Thursday, November 26, 2015

Today We Are Thankful "There Is No Try!" (And Hallmark Made An Ornament Of It . . .)

The Good: Good balance, Aspects of the sound clip, coloring and sculpt
The Bad: Aspects of the sound clip, coloring and sculpt
The Basics: The last major Star Wars ornament to get reviewed is this year's diorama ornament: "There Is No Try" . . . . and it's all right . . . sort of.

The internet site I used to write reviews for ultimately asked reviewer to give an absolute "recommend" or "not recommend" in addition to a rating on a star-based scale. Many an hour was spent by many of the most prolific writers on that site belaboring that "recommend" or "not recommend" on a mediocre product. I often found the happy medium in the contradictions: the highly-rated product that I would not recommend or the lowly rated one that I would. The 2015 "There Is No Try" Star Wars ornament almost got me to create such a split decision here. The reason for that conflict within me is that so much of the ornament is done wrong . . . but, for a change, there is so much evidence of the effort that went into trying to make the ornament right!

There Is No Try is the standard-release Star Wars diorama Hallmark ornament. Released in 2015, it is a good bet it will be sold out by Christmas with the release of the new Star Wars film renewing the fan base.

Hallmark Keepsake has a line of collectible ornaments from major franchises, like Star Wars and Star Trek. From the Star Wars line comes the There Is No Try ornament. Fans of the Star Wars Trilogy will easily recall There Is No Try. For those unfamiliar with There Is No Try, it is a moment on Dagobah when Luke is training in the swamp and he gives up on trying to lift the X-wing fighter out of the muck with only the power of his mind in The Empire Strikes Back (reviewed here !). Oddly, the ornament uses the name and sound clip from several moments after the handstand pose that Luke is rendered performing!


The There Is No Try ornament recreates the Yoda and Luke on the Dagobah surface in solid plastic. The ornament, released in 2015, is Luke Skywalker in his Dagobah fatigues, performing a handstand while Yoda balances on one of his feet. The rocks molded into the ground nearby suggest that Luke is using the power of his mind to set the small one atop the larger one. This Dagobah diorama ornament is one of the largest yet made, measuring 5 3/4" tall, 2 1/4" wide and 1 5/8" deep. Hallmark charged $17.95 for the ornament originally and it seems to be an excellent price point for the potentially complicated or rich ornament. Sadly, it is neither.

The Hallmark There Is No Try ornament is made of a durable plastic and Luke upside down, his hands on the dirt ground, back straight. He is not yet performing the one-handed handstand that he does in the film and Hallmark did not make an effort to have the smaller rock actually appear suspended. The detailing - sculpted and colored - is excellent on Luke's pants and shirt and the ground. Luke's clothing is colored to look wet from sweat and the ground looks realistically textured.

Unfortunately, the rest of the There Is No Try ornament is colored in monotones. Yoda looks like an animated character - not a puppet or CG version of the character. Luke's face is hardly distinctive of replicating Mark Hamill's appearance.


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, There Is No Try has a sound chip but no light effect. When a button on the base is pressed, Yoda and Luke speak back and forth to one another with lines from The Empire Strikes Back. Unfortunately, the target audience of this ornament will recognize it for exactly what it is; it is dialogue cobbled together from the scene after Yoda falls and tries to convince Luke to get the X-Wing out of the swamp using only his mental powers. Sadly, much had to be cut to get the sound clip down under thirty seconds and the edit is hardly stirring or even relevant to the sculpt.


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake There Is No Try ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate Star Wars Christmas Tree, There Is No Try is a luxury and fits poorly with other Hallmark Star Wars ornaments.

This ornament has a steel hook loop embedded into the top of the ornament. From that hook, the There Is No Try ornament hangs balanced. It is perfectly level when hung there and the ornament sways when rocked, but otherwise sits stable in the right position!


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, they have branched out into other popular franchises like Star Wars and The Wizard Of Oz. The There Is No Try ornament is not at all limited and has not appreciated in the secondary market yet, which makes sense because many Hallmark stores still have it on their shelves. One suspects as soon as The Force Awakens hits theaters, the shelves will be cleared of this ornament. Despite the serious issues with it, I'd bet on it appreciating in the long term.


Like most Star Wars ornaments, the There Is No Try has nothing to do with the Christmas holiday and ultimately, I recommend it to those who have friends who customize figures and ornaments. Buy it, take it to them and have them do what Hallmark should have done in the first place as far as enhancing the details (through paint or a painting/plastic shaving combination) and then the ornament would be truly worthwhile!

For other Star Wars diorama ornaments, please be sure to visit my reviews of:
2014 Cantina Band
2013 At Jabba's Mercy
2012 Han Solo To The Rescue
2011 Showdown At The Cantina
2010 His Master's Bidding
2009 A Deadly Duel


For other holiday ornaments, please check out the Ornaments Review Index Page!

© 2015 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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