The Good: Great sculpt, Generally good coloring detail, Decent sound clip
The Bad: No light effect, Right-heavy, Bead coloring is incongruent with the rest of the ornament
The Basics: The 2017 "Dead Men Tell No Tales" ornament is all right, but still leaves fans chasing an elusive perfect Pirates Of The Caribbean ornament.
It seems like sometimes, Hallmark makes a decent bet on a franchise that has pretty much burned itself out. The Pirates Of The Caribbean film franchise seems pretty well played-out, but Disney keeps churning out films. To match the studio's lack of creativity, Hallmark did an ornament for the latest film that is a virtual recycling of an earlier Pirates Of The Caribbean ornament. The 2017 Dead Men Tell No Tales ornament is unlikely to thrill even the die-hard fans, but it is not at all the worst ornament that could have been done for the new film.
For those unfamiliar with the idea of the ornament, Dead Men Tell No Tales is the Pirates Of The Caribbean skull with the crossed bones behind it from the logo and promotional materials for Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (reviewed here!). To the best of my knowledge, the symbol does not actually appear in the film this time around
The "Dead Men Tell No Tales" ornament recreates the skull with the earrings and crossed bones behind it. The ornament, released in 2017, is completely accurate in its sculpting and looks appropriately rendered in three dimensions, which makes sense because the original logo skull was a computer-generated effect and could thus be made into a 3-D framework for an ornament exceptionally easily. But Hallmark made sure to get details precisely right, like the depth of the mouth cavity and shape of the teeth in the skull. The beads are well-molded, so much so that one would expect them to be flexible and mobile they look so much like they are hanging appropriately from the skull (which says something given that the skull has no ears!).
The Hallmark "Dead Men Tell No Tales" ornament is made of a durable plastic and is colored precisely. The skull is not a black and bronze, which is accurate to the logo. While the skull is impressively detailed like the logo from Dead Men Tell No Tales, the rest of the ornament has more plain coloring and the bright contrast on the earrings looks terrible compared to the rest of the ornament. Each of the beads on the earring is painstakingly colored, but they look unworn compared to the coloring for the skull.
Given that the Dead Men Tell No Tales ornament is 3 7/8” wide by 3 3/4” tall and 1 3/4” deep and the ornament has a sound feature, the $19.95 initial price is not bad at all.
As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, "Dead Men Tell No Tales" has a sound effect, but not a light effect. Given that the eyes could be made to light up, it is a little disappointing that the battery-operated effect does not include a light component. As it is, though, the sound clip is impressive. When the button is pressed, a sound clip for the Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales soundtrack and it lasts for about thirty seconds. I was impressed – in addition to the quality of the sound – by the volume of the sound clip! This is one of the loudest ornaments Hallmark has produced!
As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake "Dead Men Tell No Tales" ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate movie nostalgia Christmas Tree, the "Dead Men Tell No Tales" ornament is very much unnecessary. The ornament has the standard steel hook loop embedded into the top center of the skull. This is fairly obvious and necessary for the ornament. Hanging there, the ornament is a bit biased on the right side. The right heavy aspect of the ornament is not overwhelming, but it is noticeable.
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!). Within a few years, every major franchise from Star Wars to A Nightmare Before Christmas to Indiana Jones started making Hallmark ornaments. "Dead Men Tell No Tales" is one of only a few Pirates Of The Caribbean ornaments on the market and it is one of a few not to feature Jack Sparrow. Given that the ornament that was very similar that was released years ago did not appreciate in value, it is hard to believe that this one will - especially now that the franchise is on the downswing.
Fans of the Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise, pirates in general and Hallmark ornaments are likely to be split on the Dead Men Tell No Tales ornament; it is well-sculpted, has a cool sound function, but the coloring is distinctly split and the balance is not at all perfect.
For other Pirates Of The Caribbean ornaments, please check out my reviews of:
2013 Pirates Of The Caribbean ornament
2012 On Stranger Tides ornament
2011 Captain Jack Sparrow ornament
For other ornament reviews, please visit Ornament Review Index Page for an organized listing!
© 2017 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.