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Malcolm Alexander

44, founder of Alexander Global Promotions in Bellevue, Washington
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This story appears in the May 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »
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Description:promotional products company; created Bobble Dobbles bobbleheads

Start-up: $15,000 in 1996

Sales:: 2003 projected sales of $35 million

Grand-Slam Giveaway: In 1999, when the San Francisco Giants asked Alexander if he could make bobbleheads for a promotional game day, he said, "Absolutely." In reality, he had no idea what bobbleheads were. After seven months of R&D, Alexander presented 35,000 Willie Mays bobbleheads to a sold-out game. The Giants team has remained a customer ever since, along with a long list of other professional sports teams.

Doll Play: "Characters" sit for several seconds while a 3-D laser digitally maps their faces, resulting in close replications on their handpainted Bobble Dobble faces. In addition to sports figures, Alexander already has licenses for Disney, KISS and the Rolling Stones.

Soldier of Fortune: Australian-born Alexander was once a special-forces officer in charge of the country's marine counter-terrorist unit. "The Australian military teaches innovation and adaptability," says Alexander. "Many of these lessons have been applicable to business."

Change-Up: Bobble Dobbles now account for 80 to 85 percent of sales. With a library of 3,000-plus facial images, Alexander is working on bendable characters and a line of superhero figurines with athletes' faces.

Edition: May 2017

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