June 30, 2023
The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum has unveiled officially licensed, limited-edition “Wheel of Fortune” bobbleheads featuring Pat Sajak and Vanna White, who have been hosting the popular game show together for more than 40 years. The release comes as Pat Sajak announced that he would retire following the upcoming season, his 41st season hosting the show. The first show featuring Sajak hosting “Wheel of Fortune” aired on Dec. 28, 1981, and White joined him on Dec. 13, 1982. The bobbleheads were produced by the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum and are officially licensed by Sony Pictures Entertainment.
The Sajak bobblehead is leaning forward to give the wheel a spin. The front of the wheel, which spins, says “Wheel of Fortune” and “Pat Sajak.” The bobblehead of White stands on stage before the puzzle board, which spells out “Wheel of Fortune.” The front of the stage says, “Wheel of Fortune” and “Vanna White.” Each bobblehead is individually numbered to 2,022, and they are available through the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum’s online store. The first production run of the bobbleheads is in stock now.
Created by media mogul Merv Griffin, “Wheel of Fortune” debuted on Jan. 6, 1975, as a daytime series in which contestants solve word puzzles to win cash and prizes determined by spinning a giant carnival wheel. The current version of the series, which airs in nightly syndication, premiered on Sept. 19, 1983. Sajak replaced the original host, Chuck Woolery, in 1981, while White replaced Susan Stafford as the show’s hostess in 1982. During “Wheel of Fortune’s” 38th season, Sajak became the longest-running host of any game show, surpassing Bob Barker, who hosted “The Price Is Right” from 1972 to 2007.
“Wheel of Fortune” ranks as the longest-running syndicated game show in the U.S., with more than 7,000 episodes aired. In 2013, TV Guide ranked it second among the 60 greatest game shows ever. For his work on “Wheel,” Sajak has received over 20 nominations for the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host, winning three times. White, known for revealing the letters and applauding to support contestants, was presented with a Guinness World Record certificate for most frequent clapper in 2013. While not an official record, White has never worn the same outfit twice.
“We are excited to release these bobbleheads of Pat Sajak and Vanna White,” says Phil Sklar, co-founder, chief executive officer, National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum. “In the history of game shows, ‘Wheel of Fortune’ is one of the all-time best, and Pat and Vanna are a major part of the show’s popularity. These bobbleheads are sure to be a big hit with ‘Wheel’ watchers everywhere.”
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