After years of planning, more than 7,000 bobblehead dolls ranging in likeness from Milwaukee Bucks’ mascot Bango to Brewers first baseman Eric Thames will be on permanent display in Walker’s Point.
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Phil Sklar and Brad Novak put a portion of their massive bobblehead collection on display at Redline Milwaukee in 2016.[/caption]
Phil Sklar and Brad Novak have selected a 4,300-square-foot space above Stack’d Burger Bar and Colectivo, at 170 S. 1st St., for their National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum.
The museum and an adjoining retail shop will be open in March or April, Sklar said.
“We were originally targeting an opening date of 2016 and thought about doing this at the Bucks (arena) entertainment district but it didn’t pan out,” Sklar said. “We moved in a different direction and our dream is coming true.”
Sklar and Novak began collecting bobbleheads in 2013, when Novak got his hands on a bobblehead while working for an independent league baseball team in Rockford, Illinois called the Rockford RiverHawks.
Donations of bobbleheads have also poured in.
In February, a 57-year-old Cleveland man with terminal cancer donated more than
1,500 bobbleheads to Sklar and Novak after hearing about the museum.
Realizing there was a void in the market of non-professional sports team bobbleheads, Sklar and Novak began working with a factory in China to produce dolls as well as collect them. “We do it for charity and Special Olympics. We’ve produced for hundreds of thousands of teams across the country.”
The pair’s first bobblehead creation was of Michael Poll, a Whitefish Bay native and manager of several Milwaukee Panther athletic teams. That bobblehead also happens to be Sklar’s favorite.
“It’s the most sentimental because it is the first one,” Sklar said.
The more than 7,000 dolls have been kept in three storage lockers. Sklar said after the holidays, he and Novak will begin moving them into the Walker’s Point space.
“It has been an exciting and exhilarating journey since we announced the concept
in November 2014,” Sklar said. “We had a successful preview exhibit last year, and our retail and custom bobblehead business has exploded."