OK, let’s talk bobbles: I’m happy to report that the Robert Marshall Old School Bobblehead Shoppe is now officially open for business. Custom-made bobbles, hand-cast and -painted by Robert and his assistant/pineapple Katherine Perryman, will cost $100. Each one will be marked with its mold number, bobble number, and Marshall’s dated signature.
Shipping will be $10 for domestic orders; overseas shipping will be calculated on a case-by-base basi. If you’re a Uni Watch Membership Program enrollee, the shipping charges will be waived (or discounted by $10 for overseas orders).
Here’s the transcript of a quick back-and-forth I had with Robert, which should give you an idea of what is and isn’t possible in terms of bobble customization:
Paul: The three prototypes — baseball, hockey, and football — are the only basic figures available, right? In other words, the hockey guy will always have the one dropped glove, the baseball guy will always be holding a ball in one hand, the football guy will always have bushy eyebrows, etc. Right?
Robert: Yes, I can put whatever head on whatever body, but the sculptures are what they are.
Paul: Oh, I hadn’t thought of that — you can mix and match the heads, so the football head could be on the baseball body, or whatever?
Robert: Sure. A baseball head on the football body could represent a football player on the sideline. I have the right to refuse, obviously, or if someone is trying to make it too complicated, you know, I won’t just do it. But they can ask.
Paul: And presumably the football guy could go no-facemask — yes?
Robert: Right. I could also do a double-bar facemask, but it would be like Otis Taylor’s old mask, without any vertical connectors. That little Larry Csonka loop is a possibility too. I almost put that on the Uni Watch football bobble.
Paul: No price differential between the three figures, right?
Paul: It occurs to me that people are gonna ask you to try to match a certain player’s face, or match their own face, or their kid’s face. But that’s not possible, because the prototype faces are the only faces we’ve got, right? Or maybe you could do a custom face for an added charge..?
Robert: If I can paint it, they can have it — within reason. I can change facial expression, like on the Big Ten bowling set — they are all the same face, essentially, just slightly different. I can change hair color, add a moustache, whatever, but the head is what it is, so I can’t get too specific, can’t change its “bone structure.” Like i gave your baseball figure dark hair because you have dark hair, and I should have given it brown eyes, but it does not look like you, it could never look like you, even if it had a goatee.
Paul: Alright, I get it, I’m insufficiently cherubic. I already knew that. Oh, and you could presumably make them black or Hispanic, right? Or is the hair too white boy for that?
Robert: Yes, I could do that, especially on the football, but it would still be kinda white boy on the hair. If there’s a demand for it, I want to make an afrocentric hatless cherub that could be applied to any body. Essentially I want to make a basketball body, which the hockey head could go on, and then the afrocentric basketball head could go on the hockey body for a black hockey player, etc. The basketball body will be soooo generic that I could apply it to any oddball sport, like a cyclist/soccer player. But all that is assuming there are orders for a generic-type body.
Paul: Ballpark turnaround time?
Robert: Depends on how many i get. Could be a week, could be a month. I guess I would say in four weeks guaranteed, but probably much sooner.
Paul: Any restriction on teams you’re willing to do, or is it wide open? What if someone says, “Make just like the St. Louis Cardinals, only make the undersleeves green” or “Make it a Mets jersey, but on the FOOTBALL player”? Are you willing to do that kind of weirdness, or do you want to institute a “must be based on real uniforms” rule? Scott and I deal with this kind of stuff all the time with the membership program — we only do designs based on real uniforms, just to keep things sane. But that doesn’t mean you have to do it that way.
Robert: I’m willing to consider anything, but I do reserve the right to refuse if it’s just too complicated, unless they want to pay a little more.
Paul: Hey, is this legal, trademark-wise? Just thought I’d ask.
Robert: According to my attorney, I have the legal right to do this. If i ever start making these in bulk with the intent to sell them before the individual commission of a patron, then I am crossing over the line and am no longer making art. But i have the right to artistic license and can sell my hand-sculpted forms, and my skills to paint by commission singularly unique art. Whoo-hoo!
Well OK then. If you want to get in on the ground floor of Robert’s new enterprise, here’s the deal:
1) If your design request is at all unusual, and/or if you have questions, and/or if you order will be shipped somewhere other than the USA, contact Robert so you can discuss your specific design request and/or find out the shipping charges to wherever you live.
2) Once you’ve settled the details of your order and the shipping costs, PayPal the proper amount to Robert at rpmarshallart at gmail dot com.
3) Done. Simple as that. Happy bobbling!