Are there any made-to-order bobblehead sites?
August 21, 2008 12:53 PM   Subscribe

Are there any made-to-order bobblehead sites? I've got an idea for a bobblehead that I'd like to offer to readers on my blog, but I don't want to incur the risk of buying 100 of them up front. There are loads of t-shirt sites that charge a flat fee, let the designer tack on a few bucks and then take care of all the rest, does such a thing exist for bobbleheads?
posted by bflora to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (12 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
posted by amro at 1:12 PM on August 21, 2008

Googling "custom bobbleheads" turned up loads. Here's #1.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:12 PM on August 21, 2008

I found a few possibilities.
posted by MrMoonPie at 1:13 PM on August 21, 2008

Response by poster: That's not quite what I was getting at, unless I missed a link on there.

I don't want 1 custom bobblehead. I want the ability to let people order a custom bobblehead online without having to incur any cost and with me getting a cut, just like cafepress does with t-shirts. You design the shirt and then they handle shipping, payment and so on, giving you a cut of the price.

There are a few places that will let me order 1000 custom bobbleheads for a few thousand dollars. I don't have a few thousand dollars.

This is possible with t-shirts now....has it not been done with bobbleheads yet?
posted by bflora at 1:24 PM on August 21, 2008

The catch is that it's fairly easy for a company to print one t-shirt for a customer on demand. It's much more difficult to produce one doll on demand, because the manufacturer has to reset the machine for a new size, shape, and color every time a new order comes in. This would make each individual doll prohibitively costly. Look up economies of scale.
posted by decathecting at 1:43 PM on August 21, 2008

I think the problem is that it is considerably easier to use standard equipment to produce small or single batches of tee shirts than it is for bobbleheads. Since they are three dimensional each new design probably requires a custom made mold and so either you can pay a high premium for a single one or you have to buy a large amount in order to cover the fixed start up cost of making a new design.
posted by vegetableagony at 1:44 PM on August 21, 2008

shoot decathecting beat me to it.
posted by vegetableagony at 1:59 PM on August 21, 2008

I think the $80 price is a stumbling block to this one. Cafe press can let you skim off the top since their process is so cheap and automated. This one likely isn't that cheap, nor too terribly automated.
posted by piedmont at 2:24 PM on August 21, 2008

perhaps you can work with one of the custom places to charge you for a mold and the first one at one price, and subsequent ones at another, lower price?
posted by citystalk at 2:27 PM on August 21, 2008

Best answer: If it's for the regular readers of your blog, it's likely you would get most of your orders in a big batch up front, then a trickle later on.

Why not get a prototype made (so you can have a picture) and take pre-orders for the initial batch. Then order bobbleheads to cover what you've sold, plus a little more to cover some requests later on.

When you run out, leave a form up to collect email addresses, and notify them when you have enough interest for another batch.
posted by crickets at 2:51 PM on August 21, 2008

Response by poster: I suspected the scale issue was to blame. nevertheless, I thought it worth a shot to see if anyone had heard of a set up like the one I described.

It looks like there's a local outfit that can get us a bulk deal on 1000 of them. We just might take your advice, crickets, and have a prototype made first to guage interest/take orders.

posted by bflora at 2:59 PM on August 21, 2008

If the bobblehead itself is negotiable, you can create / sell tons of items on Zazzle... including a "photo sculpture", that's not quite the same thing (it's just a nicely mounted photo with the silhouette cut out, basically), but would at least solve your scale issue.
posted by twiggy at 4:11 PM on August 21, 2008

« Older Is there anything wrong with taking pictures of...   |   Nice, caring place in West LA to board my cats for... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.