Thursday, January 29, 2015

2015 Minnesota Twins Bobbleheads

Recently the Twins announced 3 bobbleheads from the upcoming season.  I don't have pictures yet, but when I do, I'll obviously post them!  Drum roll please...

The 3 bobbleheads will be, Paul Molitor, Phil Hughes and Brian Dozier.  None of these names are all that surprising.  Molitor was almost a certainty the second he was named manager.  And the other two are well deserving.  I was hoping we'd get some younger blood in terms of bobbleheads. Oswaldo Arcia, Danny Santana or Kennys Vargas?  Maybe some new blood in the likes of Ervin Santana?  Or even some future blood (I'm half joking) with studs Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano. I'm sure there will be a season ticket bobblehead and maybe one of those guys will turn out later in the season.

Monday, January 26, 2015

What's on your "Want List?" I can help!

I've been meaning to put this out there for a while.  If you are a consistent reader or casual reader of my blog, you might know that I enjoy hooking people up with bobbleheads from their "Want List."  I want to let everyone know if you are looking for specific bobbleheads (I'll have better luck with Minnesota bobbleheads) please let me know!  I'd be happy to put some feelers out for you and chances are I'd be able to find what you are looking for.  

I've helped several people in the past year.  I bet I've put over 200 bobbleheads in other collector's hands!  It's really gratifying for me too.  I have fun searching...its that hunt that drives me.  So, email me directly and let me know what you are looking for!  I'm more than happy to help!  

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Twinsfest 2015

I pretty much foreshadowed this in my previous blog entry, you can read it, here.  I didn't take one freaking damn picture!  Not, nada zilch.  Ugh.  I called it without even truly thinking I called it.  So...for any of you looking forward to bad, I'm sorry!  

I was done working a little early on Friday so I decided to drive down to Target Field and wait in line with the die-hards.  Luckily I was behind a couple guys that made the wait go by pretty quick.  Plenty of Twins stories were shared, both minor league stories and plenty about the big club.  We talked about the signings from this past off-season and what we all look forward to at Twinsfest.  

A buddy of mine got there about 40 minutes after I did and we met up inside Target Field.  Walked around all over, saw the clubhouse, said hello to Torii Hunter as he was walking to one of his billion appearances for the weekend.  Checked out the yard sale, the collectors showcase and several other things too.  I really didn't have a favorite part.  I just find it to be pretty cool to be at Target Field in January!  

Remember, the Twins Community Fund is where all proceeds from this weekend go and its a great charity!!  

Monday, January 19, 2015

Bobblehead Groups

If you are anything like me when it comes to bobbleheads, I always find it fun and interested to look at other people's collections and what other teams (non-MN teams) do for bobblehead giveaways. For the most part MN teams typically giveaway between 5000 and 10000 bobbleheads, but its crazy to see what other teams do, for instance, the LA Dodgers and San Francisco Giants giveaway upwards of 40000 bobbleheads on their giveaway days!  That is absolutely nuts - no waiting in line for hours to "guarantee" your bobblehead eh?

Anyway, bobblehead groups are a great spot to check out other collections and get details on other giveaways or bobbleheads in general.  I haven't spent much time on them, but it's pretty easy to find them.  Facebook has several otherwise just google it and find some that fit what you want!

I haven't found a good "Minnesota" group yet...maybe thats something I should initiate.  Along with the tons of other things I have on my list.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

1 on 1 - AGP (Part 2 of 2)

Part 2 of 2

I’m assuming the Twins were the first team from MN to contact you to produce bobbleheads?  Do you remember anything about that? 
I wasn’t with AGP when the Twins started with us back in, 2002 I believe?  I was with a rival company, and we were also making bobbles for the Twins.  My past company made a series of 4” mini bobbles that McDonalds gave away with the Twins.  That competition is actually what got me to come to AGP...I was taking sales from Malcom.   See, competition IS good! Actually I’m old school.  This may be my favorite Twins bobble.

What other Minnesota based teams/companies have you produced bobbleheads for?
The Wild, the Swarm (Lacrosse), and the vast majority of minor league baseball and hockey teams in Minnesota...oh...and Jesse Ventura (though I can’t find a photo for you...sorry about that).

My interview with Todd was exceptional.  I had a ton of fun with it and I don't think he really minded it either (hopefully he enjoyed it too).  It's really interesting getting to learn more about the production side of things.  I'm sure some of you knew this by doing a custom bobblehead (to be honest, my wife knew more about that side of things than me - because she's now made me 2 custom bobbleheads).

I'm planning on touching base with Todd again in the near future.

