The Good: Generally good sculpt, Part of the sound clip, Generally affordable, Good balance
The Bad: Inconsistent paint detailing, Truncated sound clip
The Basics: An atypical subject for a holiday ornament, the Jaws Great White Menace is more silly than terrifying!
There is something hilarious to me about how people complain to and about Hallmark for their ornaments. Amid this year’s Ornament Release Weekend complaints, there were a number of complaints on the Hallmark Facebook page wherein people kvetched about how some of Hallmark’s ornaments had a Hanukah theme to them (or at least had a Star Of David on them). This is a bit ridiculous for those who look objectively at the Hallmark ornament line because there are some great ornaments that are not even remotely Christmasy – one of my favorites being the 2009 “Frankly, My Dear” Gone With The Wind ornament (reviewed here!) – including ones like this year’s Lockheed Martin SR-71 Blackbird (that’s a stealth-style military bomber!) ornament. As far as genre ornaments, it is hard to get farther away from the Christmas holiday than the Great White Menace Jaws ornament. Yes, this year Hallmark invites consumers to put a giant shark on their Christmas tree!
Hallmark created an ornament that is evocative of the film shark with the Great White Menace ornament. For those not familiar with Jaws (reviewed here!), the villain was a great white shark. After the shark has been encountered a few times, it is harpooned with buoys and it is the shark after it has been stuck twice that is the subject of the Great White Menace ornament!
Great White Menace ornament faithfully presents the villainous “shark” with two harpoons with floats sticking out of the back of the shark. The sculpt is simple, but recognizable for anyone who has seen Jaws. The ornament, released in 2014, is one of the largest ornaments Hallmark released this year. Measuring six inches long by two inches tall by two and five-eighths inches wide, the Great White Menace ornament came with an original retail price of $17.95 and I have not found it sold out at any Hallmark stores I have yet been to.
The Hallmark Great White Menace ornament is made of durable plastic. The great white shark is colored in simplistic blue-gray and white. The thing is, the sculpt of the shark, harpoons, and floating barrels is cool and accurate. The coloring of the subject of the Great White Menace ornament is exceptionally erratic in its execution. On the plus side, the barrels are not a monolithic yellow, with some brown on them as well. They look photo realistic. Also incredible is the shark’s mouth. The mouth of the great white shark is speckled with red for blood and the teeth are yellower than the bottom of the shark.
Unfortunately, the rest of the ornament is ridiculously simple on the coloring front. Hallmark did not accent the shark’s gill slits and the skin tones for the shark are monotonal blue-gray and white. In other words, this looks like a well-sculpted animated shark with an amazing mouth, stabbed with real harpoons.
As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, Great White Menace has a sound chip, but not a light-up function. The Great White Menace ornament comes with batteries and with the push of a button hidden on the bottom of the ornament, the theme from Jaws begins to play out the speaker in the bottom of the shark. The sound clip is not the entire, familiar, menacing main theme of Jaws and as a result, the clip seems annoyingly truncated. Just as the music gets going and tense, it cuts out mid-note!
As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake Great White Menace ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. For those creating the ultimate classic movie Christmas Tree, the Great White Menace ornament should have been an indispensible ornament. Because of the coloring, it falls a little short. Where it does not fall shy of its goals is in the balance. The ornament has the standard steel hook loop embedded into the top, near the dorsal fin. From there, the ornament, when affixed to a tree with a hook, swings very easily and is able to hang level as the ornaments ought to.
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 Great White Menace ornament is the only one to-date from Jaws and it does not seem to be lighting the world on fire. It is, instead, a lukewarm seller. I suspect that this will be easy to find after the holidays and when it is discounted, I have a hard time believing its value will rebound.
Fans of classic films, great white sharks and Jaws are likely to find the Great White Menace ornament underwhelming compared to the idea of it. Many other ornaments have realistic depth and shading that this ornament lacks. As a result, it is less likely to wow consumers, even those who accept that not all Christmas ornaments need to be religiously-themed.
For other film-based Hallmark ornaments, please check out my reviews of:
2014 Olaf Frozen ornament
2014 35th Anniversary Alien Alien ornament
2014 “This Is Halloween” The Nightmare Before Christmas ornament
2014 Web-Slinging Wonder The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Ornament
2014 The Sorting Hat Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone ornament
2014 War Machine Iron Man 3 ornament
2014 U.S.S. Vengeance Star Trek Into Darkness ornament
2014 Sandcrawler from A New Hope
2013 Milton Waddams Office Space ornament
2013 Limited Edition Mockingjay Catching Fire ornament
2013 Bilbo Baggins The Hobbit ornament
For other ornament reviews, please visit my Ornament Review Index Page for an organized listing!
© 2014 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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