The Good: Good balance, Good general detailing
The Bad: Light on facial detailing, No helmet
The Basics: A good, but very average ornament, the Han Solo As A Stormtrooper ornament is underdetailed on the face, but otherwise wonderful.
In the pantheon of Star Wars collectibles, there are few characters who have been more overmerchandised than the four principle characters from the original Trilogy: Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia Organa, Darth Vader (as unlikely as it might seem given how monolithic the costume and character was) and Han Solo. Han Solo made it through the first Star Wars film with only two costume changes, while Luke had four, but Han manages to pick up the slack in the other installments. In the first film, the second outfit the smuggler wore was that of a Stormtrooper, one of the generic soldiers of the Empire. It is that outfit that the new Han Solo ornament wears.
From the Star Wars line comes the Han Solo As A Stormtrooper ornament, the thirteenth in the series of character ornaments from Star Wars. Fans of the Star Wars Trilogy will easily recall Han Solo as he appeared disguised as a stormtrooper. When the Millennium Falcon arrived at the Death Star in A New Hope (click here for my review!), Han Solo and Luke Skywalker donned stormtrooper armor in order to blend in and move freely about the space station. Hallmark captures Han Solo with an imperial blaster in his hands, ready to shoot!
This is a very typical, very average Star Wars ornament with no bells and whistles, which is also why it is one of the more affordable ornaments in the line.
The Han Solo ornament recreates the disguised smuggler in solid plastic. The ornament, released in 2009, is the smuggler holding an imperial blaster in a two-handed grip. As a result, most of Han Solo's body is covered in durable-looking white armor. The ornament has the character with his helmet off and this is the only way one may tell that it is Han Solo underneath the armor. Hallmark managed to get $15.00 originally for this ornament and it sold fairly well at that price. Han Solo As A Stormtrooper is in the same scale as the other ornaments of people from the Star Wars films. This character ornament is ten centimeters tall, five and a half centimeters wide and four centimeters deep. Given that the ornament was designed for fans, this is an ornament that appeals to collectors and those who like Harrison Ford might well enjoy this as well, though collectors do not seem to be making this a sellout.
The Hallmark Han Solo ornament is made of a durable plastic and has him holding a blaster in both hands. His feet are arranged in a solid stance, as if he is prepared for attacks coming from any direction. Han Solo, so adorned looks just like he did when he shot open the grate into the garbage chute. The armor looks good and Hallmark also included such worthwhile details as the holsters hanging from his belt.
Han Solo is detailed exceptionally in the body and in the accessory, which makes sense because it is a monolithic black and white armor. Han Solo looks like he did in the movie, save that the skin tones are monotonal and the eyes lack the depth of Ford's eyes. In fact, this character looks more like an animated version of Han Solo than a recreation of the live-action character.
As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, Han Solo 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 ship or diorama series' of Star Wars ornaments. This is Han Solo simply hangs. Han Solo's gun may not be removed from his hands and there are no additional weapons nor a stormtrooper helmet to cover his head.
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 Han Solo ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate Star Wars Christmas Tree, the Han Solo As A Stormtrooper is very much a luxury; this version of Han Solo was hardly an essential character. The ornament has a brass hook loop embedded into the top center, slightly back, of the character's skull. From that hook, the Han Solo ornament hangs perfectly balanced. It is impressive and the ornament sways when rocked, but otherwise sits stable in the right position! This, also, explains why the character cannot be adorned with a helmet.
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 that review!). Since then, they have branched out into other popular franchises like Star Wars and The Wizard Of Oz. The Han Solo As A Stormtrooper ornament is very common and one suspects more will sell on clearance after the holiday is over. At this point in the Star Wars ornament collections, the primary characters have all been done and the popular secondary characters are being explored, as well as alternate versions of principle characters.
This is not a great investment piece and it is unlikely to appreciate for some time.
The Han Solo As A Stormtrooper ornament is a good one, but not an extraordinary subject. In addition to having nothing to do with Christmas, this ornament is redundant for those who have been collecting the Star Wars ornaments from the beginning. This is the second Han Solo ornament and if you missed the first, then this becomes an easy way to get a Han Solo. Even disguised, one is better than none!
For other Hallmark ornaments of Star Wars characters, please check out my reviews of:
2010 Lando Calrissian Limited Edition ornament
2009 Greedo Limited Edition ornament
2008 Emperor Palpatine ornament
2005 Slave Leia ornament
1999 Max Rebo Band mini-ornament set
For other ornament reviews, please be sure to visit my index page by clicking here!
© 2010, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.