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Wednesday, January 13, 2021

I Can't Believe It's Not Cardboard - Highlighting Other Personal Collectibles (Mean Joe Bobble)

What Pittsburgh Steeler fan's collection would be complete without something referencing the classic Coke commercial featuring "Mean" Joe Greene? The answer? None. 

Back in 2003, FunKo Toys teamed up with Coca-Cola to commemorate the iconic TV commercial that featured Mean Joe with their Wacky Wobbler Bobblehead.  The figure features the likeness of Mean Joe in his #75 Steeler's jersey and he is holding a bottle of Coke in his left hand.  I don't have the box for this, nor did I ever. This was given to me many years ago just like you see it here. It lives on a shelf of other Steelers trinkets in my hobby room/office. 

If I did have the box though, you could read the story on the back. It says:

"On October 1, 1979, The Coca-Cola Company released an ad that captivated audiences. "Mean Joe Greene" featured the defensive lineman from the Pittsburgh Steelers, a professional football team, and 12-year-old Tommy Okon.

The ad was filmed at a stadium in New Rochelle, New York. Joe and Tommy performed countless retakes over the three days of filming, with Greene consuming 18 16-ounce bottles of Coca-Cola the final day alone.

The ad was immensely popular, sparking a surge of letters to The Coca-Cola Company. The ad won that year's CLIO advertising awards competition and Greene took home the award for best actor.  The Coca-Cola Company followed the ad up with a promotion to "Win the Shirt off My Back", distributing thousands of replica jerseys to winning entrants.

The Coca-Cola Company repeated the ad's concept in various parts of the world. Brazil, Argentina, and Thailand all produced versions of the commercial following the same plot line but featuring renowned football (soccer) players from each country. 

"Mean Joe Greene" then continued its life as a made-for-TV movie airing in 1981. Joe Greene starred in the movie recreating the ad and telling the story of what happened after the ad ended.

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