Friday, January 16, 2015

1 on 1 - AGP (Part 1 of 2)

I briefly mentioned this a few weeks ago, I recently had a 1 on 1 with Alexander Global Promotions' National Sales Director, Todd Goldenberg.  I've finally had the time to write a blog regarding our discussion.  It'll be a 2 part blog as the discussion is fairly involved.

As many of you know from reading my blog, AGP is my favorite producer of bobbleheads.  The work they do is incredible and they are super creative.  A lot of us Twins fans had heard that AGP went out of business and I kept seeing new or newer bobbleheads that were produced by AGP.  I figured I'd take the initiative and reach out to someone at AGP and see if I could get an interview. Luck was on my side and Todd was gracious enough to give me a few minutes of his time.  AGP is going strong and has been for 18 years!  Enjoy!

Part 1 of 2

You’ve been producing bobbleheads for well over 10 years, correct?  How did this whole thing start? 
In 1996, Malcolm Alexander was an Australian war veteran living in the US, looking to make a new life for himself.  He decided to try to sell promotional products to sports teams, and when he was asked by the San Francisco Giants, “what price can you get us on Willie Mays bobble heads”, he asked for a couple weeks.  You see Malcolm told the Giants producing bobbles would be no problem…. In fact, he had never heard of bobble heads when he said this.  After spending plenty of time visiting China, he figured it out, and Alexander Global as it’s now known (the bobble head kings) was born. 
Once it started, how fast did it grow?
Once news of the amazing success of  the Willie Mays bobble, spread  to other MLB teams, everyone wanted to produce a giveaway that would have fans lined up for tickets around the block.  AGP was quickly selling to just about every MLB team.
Obviously several other companies modeled their promotion efforts after yours, I’m sure that’s frustrating and flattering at the same time.  This most likely led to teams going to other vendors (probably as a cost-saving measure – as most every collector I know believes AGP bobbleheads are the best), would you agree with that sentiment? 
Whenever a business makes money, competition will follow.  If you’re confident in your abilities, you can’t get mad at that.  You can only expect it, and after all, competition makes everyone better.  Our competitors had some inventive ideas too, which certainly made us better.  And this is what America is all about really.
Do you have a favorite bobblehead or bobbleheads that AGP has created? 
Personally, any that I created are my favorites.  There’s a lot of creativity put into our bobbles, and the salespeople at AGP have a friendly competition, trying to “out creative” each other.  After 48,000,000 bobbles, I can’t really pick a favorite.  There are just so many.  In my office though, I can say I have a Jackie Robinson figurine, an Alice Cooper and Iggy Pop bobble (we don’t just to sports), and...a Bobble Spam Tin.
Speaking of the creative process, tell me more about that?
It’s quite an intricate process.  The client provides us with photos and ideas (sometimes no ideas) and we translate all this for our Chinese master carvers.  Once we see initial carved images, we evaluate internally and make some changes, and it’s back to the carvers.  Then we see another set of images, which is closer and we show it to our clients.  They make their revisions, and back to the carvers again.  Eventually the carving is approved, the bodies and heads go to mold, and we see painted images, and confer again with the clients.  This process in all takes about 4-5 weeks (sometimes more depending on the client).  The full production stage is another 4-6 weeks, and shipping from China to the port, to the trucks, to the client takes another 4-6.  So from the initial order/ideas to delivery is often 4 months.  During Chinese New Year holidays, more like 4.5-5 months. There’s also the 5.5” bobble (with 7” big head), 4” minis, Double bobbles and other sizes.  We even do Lifesized bobbles!  This is me an Dirk Nowitzki (well, a pretty close representation...though his head may be smaller in real life).

Thursday, January 15, 2015

New Section - New Additions!

I mentioned the possibility of this section several posts ago.  I wasn't sure how I wanted to do this new section.  The premise is this, it'll be a section of my new additions.  I'm most likely going to cheat a little and include bobbleheads that I've added to my collection over the past few months, otherwise it'd be a pretty sorry looking section at this time!  This will come in the form of a clickable Image Gallery and I'll also include a slideshow (under the Twins SGA/STH slideshows) with nice pictures of each new bobblehead addition!

So come back and check out that section I truly hope my collection doesn't slow time anytime soon!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

New Layout!

I've been considering a change to the layout of the blog for a while.  After doing a little research I've decided that my personal preference is to have sidebars on each side of the main section.  This also declutters (even tho spell-check says that's not a word, it is in my dictionary) the blog quite a bit! And to make it even fancier, my awesome coworker Bryan helped make the blog "liquid."

The left sidebar will include past posts as well as the popular ones, while the right sidebar will be more image based.  The Twins SGA/STH slideshow will remain on the right and any other images or slideshows I do in the future will also be on the right side.

