Housing hundreds of bobbleheads, let alone creating them, for some is a hobby, but for Mario Alcala Jr. it’s a way of life. His Los Angeles apartment is full of hundreds of bobbleheads, some custom made others perfectly intact in their original state.
Alcala’s home is also his office. He began customizing back in 2013 and has a waitlist for customers that can run as long a 3 months. With a box full of broken bobblehead scraps, acrylic paint, brushes, clay, rags, molding tools, paper and a cup of water he creates his masterpieces all from his kitchen table.
We met with Alcala on a warm Friday afternoon where we were introduced to his collection, his wife Adriana Guzman-Alcala and his son Derek Alcala.
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To call Alcala a Dodgers fan is an understatement, he is a Dodger enthusiast and has grown his business to fuse with his passion for the Dodgers. Cuztom Bobbleheads began when Alcala and his cousin decided to get into business together.
“We had to come up with the name so we decided on cuztom bobbleheads. Custom with a Z. The story behind that is, we’re cousins so cuztom is like cousins bobbleheads. So that’s how it all started.”
Of the thousands of bobbleheads he’s created, sold and remodeled Alcala has three specific bobbleheads that he calls his “favorites”.
Well, my top three favorite, No. 1 would probably have to be the Selfie Bobblehead. No. 2 would probably have to be the Super Kershaw. And No. 3 would probably have to be the Justin Turner with the real hair.
Lets take a look at those:
In case you didn’t notice that was Adrian Gonzalez in the first picture, and Justin Turner posted Alcala’s bobblehead in the last picture on his instagram. When asked about it Alcala told us about the Selfie Story, which featured one of his most popular bobbleheads:
I messaged Justin Turner on Instagram. I sent him a DM and I told him, what do you think of this bobblehead. And he really liked it and I was fortunate enough to be up in Oakland with Pantone 294, and I took it with me and I gave it to Justin and he signed it and he’s like hold on I’ll be back. Walked away, and had Adrian Gonzalez sign in for me as well.
Following that day it wouldn’t be the only time Alcala and his family would get to hang out with their favorite Dodgers.
He has met his favorite Dodgers, created a large network with fellow fans and artist, but what’s next for the entrepreneur?
Well, my goal is obviously setting up a better base for myself, getting my website going, hiring some people to help me out, some more customizers. Just expanding, growing into what I know it can be.
It has the potential to be the biggest bobble head company there is out there. You know it started off just me and it kind of still is just me, but I know it could be big. I have great ideas and I think my designs are what people want.
For more on Alcala’s story make sure you watch the video above. Also make sure you tune into CuztomBobbleheads Facebook page every Thursday night at 7PM PT (except when he attends games) to see how Alcala customizes his bobbleheads.