Twenty of them can be found in the Capital Wasteland. Once found, you can store the bobbleheads on a Bobblehead Collector's Stand in your House in Megaton or in your Tenpenny Tower Suite. Although they are found in the game files, Vault-Tec Bobbleheads do not appear in Fallout: New Vegas.
It isn't specified who designed them, nor for what purpose, but, it is plausible that they were either toys or ornaments for certain members of the Vault Communities, or they may have been exclusive, special edition prizes given out to various citizens of the pre-War Washington D.C neighborhood. Or they may even have been exclusive to the Vaults- one in each, which have been raided over time, which would suggest that there are more Vaults around the D.C area to be discovered, i.e., Vault 76. This is supported by the presence of the Medicine Bobblehead on James's desk in the medical wing of Vault 101, (though, as he did enter the vault from the outside, he may have brought it into the vault). However, as other bobbleheads are found in some of the other vaults, making the former more likely. Equally, as bobbleheads are only encountered within the Capital Wasteland, and not for example, in any of the other Vaults of the West Coast, this may suggest that the Vault-Tec bobblehead range was an exclusive item to the Washington D.C area, and not a line of permanent Vault-Tec merchandise.
Two of the Fallout 3 achievements and trophies involve collecting Vault Boy Bobbleheads. The first achievement or trophy is named Yes, I play with dolls and is awarded for collecting 10 of them, players then earn the second achievement/trophy called Vault-Tec C.E.O. for finding all 20 of them.
Each of the Vault-Tec bobbleheads in Fallout 3 permanently increases one of the 7 S.P.E.C.I.A.L. statistics by 1 point or one of the 13 skills of the player character by 10 points. The bobbleheads will not increase a statistic beyond the maximum of 10 (S.P.E.C.I.A.L.) or 100 (skills). Keep that in mind when planning your character, or their bonus might be wasted. It is inadvisable to max out any of your S.P.E.C.I.A.L. before collecting the bobbleheads, as any that are collected afterwards will have the bonuses go to waste.
With the addition of the new Almost Perfect perk that becomes available when level 30 is reached, (Broken Steel add-on required) it is tempting for advanced players to wait until they can use this perk, then collect all Bobbleheads. This is because Almost Perfect raises all of the player's S.P.E.C.I.A.L. to 9, so collecting all bobbleheads after taking the perk makes it possible to raise all stats to 10. This requires waiting until level 30, however, which could handicap you for most of the game. You should weigh the benefits of higher stats now (more skill points from high Intelligence, access to various perks) against having a "perfect score" later on.
Bobbleheads marked with an asterisk (*) can become unobtainable. Please refer to the respective articles for detailed information.
|Bobblehead - Strength *||Megaton: Lucas Simms' house, on the desk in the bedroom (the door to your immediate left at the top of stairs) on the second floor. His house is directly to the right when you enter Megaton.||00038832|
|Bobblehead - Perception||Republic of Dave: In the Museum of Dave, on a bookshelf to the right of the room.||00038833|
|Bobblehead - Endurance||Deathclaw Sanctuary: Inside entrance, on a small platform next to the rotting brahmin corpse.||00038834|
|Bobblehead - Charisma||Vault 108: Cloning Lab, on top of a table in a large room with four beds and a copy of Lying, Congressional Style. The bobblehead is across the room from Lying, Congressional Style.||00038850|
|Bobblehead - Intelligence||Rivet City: Science Lab, downstairs on one of the tables in the center of the lab, next to the lockers. The Science Lab can be reached through the Midship Deck and the Upper Deck.||0003885c|
|Bobblehead - Agility||Greener Pastures Disposal: In the office, on the desk next to an Average locked terminal.||000388e5|
|Bobblehead - Luck||Arlington Cemetery North: In the Arlington House on a hill near the center of the cemetery. It is on a shelf in the basement.||000388e6|
|Bobblehead - Barter||Evergreen Mills: Bazaar, in a dark cave-nook in the corner of the room to the right of Smiling Jack. Jump over the work bench, it's on the right-most shelves.||000388f3|
|Bobblehead - Big Guns||Fort Constantine: CO Quarters (little bungalow), in the basement. It is in an open safe along with some caps, and the ICBM launchcode.||00038906|
