Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Off Balance, But Neat, The 2016 Sweet Toot Tuba Is A Cute Ornament!

The Good: Generally decent sculpt, Well-painted, Neat sparkles on the snowflake
The Bad: Odd balance, Low collectible value, breakable/fragile
The Basics: The 2016 "Sweet Toot Tuba" limited edition ornament is a neat little supplemental ornament from Hallmark that enhances the growing marching band Hallmark has been rewarding buyers with!

I do a lot of shopping at Hallmark for their ornaments each year and as such, I end up getting a couple of freebies from the company each year. 2016 was a big Hallmark year for me and last year, their reward ornament was the Sweet Toot Tuba ornament. The Sweet Toot Tuba ornament is part of a growing line-up of reward ornaments that feature nutcracker-style soldiers playing ornaments with larger-than-life snowflakes accenting them.

The Sweet Toot Tuba ornament is a fairly average ornament that is plagued by balance issues and is unfortunately breakable.


The Sweet Toot Tuba ornament is a marching band member, dressed like a toy soldier, carrying a disproportionately large tuba! Emerging from the tuba is an even bigger snowflake. The ornament, released in 2016, is a limited edition ornament that was released in November as a reward to customers who bought ornaments during Ornament Preview and Release weekends.

Hallmark made a very simple ornament with an odd sense of balance for the Sweet Toot Tuba ornament. Measuring two and three-eighths inches from back to front, two and one-half inches tall and one inch deep, the "Sweet Toot Tuba" ornament is a small Hallmark ornament.

The Hallmark "Sweet Toot Tuba" ornament is made of plastic and because it has very thin pieces for the legs, arms, tuba tube and feet, it is a bit more fragile than many other Hallmark ornaments. As well, my local Hallmark had taken to opening the Sweet Toot Tuba ornaments they received up because the snowflake inside, apparently, had broken out of the tuba's horn on some! Potential breakage aside, the Sweet Toot Tuba ornament is constructed recognizably-enough. The coloring is done entirely in monotones, which is fine. Most of the musician is red and white with bronze accents. The painted details are rendered fairly well on this with nice detailing for things like the rosy cheeks and tiny eyes. Like so many Hallmark ornaments this year, the snowflake has glitter accents. The sparkle effect is neat.


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, "Sweet Toot Tuba" could have a sound effect, but it does not. Instead, this is a less-expensive option that is just the very basic, animated-looking character.


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake "Sweet Toot Tuba" ornament is to be hung on a Christmas tree. And the "Sweet Toot Tuba" ornament is all right, though the balance is very off. The ornament has the brass hook loop embedded firmly into the top of the tuba's bell. From there, the Sweet Toot Tuba ornament hangs with the soldier off balance, hanging almost thirty degrees back, so the soldier looks like he is falling backward, not marching forward!


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!). Within a few years, every major franchise from Star Wars to A Nightmare Before Christmas to Indiana Jones started making Hallmark ornaments. "Sweet Toot Tuba" is a non-genre ornament that is limited edition, which leads buyers to hope it has an inherent collectible value. Honestly, given how many my local Hallmark said were broken in the initial release and the otherwise unremarkable nature of it, it seems like it would be a tough ornament to want to invest in . . . if it could even be bought! As well, none of the other ornaments in this series appear to have appreciated in value, so it is unlikely this one will, either.


Fans of Christmas in general and generic Christmas ornaments are likely to find the Sweet Toot Tuba ornament to be simplistic and annoyingly off-balance, even if it is not a bad ornament.

For other non-genre Hallmark ornaments, please check out my reviews of:
2016 Barbie Picnic Set Limited Edition mini-ornament set
2016 Foxy Pair ornament
2016 On The Night You Were Born ornament


For other ornament reviews, please visit my Ornament Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2017 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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