The Good: Great rendering, Cool light effect
The Bad: Backheavy, Pricy
The Basics: A strong starship ornament, the new U.S.S. Enterprise Hallmark ornament is only brought down by balance issues and price.
I suppose licensees have to do some gambling and it is interesting to see where they are more conservative. For example, with the Hallmark Star Trek line of holiday ornaments, Hallmark decided to play it safe last year with the Klingon Battlecruiser ornament as a tribute to the 30th Anniversary of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. This was a safer bet than releasing the new movie Enterprise from Star Trek, which should have been able to be put into production in time as the film had been (essentially) done for over half a year prior to its cinematic release. This year, coasting in on the success of the new movie and preparing fans for the sequel in 2012, comes the U.S.S. Enterprise ornament.
For those unfamiliar with the U.S.S. Enterprise, this is the revised U.S.S. Enterprise seen throughout the latest film Star Trek (click here for my review!). The new U.S.S. Enterprise is a revised version of what a Constitution-class starship became, arguably because of the changes to the timeline in the opening sequence of Star Trek. Hallmark Keepsake does an amazing job of creating a detailed, well-colored ornament, even if they do make the consumer pay through the nose for it.
The "U.S.S. Enterprise" ornament faithfully recreates the cinematic Federation starship in solid white plastic. With clean lines and fine coloring details, the U.S.S. Enterprise looks sleek and strong. The ornament, released in 2010, is an impressive casting of the StarFleet flagship with an immaculate paint job and decent-enough light feature. Measuring just over six inches long, 2 ¾” wide and 1 5/8” tall, the U.S.S. Enterprise ornament is a welcome addition to the Star Trek ornament line. This is the first ornament in some time for the Star Trek line that has pretty wide crossover appeal to it. Unfortunately, Hallmark continues to bank on the Star Trek fans for revenue and charge almost twice as much - $32.95 – for the ornament which has a light effect, but no sound chip.
The Hallmark "U.S.S. Enterprise" ornament is made of a durable plastic and has the starship on its own, as is typical for Hallmark's starship line of Star Trek ornaments. Unlike the previous Star Trek ornament releases, I was unable to find a date stamped onto this ornament. If it is molded on, it is very subtle and may just be the copyright date. This ornament includes the 1.5V LR41 batteries to power the ship for the light effect.
The U.S.S. Enterprise is detailed incredibly, starting with the shaping of the warp nacelles and through the detailing around the bridge section. The U.S.S. Enterprise has a few sections of baffle panels and nooks and crannies and the U.S.S. Enterprise has each and every one meticulously detailed on the ornament. This ship looks fast and is appropriately colored all over. Hallmark got this ship absolutely right! As well, the U.S.S. Enterprise has all of the appropriate markings, like the racing stripes on the sides of the warp nacelles and on the engineering hull of the ship. It, of course, includes the ship’s name and familiar number (NCC-1701) on the saucer section. This starship looks great; Hallmark did a pretty impressive job with getting the details on this ornament just right for the exacting collectors and fans.
As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, the "U.S.S. Enterprise" has a light function, but sadly, no audio one. This was one of the many Star Trek ornaments to light up, but not play a sound clip. The ship is powered by 1.5V batteries which fit into the engineering hull. There is a panel that requires a screwdriver to open. The ornament comes with the appropriate batteries and given Hallmark’s track record, it is easy to assume the one set will last at least one full holiday season.
After the batteries are installed and the battery compartment is closed, there is a button that lights the U.S.S. Enterprise up. Pressing the button activates the light effects for the U.S.S. Enterprise and as it is individually powered, it does a pretty decent job of lighting the whole ship up well. The light effects on this starship ornament are very cool. The main deflector dish, bridge and warp nacelles all light up at their appropriate places. The only thing missing from the U.S.S. Enterprise are the running lights, but given how cool the blue and white lights that are present are and how brightly they shine, it is easy to forgive Hallmark for this.
It is a little disappointing that the U.S.S. Enterprise does not have any sound effect, but it is still a pretty cool ornament and the lighting accents the ship well.
As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake "U.S.S. Enterprise" ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate Star Trek Christmas Tree, the "U.S.S. Enterprise" ornament is a great addition and given how Star Trek (the film) seems to have revitalized the franchise, most fans are going to want this ornament. The ornament has the standard brass hook loop embedded into the top aft section of the saucer section.
Unfortunately, the U.S.S. Enterprise is designed for space travel, not Earth gravity. As a result of pretty much the only place it may be hung from, the U.S.S. Enterprise is backheavy and as a result, it angles up, as it if it is climbing subtly out of a gravity well. The pitch is about thirty to forty-five degrees upward, so it is noticeably off-balance.
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!). Since then, they have made ornament replicas of almost all of the major starships from the franchise- as well as some real minor ones - and they have all been more mass produced than that first one. The "U.S.S. Enterprise" ornament seems to be appropriately produced and my local Hallmark sold out of their allotment during the recent Preview Weekend. I suspect this will be an investment winner, unless the next Star Trek film underperforms.
Star Trek fans are truly being exploited with the price of this awesome starship ornament, but considering its size and the level of detail associated with it, it is still worth buying.
For other Hallmark Star Trek ornaments, please check out my reviews of:
U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-A
1992 Shuttlecraft Galileo ornament
2008 Communicator ornament
For other ornament reviews, please be sure to visit my index page by clicking here!
© 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.