My Once A Year* Rant About Bobbleheads.

“Get a life and grow up.”

These words were uttered by Dave Kaplan. He was referring to this. Take a gander, it’s great.  We had a similar situation with the Hawk Clock on the southside. So yearly, I seem to make this same kind of post about SGA’s (stadium give aways), but teams don’t really change it up.  Why you ask?  Cause it works for them.  How?  Let me tell ya.

 

For the Cubs “Final Out” bobblehead it was destined to fail.  In our bobble circles, it was hyped (as most Cubs releases) and the cost of tix to the Cubs aren’t the cheapest.  Now, the original date is was to be given out the Cubs called the game right before the gates were to open due to “threat of rain”, and it never rained.  People were pissed, some had flown into town for the release (and I am hoping a Chicago vacation). It spawned a video from a fellow collector that had a guy screaming “Just give me my FREAKIN’ bobblehead!”.  It was lovely and sad all rolled up like a big loser burrito.

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If you aren’t a collector you don’t understand. These things make people mad, for reals.  The secondary market exploding doesn’t make it any easier either.  As they say in the video, they were up on Ebay for $80.  Many sold for over $100.  That is straight cash homie! Minus 13% that Ebay and it’s step-sister PayPal takes from the total.  Y’all know I collect these guys and I have spent a ton of money to get my collection. I own every bobblehead the Sox have ever released, and a bunch of retail ones too. It was a labor of love, fun to complete but left me with nothing to search for (or buy).

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Teams, although they say they don’t, fucking love this.  At the “Final Out” release people lined up at 8am to get in the gate first.  Those people got in early and of course they had to eat, drink, buy more shit and they had plenty of time to do that.  The guy who missed out on that one, will be sure to get there earlier next time which makes it even harder to get there early enough.  If you didn’t get your Sox sweatshirt, or Hawk clock, I bet you showed up early enough to get that sweet hawaiian shirt didn’t you?  Of course you did!  And you drank an extra Modelo and crushed a nacho helmet cause that is what you have to do when you get to a Sox game early.  So more money makes up for the promo cost (word is bobbles cost about $3 each to produce, which could be high) cause what do you think they make off a $9.75 beer?  We pay about a buck per beer for Modelo, so the Sox might pay 75¢ to make $9.  In the 108 alone, they make bank!  In fact, I am sure we paid for a part of Tim Anderson‘s contract extension.

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There is a group of guys (I might or might not be one of them) who procure extra bobbles for trading or selling purposes.  They might see it as a service to fans that can’t be there.  They might see it as it is, an opportunity to make some extra cash.  Many haters like to remind these people that the bobblehead is “free”, you are paying for the game after all. They deploy this theory in hopes to get a bobblehead from you for cheaper, with no work. I’d like to set the record straight, ain’t nothing free brah.  Gotta get the ticket.  Gotta get the parking. Gotta get the beers.  Gotta get the food.  Gotta drive there. Gotta drive home. Let’s say you live in Southern Illinois.  You gotta drive up to Sox park.  Gas ain’t free.  Let’s say $20 in gas.  Parking is $20.  Tickets, let’s say you get $7 tickets, with fees those are like $13.  Right now you are in for $53 to get your bobble, and you are thirsty and hungry.  But’s it’s free right?!?!?  Many Sox releases go for much less shipped on Ebay.  For most releases it is more cost effective to buy than it is to go.  Think about it like that.  Stop the hate. Especially you Double Agent James Duda.  Just kidding playa.

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So how can teams make this better?  Simple, up at Wrigley North (although soon enough Wrigley could be known as Miller Park South, Brew Crew Risin’) they have it all figured out.  Bobbleheads are “ALL FAN RELEASES”. If you are gonna buy 10k bobbles, buy 40k instead. If CostCo has taught me anything, you save if you buy in bulk. Over in Cleveland, you can pay $5 with your ticket to get the giveaway, called a promo pass.  On the web it says this –

“Promo Pass tickets are only available online for the featured games and can be added to the purchase of your game ticket for an additional $5. Passes ensure you get the promotional item even if all the items have been given out at the game. Any promotional items allocated to the Promo Pass program will be in addition to those already available at the ballpark gates.”

