MILWAUKEE – This morning, the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum unveiled a pair of officially licensed, limited-edition Arizona Wildcat Mascot Bobbleheads featuring University of Arizona’s mascots Wilbur the Wildcat and Wilma the Wildcat. The pair has been entertaining Arizona fans as a dynamic duo since 1986, and this marks the first bobblehead for Wilma Wildcat. The special edition bobbleheads were produced by the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum, an official licensee of the University of Arizona.
The Wilbur bobblehead is wearing his customary blue flat-topped cowboy hat and a white basketball uniform with the No. 23, while the Wilma bobblehead is wearing her customary cardinal-colored bow and a blue cheerleading uniform. Both are giving the No. 1 signal while standing on a base with “WILDCATS” across the front and a backing with the Arizona logo. The bobbleheads, which are individually numbered to 2,023, are available through the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum’s Online Store along with the University of Arizona BookStores’ Online Store and at 1209 E. University Blvd. In stock and ready to ship, the bobbleheads cost $35 each plus a flat-rate shipping charge of $8 per order for orders placed online.
The University of Arizona’s mascot tradition began in 1915 when the freshman football team purchased a bobcat – later named “Rufus Arizona” after University President Rufus B. von KleinSmid – to be the first mascot. For the next 50 years, the school used live mascots, a practice that was discontinued in the 1960s. On November 7th, 1959, the first costumed mascot, created by UA students Richard Heller and John Paquette, was introduced at a football game against Texas Tech. Wilbur was an instant hit and has been entertaining UA fans ever since. In 1986, Wilbur met Wilma. The two met on a blind date on March 1st and were married on November 21st before a football game against Arizona State. Wilbur is always spotted at Arizona football and basketball games. Wilma, who is known for her friendly personality and is often seen waving and blowing kisses to fans, can be found at women’s volleyball and basketball games.
Wilbur, Wilma, and Wildcat Nation should have plenty of reason to cheer in the 2023-24 basketball season. The Arizona men’s and women’s teams were both NCAA Tournament qualifiers in 2023 – the 37th appearance for the UA men and the 10th appearance for the UA women. Soaring to No. 2 in the early-season polls, the UA men will face top-ranked Purdue in the Indy Classic on Saturday, December 16th in Indianapolis. Games against nationally ranked Alabama and Florida Atlantic follow before the Wildcats open Pac-12 play. The Wildcats face rival Arizona State on Saturday, February 17th in Tucson and Wednesday, February 28th in Tempe. The UA women, who opened the season with five wins in a row, face Arizona State on Sunday, December 17th in Tempe and Sunday, February 4th in Tucson.
“We’re excited to create these bobbleheads of Wilbur and Wilma Wildcat, the busiest and most popular cats in Arizona,” National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum co-founder and CEO Phil Sklar said. “Wilbur and Wilma have been outstanding representatives for the University of Arizona, making these bobbleheads must-haves for fans of the Wildcats.”
About the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum:
The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum, which is located at 170 S. 1st. St. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, opened to the public on February 1st, 2019. The HOF and Museum also produces high quality, customized bobbleheads for retail sale as well as organizations, individuals, and teams across the country. Visit us online and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.