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July 28, 2015

Someone made a pope bobblehead holding a cheesesteak

And check out four other locally made pieces of Pope Francis swag

Pope Francis Souvenirs
Pope Francis Bobblehead Side View Contributed Art/Courtesy of Thomas Sprott

Two views of the Pope Francis Bobblehead.

It had to happen eventually: Someone has made an unofficial bobblehead doll of Pope Francis.

 And to really hit the point home that this is Philly we’re talking about, he’s wearing boxing gloves ala Rocky and triumphantly brandishing a cheesesteak. (Check out the Etsy listing here.)

Thirty-four-year-old artist and entrepreneur Thomas Sprott isn’t the first person to make a Pope Francis bobblehead doll, but he’s the first one to make it so very Philadelphian. A graduate of St. Mary Interparochial School, an Archdiocesan school in Society Hill, he said that he’s “all about anything related to my home city.”

Sprott got the idea for a cheesesteak-toting pope doll after noticing that there were all sorts of dolls, rosaries and other papal souvenirs online, but none that really represented his hometown.

“I thought, ‘We need a souvenir that is unique to the Philadelphia visit…’ And boom, pope bobblehead,” he said.

Pope Francis Bobblehead Side View

Photo courtesy of Thomas Sprott

He’s working with a manufacturer in China to make the bobbleheads and has already sold 16 dolls since the shop opened Monday night. While most sales will be online, he hopes to partner up with a retailer that might want to sell this brawling bobbler in their store or bar when the crowds descend on Philadelphia in September.

If you’re shaking your head at this bobblehead, here are four pieces of Francis swag made in the Greater Philadelphia area that could be more to your liking.

A Pope LP Cover

Pope Francis LP Cover

Photo courtesy of Etsy

This totally groovy '60s-style LP cover is a collaboration by a Quaker kid from Philadelphia and an artist from Oslo, Norway. Other awesome retro prints from this collection include a “Tour de Francis” poster and a drawing of the pope using a Philadelphia pretzel as eyeglasses.

A Pope Priority Bracelet

Pope Bracelet

Photo courtesy of Etsy

Made in Jesus’ hometown of Nazareth (the one in Pennsylvania), this sterling silver bracelet has charms attached in the shape of religious iconography, including the words “PF” and “2015.” The creator says the charms will “remind wearer and her family of Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia and their priorities as a family.”

A Pope Postcard


Photo courtesy of Etsy

Write home about how you walked from Camden to Center City just to get within a mile of the pope on this spiffy pack of Popeadelphia postcards. There’s a public transportation map printed on them so you can be reminded of all the stops that won’t be running that day.

A Pope "Il Papa"

Pope ornament

Photo courtesy of Etsy

This heart-shaped ornament bears the colors of the Italian flag (yes, the pope is from Argentina, but remember that his real last name is Bergoglio, and he is the Bishop of Rome). “Philadelphia 2015” is stamped on the back. Each ornament is hand-sculpted and painted in Wilmington, Delaware.