It is done. I have finally finished the biggest bobblehead project I’ve ever attempted. My conversion of a New York Yankees Hideki Matsui to Oakland A’s colors took me five days, but I am very proud of what I accomplished.
To see my other bobblehead conversions, including the Peanuts gang and Woody from Toy Story, check them out here.
As a huge A’s fan, the signing of Matsui was a big deal and I wanted a bobblehead of his in Oakland A’s colors. Since the team isn’t doing a promotion of it and as of this moment, no official bobblehead companies have made one, I decided to make one myself.
I looked through eBay to find the best model of Matsui and I found the perfect one. This was the most detailed one out there and after looking through the details, I figured that I would be able to work on it.
I decided that the new gold tops would be appropriate as both the gold tops and Matsui debuted in 2011. Plus, the gold tops would be easiest to paint onto the bobblehead anyway.
(If you’re too lazy to read my “in-depth” detailing of it all, just scroll down to the 45-picture slideshow.)
I took a dremel and had to slowly and gently sand off the raised NY logo on his chest. I realized that if I wanted to paint over it, I had to smooth it out as best as possible. Sandpaper could have worked too, but I borrowed my tools from a friend so it all worked out.
The first step after that for any of my bobblehead is to paint the cap/helmet. This was pretty easy but I still had to make sure I didn’t paint over the holes on top of the helmet. And making sure paint didn’t get onto his face and hair was also a task.
Like a barber, I had to cover up the body while working on the head. I used saran wrap to make sure the body and the bat didn’t get smudged. When I finished the helmet, I painted the entire jersey white, then covered it with the yellow. With the indented pinstripes, I had to use sandpaper to smooth out the paint that overlayed.
As you can see on the back of the jersey, I painted the numbers green before using some scotch tape, business cards, or anything that had a straight edge to help me paint in the white onto the number.
I tried to replicate what Matsui actually wears on the field, so I had to look through pictures of his latest homestand to get the exact specifications of his wristband and batting gloves. I think it turned out pretty well.
Sanding off the pants were a little tough, but it turned out well. Getting the shoes white wasn’t too hard either. I just had to make sure that the Mizuno logo showed up. I also had to use a Q-Tip to dab the paint onto the #55 on his shoes.
The piping on the jerseys was done with the smallest brush I had. To add the green, I took a piece of string from a spool and dabbed it in paint. Then I wrapped it around to get the thinnest green line onto it. I used a pin to dab paint onto the piping that went down the jersey.
For his name on the jersey, I simply outlined it in pencil and wrote over it in white paint. Then using a green Sharpie, I just filled in the green.
The logos were the last part. The helmet logo was stenciled in with a pre-made stencil I created. The chest logo was a decal I drew up off of a clear mailing label I bought. The elephant on the sleeve was simply a dab job with some toothpicks.
After all that, I added a gloss interior varnish (two coats) onto the helmet. The rest of the body was done with a matte interior varnish to give it a nice protective coating.
And that is how I converted my Hideki Matsui bobblehead into Oakland A’s colors. I’ve decided to put this up on eBay since I have an extra bobblehead. Here’s the link for those who might be interested.
The Official Oakland A’s Twitter account approves of my project:
If you want to see my other bobblehead projects, you can check out my previous blog posts on them here.