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Tim Hunter's Column
  Tim's column appears regularly on the NodderExchange. As they say in the newspaper, Tim's opinions  are his own and don't neccesarily reflect the views of the NodderExchange. Feedback can be sent to

February 20,  2003

Have to find myself a lawyer now that Nodder Exchange has reproduced my 1988 price guide in the  Nodder News . Just have to remember if I bothered to copyright it. Believe it or not there is an even earlier guide or two. I know I put out one in 1984. Was handwritten if I remember. I'm pretty sure I have a copy but would be curious if there are any others. In any case this is the first time I have seen the 1988 guide since well........1988.

Guide actually holds up rather well in terms of identifying rare and common dolls. Miniatures, by the way,  were listed separately along with the Black players. The prices are the interesting feature. Keep in mind that 1988 was a year or so away from the big 1989-90 price explosion where nearly all doll prices doubled.

  Since then doll prices have increased but nowhere near the rate we saw between 1984-1990. This applies to baseball only.  Before 1990 you could have all the football dolls you wanted, most still in box,for $10-20 each.

  Thing that still mystifies me about those days is the case of the shooting star Astro. I first began actively buying bobbing heads in 1979. For 10 years after that the blue hat Astro and the  shooting star were found equal in number. Then the shooting star vanished, dried up, disappeared. Have probably seen only 2 or three since 1990. Meanwhile the blue hat shows up everywhere.

 Finally,  I look back on that $8,000 gross and remember... What a thrill it was to make ANY money selling what most people thought would never be worth a thing. At the end in 2002, one doll brought 30% more than the total sales of 1988.
 Remember too that during this time I had a very good source for mint in box gold base dolls by the dozens. Including in baseball the Orioles, Braves, Tigers many others, plus all the football dolls. This was a source so secret I am just now mentioning it in any of my writings. Talking about the FR Woods store in Cooperstown,NY. It was right next door to the baseball Hall of Fame! How many sports collectors passed by there daily not knowing what was beneath the building? Stopped by initially in 1990 on a trip to Canada. They took me downstairs and showed me row upon row of mint in box dolls. Most expensive was $60 and prices varied from there depending on how many were left. Needless to say I loaded up the car and for the next 4-5 years ordered by mail hundreds more. Every phone call would see the list of available dolls shorten while the prices rose for those that remained. In 1996 when the  Chiefs and Bengals  reached $88 I stopped buying.

 Krause recently contacted me about another bobbing head book. (First one finally sold out) They want to do all color with half the book devoted to the new dolls. If you are a collector of,  or knowledgable about the new dolls and feel you could help with pictures and prices then get in touch with me through John. Some money involved if interested.
Until next time. Help the All Doll Auction-Bid!


January 27, 2003
Observation round up.
How many sets of Beatles bobbing head dolls are out there? Not a week goes by that you do not see a set offered in some shape or another. If you are planning on buying a set hold out for the box and if you are real serious you must insist on the original "instructions". Hilarious reading when they recommend putting the dolls in cars,next to air vents etc.Always dread the call from a person wanting to sell a Beatles set. Got one the other day. Asked him how much he thought they(regular 7" models) were worth and said he would sell for $13,000. I trace that bit of lunacy to the Oprah Winfrey show. On one of her shows featuring collectibles Oprah displayed the regular dolls but gave the price of the 15" promo dolls. Have lost count of the number of people who I have had to set straight. They are never very happy and probably feel I was looking to steal them.

Amongst the many dolls described this week on ebay as "rare".
Brand new Plastic Bigboy-These are at our broken down flea market every week for $15
Ben Casey-Only thing rarer than a gem mint Ben casey is a VG one.
The Beatles-Of course.
"Vintage Asian Girl"-Only in the world that was described in Orwells''''1984".
"Very Rare Topo Gigo"-Unfortunatly there are two more Topos for sale in the next three lines.

Ebay items 2703183513 and 2155140498 are great examples of The Pat Fynn swindle.Flynn bought a great number of generic gold base dolls and redid them.Take a look and remember almost all gold base football dolls are fakes thanks to our friend from Minnesota. Fortunately it looks by the bids(or lack of them)that collectors do know the difference.

Ebay item 2154492576 has sold for as much as $275. Today looks to be going for $18. Why? It doesn't have a tiny sticker that says "Milwaukee Braves World Champions".To make it worse alot of these decals are fake.

Just wondering how a Kissin Cuzzin Castro and Kruschev pair can now be getting a bid of $625???? I have seen literally dozens of these sets on ebay go for constant $250-$400 over the last few months.

