Great Bobble-Head Adventure


There appears to some confusion around my GBA, (Great Bobble-Head Adventure,) as well as some consternation. Lots of comments like these are on The Wall.

Michael Burman – “Well! This is most unfortunate, as the only bidders who will eventually lay claim to your American made Bobble-head, will be those fortunate enough to have a substantial amount of renumeration!” 11:34 AM, 10/14/14

Robert Slayton – “Since most of us blue collar American fans of yours out here cannot afford to put out the kind of coin it is going to take to obtain one of these….maybe you should give a few away!!!” 11:38 AM, 10/14/14

Jasper Umetsu – “Mike, I am incredibly sad that I will never have your likeness in bobblehead format informing me that “somebody’s gotta do it!”, “safety third”, “proudly made in the USA”, or “is this thing on?”

My favorite observation came from from Dave Chandler, whose thoughts were accompanied by the charming visual aid pictured above. While I appreciate the fact that Dave successfully cut and pasted the words from my original post, I’m afraid he didn’t actually read them. Nowhere did I say that I have found a US company that’s capable of mass producing a high-quality Bobble-Head at a competitive price. I merely said that I’ve been looking for one. To my knowledge, no such company exists. What I have found, is a company in Georgia called Royal Bobbles that’s willing and able to manufacture a very limited run of my giant noggin. They can NOT however, mass-produce the version I want at a competitive price. The actual cost to manufacture a custom made, high-quality, hand-painted, Bobble-Head is nearly $200. This is indeed, unfortunate. But I’m moving forward anyway, and hoping to accomplish two things in the process.

1. Raise some money for The mikeroweWORKS Foundation.

2. Examine the challenges of domestic manufacturing by illustrating the difficulty of delivering a high-quality, mass produced, competitively priced facsimile of my enormous head, and turning the whole thing into content for SGDI.

Here’s what I hope will happen. I hope that those 100 custom pieces that Royal Bobble produces will generate so much interest and so much money for The mikeroweWORKS Foundation, that somebody will sit up and say “Wait a second – we can do this here! Let’s retool the factories! Lets mass produce Mike Rowe’s vast cranium and sell it at retail for a truly affordable price!”

But honestly, I don’t think that can happen. China has entire factories filled with really talented artists that do excellent work for a fraction of the cost. That’s important to understand. The stuff coming out of China is not all crap. In fact, it’s pretty much identical to the piece that will be made in Georgia. That means Royal Bobble can outsource a version of my vast cranium of equal quality for roughly one tenth the cost.

The question is this – should I care? Should I worry that Michael, Robert, Jasper, and many others can’t afford to buy an American made Bobble Head? Or should I provide a more affordable Chinese-made alternative of equal quality?


Read Mike’s blog – “Bobble-Head Mike”

Mike’s Facebook Page

One thought on “Great Bobble-Head Adventure

  1. OK Mike Rowe, you stated in your numerous posts on this page as well as your blog and many have picked up the story, with you stating, “that somebody will sit up and say “Wait a second – we can do this here! Let’s retool the factories! Lets mass produce Mike Rowe’s vast cranium and sell it at retail for a truly affordable price!” Well, my estimates land your Bobble Head cost at $11.35. After reviewing the retail prices of popular bobble heads on the market, you should be able to sell out of 250,000 units at a retail price of $19.99 yielding a total profit for your foundation of $2.158 MILLION. So, the ball is in your court Mike Rowe, do you want to put that kind of money into your foundation?

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