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How Custom Bobblehead Dolls Are Made

Everyone loves bobble head dolls, especially custom ones. They are perfect to give as gifts or to spice up a dashboard or office desk. They always bring a smile or a laugh. Have you ever wondered how these dolls are made? We have the answer. We've outlined the process below. Now, you can know exactly what goes into the making of your custom bobble head. Once you've learned the secret of production, hop on over to our workshop and get your custom bobble head doll started today!

How Custom Bobble Head Dolls are Made

Step 1

The client chooses an image they would like made into a bobble head doll.  This is the most essential step in crafting a custom bobble head doll. A client can choose any likeness they would like to turn into a doll. It can be a picture of themselves, a friend, a couple, a role model, or a family member. It is important to begin with a very clear image, as large and in focus as possible. This will make the bobble head doll artist's job easier. The artist may ask the customer to submit several different photos of the same face, including profiles, to ensure the best possible model.

Step 2

The artist transfers this image to a mold. Using either digital programming or sculpture, the artist will create a 3D rendering of the head and face. This begins typically as a clay mold. The artist will then work the clay carefully and skillfully to exactly replicate the image provided by the customer. H/she will use a series of small sculpting tools to do so. Most artists go through rigorous training programs before they begin working on custom bobble head doll orders.

Step 3

The artist sends a proof to the customer. After the mold is complete, the artist will consult with the customer to make sure everything is good to go. A customer is entitled to as many proofs, or "edits," as h/she wants.

An artist is happy to change a mold as much as needed before moving into the final stages of production.

Step 4

After customer approval, the mold is then cast. Once the customer gives the thumbs up, it is now time to cast the mold of the bobble head. Artists rely on basic sculpture techniques in order to do this. Materials will vary depending upon the bobble head company. Once in this stage, it is difficult to make changes to the bobble head doll construction. Customers can still request a new body style or painting change, but once the mold is cast the head shape and structure are permanent. Some companies cover the bobble head in a layer of special felt to ensure maximum durability.

Step 5

The bobble head doll is painted carefully and meticulously. Now the true artistry comes in. Once the bobble head is constructed, the artist will paint it to exactly match the image provided. H/she will use a variety of small brushes and artist tools in order to do so. Everything is done attentively and in line with the image. Customers can make changes before this process begins if they wish.

Step 6

The bobble head doll is assembled. Most people don't realize how the mechanics of an actual bobble head doll work. Once the bobble head is molded, cast, and painted, it is attached to its hollow body (which undergoes the same process of casting and painting). The head of a bobble doll "bobbles" because of a simple weight and anchor system. This will vary depending upon the style of bobble head doll. For the weight and anchor system to work, the body has to have a hollow insert. Bobble head dolls, once complete, are attached to a base of some kind so they can be set anywhere. Some dolls come with a special adhesive on their base to enable easier attachment to surfaces.

Step 7

The doll is packed and shipped to the customer. Now comes the best part. Once the custom bobble head doll is complete and tested to perfection, it is mailed to the customer. Customer satisfaction is everything. Most companies do have a refund policy in case a customer is not happy with the final product. But this is rarely the case! Given the time it takes to create a custom bobble head doll, every product is a work of art, a true likeness, and a source of smiles.

Differences in Production

Technique

Depending upon the company, bobble head doll construction can vary. Some companies rely solely on digital assistance in building their custom bobble head dolls for customers. Others do everything by hand, from the initial clay molding to the painting of the doll and its final assembly. Still other bobble head doll companies rely on a mixture of these techniques.

Quality and Material

Every bobble head doll company chooses a different set of materials to use during doll construction. Depending upon the materials used, bobble head doll quality can vary. The highest quality materials used for bobble head doll construction are resin and plastic. These ensure that the bobble head is durable and does not chip or break easily. Resin bobble heads are an improvement over early bobble heads, which were made out of ceramic, wood, or cheap plastic.

Time

No matter what the technique or material used, bobble head doll construction can take a lot of time. At YesBobbleheads, it takes about four to six weeks from start to finish to create a custom bobble head doll. Bobble head construction is an art, after all, and requires careful effort and time. It's important to take this timeline into account if you are ordering a custom bobble head doll as a gift for someone.

Now You Know

Most people don't realize how much work goes into making custom bobble head dolls. It requires a lot of time and high-level skill. Creating a bobble head doll is an art in itself. Get started on your custom bobble head doll order today. Or contact us if you have any questions about the process.

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