The Good: Some of the detailing, Sculpts are not bad
The Bad: Vastly overpriced for the size, Lack of coloring detail, Crowded bar
The Basics: Harry Potter fans have a lot to be excited about this holiday season, but the Harry Potter Ornament Collection Set is a tougher sell than it ought to be.
With the cinematic release of Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, there is renewed worldwide interest in the Harry Potter franchise (I'm not part of that fandom, so it it being called the Rowlingverse yet?!). Hallmark seemed to anticipate that that could be a factor this year and they released the Harry Potter Ornament Collection Set during the Ornament Preview Weekend back in July. The mini-ornament set of three tiny ornaments is a recreation of three prior Hallmark ornament releases in miniaturized forms. They are a nice way for fans to finally get the highly collectible ornaments that they might have missed . . . without diminishing the value of the original releases, which are - admittedly - higher quality releases.
For those unfamiliar with the franchise, the Harry Potter Ornament Collection Set contains miniaturized replica ornaments of three of the most important and distinct objects and familiars from the Harry Potter film series (reviewed here!): Hedwig, the Sorting Hat and the Golden Snitch. All three of the subjects of the 2016 Harry Potter Ornament Collection Set have been released as full-sized ornaments, but some - most notably the Golden Snitch ornament - were limited edition ornaments that sold out quickly and exploded in value in the secondary market.
In 2016, Hallmark released a limited edition set of three mini-ornaments of three distinct icons from the Harry Potter franchise with mixed results.
The "Harry Potter Ornament Collection Set" ornament set is a very simple ornament set, made of solid plastic, with a metal bar that connects the three mini-ornaments. The bar becomes crowded with the three mini-ornaments on it.
The Sorting Hat in the 2016 Harry Potter Ornament Collection Set is a 1 1/4" deep, wide, and tall ornament that is an excellent sculpt of the Sorting Hat that places every child at Hogwart's into their House. The Sorting Hat mini-ornament is a faithful sculpt of the old hat - though it does not have any threadbare aspect to its fringe to make it appear weathered. The face for the Sorting Hat is vaguely molded into its folds, but the eyes and mouth are not colored to highlight them, which makes it unimpressive.
The Golden Snitch looks like the Quiddich "ball" with very light surface detailing. Colored in monotones - a non-metallic gold and silver/gray plastic - the Golden Snitch is 1/2" tall, 7/8" wide and 1 3/8" deep. The Golden Snitch looks just liked the winged ball that Harry Potter caught and houses one of the Deathly Hallows, even though the wings are not as fine or in scale as they would need to be to perfectly replicate the enchanted object. Obviously, it does not open at the close.
The Harry Potter Ornament Collection Set version of Hedwig the owl is decent. The owl has her wings spread wide, with a vague recreation of Harry Potter's Hogwart's acceptance envelope in her talons. Hedwig is 2 1/2" wide, 7/8" tall and 1 1/4" deep. Hedwig's wings are a masterwork of fine detailing that show just how well Hallmark can make its small-scale ornaments.
As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, "Harry Potter Ornament Collection Set" subjects could have a function like a sound chip or light effect, but they do not. Given how they have such simple subjects, Hallmark did well without any bonus features. Though fans might have wanted a sound clip from the Sorting Hat used again, Hallmark opted for a less expensive, less sophisticated ornament. Far more problematic is the smaller nature of the bar upon which the three ornaments hang.
As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake "Harry Potter Ornament Collection Set" ornaments are to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate fantasy Christmas Tree, the "Harry Potter Ornament Collection Set" ornaments are an intriguing addition, but not at all an essential one. Each ornament has a hook loop at the top of the character or artifact and they hang on a little metal bow that is balanced, but very crowded with the three mini-ornaments on it.
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 (click here for that review!). Since then, they have delved into virtually every other collectible franchise in an attempt to cash in on every major license. The Harry Potter series has had several ornaments made for it and the "Harry Potter Ornament Collection Set" ornaments is an inexpensive way to get in some of the more expensive subjects from the Harry Potter Hallmark ornament line.
There are very few limited edition Hallmark ornaments that have remained available the way the 2016 Harry Potter Ornament Collection Set has, but if Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them actually reaches its audience and reinvigorates the merchandising surrounding Harry Potter, odds are excellent that this ornament set will appreciate in value.
The 2016 Harry Potter Ornament Collection Set is a mixed execution of previously-released Hallmark ornaments that are marginally interesting, but somewhat unnecessary even for die-hard collectors. While they might have enduring collectible value, that value is based more on their rarity than their inherent quality.
For other Harry Potter ornaments, please check out my reviews of:
2016 Ollivanders Wand Shop
2015 Platform 9 3/4
2014 The Sorting Hat
2013 Hogwarts Castle
2012 The Final Battle
2011 The Golden Snitch (Limited Edition!)
2011 Fleeing The Fiendfyre
2010 The Pensieve
2010 A Gift For Dobby (Limited Edition!)
2009 "Harry! Happy Birthday!"
2001 Hogwarts School Crests mini-ornament set
For other ornament reviews, please visit my Ornament Review Index Page for an organized listing!
© 2016 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.