The Good: Well-made!
The Bad: Expensive, Poor rendition of helmet, Fragile.
The Basics: A pair of underdetailed glass Syracuse Orangemen football helmets makes for a disappointing and easily breakable holiday ornament.
I am not much of a football fan. This provides a bit of a problem for me as one who generally enjoys watching television and also lives near Syracuse, New York. You know how most television networks break into normal television coverage when there is a major crisis like the launching of the War in Iraq or the September 11, 2001 attacks? In Syracuse, they break into normal television coverage during the day when a new head coach for the Syracuse Orangemen is named. Absolutely ridiculous as far as I am concerned.
Even so, I try to be objective whenever I review anything. So, when I was wandering the mall lately and ran into the Syracuse Orangemen glass helmet ornament I picked it up with more ambivalence than anything else. However, it did not take long before I was easily able to pan this ornament and consider it inferior to others that Syracuse Orangemen fans might actually want. The reason is simple: this is nowhere near detailed enough to make it a true Orangemen helmet and as a result, it looks much more generic than fans of the Orangemen might want. As such, it is a very tough sell.
The Syracuse Orangemen glass helmet ornament is a very simple Christmas ornament. It is an orange and blue blown glass ornament shaped like a football helmet. Where the air (or head of a player) ought to be, there is silver, indicating air as best as a blown glass ornament might. The rest of the helmet is orange with a blue stripe going up and down the center of the helmet and the front grille of the helmet (which protects the player's face) is blue. The ornament actually comes in a simple blister pack with two identical ornaments.
The Syracuse Orangemen glass helmet ornament is just under 3" in diameter (it's 3" on a diagonal from the front of the grille to the back of the helmet) and is made of blown glass. This gives it a nice reflective appearance and it looks good in a very basic way.
The problem is in the details. The Syracuse Orangemen - as many pictures, posters and such in the store I was looking at these ornaments at clearly reminded me - has a big blue SU on the helmet to indicate the school it is from. It has the SU logo on both the home (Orange) and away (White) uniforms. This ornament does not. In fact, this could be either a Cleveland Browns or Denver Broncos ornament it is so vague in its detailing! This is the sort of thing fans are likely to notice immediately.
The Syracuse Orangemen glass helmet ornament does not have any features like light or sound. Instead, it is a very basic ornament which simply hangs on the tree. It does, however, have a very un-snazzy trademark "TM" pressed into the glass, which suggests for any naysayers that this was not actually blown glass, but molded.
As with all ornaments, the intent of the Syracuse Orangemen glass helmet ornaments is to hang them on a Christmas Tree. The ornament has the standard brass hook loop embedded into the top center of the helmet, though it is a little closer to the front than the true top. This is fairly obvious and necessary for the ornament. The placement of the loop makes this a perfectly balanced ornament, to it looks good both in front and in profile. With two in the pack, one could hang them one each way!
Unfortunately for fans, the Syracuse Orangemen glass helmet ornament is mass produced and given how little detail there is on it, it is no surprise to me that fans seem to be giving this a wide berth. It is not accurate, not exciting, nor is it limited. This is likely to keep popping up for years until they are all sold or all broken, being clearanced as best they can after the season is over.
Despite my antipathy toward the source material, the Syracuse Orangemen glass helmet seems to be letting down fans of the Syracuse Orangemen and of general Christmas ornaments as much as they did me!
For other Christmas ornaments, please check out my reviews of:
2009 "Welcome To Christmastown" The Nightmare Before Christmas ornament
2010 "Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown" Peanuts Ornament
1999 Max Rebo Band mini-ornaments
For other ornament reviews, please visit my index page!
© 2010, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.