The Good: Good casting of the character, Neat sound clip, Good balance, Price.
The Bad: Coloring is just off enough to be problematic!
The Basics: Even those who are not a fan of the comic book version of the Incredible Hulk will find a lot to like in Hallmark’s 2014 Hulk Smash! ornament.
When it comes to Hallmark ornaments, there are so many great ones worth picking up that the purpose of a review like this can be to help consumers decide which ones are essential and which are less so. When it comes to superhero ornaments, most fans of specific heroes are going to buy the ornaments regardless of their actual quality. But for those who are more discriminating, things like balance, cost and coloring do have an effect. With Hallmark’s 2014 Hulk Smash! ornament, consumers get quite a lot to enjoy. When the biggest critique one might come up with for the ornament is that its coloring makes it unclear if it is trying to emulate the CG-rendered live-action version of the Hulk or the comic book character, the ornament is probably still worth buying, regardless of the answer!
For those unfamiliar with the concept, the Hulk returned to the big screen with The Avengers (reviewed here!), this time played by Mark Ruffalo. In The Avengers, the Hulk is manipulated by Loki to engineer the Asgaard trickster’s escape and try to break up Nick Fury’s team.
It is the Hulk, mid-step, mid-punch, that is the subject of the 2014 Hallmark Hulk Smash! ornament!
The Hulk Smash! ornament recreates the out-of-control hero in solid plastic. The ornament, released in 2014, is a pretty incredible recreation of the popular character as he appears in the film The Avengers or in the comic books. In addition to the Hulk himself, there is a piece of ground, which ic being crushed under his right heel that is attached to the ornament.
Hulk is the crazed green giant and for this ornament, he appears to be running and about to punch someone or something! The ornament, like the character, is dominated by green. The thing is, the Hulk in The Avengers was barely seen in ridiculous purple shorts; that is his outfit in the comic books. But the coloring on the Hulk Smash! ornament features fine green veins that accent the bulging, sculpted muscles. That level of color detailing is much more precise and intricate than the comic book version of the character!
The Hallmark Hulk Smash! ornament is made of a durable plastic and is rendered without any noticeable seams between the character and the ground upon which he stands. The Hulk Smash! ornament measures out at 4 1/2" tall, 3 7/8" wide and 3” deep. His coloring is weird; too monotonal to be the movie version, too many accents to be the comic book version. The base is an amazingly realistic looking little chunk of rock that is being crushed under the Hulk’s foot.
The Hulk in the Hulk Smash! ornament is sculpted with wonderful muscle details, a disproportionately small head (which is realistic) and good texturing on the character’s hair.
As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, the Hulk Smash! has a sound chip, but no light effect. When a decently-disguised button on the base of the ornament is pressed, the batteries powering the ornament allow a sound clip to be played. The Hulk delivers dialogue about crushing things and he roars and the effect is pretty neat. It does not, also, appear to be Mark Ruffalo’s voice that is used for the ornament’s sound clip. The sound clip is a pretty neat accent for the ornament and regardless of whose voice is being used, they got the sound of the Green Goliath right!
As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake The Amazing Hulk ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. For those creating the ultimate Marvel Universe Christmas Tree, a Hulk ornament is essential and this one is arguably the best Hallmark has done for the character so far. The ornament has a steel hook loop embedded in the top of the right shoulders of the ornament. From that loop a hook allows the Hulk Smash! ornament to hang without any awkward bias or balance issues. It still moves when one’s tree is knocked, but generally, this hangs quite nicely and looks very well-balanced, like Hulk is mid-step.
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 (reviewed here!). Since then, Hallmark has gotten into every major franchise from Disney to Twilight to the Marvel Comics universe. The Hulk Smash! ornament was not at all limited, but given how good the ornament is, it is hard not to bet that it will sell-out before it is clearanced. As one of the larger Marvel ornaments and one of the few with a feature, the Hulk Smash! ornament seems reasonably priced at $17.95. If any do remain after the holidays, it is a “strong buy” for investors who should be able to at least get the full retail price for it right away!
The Hulk Smash! ornament might not clearly be the Hulk from The Avengers or the comic book, but he is undeniably The Hulk in look and sound clip, which should be enough to please virtually all Marvel Universe fans!
For other Marvel Hallmark ornaments, please check out my reviews of:
2014 War Machine Iron Man 3 ornament
2014 Captain America from Captain America: The Winter Soldier
2014 Web-Slinging Wonder The Amazing Spider-Man 2
2013 Iron Patriot Iron Man 3 ornament
2012 Captain America The Avengers ornament
2012 Iron Man The Avengers ornament
2012 Thor The Avengers ornament
2012 The Amazing Spider-Man ornament
2011 Spider-Man ornament
2011 Thor ornament
2010 Defender Of Justice Iron Man 2 ornament
For other ornament reviews, please check out my Ornament Review Index Page for an organized listing!
© 2014 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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