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Rare Bobblehead Sets New Local ShopGoodwill Record

You can always find unique treasures on, Goodwill’s online auction site. Sometimes you find that rare, sought after, one-of-a-kind item that attracts much attention and plenty of bids!

The Assistant Manager at Goodwill of Western New York's Clarence/Williamsville location knew she had found something special when sorting through a box of donated goods. The 13-1/2 inch NFL San Francisco 49ers bobblehead was unlike any she had seen before, so she decided to send it along to the expert team at our online auction division for evaluation. Research showed that the bobblehead was made in the 1960s by the Otagiri Mercantile Company, a Japanese company. The story among hobbyists is these were promo dolls sold at airports in the United States, probably in the 14 cities that were home to the teams. The airport stores would display the jumbo bobbleheads to promote the sale of small bobbleheads, and the jumbo versions were never meant to be sold. The company might have produced just five jumbos per team and distributed them regionally.

The bobbleheads were created by pouring a ceramic material into a mold of some sort. Once hardened, they were individually painted. Somehow these promotional pieces that were made in such small numbers, from a highly breakable material, and were never meant to be sold managed to survive. It’s extremely rare to find a jumbo bobblehead. A recent story on stated that a similar jumbo bobblehead had sold for $19,600 in March of 2021.

The jumbo San Francisco 49ers bobblehead was photographed and listed on Goodwill of Western New York’s online auction site Bidding started at $50 and rose quickly over the five days that it was listed with 40 bidders vying for the coveted piece. When the auction ended on November 2, one lucky bidder from Arizona outbid the rest and became the proud owner of the jumbo bobblehead with a $12,458 bid!

The purchase became the highest amount ever bid on Goodwill of WNY’s online auction site. The previous record was $5994 set in 2017 when a winning bid was placed on “Lucky in Love”, a highly coveted Pyrex casserole dish.

Goodwill of WNY is grateful to both the donor and the buyer of this item. Proceeds from the sale of this jumbo bobblehead and all in store and online sales fund Goodwill’s job training and placement programs that help people train for, find and keep good jobs in Western New York. Together we’re changing lives and building careers.

About is the first e-commerce auction site created, owned and operated by a non-profit organization. Today, more than 130 Goodwill organizations from around the United States and Canada list and auction unique items on the site, including art, antiques, collectibles, apparel, jewelry, electronics and more. Revenue from these auction sales support the Goodwill mission to help people overcome challenges to build skills, find jobs and grow their careers through the power of work.

Proceeds from items purchased through, Goodwill of Western New York’s online auction site, directly support Goodskills Career Builder and other Workforce Development initiatives that change lives in the local community.


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