5 minutes with: Riyaz Datoo – Metro US

5 minutes with: Riyaz Datoo

Riyaz Datoo is president of YouBobble (www.youbobble.com), which makes custom bobblehead dolls of its customers, and recently immortalized Don Cherry in plastic as a promotional item for Cold-FX.

The Don Cherry bobblehead is very true to life. Did you need special paints to get the colours of his outfit right?
Not really. Our business is to be able to create a bobblehead for anybody. They just provide us with a photo and we’ll sculpt it. Everything is hand-sculpted and hand-painted.

Had you ever made a bobblehead with French cuffs before?
(Laughs) We’ve done a lot of interesting things. This one was a lot of fun, but we’ve done a lot of celebrity projects. We didn’t have any idea it was going to be seen by Don Cherry. Cold-FX had it produced and they showed it to him, and Don Cherry has had bobbleheads created of him in the past but his comment was that he’s never seen one that’s looking so close to what he really looks like. So based on that, they sent an order for 12,000 units.

What is Cold-FX doing with 12,000 Don Cherrys?
Well, the first thing they’re doing is recognizing hockey mothers, so mothers that spend a lot of time taking their kids out to arenas, they’re recognizing them at special luncheons, like the one that took place last month in Ottawa. As part of being at these luncheons and getting to see Don Cherry, they’re also receiving a memento Don Cherry bobblehead. The other thing that they’re doing this cold season, people that purchase their capsules will have an opportunity of sending in for a complimentary Don Cherry bobblehead.

You also got to meet the man himself at the luncheon in Ottawa. How was that?
It was exciting. There was a lot of energy in the room. They took me backstage after the event and I got to shake his hand and he told me what he thought of the bobblehead and that he was very happy with it, and I said it was an honour.

Have you had a doll made of yourself?
What’s the saying, the shoemaker’s children run around barefoot? My wife has been asking me to create one of her and I as a cake-topper model, and I haven’t done it yet, but now that you mention it I think I’ll do it and make her happy.

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