Tennessee Vols fans will have a new bobblehead to add to the memorabilia collection Friday, but there are fewer than 2,000 to go around.
The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum in Milwaukee is unveiling an officially licensed and numbered, limited-edition bobblehead commemorating Tennessee's six NCAA Division I football national championships. Only 1,998 will be made, coinciding with the year, 1998, the last title occurred. Others were in 1938, 1940, 1950, 1951 and 1967.
The bobblehead features the team mascot, Smokey, surrounded by six championship rings on the base. The base also bears the University of Tennessee logo. The backing lists the years of Tennessee's titles.
"We know how passionate Vols fans are about their team and bobbleheads, so we expect these to be extremely popular," said Phil Sklar, co-founder and CEO of the museum.
The bobbleheads are being produced exclusively for the museum by FOCO, an official licensee and manufacturer of Tennessee Volunteers and NCAA merchandise.
"They manufacture them exclusively for us," Sklar said. "We come up with the idea to do a series of bobbleheads, and they handle the licensing and produce the series."
Did you know?
* Since its first season in 1891, Tennessee has won six national championships and 16 conference titles.
* The Volunteers currently rank third in bowl appearances (52) and sixth in bowl victories (28).
* They have won four Sugar Bowls, three Cotton Bowls and one Orange Bowl, Peach Bowl and Fiesta Bowl.
* Tennessee has won 464 games at Neyland Stadium, the highest home-field total in college football history for any school at its current home venue.
Source: National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum
Sklar said this is one of about a dozen Tennessee-related bobbleheads in the museum's collection, several of which feature Smokey. Former Vols running back Alvin Kamara, now playing for the New Orleans Saints, is included in the NCAA College Football Superstar series.
Tennessee is one of five schools included in the latest release in the College Football Championship series, along with Auburn, Clemson, Oklahoma and Penn State. Previously released were Florida, LSU, Miami, Nebraska, Ohio State, Texas and USC.
Sklar said about 75 percent of the museum's collection is sports-related, with the remainder commemorating political and pop-culture icons. It's also possible to customize a bobblehead through the museum's online store.
"We have hundreds of different bodies to choose from and other things we customize," Sklar said.
The College Football Championship bobbleheads are $45 each, with a flat-rate shipping charge of $8 per order. They are available only through the museum's online store and are expected to ship in November. Learn more at bobbleheadhall.com.
Email Lisa Denton at firstname.lastname@example.org.