The Good: Great collectible value, Good balance, Surprisingly good detailing
The Bad: None that I could find.
The Basics: The 2010 Limited Edition Lando Calrissian ornament is well-balanced, inexpensive (for now) and well-detailed which makes it an arguably perfect holiday ornament!
I am frequently accused of being a grinch when it comes to my holiday ornament reviews. I have very high standards and price does play into those standards, so I often find that I rate much more harshly than many of my colleagues. So, it is something truly rare and special when I do rate an ornament a full five stars, but that is where I am with the new limited edition Lando Calrissian Hallmark ornament. Lando is part of Hallmark's celebration of the 30th Anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back and it was largely only available during the Hallmark Preview weekend (so if you haven't gotten one yet, rush out and get one!).
Lando Calrissian is a limited edition, exclusive Hallmark ornament, and it is not one of the usual ornaments considered # in a series. Instead, this is outside the regular numbering and it is rapidly disappearing from the Hallmark stores that got them in for the Hallmark Preview weekend.
Hallmark Keepsake has a line of collectible ornaments from major franchises, like Star Wars and Star Trek. From the Star Wars line comes the Lando Calrissian limited edition ornament. Fans of the Star Wars Trilogy will easily recall Lando Calrissian. For those unfamiliar with Lando Calrissian, he is the administrator of the Bespin Mining Colony in The Empire Strikes Back (click here for my review of the film!). He mortgages his relationship with Han Solo in order to protect his business interests. But when Han Solo is turned over to the bounty hunter Boba Fett, Lando must consider who is is and what he truly stands for. Hallmark has him rendered in his classic Bespin outfit from The Empire Strikes Back and carrying one of the stormtrooper's blasters.
The Lando Calrissian ornament recreates the shifty administrator in solid plastic. The ornament, released in 2010, is the instantly-recognizable caped businessman with his pistol drawn! He has his dark brown skin and the light blue shirt and dark blue pants rendered exactly as he appeared in the film. His cape even has the light blue on one side and the swirling pattern on the inside that almost no other manufacturer has tried to get right. Lando in this form is just under 4" tall, 2 3/4" wide and 1 1/4" deep. Hallmark charged $14.95 for the ornament originally and it is selling out at that price, with most on-line vendors already jacking the price up. Given that the ornament was designed for fans, this is an ornament that appeals to collectors and Lando Calrissian is easily recognizable to them.
The Hallmark Lando Calrissian ornament is made of a durable plastic and has him holding an Imperial blaster pistol in one hand at the ready and his other hand is somewhat open, sweeping back his cape. His feet are arranged in an action pose, as if he is ready to flee the Empire and Cloud City.
Lando Calrissian is detailed exceptionally in the body, in the accessory and on the costume. Lando Calrissian looks like he did in the movie, even in his face. His skin has more depth and shading than most Hallmark ornaments and he is dark enough to look like Billy Dee Williams. He also has Lando's trademark mustache and piercing brown eyes. Hallmark took a lot of care in decorating the Lando Calrissian ornament, including the blaster pistol.
As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, Lando Calrissian could have a function like a sound chip or light effect, but does not. This is just an ornament, a low-cost (comparatively) option for those who might not want to shell out for the starship or diorama series' of "Star Wars" ornaments. This is Lando Calrissian and he simply hangs on the tree. Lando Calrissian's gun may not be removed from his hand and there are no additional weapons or accessories for the ornament.
This ornament does come with a collectible trading card featuring the picture from the front of the box on it. This is a cute gimmick and it appeals to trading card enthusiasts as it does to ornament collectors.
As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake Lando Calrissian ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate Star Wars Christmas Tree, Lando Calrissian is essential as Lando actually had a decent character arc. The ornament has a brass hook loop embedded into the top center, slightly back, of the character's skull. From that hook, the Lando Calrissian ornament hangs perfectly balanced. It is impressive and the ornament sways when rocked, but otherwise sits stable in the right position!
Hallmark Keepsake began delving into the collectibles market in 1991 with Star Trek when it introduced the exceptionally limited edition original U.S.S. Enterprise ornament (click here for my review of that one!). Since then, they have branched out into other popular franchises like Star Wars and The Wizard Of Oz. The Lando Calrissian ornament is very limited and has already doubled in price in the secondary market, which is ridiculous because many Hallmark stores still have him on their shelves. At this point in the Star Wars ornament collections, the primary characters have all been done and the popular secondary characters are being explored. Lando Calrissian was short-produced, though the exact numbers have not been released, but it's pretty hard to meet the demand of all the Star Wars fans.
This is a great investment piece and it is already appreciating, so one suspects that buying it early would be a good investment.
Like most Star Wars ornaments, Lando Calrissian has nothing to do with the Christmas holiday, but the ornament gets high marks for balance, detailing, cost and collectible value. That makes it a very easy to recommend as a holiday ornament and a great investment piece for Star Wars fans.
For other Hallmark ornaments, please check out my reviews of:
2010 Edward And Bella Twilight Ornament
2010 "His Masters Bidding" Star Wars Ornament
2010 Defender Of Justice Iron Man 2 Ornament
For other holiday ornaments, please check out the index page!
© 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.