This is blog post number two of the four I've promised before I shut this thing down for a bit in disgust at the Wizards 2017-2018 performance. Two more to follow this one then I'm off for the summer-ish.
If you are a regular reader of this blog, you'll know I've lamented the lack of team-issued bobbleheads available to us hard core fans pretty much every year I've been writing this thing. While the Dallas Mavericks are off handing out double digit quantities of bobbleheads each of the last two years or the Golden State Warriors are offering up a half dozen or so per season, the Wizards are a little stingier. Or maybe a lot stingier.
By Wizards standards, the last few years have been pretty good. The one and only one in season giveaway was supplemented over the last four seasons by a chance to join the G Wiz Kids' Club and pick up a second team issued bobble to double the fun in any one season. Sure the Kids' Club costs $20 but I'd rather pay an extra $20 for a second bobble than go without. This year? No such luck.
The Wizards one and only bobblehead this year (and it was issued in late late March so apologies for not getting this out earlier) was Otto Porter. Why not, right? He's the latest Wizard to receive a max deal. The least the team can do is spend a few more dollars on a miniature likeness of him to mark the occasion. This is not the first Otto bobble issued by the team (and hence the title of this post); Otto made his debut in this department two seasons ago when he became the designated Kids' Club bobblehead. Let's see how we feel about this latest version of Porter, Jr.
First and most obvious, Otto is sporting the Wizards' City Edition kit that Nike rolled out as the fourth uniform for the team. It's the all-white one with "The District of Columbia" and the red piping outlining the shape of the Washington Monument on the shorts and below the armhole on the jersey. That's fitting considering the rest of the unis the Wizards used this year were pretty much duplicates of last year's outfits, although I should note we still don't have a bobblehead wearing the blue jerseys.
The uniform seems pretty well detailed, right down to the faux marble on the sides of the jersey/shorts and the extremely tiny but way excellent District of Columbia flag on the shorts waist. There's also the gold tag on the back of the jersey neck to signify the Wizards / Bullets at some point in their history won a title and in an extremely impressive nod to authenticity, the jersey actually has the seams at the shoulders in Nike's template which messes up the piping around the armholes on every jersey in the NBA.
If there are two items to quibble with here, it's that there is no Nike swoosh on the front of the jersey and the numbers are not quite right. The lack of swoosh is ironic considering the designers of the bobblehead went so far to use the unique seams that Nike uses then they somehow fumbled the swoosh. Maybe it was a licensing thing. As for the numbers, they have a three dimensional look due to the shading on the left side and top of the numbers. The real on court unis do not have this look, although the replica jerseys for sale at Capital One Arena do, oddly enough. Maybe it's an after correction to the real numbers on the real jerseys, which read just fine up close but are completely invisible from the upper deck. Despite these two blips, this bobblehead gets high marks from me in the detail department for the uniform authenticity.
As for the rest of the bobblehead (the non-jersey part), I think it's pretty good for a freebie. The Chinese workers who crafted, assembled and painted this thing managed to get it to it looking pretty much like Otto rather than using some generic black man bobblehead. I also like the detail on the laces of the shoes, although after praising the craftsmanship there, I note that the floor paint is somehow creeping up the edges of Otto's sneakers. Oh well. It's free remember.
It is worth noting that this bobblehead makes a significant stylistic departure from the other bobbleheads handed out by the team over the past almost 20 years. They are using stickers for the numbers and jersey logos on Otto's doll. With the exception of the five mini-bobbleheads handed out during the 2005-2006 season, that's the first time the team has done this. All the other bobbleheads I own have numbers which are part of the casting process, meaning the digits are part of the body of the bobblehead.
I'm torn on how I feel about this. Stickers or transfers or whatever they are represent a cheaper solution because they require less skill in painting. They can also, I suppose, delaminate from the body or peel away; paint won't do that. On the other hand, they are sort of error proof, providing the decal is affixed skillfully enough. Right now I'm still old school and liking the painted numbers. We'll see what future years bring here.
Finally, I have to comment on the box. Lately the Wizards have been advertising the career accomplishments of the actual player whose bobblehead is stuffed inside the box. Maybe they should have skipped it on this one. The career highlights for Otto? Drafted number 3 overall, All-Summer League First Team, first career double-double in 2015 (DOUBLE-double, not triple-double), career high 34 points in 2016 and signed a max deal in 2017. I would have gone with something else here but maybe I'm just hating.
Overall, I love this bobblehead. Big picture, it looks like who it's supposed to look like and the craftsmanship is way above average. I can't wait to introduce my second Otto bobblehead to my first and the rest of the team just as soon as I get my life in order after my first house move in 14 years. Memo to the Wizards for next year: I still can't field a team because you keep giving me the same dudes in bobblehead form. I got multiple Otto Porters, Bradley Beals and John Walls along with a Kelly Oubre, Jr. I gotta bring in my Marcin Gortat action figure to get a starting five. Please please please make someone else next year. And consider more than one. Call the Mavs or Warriors for some advice if you need it.