A couple of Saturdays ago, I posted my thoughts on this blog about the only free bobblehead handed out by the Washington Wizards this season: the ultra-excellent Kelly Oubre, Jr. simulated hair bobblehead. That followed a post last fall about the Monumental Rewards-only Scott Brooks bobblehead the Wiz pushed out to season ticket holders willing to drop 15,000 Monumental Rewards points (since reduced to 10,000 FWIW). Today, I'm tackling the third of the team-issued 2016-2017 bobbleheads, the $20 G-Wiz Kids' Club offering for this year, which turned out to be Bradley Beal.
First of all, let me say how amazing it is that the Wiz are finally offering what I would consider a significant amount of bobbleheads per year. Even if it's going to cost me a 20 spot and 15 large MR points. Sure, it's nowhere close to the Dallas Mavericks' 12 pack of in-game free bobbles but it's better than scraping for one per year. Nice to know someone is out there listening. Or maybe it's just coincidence.
The 2016-2017 season is the fourth consecutive year that the Wizards have offered a unique bobblehead as part of the Kids' Club program. Martell Webster got us started in year one followed by G-Wiz then Otto Porter last year. By chance, it's also the fourth year my four year old niece has been enrolled in the Club. And I swear she's real. One day she's going to inherit a killer Wizards bobblehead collection. Whether she wants to or not.
There's a lot to love about this bobblehead. The first thing I look at when I pick up a new bobble at the arena is the quality of the paint job. And this Beal bobblehead has a killer paint job. Check out the transition between colors in the picture above. There is no sweater paint on the jacket or jacket paint on the arm and the backpack/bag of cash and the piece of gold (or is it a car key?) in Brad's left hand are meticulously detailed. They definitely used the best quality painters on this one.
Need more proof? Just look at the shoes (it's gotta be the shoes!) in the image below. These things look like they have actual laces and eyelets. They are absolutely awesome!! Brad's head (next picture down) also looks pretty sharp. They got the glasses painted right, there's the birthmark on his right temple which seems to be about the right size (if a little glob-y) and the facial hair's about as good as you can get. No complaints on the paint job on this one. It rivals the very very lifelike John Wall throwback sleeved uni bobblehead from last season.
Having said all of that...I just don't get it.
I don't get why the Wizards are issuing another Bradley Beal bobblehead this year when there are legit players on our roster without their image cast in nodding plastic (Marcin Gortat and Markieff Morris come to mind here) wearing Wizards jerseys. I also don't get why he's in civvies and I don't get why a kid wants a Beal bobble in a suit. Is it because someone liked the picture of Brad that ended up on the bobblehead box so much that they just had to make a 3-D likeness of it? Is it because Brad's spent so much time in street clothes over the first four years of his time with the Wizards that someone thought it was either appropriate or funny or both? Low blow, I know; especially considering the relative lack of injury this year. Is it in his contract that Brad can ask the team to make a bobblehead of him in the manner in which he sees fit?
Don't get me wrong. My new Beal bobblehead will take a prominent place on my bobblehead shelf. He's just likely to be behind (like in the second row) his own rookie bobblehead, bobble John Wall, bobble Otto Porter, newly acquired bobble Kelly Oubre, Jr., coach Brooks and Marcin Gortat in action figure form. Four bobbleheads and an action figure. Coulda had a whole team of bobbleheads, Wizards!!!
So enough complaining and looking a gift horse in the mouth. There are some other things to note here.
First of all, this is about the most deluxe bobblehead base I've seen on a Wizards bobblehead lately. The Wizards have been infatuated with the circular wood-y base for their bobbles over the last couple of years but they amp it up on this one, rolling out the Monumental Ball logo surrounded by a faux wood border with red and white piping running along the vertical sides of the base.
They have also gone out and gotten themselves a sponsor, which I think is significant in light of recent rantings on this blog. Yep, that's right. We are paying $20 for this thing and we get a Giant advertisement as part of the deal. Not a giant advertisement, a Giant one. Just look at the picture. I'm actually OK with this; if there's an indicator of free-ness on team issued bobbleheads, it's them having a commercial element to them. Inactive list Brad looks right at home next to the other free bobbleheads in giving a shout out to a local (or national) business.
Finally, there's the box. The containers bobbleheads come in are often a conversation piece in and of themselves. Not saying there's much of a conversation to have there but there are sometimes some curious things on there. And Brad's box this year is no exception. Alongside many many many 3-themed entries in various statistics, there are some fun facts about Brad. The one that I found most puzzling was his nickname: BB3. Has anyone ever heard of this? Now I get that I'm not completely plugged into everything in Wizards cultures in the District but what the heck happened to Big Panda? I gotta tell you I never heard of this moniker. Someone's got to get to the bottom of this.
I'm installing Brad in my bobblehead display as soon as I get back from this mini work and Wizards road trip I'm on out here in California (bobbles stay in a virtual bullpen of sorts until I'm done with their post). I'm thrilled to add Brad as the third Wiz bobble of the year. I've been very glass half empty about a number of aspects of my new bobblehead but there's certainly no reason to be down about getting three new bobbles in a single season. Keep it up, Wizards! Just...more guys in uniform. Please.
BB3??? What happened to Big Panda?