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Product Review: Handsome Dick Manitoba “Throbblehead” by Aggronautix

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The Aggronautix company have been making the coolest bobble-heads in the world (called Throbbleheads) since 2009. Their first outing featured the legendary GG Allin and Tesco Vee. They did so well with those that the company followed with an eclectic crowd of punks and proto-punks such as Wendy O Williams, The Dwarves, and Roky Erickson among others. The most recent Throbblehead is just as cool as the previous ones, as this time they have immortalized “Handsome Dick” Manitoba of The Dictators.

The Dictators were never big in their day, and are barely remembered now. But back in the early ’70s, they were part of the pre-CBGBs scene that included the New York Dolls, The Stooges, and the MC5. Every so-called punk or alternative fan claims to love the Dolls and Iggy, but mention The Dictators and you generally will get a blank stare in response. Too bad, because The Dictators may have been the wildest group of all.

A huge inspiration for them was professional wrestling, which is where the handle “Handsome Dick” comes from. In the early ’70s, wrestling was presented as “the real thing,” and nobody ever broke character. The Dictators took this as their starting point.

Manitoba started out as a roadie and occasional vocalist, but wound up taking over the band with his crazed onstage antics. With songs like “Master Race Rock” and “Teengenerate,” The Dictators seemed hideously politically incorrect, before the term even existed. Very few people got the joke, but their brand of fast hard rock and humor was a major influence on The Ramones and many others.

The Handsome Dick Manitoba Throbblehead looks pretty cool. It is a little bit of a departure for Aggronautix, though. Usually they immortalize the punks as they looked in their “glory days.” For example, the Wendy O. Williams Throbblehead has her classic 1982 blond Mohawk look. With Handsome Dick, they have chosen to spotlight his current appearance, which is actually more “punk” than the long hair he sported back in his Dictators days. He is wearing his cool “HDM” cap, and they have even managed to capture his signature glare.

The doll stands seven inches tall, and is made out of a sturdy polyresin. It comes in a full-color box, and is limited to 1,000 hand-numbered units. The Handsome Dick Manitoba Throbblehead is available through some record stores, and also the Aggronautix site. Manitoba is a great addition to the Throbblehead collection, and while you’re at it – check out The Dictators’ Go Girl Crazy or Manifest Destiny albums as well.

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About Greg Barbrick

  • http://blogcritics.org/culture/article/product-review-handsome-dick-manitoba-throbblehead/#comments Handsome Dick Manitoba

    Never “big”, and “barely remembered now”, is one writer’s opinion,. If you want too do research, and talk to people around since then, and who lived through it, you would CLEARLY find different answers…But, why let a little reality get in the way of a “well written piece?

  • ken

    You clown, everybody knows the Dictators! The party starts now!

  • Richard Kirsopp

    The Dictators have been my favorite band since I was twelve or thirteen. I’m fortysix now. There’s been “Bigger” but never better. Just coz you aint heard of ‘em doesn’t mean no one else has. They’re a hugely infuential band. DFFD.

  • BobCat Rawks

    The Dictators are NYC Rawk ‘n Roll !!! Real & Ready To Rumble !!! You Can Never Forget A GREAT Band !!! DFFD !!! Congrats on the The
    Throbblehead … Oh and Check Out “MANITOBA” Handsome Dick’s latest Rawk Venture !!!

  • Greg Barbrick

    Sorry if the truth hurts, if you read the piece it was not meant as a diss – more of a lament that The Dictators never got the type of name recognition world-wide that the Dolls or Iggy got. It’s a sad fact.

  • Greg Barbrick

    Oh, and if that is the real Handsome Dick that responded – you’re breaking the sacred wrestling code of “kayfabe” by commenting at all. You know that, right?

  • Christina

    It seemed like the article alternated between diss and non diss.

    The reason why they chose to fashion the throbblehead after him now as opposed to the old days is that he’s more handsome now!

    Ps music biz groupie? Huh?

  • Greg Barbrick

    Christina,

    Then I didn’t get my point across properly. I’m a fan, and at the end I urge the readers to check out a couple of The Dictators classic albums for themselves. Sheesh! Who would have thought Dictators fans were so sensitive?

    As for the “music biz groupie” – it’s a joke about the career path I’ve chosen.

  • Malcolm

    “It is a little bit of a departure for Aggronautix, though. Usually they immortalize the punks as they looked in their “glory days.”

    Gee, is it? Did you perhaps consider that the Handsome One IS in his ‘glory days’??

  • http://cinemasentries.com/ El Bicho

    wow, you Dick fans are awfully sensitive and defensive, but that likely comes from loving a band not well known. I mean, it’s not like The Dictators are as popular as Brian Jonestown Massacre

  • Greg Barbrick

    Good point Bicho!

  • speediejohn carlucci

    Greg, I have to disagree with you here. I don’t know what circles you travel in, but in my world, the Dictators are a highly respected & influential band. I saw them play The Coventry on Queens Blvd with The Dolls when I was in High School & they gave me the inspiration & the guts to pick up a bass and get out there & do it myself. I look to them as mentors, for as a kid they always had time for me when I asked for advice, even once inviting me to their rehearsal space to see them practice. I learned a lot from them. The biggest lesson I learned is that the stage is sacred ground & every time you get up to play, you have to give it 100%. I’ve never seen a bad Dictators show. I saw many awful Johnny Thunders shows & I feel the reason why he is more well known than many of his peers is based more on the mystique of his bad boy drug culture image & not his musical performance. He could barely stand up by the end. Fast Forward to Los Angeles where I now reside. Nearly 25 years after I first saw the Dictators in Queens, they blew into town and played a high energy set at Spaceland that had every bit as much intensity as they ever had. The place was packed & the audience was full of the cream of the crop of the LA music scene. Add Manitoba’s bar into the mix & his Radio DJ gig on Little Steven’s Underground Garage Radio, & I feel they are more well know now than ever. You might not realize this, but sometime around 1975, the first time any of us in the original NY CBGB’s scene saw the term “Punk Rock” in print, was on the cover of the Sunday New York Daily News magazine section. It was splashed across a full color photo of Scott & Manitoba from the Dictators. It was the first legitimate press to acknowledge that something really big was happening on the Bowery. After that article, the whole scene exploded.