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Baseball Bobbing Head Guide - Completely Revised January 2008

Note - For detailed summaries and current prices of all the 1960's Baseball Nodders, please check

While Bobbing Heads, or nodders if you prefer, have been around for centuries in one
form or another, this "history lesson" will concentrate on the origins of the 1960's bobbers
that we all love. While you veteran collectors probably know all this, consider this a refresher course.

1960's Bobbing Head dolls were manufactured by Lego, a Swiss firm, and as we all know were put together in Japan. Apparently Lego made an agreement with Sports Specialties of Los Angeles California which gave S.S. the exclusive rights to import and distribute the dolls. Another firm, Bobbie Enterprises,Inc. sold them through mail order.
The bobbers were available at stadiums and through the mail order program. I always had
heard that the retail price of the dolls was originally $2.98, however the mail order poster
that you can see to the right states that they cost $1.00 each. The dolls eventually found their
way into stores. I have a Willie Mays doll that my dad bought for me at a local department store, probably in 1964 or so. The price tag, which is still on it is marked down from $1.00 to $.77. I
wish he had bought me 10 of them, and I wish it hadn't kicked around the floor of my room
for oh so many years.
Most of the early nodders say "Japan, patent pending". The later Gold Base nodders usually
can be found with a sticker that reads "Sports Specialties 10203 Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles, Calif. 67" on the bottom. Many people think the 67 refers to the year the nodder was made,
however that was actually the postal code that was used before they came out with Zip

 1960-1962 Color Base Set
The first set of nodders to come out were made and distributed from 1960-1962. Manufactured by Lego, a Swiss firm and "made in Japan" As with all the 1960's bobbers  they are made of paper mache. Following are the teams made in approximate order of their rarity.

Most Plentiful:
Yankees, Orioles and Twins. Note the O's Color Base had no base or hat decal, the later Green Base doll had both. Also note that the Twins doll was a replacement for the original Senator doll.

A bit tougher:
Pirates and Angels. Both a bit tougher than they used to be, particularly the Angels doll which has really dried up the last couple of years.

Pretty tough:
Giants, Mets, Reds, Red Sox and Cubs. All are pretty tough, they seem to run in cycles, you may see several of the same one for sale, then they'll dry up for several months.


Very Tough:
Cleveland Indians. Added to this set about 5 or 6 years ago, one or two show up each year if you're lucky.

Almost Impossible:
Washington Senators. One of the toughest baseball dolls of all. The Senators moved to Minnesota and became the Twins and very few Senators were produced. Haven't seen one for sale in well over a year.

There are also 3 Minor League dolls from the Pacific Coast League, Tacoma, Portland and Seattle. All come with decals, all are pretty hard to find with the Seattle doll being far and away the toughest.

There is also a short set of 1960 Wood Base dolls that probably predated this set. Only known dolls are the Dodgers, Giants, a very rare Angel and a once seen Yankee doll. They have a distinct face but are sometimes added in with this set. Dodgers and Giants are tough, Angels and Yanks impossible to find.

Notes - The 1960-62 Color Base set is a tough set overall. No Houston Colt 45 doll although the other 1962 expansion teams are represented.

Note - For detailed summaries and current prices of all the 1960's Baseball Nodders, please check out the Nodder Price Guide.

 1961-1963 White Base Set

The White Base Set is generally the most popular and most expensive of all the bobbing head series. All 20 franchises of  the era (including the expansion Mets and Colt 45's ) were included. Most White Bases have embossed, handpainted team logos on their chests rather than the decals that appeared later.

Also included in the set were 4 superstars, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Roger Maris and
Roberto Clemente. All are popular and expensive, particularly the scarce Clemente doll.
Mantle and Maris come with their own personalized box which are very difficult to find

Following are the teams made in approximate order of their rarity:

Most Plentiful:
Angels, Dodgers and Mantle (not including the box which is quite scarce). Most "mint" Mantles have been restored.

A bit tougher:
Colt 45's, Giants, Orioles, Phillies, Red Sox, Senators, Tigers White Sox and Yankees. Also Mantle "Muscles" and Mays Dark Face, although minty examples of Mays are very tough.

Pretty tough:
A's, Braves, Cubs, Dodgers Decal Version, Indians, Mets, Reds, Maris and Mays Light Face.

Very Tough:
Anaheim Angels, Colt 45 Blue Jersey, Cardinals, Clemente, Giants Decal Version, Mets Blue Shoes, Pirates, Twins.

Almost Impossible:
There is a full size Minneapolis Twins variation doll. I've only seen it once.. suffice to say it's very, very rare.


The white base boy head dolls come in two styles, one with a their bangs combed to the side and hat pushed back (Swirl Style) and one with a sideways hat (Crooked Cap or Sideways Hat Style).

