Companies like start-up Newcrafters in Encino believe the next big thing for sports nuts will be a twist on the century-old Russian art form of hand-painted dolls that are stacked, or nested, within bigger dolls.
The nesting dolls, which typically have three to five dolls in a set, not only offer something new to juice attendance, but they also provide a solution to a sticky problem for a team's front office, said Bernard Mullin, the NBA's senior vice president of marketing and team business operations.
MEMORABILIA: [Alexander Krilov], left, [Julia Butler] and Stanislas "Slava" Medvedenko moved in on matryoshka dolls.; PHOTOGRAPHER: Carlos Chavez Los Angeles Times; NEW SERIES: These Lakers souvenirs reflect an old Russian art form of hand- painted dolls that are nested within bigger dolls.; PHOTOGRAPHER: Carlos Chavez Los Angeles Times