Guess what else?  As an Indians season ticket holder, you can cash in points to get promo items you might have missed.  You listening White Sox?  Points! I want points! If I had the option to buy a promo pass on a $7 ticket to get my bobbleheads, I would spend the extra money for a no stress life.  Sox have been doing “Special Ticket” bobblehead releases the past 3 years, they are fucking brilliant.  With this year being the exception. They did one on a Yankees game.  Why oh why do you need to reward people for going to a Yankees game?  Ugh.  Last year they did a Superhero Lawrie Bobblehead and it ended up being a slight cost upgrade on the ticket, it was great.  The Yanks tix are already overpriced and then they added in this fee for the bobblehead.  Bastards.

That’s it.  That is how you solve this issue and shut Dave Kaplan the fuck up.  He don’t give a fuck cause he get’s whatever he wants anyways.  Many people also pointed out that Dave hosts a show where they show off high end sports memorabilia.  That Jordan game used jersey only cost the Bulls a couple hundred, that should be the price right?  You can order it online right? GTFO Dave.

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Problem is that some teams don’t wanna do that, cause they want that extra money that bad.  Some local minor league teams don’t give them out till the 5th inning! You get the voucher at the gate, have to stay there for 5 innings, THEN they give you a bobblehead.  Just raking in that dough.  In the 108, I am about the only guy who really cares about the promo items.  The boys are good for a few a year, but mostly it’s about getting as much beer as possible in before we walk than it is to get the promo.  I stopped asking them soon after I met them if they could come early and help a buddy out.  I hit that line early with Bobble Jim and #WallyMoney.

In conclusion, if you want everyone to be happy, give away more.  No fights. No secondary market. No problems.  But that isn’t what a promo is supposed to do right?

*I am sure I am not done of this subject yet and expect an in depth article about it before the end of the year.  BeefLoaf has been cracking the whip, needed to get some content out.  Love ya buddy.

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-MSS

 

UPDATE! As I am sure you saw, last night we drank 62 beers (spoiler, we drank more) to honor Jose Quintana.  It was called #62forQ.  Check out our Twitter to see the pics, @fromthe108

The 5 – Bobbleheads and Bo.

Growing up I remember teams, the 1989 “Flyin’ Illini”, 91-93 Bulls, ’85 Bears, but besides Jordan, Bo Jackson was one of the biggest sports figures in my life.  I loved Bo.  I have a huge card collection of only Bo’s.  I bought sets to just get Bo’s that I needed. Watching Bo go down in that football game was hard.  But when the Sox picked him up, I was over the moon.  My first White Sox game was his second game back, he homered.  I lost my shit.  I have the posters.  I have the shirts.  I have his book.

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Many years later, when Bo was gonna be at SoxFest, I was amped. I went home to get my “The Ball Player” poster for him to sign.  Then I found out that Bo doesn’t sign that picture, at all, anymore.  For those of you not familiar with SoxFest, most guys will sign anything you give them.  But Bo and Carlton Fisk have only been signing free pics that the Sox give out when they appear at SoxFest.  No outside items.  Seriously.  If you want Bo to sign a different item, he won’t.   I understand this for a couple reasons.

It’s how he makes his nut.

Bo’s career was short, he didn’t make a bunch of money from sports.  Endorsements?  Maybe.  But it’s a nice retirement package charging $100+ a signature.  I respect that.

People sell his stuff, why can’t he?

I get that too.  I would be pissed if I did something that commanded a certain value and I didn’t get my share.  It’s just the way it is.  I don’t fault him for that.

