As far as sports collectables and giveaway chotchkes go, bobblehead dolls are a hell of a lot better than a magnetic calendar. For this generation's players, they're become what hockey cards were to previous generations: once you've made it to bobblehead status, well then you've made some kind of mark on your profession, haven't you?
Tonight, the Washington Capitals and the Carolina Hurricanes are both having bobblehead giveaways. The Capitals are handing out 15,000 Alexander Ovechkin dolls that show him clutching his postseason awards from last season. The first 10,000 fans for Carolina's game against the Florida Panthers receive an Eric Staal bobblehead.
These two figurines join a museum's-worth of hockey bobblehead dolls that offer varying degrees of accuracy and appropriateness. Puck Daddy has scoured the Web to find some of the worst of that lot ... including one that will be handed out tonight.
Please enjoy our look at some of the most embarrassingly awful bobbleheads in hockey history, and feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments.
Eric Staal, Carolina Hurricanes
We begin with this Staal doll that's scheduled to be handed out tonight in Carolina. Carolina on Ice feels this looks more like Ralph Macchio than Eric Staal, but more importantly is rather hung up on the pose they've given him:
Yep. It looks just like the face of those cheap blow-up sex dolls that hang on the wall behind the counter of every sleazy 'adult novelty' and peepshow store you've ever been in. Or at least it looks just like the ones hanging on the wall behind the counter of every 'adult novelty' and peepshow store that I've ever been in. The resemblance is uncanny.
And in case they haven't stated their case well enough, here's the comparison shot (NSFW).
Yikes! This might be what Staal looks like, but no bobblehead should have an expression that reminds one of a pervert looking through a sorority house window. Guess it's up to Marc Staal of the Rangers to redeem the family's good bobblehead name.
This is actually a well-crafted doll. The only problem is that after eight head bobbles, it stops working.
Raymond Bourque, Boston Bruins
Much like the Daneyko bobblehead, this one is just an epic failure of inexactness. It's like Caricature 101: find the most defining element of a person's face and accentuate it. How can you screw up Ray's eyebrows on a bobblehead doll?
That said, it's an outstandingly accurate depiction of the late Gordon Jump of "WKRP." All you need are bobbleheads of Arnold and Dudley and you can recreate the bike shop episode of "Diff'rent Strokes."
Brian Leetch, Team USA
This actually does a decent job getting Leetch's facial expression down. But the dude spent his entire career looking paler than an Amish ghost. Where did Team USA train? Aruba?
Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
Tonight's bobblehead is actually Ovechkin's second for the Capitals. The first was this attempt, and it's a tad too pretty. He looks like the drummer from an emo pop-rock band. The Washington City Paper actually felt this looked more like Capitals defensive prospect Sami Lepisto. Can't say we don't agree.
Alexei Yashin, New York Islanders
From Russian players that deserve bobbleheads to those that don't. This one wasn't a giveaway, but rather created by a hockey card company in 2002-03. At that point, Yashin was already labeled as a financial boondoggle by Islanders fans; many of whom no doubt still use this bobblehead for target practice or as a bathroom doorstop.
Everett Silvertips bobbleheads
Please recall the Silvertips, a major junior team, who recently grew power mustaches on a long road trip. There are more than a few bobbleheads for the team floating around, and the model makers are obviously trying too hard to change up the poses. Hence Torrie's rump looks like it hangs over the base, and Karel either just saw a UFO or is preparing for a triple axel. In any case: fail.
Atlanta Thrashers' giant bobblehead
Mark Recchi, Pittsburgh Penguins
This isn't a bad sculpt at all. But the story behind it lands this Recchi doll on the list, as he has to be one of the only players in hockey history to be scratched for his own bobblehead night -- and then placed on waivers soon after.
Tom Holy, San Jose Sharks public relations
Finally, the problem here is not that the Sharks created a bobblehead doll of one of the front office workers. The problem is that Tom Holy's bobblehead doll, as Marcel Goc pointed out earlier this year, "looks better than most player bobbleheads."
- bobblehead doll
- Eric Staal
- Ken Daneyko