March 7, 2014
It's been a week since the Phillies wrapped up arguably one of their better merchandise ventures, the Phanatic of the Month bobblehead series. As it was such a huge success, with lines forming at the Majestic Clubhouse store hours before it opened, folks have been wondering what's next. A Philadelphia-themed series was rumored to be in the works. But it turns out the Phillies will be trying to sell more than bobbleheads this time around. The new series of POTM bobbleheads will be limited to 400 each month, and they will be based on the Phillie Phanatic's 12 books. Currently 11 books have been published, with the 12th to come this season. I don't know whether these will be the 10" bobbleheads like series 1, and I don't know if they'll cost $49.99. But the fact that they're trying to fit a whole book's theme onto a bobblehead leads me to believe we can expect both of those.
I mentioned last April in my preview of the POTM that I thought the Phillies should have skipped some of the themes they were doing and tried something else. One idea I offered was a "Super Phanatic" bobblehead based on the stuffed plush and book:
"October - Super Phanatic - You can't tell me this wouldn't be a hit. While a Halloween themed Phanatic will likely be nice, this was a perfect opportunity for the Phillies to get some Super Phanatic merchandise out there. They could've put a display of "The Adventures of Super Phanatic" Books right next to the bobblehead display, or had some kind of bobblehead and book package. "
Well, one of my wishes is coming true! The Phillies took my suggestion to a whole new level. It's a very good move by them. Selling books and bobbleheads together should be lucrative, and will draw kid fans in a way the bobbleheads alone might not have. Now here comes the but: I think they're going overboard with the production run. By March, almost everyone had had enough of lining up in 20-degree weather for two hours wondering if they'd get one of the 120-125 bobbleheads that were being made available to the public. I will say it was nice to see pretty much every Phillies bobblehead collector in the same place at the same time. You'll likely never see that again. But the Phillies could be making a crucial mistake by overproducing these and saturating the market with so many Phanatics. They have a good thing going with the POTM, and at this moment the desirability of these for collectors is likely at a high. I hope I'm wrong, but I think they're going to kill a good thing. I think theres a good chance they're stuck with some of these by mid-season, and then they'll cut the series all together in 2015 because they didn't move enough bobble heads. I'm really torn on how this will end. Cause on one hand they're totally over producing these, on the other hand, they can probably move a lot of books with these bobbleheads making it a big success.
Overproducing is nothing new to the Phillies. It happened with the Citizens Bank Park exclusive bobbleheads. They produced too many players at too high of a production run in 2012 and 2013 and now, come 2014, no player CBP exclusives, from what I've heard. There's something to be said for keeping fans wanting more. All they had to do was produce maybe 4-5 players a season at a lower production run and the CBP series would've likely been continued this year. The only real issue with the POTM was the fact that you could buy two at a time. I'm not saying I didn't take advantage of that offer, but the fact is if a line of 60+ people is standing outside for hours to buy a bobblehead that's limited to 150 (well 120 after you weed out the damages and give employees first dibs) each person should get a bobblehead before anyone has seconds. Then if everyone that was in line got their one, they should've been able to buy another one. That would eliminate the whole "people cursing at employees" thing that seemed to happen every month.
So with all that said, let's get down to what we'll get in the new line of POTM bobbleheads. Heres the list of the twelve books, what we might be able to expect, and my prediction on what each month will be:
- Phillie Phanatic's Happiest Memories - I have not a clue. If it were me, I'd make some sort of retro Phanatic here. Maybe something involving the 1980 World Series. Thats just what I would do. (January)
- Phillies Phanatic's Moving Day - Again, no clue but something involving Veterans Stadium would be pretty cool. Maybe incorporate the Final Season at the Vet logo. (March)
- Phillie Phanatic's Phantastic Journey - I got nothing on this. (February)
- Happy Birthday Phillie Phanatic - Obviously something birthday related. I'm sure there will be a cake involved. A party hat, perhaps? Wouldn't be surprised if this were April's bobblehead. (April)
- Phillie Phanatic's Parade of Champions - Now this has the opportunity to be great if they put some effort into it. Maybe a World Series Trophy in there. Maybe you put Cole Hamels on it since he was the MVP. Or how about Chase Utley and Hamels next to the Phanatic? (November)
- The Adventures of Super Phanatic - I was really hoping this would get made one day. Please Phillies, don't screw it up. (October)
- Phillie Phanatic's Christmas Wish - Another obvious one. (December)
- Phanatic's Galapagos Island Adventure - I'm expecting the bobblehead to pretty much look like the cover, with the Phanatic in some sort of Safari outfit. (August)
- The Phanatic's Philadelphia Story - The Phanatic will be dressed like Ben Franklin; should be one of the better ones. (July)
- Phillie Phanatic's Friendly Games - I guess this is where they started to run out of ideas for Phanatic books. No idea here. (September)
- Phillie Phanatic's Hall of Fame Journey - Again, obviously going to be hall of fame related. Would not be surprised to see them roll out the ATV pose again. That was a hit the first time around. (June)
- Phillie Phanatic's One Man Band - Guessing he'll be playing several instruments. Not feeling too enthusiastic about some of these. (May)
So there's the list of what's coming down the pike for the next twelve months. Hope they're able to move a lot of bobbleheads this year, otherwise this could be it for the Phanatic of the Month bobblehead series.
©PhilliesSGA - 2014