The Mantle and Mays dolls were reissued in 1966. Mays was given a lighter face, Mantle had wider shoulders and muscles. The 2nd issues of both are more scarce.

Note - For detailed summaries and current prices of all the 1960's Baseball Nodders, please check

 1961-1963 White Base Miniature Set

Issued at the same time as the White Base set, these 3 1/2" minis have proven to be quite popular. The mini set is known for a number of mold styles, some teams can be found in at least 8 different styles so most collectors concentrate on getting one of each.

Maris and Mantle superstar dolls can be found here, although there are no Mays or Clemente minis known.

Following are the teams made in approximate order of their rarity:

Most plentiful:
Angels, Dodgers, Twins and Yankees.
A bit tougher:
Athletics, Colt 45's, Phillies and White Sox.

Pretty tough:
Astros (Team issued), Braves, Giants, Indians (White or green base), Mets,
Pirates, Red Sox, Senators and Tigers.

Very tough:
Cardinals, Cubs, Mantle, Maris, Mets Blue Shoes variation, Orioles, Reds and Minneapolis Twins variation.

Almost Impossible
Anaheim Angels, Orioles Boy Face, Indians Boy Face. All show up once a year
or so if you're lucky.


Mini Boxes are tough to find.
Necks on these were quite thin, watch for repairs to that area.
Note - For detailed summaries and current prices of all the 1960's Baseball Nodders, please check

 1963-1966 Green Base Set

The 3rd major bobbing head set, the Green Base set, was introduced in late 1962 or early 1963. It's production run ran until some time in 1966. The Green Base set is very popular among collectors as it is a colorful and well made collection.

Dolls come on round green bases, although an occasional 1st run doll can be found on a square base. These are probably examples of left over white bases painted green at the factory.(see Twins nodder ).

One of the major differences between the Green and White bases was the introduction of the use of decals rather than the embossed logos found on the white bases. Some Green Bases can be found embossed, but the vast majority come with the decals.

Green bases predominately come in two styles, the same "swirl" style that appeared in the White bases and the newly introduced "flat cap" style. Some first run greens were done in the "crooked hat style" that appeared in the White Base set. (see samples)

Swirl                        Flat Cap          Crooked Hat                             

There are no mini Green Bases nor were there any superstars issued in the set. The Green Base series did however include the introduction of Black players in the set. These dolls obviously had a very limited print run as they are very difficult to find and very expensive. I've covered those separately.

As in the White base series all 20 franchises at the time were represented. The Orioles, Cubs, Reds, Indians, Braves(Milwaukee), Pirates, Cardinals and Tigers were represented with mascot heads, the rest are all boy heads. A pistol was added to the Houston Colt 45 boy head.

Following are the teams made in approximate order of their rarity:

Most Plentiful:
White Sox, Cardinals and Angels.

A bit tougher:
Braves, Dodgers, Giants, Mets, Phillies, Reds, Red Sox, Tigers and Yankees.

Pretty Tough:
Colt 45, Cubs, Indians, Orioles, Pirates, Senators and Twins.

Very Tough:
A's (either cap color) and Red Sox Blue Hat Variation.

Almost Impossible:
Anaheim Angels.

Many newer collectors have a hard time distinguishing between the original Green Base series and the later made Taiwan dolls from the 1980's. The Taiwan made dolls have larger, higher bases and do not have a Japan stamp or sticker on the bottom. The Taiwan dolls generally go in the $25-$75 range so be careful!

Taiwan Nodder(Left)   1960's Japan(right)

Taiwan(Left)                   1960's Japan (Right)

Taiwan(Left)                          1960'S(Right)

Taiwan(Left)                         1960's(Right)

Green Base Notes

The Red Sox doll comes with either red cap or a blue cap. The blue cap version is much rarer.

As in the white base series, the Angel doll can be found either as Los Angeles or with a paper label on the base marked Anaheim. The Green base Anaheim version is extremely rare, I've only seen one in the last 5 years.

The KC A's doll occasionally can be found with a dark blue cap rather than the standard light blue. Both are rare!

Note - For detailed summaries and current prices of all the 1960's Baseball Nodders, please check

1963-1966 Black Player Green Base Set

Very rare set, they apparently were not big sellers so few were made. All dolls are tough to find. They come in two styles, the traditional "happy face" version and the "realistic face" style. Easiest way to tell the difference is the realistic face has eyebrows.

Prices have declined in the last 2 years, I would assume it's a temporary correction as they haven't gotten any more plentiful. Dolls that were selling for $1000+ have now dropped about 30%. Not a bad time to pick up a few rarities.

