A Brief History of Custom Bobbleheads

One of the most popular hobbies in the world is collecting coins. The appeal of gathering the rarest, most valuable pieces of metal has resonated with many, creating an incredible market that has seen coins go for millions of pounds. However, another exciting hobby with even more variation is collecting custom bobbleheads.

Whether you’re looking for fun wedding cake toppers or a personalised gift to send to your loved ones, custom bobbleheads are a playful addition to any home. Since they are meant to come in the striking likeness of people, you’ll rarely have the same one twice in your own collection. Bobbleheads have an exciting history, which we’ll be exploring in this article.

The Bobbleheads of Yore 

Although bobbleheads seem like a relatively new invention, with their colourfully painted clothes and distinct facial features, they’ve actually been in existence for much longer than you think. 

Custom bobbleheads date back to Chinese and Japanese antiquity. In those days, they fashioned dolls out of bamboo that mimicked the courtesy nod customary to their cultures. Other dolls were fashioned out of porcelain, which proved to be incredibly popular among European aristocrats.

These East Asian innovators were not the only ones to toy with bobbleheads. India had the similar-looking Thanjavur dolls, which were usually made out of paper mache or terracotta. Eventually, in the 18th century, Germany experimented with bobblehead figures in the forms of animals and folklore creatures, along with their own interactions with humans. They called these figurines “nodders”, which became well-known across the continent.

Then, in around 1960, bobbleheads took the sports world in the United States by storm. They were most prominently created in the likeness of American football players, which are now made of ceramics instead of paper mache to make them sturdier.

The Bobbleheads of Today

Today’s custom bobbleheads look relatively different from their predecessors, as they’re now made of plastic, polymer clay, or resin. As they’re more durable than ever, they’ve now been used for advertising purposes. Thanks to the incredible customisation options, people can now recreate themselves into tiny figurines that nod. It’s a creative way to market an event or company, mostly since these were used before the Internet. Whether it is for weddings, sports events, weddings, or other special occasions, they have always made a great gift to give or an item to start collecting. 

The possibilities of custom bobbleheads today are endless. While many stores offer stock options that you can mix and match, like facial presets, the technology at Minify Me allows us to customise the doll according to the picture you send us. That way, it’s in an unmistakable likeness to the person you were hoping to emulate.

Bobbleheads now have various purposes. One of the more notable ones is personalised wedding cake toppers, which take wedding cakes to the next level. Gone are the days of stock, bland figurines standing on top of a towering wedding cake; you can now have one made to look exactly like you and your spouse-to-be.

There are also plenty of hobbyists who collect bobbleheads that resemble musicians. The most valuable custom bobbleheads on the market today are of the Beatles, which promoted their albums. Overall, custom bobbleheads represent a world of limitless choices, which makes them remarkable to collect!


There is a long history behind bobblehead dolls, which explains their enduring allure today. What started as straw dolls that could nod have turned into a booming industry of custom bobbleheads that range from animals to humans. If you’re considering a fascinating hobby to dive into, you’ll definitely want to check bobbleheads out!

Want to get started on collecting some custom bobbleheads? Let us know at Minify Me! We are a company that specialises in creating and producing unique figurines of people using the images you submit. With our expertise and creativity, we are proud to offer you the delightful experience that comes with seeing your likeness on a figurine. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help you!

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