In November childhood friends Phil Sklar and Brad Novak of Rockford, Illinois announced the launch of a Kickstarter campaign to build a bobblehead museum in Milwaukee. While other bigger cities were considered, the friends decided that Wisconsin is not only a bobblehead hotbed but there are also lots of interesting things to do there. Sklar mentions the beer culture as well as assorted museums and other attractions.
Will they be successful getting it funded? Will the museum be a real attraction outside of Milwaukee? Why not? After all, who doesn’t love a bobblehead! They’ve been around for over 100 years in different shapes and sizes but the most popular have always been those that are connected to sports teams, mascots or individual athletes. We figured we’ll check in from time-to-time to see how well the project is going.
Their personal collection started when Novak got his first bobblehead while working for the Rockford River Hawks (a Frontier League baseball team that’s now known as the Rockford Aviators). As they got more serious, Sklar said “If we got four of the same bobbleheads, we’d keep one for the collection and use the other three to trade for other bobbleheads that we didn’t have from outside the area.”
After five months conducting test marketing and collecting paid members in 30 states, the guys believed in their project enough that they quit their day jobs to make it happen. I love that kind of entrepreneurial confidence! They’ve also gotten the registrar of National Day Calendar to designate January 7 as National Bobblehead Day to recognize a day celebrating all spring-connected head bobbing figurines.
The friends were hoping to raise $250,000 by the middle of this month to meet the projected opening of the museum in 2016. As of yesterday their Kickstarter campaign has raised only $34,825 from 248 backers. However, memberships are on sale through the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame website, numbers that aren’t part of the Kickstarter total.
Even if the Kickstarter campaign doesn’t get funded fully, Sklar and Novak have a backup plan that might be a retail scaled-down version of the museum. Currently their collection is hitting 3,000 bobbleheads although it includes some duplicates. But by opening date Novak and Sklar are hoping to have a minimum of 10,000 bobbleheads ready to display.
Will they make it? If you want to contribute to their Kickstarter campaign, go to www.kickstarter.com/projects/1983940086/national-bobblehead-hall-of-fame-and-museum