The Good: Fair price, Good balance, Detailing on the tricorder
The Bad: Overproduced, Animated look, Monotone skin coloring.
The Basics: The 2015 Lieutenant Nyota Uhura ornament is about average, making it affordable and unremarkable, but one of the better Legends Of Star Trek Hallmark ornaments.
As we are only days away from Ornament Preview Weekend at Hallmark, it is an exciting time for ornament fans! This year, one of the most interesting genre ornaments might well be the Legends Of Star Trek ornament. The ornament is not inherently interesting, it is a pretty average ornament, but what is intriguing about it is that it is being billed as the final Legends Of Star Trek ornament. That means that Hallmark will not be doing an ornament tribute to Ensign Chekov, which is somewhat surprising given how he is usually considered one of the essential, "legendary," characters from the original Star Trek. Lieutenant Uhura finishes off the ornament line with the somewhat animated-looking Legends Of Star Trek Lieutenant Nyota Uhura ornament.
Starting out at $14.95, the Legends Of Star Trek Lieutenant Nyota Uhura ornament looks just like Uhura in both the sculpt and costuming, if not the specific coloring and shading for the character's hair and skin.
For those unfamiliar with Lieutenant Nyota Uhura, she was the communications officer aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise for most of Star Trek (reviewed here!). Played by Nichelle Nichols in a groundbreaking role, Lieutenant Nyota Uhura is so seminal to Star Trek that casual viewers might not know that she did not have a first name until the 2009 reboot Star Trek! The "Legends Of Star Trek" series gives Hallmark a chance to cast Uhura away from her console for the first time, though she was the subject of the limited edition 2007 ornament and the even more limited re-colored San Diego Comic Con Uhura ornament.
The Legends Of Star Trek Lieutenant Nyota Uhura recreates the Helm Officer of the Enterprise in solid plastic. The ornament, released in 2015, is presented surprisingly accurately. Lieutenant Nyota Uhura is fairly recognizable to genre fans holding up a tricorder. Molded to be recognizable, the ornament still has a more animated look for the character than one might hope for. The animated look comes from the character’s very generalized colorscheme that lacks realistic depth and shading. Uhura’s skin is not at all realistic to the fleshtones of Nichelle Nichols!
The Hallmark Legends Of Star Trek Lieutenant Nyota Uhura ornament is made of a durable plastic and has the human officer standing in her red mini-dress and shiny black boots. She is 4" tall by 1" wide and 1 1/4" deep. The face is sculpted fairly accurately to look like Nichelle Nichols in her iconic role. This ornament is molded without deep attention to detail, like fingernails.
Conversely, Hallmark went to create painstaking detailing for the tricorder, getting it and the communicator in perfect proportion with the rest of the ornament. The tricorder is exceptionally detailed in both sculpt and coloring. Oddly, the same cannot be said about the character's hair.
The Legends Of Star Trek Lieutenant Nyota Uhura is colored correctly with her red Communication and Engineering shirt. The ornament version of Lieutenant Nyota Uhura is cast in monotonal brown plastic which is not realistic for the actress's skin tones. I was impressed that the boots were a glossy black, while the rest of the ornament outside her eyes were appropriately matte in their finish. While the tricorder in her hands and the rank braids on her forearms are well-colored and detailed, the skin is much less impressive or realistic in its detailing.
As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, the Legends Of Star Trek Lieutenant Nyota Uhura 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 starship or mural series of Star Trek ornaments. This is Lieutenant Nyota Uhura, standing alone with a tricorder as opposed to being stuck at her communication's console. Having the ornament without any features might disappoint some collectors.
As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake Legends Of Star Trek Lieutenant Nyota Uhura ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate Star Trek Christmas Tree, the Legends Of Star Trek Lieutenant Nyota Uhura ornament is a necessary one, given that Uhura is an iconic character. The ornament has a brass hook loop that comes out of the top, center, slightly back, of Lieutenant Nyota Uhura's skull. To its credit, Hallmark's Legends Of Star Trek Lieutenant Nyota Uhura is very well-balanced from that point.
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 of the major starships from the franchise and when they started on the personnel in 1995, though this is the second Uhura ornament sculpt. The Legends Of Star Trek Lieutenant Nyota Uhura ornament is unlikely to be a sell-out.
Given the precedent from the prior Legends Of Star Trek ornaments, this is unlikely to be a worthwhile investment piece, despite the quality of the ornament; hold out for it to be on the clearance racks at the season’s end.
Fans of the Star Trek franchise, Nichelle Nichols and Lieutenant Uhura are likely to be fairly impressed by the Legends Of Star Trek Lieutenant Nyota Uhura ornament. Even with issues in the skin coloring, the ornament is one of the better Star Trek ornaments produced in recent years.
For other Star Trek ornaments of characters, please check out my reviews of:
2014 Legends Of Star Trek Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu
2014 Vina The Orion Slave Woman
2013 Legends Of Star Trek Chief Engineer Montgomery “Scotty” Scott
2012 Legends Of Star Trek Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy
2011 Legends Of Star Trek Spock
2010 Legends Of Star Trek Captain James T. Kirk
2009 Limited Edition Ilia Probe
2004 Commander Charles “Trip” Tucker III
2003 Subcommander T’Pol
1997 Dr. McCoy
1996 Mr. Spock
For other Christmas ornament reviews, please visit my Ornament Review Index Page for an organized listing!
© 2015 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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