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Why are we talking about this? In case you missed it, the Sox released the first official Bo Jackson bobblehead.  It’s a beaut.  You can purchase it here from the Sox. Part of the money goes to charity, good cause. I bought a bunch at the game.  I have a pretty big bobble collection and collect mostly White Sox. I trade with other people and Bo is a huge figure in the bobble world.  In my limited experience with this bobble game, the cheapest the bobble will ever be is when it first comes out.  As time goes by the price goes up due to less being available.  That has been sorta skewed as more people are buying more to sell, so the market stays flooded longer than it had been a few years before.  I have written about bobbles before, you can read that here.

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Do I sell bobbles for profit?  Absolutely.  I take risks buying multiple tickets, multiple bobbles, all in the hopes it will go up in price.  Sometimes you cash in early, sometimes it takes time.  I usually hold onto stuff, most of the time it works, sometimes it doesn’t.  I have lost money, but I have also made enough money to make it worthwhile to take these calculated risks.  So yeah, I saw this Bo as chance to trade for some harder to get items and maybe sell a few.

The White Sox being the White Sox sold this online before they did at the park.  Which kinda sucks if you go to games.  I know the idea is to sell them, but don’t you want people at the park? I think that more people would make the trip over or in to pickup this bobble this weekend.  Sell it online after the first weekend it is available, but let us fans that go regularly get treated special.

If you don’t know, for people that check in with the MLB Ballpark App the Sox give out prizes when you show up.  The give you a free shirt for 1 check in, which is awesome.  Great to give the kids and adults something to bring home.  But as you get more and more check in’s,  the prizes get better.  For 50 games you get a Golden Chris Sale bobble head.  A few weeks ago, before the 50 home game mark, they gave out the bobbles to people that Tweeted something.  Seriously?  The guys making it to 50 games don’t get it first?  Just rubs me (and other collectors) the wrong way.  I don’t fault them, but it just feels like we got slighted in this case.

So yesterday, I posted some Bo’s online.  I posted them before I got them because, ‘Merica.  I was the first listed, and yep, it was listed at a high price.  If you don’t know about Ebay, listed prices are not selling prices.  Just because I listed it for $125, doesn’t mean I got that for it when (and if) it sold.  I have been selling stuff on Ebay for years, I buy stuff that way too.  I sold 1, for much less than my $125 asking price, but enough to make it worth my time.  Within hours more and more people listed for much less than me, but all still higher than the asking price from the Sox.  That’s business.  That’s how it works.

Thursday night, I got a text with an article about the Bo bobble.  Bo was quoted saying this-

He was not happy to see one for sale for $125 online Thursday morning. As a result, he said he won’t be signing them. “The thing that bothers me is we do this for a good cause but you have those hustlers out there that buy them and put them online,” he said.

My childhood hero, the guy who hawked stuff that I bought, called me a hustler in the Trib.  Fucking badass.  What is a hustler?  The FIRST definition is “an enterprising person determined to succeed; go-getter.”  Wow.  Bo Jackson recognizes my talent and he doesn’t even know me!  (Well, we’ve met once, but I doubt I made any impression on him.)  Other definitions are not as nice, but reselling something at a higher price than it is offered in other places isn’t illegal.  It shouldn’t even be looked down upon.  Just like professional athletes making as much money as they can, they should be a hustler too.  Get you some.  I am all for it.  We as fans shouldn’t bitch either, we support it.

What I don’t like is him using that as an excuse on why he won’t sign them when he wasn’t gonna sign them anyways.  Why was Bo on Ebay looking up his bobblehead? Why does he even care?  I think the author told him about it, but come on Bo, you wouldn’t have signed them anyways and I don’t fault you for that.  I know he has signed custom bobbles before, wasn’t happy about them, but he did it cause he was paid to do it.  So, maybe if you pay him he will still sign it for you.  But if he doesn’t and I ruined this for everyone, sorry guys.  But right now I am the silent fall guy for my childhood hero.  And that is fine, I will do that for you Bo.  I owe ya for all the years of entertainment.