Monday, January 12, 2015

SGA Image Gallery

Back in November I wrote about my idea of having some sort of Image Gallery tied into the blog. Refresh your memory here.  Without much hype I added an Image Gallery of the Twins SGA bobbleheads about a week ago.  In addition to that, I've also added a slideshow that displays on the right sidebar when viewing the blog.  Click on Minnesota Twins SGA Photo Gallery to be directed straight to the image gallery.  Or just view the slideshow as it runs thru all the Twins SGA bobbleheads.

Slowly buy surely the blog is coming together...maybe not as pretty or professional as other blogs in this genre but no bitching...I'm doing what I can!  :)

Here's a screen-print of the sidebar.  You can see 2 clickable links for SGA and STH bobbleheads and then each slideshow below them.  If you are trying to find out the difference between 2 bobbleheads or the years specific bobbleheads were released, just check the Photo Gallery!  

Saturday, January 10, 2015

TwinsFest is almost here!

We are only 2 short weeks away from TwinsFest 2015.  I blogged about TwinsFest back in November when it the dates were announced.  Click here, to read that blog!

I'm just looking forward to being back at Target Field again!  The Twins always do something new or fun each year so it'll be interested how this year is different than last.  Guessing things might run a bit more smooth as it'll be the second year Target Field hosts the event.  I'm going to and remember to take more pictures this year...of the crowd, the individual events, the signings, the games, all of it. But I already know, that whole remembering part is what's toughest for me.

Friday, January 9, 2015

One Giant Thank You!

I wanted to take a little time and write a blog about blogging.  If you've read this blog for very long, you might know that I wasn't too sure if I'd enjoy blogging.  I know a couple months into it, I was going to love it.  

My creative writing "skill" isn't used much in my professional life.  So I kinda use the blog in such a way to sharpen that skill.  I also love connecting with collectors, discussing bobbleheads, learning about them or other giveaways and seeing what other people have!  But I wouldn't blog to just blog. I might keep some notes of my own on deals I've made or "finds" I've found...but I blog because people, like you, read it.  I truly appreciate each and every one of you.  Or all 4 of you.  I really don't know how many people read the blog...I kid about 4...I just know at this point its not thousands. Maybe one day it'll come to that, but that was never the point either.  If I can help out a few people - the blog is totally worth it.  

Again, all I can say is, Thank You!  Please continue to check back often!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

National Bobblehead Day!

It's National Bobblehead Day.  Yes, its a real thing.  Even Forbes has an article about it today!  It's sponsored by the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame.  Click here to learn more and/or donate to their Kickstarter campaign.

Check out Twitter for all kinds of bobblehead pictures.  Teams are doing special promotions and giveaways too.  It's fun to see all the different bobbleheads out there.  Pretty cool day if you are a bobblehead fan.  Keep checking Twitter and other social media for more pictures during the day.  I'm sure people will be posting them all day long.

Here's the bobblehead that got it started for first Goldy...the cause of my passion.


Monday, January 5, 2015

2015 Goals

My last post did a little rewind on 2014 and looked back to see the results of my 2014 goals.  Here's my first stab at my goals for 2015.

1. Clear off some of the bobbleheads on my Want List! (Hint - I've already found one)

2. Connect with another manufacturer and do another interview - of course to share with you, the reader!

3.  Meet a few more bobblehead collectors and introduce them to my blog!  I've talked to several of you already and as I've said several times  in the past, its always a pleasure to meet and chat about bobbleheads and your collection!

4. Find a few "new" Minnesota related bobbleheads.  It seems like every month or 2, I'll come across a bobblehead that I've never seen before that has some sort of Minnesota ties, depending on that tie, I may or may not add it to my Want List, but it's always fun to see new ones.

5. Collect all the 2015 Twins bobbleheads - from what I know, they haven't been announced yet, but once they are, I'll be sure to blog about them!

6. Find out more about Northwoods League bobbleheads.  This is one collection that seems to be never ending. There are mascots, players, local celebrities and so far I haven't been able to come up with a full list.

7. Complete my SGA COA card collection.  As most of you know, most of the Twins SGA bobbleheads came with a Certificate of Authenticity (COA) card.  I think this ended in 2010 as they haven't been included the past several years.  When I started collecting, I didn't care about the card, but as my collection has grown, I've been able to nearly complete the COAs, I believe I only need 1 or 2 more.

8.  I'd love to be able to talk with any of the pro sports teams and their marketing department about bobbleheads.  I just have to get in touch with the right person on the right team!

9.  Connect more bobblehead collectors!  This past year I've connected a couple different bobblehead collectors.  It's nice to be able to connect a couple collectors or find specific bobbleheads for a fellow collector.  I also have a feeling this increases my karma points - who knows if it works, but I'll keep telling myself it does!

