.  The Mauer one is obviously more valuable because well...its baby Jesus.  Sometimes, treasures within the treasure these autographs!  That's happened in another case as well, but I'll save that for a future post as its one of my all-time favorite bobbleheads.



TwinsFest is just over a month away and I'm super excited.  Target Field plays host to this amazing event for the first time.  As a bobblehead collector, TwinsFest is extraordinary!  Why you ask, because it also happens to be the regions largest sports memorabilia and collectors show!  You'll see great just just about anywhere you go.  I'm excited to see how different it is since its now at Target Field.  I'll update the blog with my thoughts after the event!

Let's Play Hockey!

A couple of months ago I came across several bobbleheads I hadn't seen before.  After doing some research it appears, Let's Play Hockey produces a new bobblehead each year.  I believe the tradition started in 2006 so I have roughly half of the set.  Let's Play Hockey is a great source for hockey news, including high school, college and pro! I haven't been able to find much more information about these bobbleheads, but they are sturdy and have really nice detail.  If you know anything about these bobbleheads please let me know.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

It's in the details

My favorite bobblehead to collect is that of Goldy Gopher.  I graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2002 and I absolutely love my Golden Gophers.  The University put out a variety of Goldy Gopher bobbleheads in the 1990s and early 2000s.  Gold Country, a campus apparel store in Dinkytown also produced a few Goldy bobbleheads.  Many different sports departments designed their own version of Goldy.  You'll see my entire Goldy collection at some point, but the purpose of this post is to explain a bobblehead can look almost the same but as the title's in the details.

At first glance these bobbleheads look the same.  Both are Goldy swimming bobbleheads.  I've had one for a while and I recently picked up the other at a local thrift store.  But when I compared it to the one I already had, there was one major difference.  As you can see, one has "U of MN" on the base while the other one clearly reads "Minnesota".  For my collection purposes even tho Goldy looks exactly the same, I will keep both of these bobbleheads because the bases are different. 

When buying bobbleheads, notice little differences like this.  I knew there was a Goldy Swimming bobblehead, but never knew there were 2 different versions!  

Joe Mauer 2013 Season Ticket Holder

In my previous post I hinted at this bobblehead.  I was a season ticket holder the first few years at Target Field.  The Twins routinely give season ticket holders a list of items/giveaways/promotions and have them rank them.  I believe this bobblehead went to season ticket holders who ranked "Bobbleheads" as their #1 item.  I believe this bobblehead was limited to a production run of 1250.  On top of that they were only redeemable with a certificate (shown below) late in the 2013 season.  The Twins did a wonderful job designing this bobblehead, portraying Mauer in a powder blue jersey, much like one of their first bobbleheads - Kent Hrbek.  Kudos to the Twins!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

2014 Minnesota Twins Bobblehead Giveaway

I recently learned through a season ticket holder that the Twins will once again be giving away bobbleheads. It sounds like there will be 3 bobblehead giveaways during the 2014 season.  No word yet on who the players will be.  We'll see if they also do giveaways of a season ticket holder bobblehead.  Look for an upcoming post about the 2013 season ticket holder bobblehead - not many people know about that one!

Here's a quick email release the Twins sent to season ticket holders for 2014 giveaways.

This time-saving benefit allows Season Ticket Holders the opportunity to pre-purchase a selection of some of the promotional items given away at Twins games. Receive some of the most coveted game-day giveaways! These game day "giveaway" items are mailed twice during the season directly to your home or business so you don't have to wait in line at the gate or miss out on a popular item. 
This year's collection is $75.50 per order and will feature approximately ten items* such as a bat, jersey, caps - and three 2014 Bobbleheads! Simply click on the red button below and place your order. Guaranteed "Giveaway" is a benefit reserved for Twins Season Ticket Holders.
*Important to note: The 2014 giveaway schedule is not yet finalized and is subject to change. Orders cannot be accepted after the December 15th deadline. 
Order deadline is Sunday, December 15, 2013.Simply go to and place your order. Guaranteed "Giveaway" is an exclusive Sweet Spot benefit reserved for Twins Season Ticket Holders.

