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.