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Bobblehead Museum Opens in Wisconsin


A new museum in the American state of Wisconsin may hold the largest collection of bobbleheads anyone has ever seen.

Bobbleheads are small figures with abnormally large heads. The heads, which are on springs, move up and down. The figures are usually made to look like famous people -- from sports champions to actors to politicians.

The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum recently opened in the city of Milwaukee.

Phil Sklar and Brad Novak started collecting bobbleheads 16 years ago. Then, four years ago, the two friends decided to do something with their collections. They quit their jobs, began making their own bobbleheads to earn money and searched for bobbleheads at second-hand shops. Then, they decided on a physical place for a museum.

Bobbleheads from the
Bobbleheads from the "Star Wars" movies are displayed at National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Carrie Antlfinger)

The two have more than 10,000 bobbleheads. The museum has room to show about 6,500 at one time. They have figures that look like characters from the movies “Star Wars” and “The Wizard of Oz.” They have the first-ever football and baseball bobbleheads from the early 1960s. They even have a life-sized bobblehead in their collection.

And then there are the political bobbleheads. One looks like American President Donald Trump from his days as a television star on “The Apprentice.” The figure says “You’re fired” with the push of a button.

Sklar and Novak are in the process of having their collection recognized as the world’s largest by the Guinness Book of World Records. The current record is 2,396, held by Phil Darling. The 40-year-old Canadian has gotten 500 more bobbleheads since that official count in 2015, he says.

Darling says he will be a bit sad not to hold the record anymore. But he says he hopes to one day make it to Milwaukee to see the collection and meet Sklar and Novak.

“It’s on my bucket list,” Darling said.

Sklar said he hopes the museum will appeal to bobblehead fans as well as “people looking for something fun to do.” Along with the collection itself, the museum also explains how bobbleheads are made and introduces the real people who the bobbleheads represent.

Sklar added, “There are so many negative things going on ... we need more places to escape and have a good time and also educate at the same time, so hopefully we will be an asset to the community.”

I’m Ashley Thompson.

The Associated Press reported this story. Ashley Thompson adapted it for VOA Learning English. Hai Do was the editor.


Words in This Story

museum - n. a building in which interesting and valuable things (such as paintings and sculptures or scientific or historical objects) are collected and shown to the public

figure - n. a drawing, sculpture, etc., that represents the form of a person or animal

character - n. a person who appears in a story, book, play, movie, or television show

button - n. a small part of a machine that you push to make the machine work

asset - n. a valuable person or thing