Minnesota Wild Bobblehead Giveaways!

A few years ago the Wild along with Fox Sports North announced their Year 10 All-Time Team with a set of 6 bobbleheads.    I was really excited to collect these bobbleheads as they looked great and each came with its own personalized box.

This year the Wild and Fox Sports North announced bobbleheads would be coming back as giveaways.  Of course I was excited for this.  I'll be looking for these on ebay and craigslist as I doubt I'll be able to get to each game.  Here's a picture of the 2013-14 bobbleheads!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Not just local garage sales

This fall I was browsing craigslist and I figured I'd take a look at a few of the surrounding states.  I checked out ads in North and South Dakota as well as Iowa and Wisconsin.  I found a couple that were promising.  I made a few phone calls which ultimately eliminated all but 1 option.  I emailed the only option I had left, a garage sale in Iowa.  The garage sale was posted for a weekend in September, so I knew my chances of hearing back were slim.  The listing mentioned Viking bobbleheads.  Knowing there are plenty of retail Viking bobbleheads, I wanted to make sure I was truly interested in the bobbleheads this guy had.  He sent pictures and much to my surprise, the group he had was the exact type I was looking (and hoping) for.  He had 11 bobbleheads, I didn't have 4 of them, but as you know by now, I don't pass up the option to bundle. Knowing they typically go for $25 each, I was happy to see what he wanted for them.  We agreed on a price of $150 with an additional $20 for shipping.  This is where things get tricky.  I feel like I get a very good read on people and felt super comfortable in dealing with this guy.  But the problem is...I needed to send him money without the guarantee (or support) that he'd mail the bobbleheads to me.  I went with my gut and Im glad I did.  I sent the money via paypal and within 7 days I had the bobbleheads on my door step! They were all in great shape.  I put the 4 I needed in my collection and took pictures of the other 7 that I'd be selling.

I knew a couple of my regular buyers might be interested.  The first guy wasn't, but the second guy I talked to was all over the opportunity.  He wanted 4 of the bobbleheads and we agreed on a price of $90.  After that sale my average price paid went from a bit over $15/bobblehead to a little over $11/bobblehead. I figure I'll be able to sell the other 3 bobbleheads in time for roughly $50-60, which means I'll have got the 4 bobbleheads I needed for my collection for an average of $7.50/bobblehead.  And so far, I haven't seen any of those go for less than $20 a piece!

Im very happy I looked into ads on the Iowa craigslist site!!

I don't just buy bobbleheads!

It might seem like I only buy bobbleheads, but I touched on this in an earlier post.  When I buy in bundles, I typically try to move those bobbleheads I already have.  There seems to be a very common misconception in the world of ebay and craiglist buying/selling.  Quick lesson, if a bobblehead routinely sells for $50 on shouldn't expect to get $50 for that same bobblehead thru craigslist.  Ebay sellers usually pay to list their item and then a percentage of the final sale value also goes to ebay.  Typically this ranges from 15-20%, on top of that there are shipping costs for the seller, sometimes they pass that along to the buyer while other times they don't.  So that $50 quickly becomes $40 if not less.

While I reach so many more possible buyers thru ebay, I also like selling locally.  If I can find a fair deal locally, I'll usually take that over the ebay deal.  The buyer gets to see the bobblehead in person and hopefully I get the chance to make them a repeat buyer!  Speaking of, if you are looking for any Minnesota themed bobbleheads, let me know!  I might just have something you'd like!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Bundle - Just do it!

