Starting in the 2000's CFL teams began to issue custom bobbleheads to honour a specific individual and provide a sponsored promotional tool for distribution to fans. These were usually given away on game days or in the case of lesser produced versions made available at special team events. Collecting Canadian Football Volume II lists nineteen different team specific bobbleheads (mostly players) issued up to the end of 2012.
|2016 B.C. Lions Adam Bighill bobblehead box &|
2018 B.C. Lions GM/Coach Wally Buono bobblehead box
Since the publication of CCF V2 at least 27 new bobbleheads have been issued and in this digital age where you can order a bobblehead of yourself on demand, the trend shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. Therefore this post will catch you up on the known new items.
|2017 B.C. Lions Jonathon Jennings bobblehead &|
2017 B.C. Lions Emmanuel Arceneaux bobblehead
B.C. Lions are by far the most active at issuing the more or less standard sized bobbleheads (somewhere around 6" to 8" high) with six distributed to fans on specific game days over the last couple of seasons. In addition to those shown above a Solomon Elimimian figure was also produced in 2016.
Unless you are highlighting the end of a glorious career (like Wally Buono's) then you run the risk that your current day players honored with a bobblehead might soon be playing for your rivals. In fact all of the players above (plus Elimimian) are still playing in 2019 but none are B.C. Lions anymore.
|2016 Montreal Alouettes Anthony Calvillo bobblehead & |
2019 Montreal Alouettes John Bowman bobblehead game advertisement
Anthony Calvillo was honoured with his bobblehead for his career services to the Alouettes in 2016 and he became only the second player with two different bobbleheads, having had an earlier one issued in 2003 to commemorate the 2002 Grey Cup victory.
On September 21st of this year Alouette fans will be able to grab a career appreciation figure of long time defensive line standout John Bowman.
|2008 Calgary Stampeders Henry Burris bobblehead specimen box &|
2019 Calgary Stampeders Jon Cornish bobblehead box
In 2008 the Calgary Stampeders had planned to distribute a limited amount of Henry Burris bobbleheads as Burris was receiving his second of three consecutive President's Club ring awards. But Chinese manufacturing quality control had a long way to go back then, as reportedly the whole shipment had to be trashed for production problems and misspelled words on all the figures.
A very few reasonably OK figures were apparently salvaged with one showing up on ebay for $500 a few years back and while I would have liked to have it for my collection, I did not want it anywhere near that bad...
More recently the graphics for the new Jon Cornish bobblehead distributed at the August 17th Stampeder game are considerably more upscale.
|2017 Toronto Argonauts Doug Flutie bobblehead & |
2019 Toronto Argonauts Derel Walker bobblehead
The Argonauts have been fairly active with commemorative bobbleheads issuing a Grey Cup MVP highlighting Doug Flutie bobblehead a couple of years ago, and a Derel Walker this season which is the players first with the team.
Damon Allen was the first player to have had more than one bobblehead when the Argonauts produced one in 2013 whereas his first was as a B.C. Lion. The Argonaut figure is about 2/3 the height of the B.C. one.
|2019 B.C. Lions Mike Reilly bobblehead & |
2019 Edmonton Eskimos Trevor Harris bobblehead
The recent off season free agency carousel resulted in a lot of players changing teams and so what better way to introduce your prized new quarterback acquisitions than to have them immortalized in miniature three dimensional form.
Mike Reilly figures were handed out in B.C. (some Lions promotional products are only distributed to fans below a certain age, although I am not certain if this was one of those). Trevor Harris was available for direct purchase by Edmonton fans or in combination for donating a ticket to a member of the Canadian Armed Forces.
|2007? Winnipeg Blue Bombers Doug Brown bobblehead & |
2019 University of Saskatchewan Huskies Coach Brian Towriss bobblehead
Winnipeg does not appear to have been very active at all in bobblehead production, although there was a Doug Brown figure made in the last decade that did not get listed in the CCF V2 catalogue. This was branded on the box as a Pro Players product which would lead one to believe that perhaps more were issued by the CFLPA players association marketing arm.
One of the more rarely produced CIS Canadian university football figures, issued this year is legendary University of Saskatchewan Huskies head coach Brian Towriss, available at the Huskies Sept. 14th home game.
|2018 Saskatchewan Roughriders Mike McCullough bobblehead & |
2013 Saskatchewan Roughriders Ron Lancaster mini bobblehead
One would think that Saskatchewan would have lots of incentive to make bobbleheads to be snapped up by their fan base but the only one I have been able to document is the Mike McCullough which is labeled as a Roughrider Alumni Bobblehead on the box, again raising the possibility that more retired players would have been so commemorated.
Corby Distilleries produced a set of eight Roughrider mini bobbleheads in 2009, catalogued in CCF V2, and they produced a new batch of eight for the 2013 Grey Cup year in Saskatchewan. Players included Lancaster, Reed, Ridgway, Schultz, O'Day, Davis, Greene and Makowsky.
|2017 Ottawa Redblacks Big Joe mascot bobblehead &|
Early 2010's Hamilton Tiger-Cats Stripes mascot bobblehead
Ottawa and Hamilton have not issued any player specific bobbleheads in the last eight years to my knowledge, but they have each produced a mascot figure as shown above.
|2019 Hamilton Tiger-Cats retro bobblehead game advertisement |
with image of an authentic early sixties CFL generic ceramic bobblehead
This upcoming November the Tiger-Cats are celebrating their 150th (!!!) anniversary by doing a promotional giveaway with retro bobbleheads bringing us back full circle to the original generic novelty items from almost 60 years ago.