|Bobblehead - Energy Weapons *||Raven Rock: On the right desk in Colonel Autumn's bedroom: after you pass the huge door from section 2B to 2C, when two Enclave soldiers come out of the right door, take the left door.||0003892f|
|Bobblehead - Explosives||WKML Broadcast Station: Sealed Cistern, the sewer (manhole cover) behind the station. The manhole cover is tucked into the rocks (see picture below).||00038930|
|Bobblehead - Lockpick||Bethesda Ruins: Bethesda Offices East, second floor: on a desk under a safe, with an active lamp.||00038931|
|Bobblehead - Medicine *||Vault 101: Dad's medical desk. It can be obtained before you take your G.O.A.T., during Escape! or Trouble on the Homefront. If taken this way, it is in the clinic where you speak to Amata. It is in the clinic's back room on a desk.||00038950|
|Bobblehead - Melee Weapons||Dunwich Building: Go through the Forsaken Dunwich Ruins to get to the Virulant Underchambers. It will be in the center of a room near the exit to Dunwich Building.||00038951|
|Bobblehead - Repair *||Arefu: Evan King's House (requires 50 Lockpick, no karma cost). As soon as you enter, look to your left. It is on the white table.||00038952|
|Bobblehead - Science||Vault 106: After entering the Vault, move downstairs and enter the Living Quarters. Once in the Living Quarters take a left, cross the small bridge in the atrium, then take a right and enter the second door on your left. Follow this hall all the way to the end, kill the insane survivor and cross the room to where the Bobblehead is located.||00038953|
|Bobblehead - Small Guns||National Guard Depot: National Guard Armory, sitting on a shelf in the sealed storage room in the basement. The switch for the utility door to access the armory is found on the 3rd floor that can only be reached by going through the Depot Training Wing and Depot Offices.||00038954|
|Bobblehead - Sneak||Yao guai tunnels: yao guai den, on top of a metal box north east of the big pool of water.||00038955|
|Bobblehead - Speech||Paradise Falls: Eulogy's Pad, on the table right next to the terminal.||00038956|
|Bobblehead - Unarmed||Rockopolis: Due west of Smith Casey's Garage and due north of Girdershade. The entrance (a large boulder) is below a party banner that is lit up at night. The bobblehead is next to Argyle's body.||00038958|
 Point Lookout
In the Point Lookout add-on, several "fake" Bobbleheads appear (called Schmault-Tec Bubbleheads) during a hallucination sequence as part of the main questline (after you get sprayed with the Mother Punga fumes). These are identical in appearance to normal bobbleheads but are larger in size. They cannot be added to inventory but give the player sarcastic messages.
|Strength||This is one situation you're not going to be able to fight your way out of.|
|Perception||This doesn't look right, not right at all.|
|Endurance||Keep it up, you're almost there... wherever 'there' may be... probably nowhere.|
|Charisma||Blech. If my kid looked like that, I'd abandon it too.|
|Intelligence||Tsk. Tsk. Walked right into another trap. Exactly how stupid are you?|
|Agility||Isn't it funny how everything you get close to ends up leaving|
|Luck||Dead mother, life in a post-nuclear Wasteland and not a friend in it. Yeah, you aren’t exactly blessed.|
- In the Vault-Tec Headquarters, there is a terminal at which employees before the war could get bobbleheads for a deduction from their paycheck. However, by 2277, the bobbleheads have run out of stock. Furthermore, the terminal also says that bobbleheads can only be bought by executives.
- Bobbleheads acquired through console commands cannot be put on your Bobblehead stand, and do not count towards any of the Bobblehead related achievements.
- Bobbleheads from testQAitems can not be put on your bobblehead stand.
- Vault Boy Bobbleheads can be found in Rage, another game published by Bethesda Softworks, and is simply an item you can sell for $150. The item description is "Very rare promotional Vault-Tec item."
 Behind the scenes
- The bobbleheads were also used as a Fallout 3 promotional item by Bethesda Softworks and are included in the Collector's Edition of the game. They are identical to the ones in-game, but are shorter and in a generic standing-with-arms-folded pose.
- In the video game, RAGE, it is possible to acquire a Vault-Tec bobblehead; signifying the company's relationship with Bethesda being the publisher of RAGE.
- A second version of the bobblehead, resembling the Charisma bobblehead was given away in limited quantities at press events prior to the launch of the game.