New Brunswick

Fredericton man finds rare bobblehead in Value Village

A Fredericton man who bought an old bobblehead doll a few years ago at the local Value Village has discovered his second-hand find is a first-rate collectable.

Papier mâché, bobblehead of a hockey player bought for $2.99 could be worth thousands to collectors

Normand McDonald poses with his papier mâché bobblehead, that he's named Cash. It turns out that Cash, which was bought for $2.99, could be worth thousands of dollars to collectors. (CBC)

A Fredericton man who bought an old bobblehead doll a few years ago at the local Value Village has discovered his second-hand find is a first-rate collectable.

Normand McDonald spotted the hockey player bobblehead, made of papier mâché, and brought him home for $2.99.

"Actually, what drew my attention to him, is the fact he was made out of papier mâché, and I've been around crafts and antique type things and realized he had a bit of age to him," McDonald told CBC's Shift.

"The other thing is, he is kind of cute and I liked him."

What immediately stands out about the collectable is he is dressed in a Boston Bruins jersey, but the colours are that of the Montreal Canadians. 

"It's very, very fragile. And although he looks like a toy, he's not a toy," said McDonald. 

"If someone were to get too ambitious with bobbling his head they crack. They crack very easily."

Fredericton's Normand McDonald bought a papier mache bobblehead from the 60s for $2.99 and a collector has offered him $4000.00!
A few weeks ago, McDonald was checking his email when he had an epiphany.

"When I stood up, I turned my head and there he was looking at me and I thought, 'I've got a few minutes this morning, I'm going to find out more about you,'" he said.

Bobblehead is more than 50 years old

What he found was that the bobblehead was made in Japan in 1964 for the Laura Secord candy company as a limited edition promotion, as part of a collection of original six NHL teams.

And, except for the one he found, there are only 11 others from the set known to still be in existence, and none in a Boston uniform.

The dolls eyes also open and close.

Cash, the papier mâché bobblehead, was made in Japan in 1964 for the Laura Secord candy company. (CBC)
"They are referred to as googly eyes or blinkers," said McDonald.

McDonald then started searching the internet to find out if the papier mâché doll, that he had named Cash, was worth anything.

He found out that because of its rarity, the incorrect colours, that the number on his left shoulder should be on the right, and that it has maintained its lustre and colour for more than 50 years, that the bobblehead is worth quite a bit of money.

Through a website, he found for collectors, a man from New York, who has the other five bobbleheads in the collection, offered him $3,000 and has since up the ante to $4,000.

The man told McDonald to tell Cash, he has his cousins who can't wait to meet him.

2 sold for $20,000 each

An appraiser in California has also agreed to evaluate the bobblehead through photographs.

"So these individuals had been watching and searching for years and years and had never ever seen a Boston Bruins [one]," McDonald said of the contacts he's made.

An auction house in the United States said it's rare to find one of these limited edition bobbleheads in good condition, but has auctioned about a dozen of similar dolls from a different collection.

Two of those sold for about $20,000 each.

But despite the value, McDonald still loves the little guy.

"We've become buddies, although I don't want to get so attached to him that I won't be able to let him go when the time comes," he said.

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