The Good: Good sculpt, Decent balance, Decent detailing, Proportionally inexpensive, Very cool.
The Bad: None that I can find.
The Basics: For bargain hunters in 2011 and 2012, Hallmark Keepsake has a great, enduring superhero ornament winner with the Batman Takes Flight ornament!
Batman may be the most popular superhero – is there a distinction between superhero and vigilante billionaire? – of all time. The Batman film franchises have brought in billions of dollars worldwide, the Batman books and television shows remain popular through all of the various reboots DC Comics subjects them to. Sure, I may not be a huge fan of Batman graphic novels like Batman: R.I.P. (reviewed here!), but even I think Batman is pretty freakin’ cool. So, when I was going through Hallmark’s remaining ornaments at one of the local stores, the more I considered the Batman Takes Flight ornament, the more confused I was that there were any left after the Christmas season.
Hallmark and DC created an ornament that is evocative of the comic persona of Bruce Wayne as Batman for the Batman Takes Flight ornament and it is, quite simply, a perfect ornament. This is a pretty rare category for a character ornament to fall in from my ratings, so Hallmark truly has a winner with this one!
The Batman Takes Flight ornament faithfully presents Bruce Wayne in his classic comic book costume for Batman. This is the Batman in his classic gray tights, yellow utility belt and blue cowl and cape. The ornament, released in 2011, is exceptional for an ornament based upon a two-dimensional character (literally, not a comment on the Bruce Wayne character! . . . . though he is something of an absolutist!) featuring decent surface details and coloring. Measuring five and one-half inches long from the back of the cape to the front of his grappling gun, three and three quarters inches high to the top of his cowl and three and one-half inches wide, the Batman Takes Flight ornament is one of the few DC super hero-based ornaments released by Hallmark in 2011 and it is easily the best. Batman Takes Flight came with an original retail price of $14.95 and with the post-Christmas sales going on now at most every Hallmark, he can often be found for half that, making him an exceptional deal this year!
The Hallmark Batman Takes Flight ornament is made of durable plastic and a little bit of wire. Batman’s costume is colored in muted gray and bright yellow and blue. He is ripped, including detailing on the stomach area and his arms, which are molded to look like the muscles there are straining slightly. Batman Takes Flight has the traditional Batman bat symbol on his chest and none of the ones I loked at had any chipping. He is wearing his cowl, cape and spiked gloves which contrast nicely with the muted colors of the rest of his outfit.
Batman Takes Flight looks like an animated character. His face is sculpted with sharp angles for the face, but not so severe as to look unrealistic. Instead, the real sculpting gem comes from the curves of his muscles and the dynamic pose he is in. Batman, in this incarnation, has his left arm raised and is holding his grappling gun even as his legs are folded mid-leap. This makes it look like Batman is shooting his grappling gun off while leaping off the edge of a building and that looks pretty awesome! This is a perfect sculpt to capture the action of Batman as a superhero!
As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, the Batman Takes Flight could have a sound chip or a light-up function. He has neither, but frankly, this is a cool-enough ornament on its own to be well worth the money without any function or gimmick!
As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake Batman Takes Flight ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate superhero Christmas Tree, the Batman Takes Flight ornament is a great piece with exceptional balance. The ornament has the standard brass hook loop embedded into the top of Batman’s cape at a surprisingly unobtrusive position. From there, the ornament, when affixed to a tree with a hook, hangs perfectly with his grappling gun slightly raised. The pose and balance make this ornament look especially dynamic.
Hallmark Keepsake began delving into the collectibles market in 1991 with Star Trek when it introduced the exceptionally limited edition U.S.S. Enterprise ornament (reviewed here!). Since then, they have made ornament replicas of almost all major franchises like DC comics, The Wizard Of Oz and Harry Potter. The Batman Takes Flight ornament was not an exceptional commercial draw, which surprised me considering how cool the ornament actually is. While this one is currently available easily at many Hallmark stores, I suspect it will explode in value after it is finally sold out of the primary market. It is too cool of an ornament not to be bought up. I believe that time will bear this out as one of the best Batman mass-produced releases.
Fans of Batman and DC comics characters are likely to be find the Batman Takes Flight ornament to be one of the best ornaments in years and one well worth picking up!
For other DC Universe superhero Hallmark ornaments, please check out my reviews of:
2011 Green Lantern
2010 Limited Edition Harley Quinn
2009 Wonder Woman ornament
For other ornament reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!
© 2012 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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