I foreshadowed this in my last post.  The bundle option.  I've used this strategy multiple times.  Its quite simple but requires a bit more money upfront and possibly quite a bit of patience.  I'll explain using one of my largest bobblehead acquisitions which happened in the early summer of 2013.  I noticed a craigslist ad that had almost 150 bobbleheads.  The owner wanted to sell them all in one lot, but knew that was really unlikely.  I originally found roughly 40 I was interested in.  After negotiating the price a bit, we settled at about 25 bobbleheads for roughly $7 per bobblehead.  $7 wasn't a great price, but he had a few that were quite valuable and a bunch of other ones that I didn't have.  Of the 25 I bought, my goal was to resell 10 of them for $100.  Knowing if I could accomplish that, I'd have 15 bobbleheads to add to my collection for $75 total, which is $5 per bobblehead.  Something I was quite comfortable with.  After a few months of trying, I indeed did sell the other 10 for just over $100 total.  The bundle option is something I'll always try when given the opportunity.

Garage sale turned Auction?

Earlier this year I responded to a craigslist post regarding a church garage sale.  The guy running the sale responded very quickly and sent pictures of the bobbleheads up for sale.  There were roughly 15 and of those I probably already had around 8 of them.  As I typically do (more on this in my next blog) I responded to see if I could buy them all (at a reduced price).  The guy responded and said he had several responses to his ad and didn't want to sell anything before the garage sale.  Fair enough, I set up a reminder for the sale, which started on a Saturday morning.  I arrived and much to my surprise...the owner decided to run an impromptu auction for the bobbleheads.  I knew this was bad news for me as I wasn't there to spend a ton of money.  There was one bobblehead I really wanted.  Usually I have an idea of what a bobblehead is worth and a range of its selling price.  This one - no clue.  I had seen it a couple times before but never saw a final sale price.  The one I wanted was the last one to sell...I bid right one else bid and I got it for $5.  Check it out!

The price to pay...

The bobblehead market in the Twin Cities isn't huge but as a regular visitor to I came to realize plenty of people buy and sell bobbleheads.  The problem with this is, plenty of those people feel like they can sell bobbleheads for the same price they see them being sold for on ebay.  I've ran into several people who try to do this and Im sure they get bites here and there, but there lies my main problem.  Your best customer is the repeat buyer.  I've bought and sold to the same people over the past year.  I've sold a variety of  bobbleheads to several main buyers, many of which have asked me the same question - "Please let me know whenever you get new bobbleheads you are looking to sell."

Each of them knows I offer fair deals and respect and appreciate their business.  In turn I expect the same in when I buy from other people.  I don't always get it, but I have had very enjoyable (and fair) deals in the past.  I have a few people I buy from regularly.  I should note that by regularly, I mean, perhaps once a month or every couple of months.  I usually get a text or email from them when they want to sell something, I might not get the first shot at buying it, but Im probably one of a small list of people who get that shot.  And as a collector, thats all I can ask for.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Fail! - My first garage sale

I saw a listing on craigslist that included the words I love to see "several Twins bobbleheads."  The sale started at 8:00 on a Thursday morning.  I got to the sale just after 8, probably around 8:05, casually strolled thru the sale items and didn't notice any bobbleheads.  Figuring maybe they hadn't set them out yet, I asked the nice lady hosting the sale.  Her response, "I'm very sorry but we already sold them this morning!"  At that moment, those 3 little words "several Twins bobbleheads" struck me again and I knew what I was in for.  After a full season of hitting garage sales, I'm still not sure of the etiquette, plenty of people say "no early birds" while others obviously don't care.  I try to be respectful  of the hosts/owners as much as I can.  But now...after my first garage sale and immediate first failed garage was on.  I'm a competitive person (ask my wife).  Game on.

Passion for bobbleheads

I've been slowly collecting bobbleheads over the past several years, buying a few here and there on ebay and/or craigslist or getting them at a game now and then.  In the summer of 2013, my wife, Jessica, and I started dipping our feet into the garage sale game.

We didn't start out looking for anything specific, but we found plenty of treasures.  We don't have kids but we do have a tote at home labled "Future baby stuff." And thats when my true passion for collecting bobbleheads started.  I scoured the local craigslist posts daily. I found plenty of bobbleheads at garage sales. Some sales wanted ebay type money for their bobbleheads while others were simply looking to get rid of what they had.

This blog is dedicated to those cool bobbing treasures I've found.  You'll see pictures of bobbleheads I've acquired as well as stories behind them.  Enjoy!