Following are the teams made in their approximate order of rarity:

Most Plentiful: None

A Bit Tougher: None

Pretty Tough: None

Very Tough: (In approximate order of scarcity, starting with the most available)
Cardinals (most available), Orioles, White Sox, Dodgers, Senators, Phillies, Reds,
Tigers, Red Sox, Cubs, Mets, Indians, Yankees, Braves, Angels (toughest).


Almost Impossible:
Colt 45's. Very few out there, if one pops up for sale it's a surprise.

There are 2 variations in the set: Cubs doll can be found on a square base rather than round. Braves doll can be found with a base painted black and the painted hat decal
blacked out due to their move to Atlanta.. Commonly considered an "Atlanta Braves" doll.

Colt doll still retains the record price for a baseball bobbing head, an original gem mint example sold for over $12,000 several years ago.

No known dolls of the A's, Pirates Twins or Giants.

Note - For detailed summaries and current prices of all the 1960's Baseball Nodders, please check out the Nodder Price Guide.

 1967-1972 Gold Base Set

The 4th and last Japanese Baseball set, the Gold Base Series was issued from 1967 through 1972. This set included the only nodders of the following franchises : Atlanta Braves, Oakland A's, Seattle Pilots, Milwaukee Brewers, Montreal Expos, Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals. There were no minis issued, the production of the black players ceased and there were no "superstar" bobbers produced other than a very limited gold base Willie Mays doll.

The gold base dolls came on round gold bases, and with only a few exceptions
come with decals rather than embossed logos. As with the green base series the
nodders come with two looks, the swirl and the flat cap styles, there are no crooked
hat style gold bases. Dolls can be found  holding a bat or a ball, neither being rarer than the other.

This set has really taken off in popularity the last two years. Many new collectors start with this
one so prices have been extremely strong.

Following are the teams made in approximate order of their rarity:

Most Plentiful:
A's (gold base white shoes), Braves, Cardinals and White Sox.

A bit tougher:
Angels, Astros (blue hat), Brewers, Cubs, Dodgers, Expos, Giants, Indians, Mets, Orioles, Padres, Phillies, Pirates, Reds, Red Sox, Royals, Tigers and Yankees.

 Orioles   Red Sox  

Pretty Tough:
A's (white jersey), Brewers (paper label), Rangers and Twins.

Very Tough:
A's (gold jersey, black shoes), Hawaii (PCL Minor Leaguer), Mays, Pilots and Senators.

Almost Impossible:
Houston Astros Shooting Star.

Very first run of Gold Base dolls came with the nice green base mold. Generally run about 10%-20% more.

Most long time collectors agree that the gold base bobbers are not as well made
or quite as nice looking as the white or the green base series. When comparing
them side by side, you will probably find the greens and the whites to be slightly
more detailed and pleasing to the eye. The gold base mold seems to be more fragile
than the previous molds which makes it tougher to find mint examples of the golds.
The last run Gold bases in particular can often be found with severe paint peeling
problems, particularly on the base and hat.

The Seattle Pilots doll is one of the more expensive and sought after gold bases.
For those who may not know, the Pilots were in existence for only one year before
they were shipped to Milwaukee and renamed the Brewers.

My all time favorite Bobber is the rare KC A's Green and Gold uniform gold base.
Very colorful doll that's hard as heck to find.

The Gold base Washington Senator doll is another toughie. It is also the only
Senator bobber that comes with a script W hat decal.
The Mays doll comes with the #24 on back. See pic above.

 Note - For detailed summaries and current prices of all the 1960's Baseball Nodders, please check out the Nodder Price Guide.

 1970-1972 Wedge Base Set
Very mysterious set, even veteran collectors don't know what to make of it.  A lot of theories on this set abound,  not sure if it was a new company trying to come in late or whether it was the last set of the original manufacturer. The faces on the "wedge base " set are generally sad looking. The base looks square, however upon closer inspection they are rounded.

Quality is an issue with this set, nice dolls are tough to find. Decals are very rough too.

Following are the teams made in approximate order of their rarity:

Most Plentiful: None

A bit tougher: None

Pretty Tough:
Angels, Astros (blue and orange hat versions), Red Sox and Twins.

Very Tough:
Cubs, Denver Bears (American Association Minor League Champs), Dodgers Bank (2 versions), Giants, Red Sox Bank.

Almost Impossible:
Cards, Phillies and White Sox

I know of only 2 White Sox dolls that exist.
Cards doll was issued without chest decals. I've only ever had 2 for sale.
Phillies base decal misspelled "Philaidelphia".
A Kansas City Royal doll is rumored to exist but I've never seen one.

Note - For detailed summaries and current prices of all the 1960's Baseball Nodders, please check out the Nodder Price Guide.