Mailbox Monday: The Elusive Jane Austen Bobble-head

Jane Austen bobble-headFor years I seriously thought that the Jane Austen bobble-head was a Janeite myth. I had never seen one in person, only “read” about them in my online travels. I once saw one listed in an eBay auction that went for an exorbitant final bid. Who would pay that much for a toy???

It became my Jane Austen Holy Grail. The ultimate Jane Austen accessory to add to my collection. I had to have it, so I patiently waited and watched and won one last week on eBay. She arrive in my mailbox today! Myth busted – and she is quite fetching indeed.

So who made this charming figure and why are they not available for sale? Further research on the Internet revealed that Greenwood Publishing Group gave them away at the ACRL (Association of College and Research Libraries) annual conference to publicize their mammoth edition of “All Things Austen” in 2005.

Now they can only be obtained second hand. The problem was, who the heck would want to give one up? Who indeed? Of all literary fans Janeites are quite passionate about their obsession.

So how did this beauty come to my attention? One advantage to having a blog about Jane Austen is that you can gush about her and her incredible mega-star-pop-culture status and people don’t think you’re nuts (well, only a little). I once listed the Jane Austen bobble-head on my Janeite Santa wish-list. It only took three years and six months for Santa to come through. (glad to know he is not entirely deaf to my whims) The seller actually alerted me to the auction and I was the winning bidder. Huzzah!

Jane now occupies a place of honor on my bookshelf right next to my complete set of Oxford Illustrated Jane Austen! *gloat*

Cheers, Laurel Ann

28 thoughts on “Mailbox Monday: The Elusive Jane Austen Bobble-head

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  1. Ok Laurel Ann, I’m with you in your passion, but a “bobble head!!” I’m afraid it leaves me speechless. Ha! ha!

    How big is it by the way? Now if it was life size, just imagine;”Nightmare on Jane Street.”

    Dare we ask how much you forked out for it?


  2. I saw this at a JASNA birthday tea a couple years ago. I asked the owner about it and got the story like you described. I was sad to know I’d never own one. It is adorable. I know it was a promotional item for their book but really they should start mass producing it. Imagine the amount of money they could make.


  3. Love it — and love that the book clutched in her arms reads All Things Austen! How very meta. Jane holding a book about Jane. Congrats on your find! :)


  4. Laurel Ann I hope you get great enjoyment from your purchase.I must admit I feel defeated in trying to understand it’s appeal but everyone to their own.

    Are ,”bobble heads,” very popular in the States then? Sometimes we have nodding dogs on the back windows of our cars. I must state categorically that I don’t personally have a nodding dog but they appeal to some.

    All the very best,


  5. Hi Tony: I’ve enjoyed your comments! As they say in the southern U.S. “y’all ain’t from these part, are yuh??” Actually the JA bobblehead sets new standards for refinement and elegance in in bobbleheads. The United States is an obsessively auto-based culture so you see some of the most hideous and disgusting objects through the back windows of American cars. A pair of sunglasses like Zaphod Beeblebrox wore in THGTTG where they go totally black when the viewer sees something very frightening would be in order. [:-D)


  6. LOL, Laurel Ann! I was working at a library in 2005 and at ALA that summer (it was held in Chicago) there was the book vendor giving out the bobble-heads. I couldn’t have been more excited!! It’s been sitting on my desk, next to my oldest editions of P&P, since then ;). So glad you finally got one!!


  7. Oh! I did not know of the existence of bobbleheads in general and even less of Jane Austen’s bobblehead.

    I’ll invite my Jane Austen em Português’s readers, from Brazil, to visit your lovely Bobble-head Jane!


  8. I would imagine you also have the Jane Austen Action Figure? I have but have not had the courage to open the package. I want to put it on my desk at school but she looks pretty in the package and I don’t want any 7 year olds walking off with her.

    Congratulations on the bobble-head. I am having fun watching the Brits respond to this. I hadn’t realized this was such an American thing. I’m not generally a fan of them but I would totally go for this one if I thought I could get it!


  9. Laurel Ann, congratulations on your acquisition of the Jane bauble head! Any Janeite could certainly understand how exciting it would be to get one since they aren’t readily available. Happy gloating!!! (I would gloat too!)


  10. One expects a bobble head to have an oversized head, but her feet are huge too- size 15 maybe? They probably stretched from all those Cotillions, Country Dances and (gasp) perhaps even the occasional waltz!


  11. I found one at a yard sale today and bought it because I collect bobbleheads. No idea what it was. Only paid $3. How much are they?


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