10.  Finally...just like last year, have fun hunting!  I don't have any doubts that I'll complete #10, but it is important, as this is a hobby of mine, to keep it fun.  The hunt continues...

Friday, January 2, 2015

Review of my 2014 Goals

Did I achieve much in 2014?  Let's find out.  Back in January 2014 I wrote a blog called "2014 Goals" and in August I made a "2014 Goals - Additions" post.  Click the links to review them!

I had 15 goals in total.  Let's see just how great 2014 was!

1. Get a couple more Twins red base bobbleheads.  These are given to season ticket holders and currently I have roughly half of them.  There are some rare and hard to find ones, but I'll do my best to hunt them down.  (I found several more and believe I have the complete set now)

2. Find 1 ecumen bobblehead (for a price I'm willing to pay).  There are 10 total.  I figure if I find 1 a year, it'll only take me 10 years to fulfill the set!  I know I can buy most any of them on ebay for $100 per...but I'm not interested in shelling out that much cash!   (Crazily - I found all of them and all for really good prices!)

3. Find the 1991 World Series set.  Again, I can pay good money to get this off Craigslist or eBay, but will wait it out until I find someone willing to take what I feel is a fair offer.  (Found this set on Craigslist, more to come)

4. Much like the previous "Goal" I'd like to find the Twins Managers set.  (Bought this one with the 1991 set from the same guy!)

5. Come across a couple local celebrity bobbleheads.  The ones I have now, I only knew of about 1/2 of them.  So I'm not even sure who'd they be!   (I've learned so much about these bobbleheads and can't wait to continue to add to this eclectic collection!)

6. I'd like to get the Paul Krause and Bill Brown Viking bobbleheads.  I know I'll have to pay for these, and I'm fine with that.  I just need to pull the trigger.  (I finally pulled the trigger!)

7. I'd also like to find a Goldy bobblehead that I currently don't have.  Right now I believe there are 4 out there that I'd like to own one day.  It'd be nice to come across one of them in 2014.  (I found a couple more, there are still 2 I'd like tho)

8. I'd like to come across and Timberwolves bobblehead that I don't have, either a mini Crunch or Johnny Flynn.  I also found out I need an Al Jefferson.   ( I found all of these and believe I have all Wolves giveaways now)

9. I'd like to complete the 2013-14 Wild bobblehead giveaway collection.  There are 5 in total, I already have one (I'll blog about that sometime soon).   (I got the entire set, 3 from one guy and 2 from another)

10. Last, but certainly not least...I want to have fun hunting.  My wife asked me the other day if I ever think about the mileage and time I spend on bobbleheads - I do, I certainly consider that when making an offer for a bobblehead or selling one.  To me, the excitement is finding the bobblehead.  Getting lucky when emailing someone on Craigslist or finding something unique or cool at a garage sale.  And of course meeting people along the way.  (Of course I had fun...I always have fun!)

11. Previously I mentioned Minnesota I'd like to learn more about other random and miscellaneous Minnesota bobbleheads.  For example, Hermann the German from New Ulm, or Mrs. Farmfest from Morgan.  I didn't know about either of these until I either saw them in a picture somewhere or in a friend's collection.  (As I mentioned earlier...I continue to learn about these all the time!)

12. Collect all Lynx bobbleheads.  They have given away several, so its a nice little collection so far.  (I'm well on my way but am uncertain if I have them all or not!)

13. Learn even more about the Pepsi One bobbleheads and find the 3 announcers - Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit and Chris Fowler.   (I've learned a bit more about these, but still looking for more)

14. Been pondering trying to get a couple email interviews from a variety of people.  Perhaps someone at AGP (or formerly worked there).  Maybe some of my readers - let me know if you are interested.  And maybe someone with the Twins.  It'd be fun to see a start to finish process of how a bobblehead is chosen and then created and produced.  (I actually have talked to AGP and plan on doing a blog post about that sometime soon!)

15. Much like #10 to keep having fun, but this time its more about the blog than the collecting.  I've had a lot of fun blogging about bobbleheads and really want to continue that trend!  (Duh...doesn't the previous 14 goals pretty much answer this one?)  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year

Happy 2015 everyone!  I'll be doing a couple blog posts in the next few days.  The first will take a look back at 2014 and my 2014 goals.  We'll see how much I actually accomplished versus how much I hoped to accomplish!  Then I'll be doing another goals post and obviously tie it into 2015.  I always find it fun to make up some goals and see what I can reach during the year.

I know in general 2014 was a great year and I'm sure 2015 will be even better.  Hopefully its just as good with my bobblehead collecting!  What are you looking forward to in 2015?