March 3, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 79  

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SPORTS

Bobble head craze hits Cleveland
Comic Book Guy spotted at Gund Arena


Gazette File Photo
WITH ALL THIS TALK OF BOBBLEHEADS, HOW COME NOBODY EVER MENTIONED DIVINE BROWN? While a lot of fanboys are caught up in the whole bobblehead craze, we heartily endorse their chief competitor: the CelebriDuck.

CLEVELAND (AP) — LeBron James has never been guarded like this.

With armed security personnel and the Cavaliers’ mascot, Moondog, watching over their safe arrival, 10,000 LeBron James souvenir bobble head dolls were delivered in an armoured truck to Gund Arena on Monday.

While the real James was in Chicago getting ready to play the Bulls, the limited-edition bobble heads were stored away before being given to fans attending Wednesday night’s game against the Atlanta Hawks.

Like everything else bearing James’ likeness, name or jersey number on it, the bobble head has already caused a stir among collectors eager to get their hands on one of the seven-inch replicas of Cleveland’s six-foot-eight rookie star.

Two days before it’s even available, the giveaway bobble head is already drawing bids of nearly US$30 on eBay.
“The bids on that are going to be crazy,” said Brian Williamson, a bobble head collector from Pittsburgh. “I don’t think you’ll be able to get one for under $50 because of how popular LeBron is.”

There are already several James bobble heads available on the retail market. The Cavaliers’ team shop at the Gund sells five different versions, but this one is unique because only 10,000 will be handed out.

“There is a whole sector of collectors who want just the giveaways,” said Bill Miko of ImageWorks, a consulting firm who helped the Cavaliers plan the promotion. “Last year, people flew to Houston just to get the Yao Ming giveaway. I expect there to be people on the streets after the game trying to buy the bobble heads from people as they come out of the Gund.”

Upon entering the 20,000-seat arena, fans will be handed a voucher they can redeem at one of three designated areas to get their bobble head.

Late last season when the team announced it was returning to its original wine-and-gold colour scheme, overzealous fans tore through boxes during a T-shirt giveaway. This time, the Cavs are taking necessary precautions to guard against a similar problem.

Because of the giveaway, Komoroski is expecting fans to arrive earlier than usual for the 7 p.m. tipoff. Doors will open at 5:30.

 

 

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