What’s in a name? If it were different, would it still be the same? When it comes to bobble heads, the answer is YES. Bobble heads are dolls with disproportionately large heads. The head and body are connected together by a spring so that when it encounters movement, its head nods back and forth and bobbles up and bobs down They are also referred to as nodders, nodding heads, wobblers, wobbling heads, and bopping heads.
Use of dolls with emphasis on the head dates all the back to prehistoric times where only a head was formed out of wood and attached to a stick to convey a message. In the late 1700’s in Europe and Asia, heads were formed out of wood, leather, or paper mache, and attached to a stick or string for use as puppets/marionettes. These stick puppets were created to recite religious rituals, protest leadership, exploit goods; and/or amuse the people.
Later, in the late 1800’s, Germany came up with ceramic dolls with spring-connected moving heads which they called “bobbers” and “nodders”. Then in the U.S. in the 1920’s, “bobble heads” were produced in small quantities as collector items using the likeness of well-known personalities, such as professional athletes. By the time we reached the year 2000, these caricature bobble heads, now made of resin and plastic, were produced in larger quantities and distributed as memorabilia, brand building, and consumer purchase incentives. Some of the most sought after distributors who have copyrighted their own term/name for these bobble heads are Funko Wacky Wobblers, National Entertainment Collectibles Association (NECA) Head Knockers, and Adam’s Apples Bopp’n’ Heads.
The popularity of the bobble head remains high and since their inception, no matter what name they are given, they have always left an impression or kept people amused.