Kissing pair of Browns sell for $1,200 MIB. Classic set which I figured was worth that much 12 years ago.There are still many, many bargains in bobbing heads if one really knows their stuff.

Finally very sad to report the apparent demise of the National Bobbing Head Club. Went to the website and it looks like it has joined the many ghost ship websites floating in the ether of the internet. Such is life.

Till next time th

Welcome to what I hope will be a series of messages to the bobbing head doll hobby. As most of you know I have sold my business, The All Doll Auction to John. Reasons were many but suffice to say it has worked out great with the Nodder Exchange and I can now resume my teaching career (if I can find a job) and help John as a vested consultant.

When I decided to sell the business John was my first and only option.The All Doll Auction is the ONLY auction connected with bobbing head dolls that has always made sure that each doll is represented correctly. John and I both know for a fact that other auctions with dolls invariably sell junk. Expensive repaired junk that often times shows up at our door for an unfortunate confirmation. John is determined to make sure future All Doll Auctions never waver from the commitment of "collector first". To make sure of that, I will for the next several years at least, be serving as chief authenticator/grader and large collection handler for Nodderexchange. Through both our efforts the All Doll Auction will always be the better alternative, bar none, when it comes to buying or selling your dolls.

With that said, a few observations:

Ebay effect- For the last 5 years bobbing head dolls have constantly been offered on the pages of ebay. Such is the influence of this company that before they came around virtually no one referred to the dolls as"nodders". Now look!

Although many, many people have been taken in with fake and repaired dolls, although I saw my own business suffer and despite the fact that you have to wade through a pile of rubbish to see anything worthwhile , I still believe ebay is generally a positive for the bobbing head doll collector. There are so many dolls to see and that alone makes it worthwhile. There is some great stuff that would have been impossible to see in the"old days." It has also certainly made it much easier to discern what is truly rare and not so rare. Even a cursory weekly glance at the dolls for sale shows many of the same ones. Lucky for Cardinal green bases that they are so attractive, they certainly aren't rare. Yet you are lucky if once a year a Black Yankee, Dick Tracy, rare football promo etc shows up. Have never seen a Black Colt.45 there. Then of course the price goes wild despite concerns on what actually you may be bidding on.

Recent Auction Trends
-Non sport doll market really suffering. Rumpus Rooms going off at $25-30. The plethora of generic animals and Orientals cannot be given away. Even rare(and not so rare) advertising dolls are down 25-30%. Disney dolls often go unsold at starting bids over $40. If you collect to invest this is a troubling sign as often a leading indicator where the hobby in whole is heading price wise. Sports dolls seem down about 10-20% from recent highs.
-Ebay listings down last 6 weeks.Where there was a constant average of about 7 pages of vintage nodders we now see 4. Maybe one decent doll per day. Lots of rubbish.
-Have to laugh at the amount of times”rare”is used in ebay auctions. Auction today offers a”fabulous rare”Notre Dame doll in“excellent“ condition. Of course the dolls incredibly faded colors turn out to be red and white but why quibble over such details.
-Saw another fake Celtics doll on ebay yesterday. Seems to be a bit of a cottage industry in these things. Remember the real gold base Celtics has a white chest decal and NOTHING on the base.
-All Doll Auction bucked the downward price trend once again proving that quality dolls still have a very strong following.Nothing worse for a collector to get all excited about a purchase only to have the buying experience turn into a real drag with disapointing goods and the sometimes nightmarish ritual of returning the doll.
-High grade sports dolls also have also done very well lately.High grade and rare is a magic combination in dolls where prices seldom retreat.have seen a number of examples of this lately.

Everyone in this hobby realizes that not all nodders listed on ebay are what they seem to be.Take for instance ebay item #1982803833.Here is the exact description copied from the Ebay site. "This item()is in box mint. Call me for any additional info. Barry 1-xxx-xxx-xxxx Fla."

Fair to wonder why this incredible rarity (NY Ranger mini which has never been seen in the original box) is listed under"NFL Football" and sold for"only" $375. (Easily worth $2,000 if real or $75 if not)
Or take the many times a dealer tried to move an obviously repainted Phantom of the Opera.Finally had to package it with a Universal Studios example to get rid of it.
How about all those IU and Kentucky basketball dolls? 1985 dolls as"vintage"?
Even here though I see some improvement. Many of you have taken the time to point out,how shall we say it,"descrepencies" to various sellers and sent some of them revising their descriptions or scurrying to the exits.Keep it up. Only you can protect your own hobby from those who care only for the quick buck.

That's all for now.See you soon.Tim Hunter