Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Disappointing "Legends" Of Star Trek Captain Kirk Ornament.

The Good: Good balance
The Bad: Looks terrible in the facial details, Overpriced
The Basics: A disappointing Hallmark ornament, the Captain James T. Kirk "Legends" ornament is a poor redundancy for most serious Star Trek fans.

I've come to distrust merchandise surrounding Star Trek that calls itself "Legends." The concept to me suggests a supercrew of Star Trek characters, but if past merchandising (like the "Legends Of Star Trek" trading card line from Rittenhouse Archives) is any guide, it quickly turns into a series of products that simply recount the entire crews, starting with the characters from Star Trek (the original series). That fear is bolstered by the new Hallmark Star Trek Legends ornament of Captain James T. Kirk. Without degenerating into the classic argument of which Captain is the best of the Star Trek captains, it seems an oddly obvious choice to begin a Legends set with Kirk and considering that the next one is likely to be Spock (who would be an appropriate character for a supercrew), it suggests that this line of ornaments will be less a supercrew and more a full crew ornament line.

That said, the ornament is bad enough on its own to prevent buyers from wanting to sink their hard-earned money into it that many will not want to spend the full $14.95 on it. The Captain James T. Kirk is a Hallmark ornament released in 2010 as part of the new "Legends" Star Trek ornament line. This is the first in this new collection and it is the second Captain Kirk ornament that Hallmark has made.

Hallmark Keepsake has a line of collectible ornaments from major franchises, like Star Trek. From the Legends Star Trek line comes the Captain James T. Kirk ornament. Fans of Star Trek and pop culture in general will easily recognize Captain James T. Kirk in his iconic yellow uniform with his phaser drawn. This is how he appeared in the majority of episodes of Star Trek (click here for that review!), though he did not always have his phaser out.


The Captain James T. Kirk ornament recreates the hero of StarFleet in solid plastic. The ornament, released in 2010, is a poorly-rendered version of Captain Kirk that truly falls down because of the light detailing which makes him look more like Kirk from Star Trek: The Animated Series. By contrast, the phaser in his hand has enough detail to illustrate it was possible for Hallmark to do better. Hallmark is getting $14.95 for the ornament and it has been a remarkably slow seller as far as I have seen. I suspect that this is one that will only move well when it is on clearance.

The Hallmark Captain James T. Kirk ornament is made of a durable plastic and he has his phaser drawn in one hand and his other hand is by his side in a fist. The ornament's eyes are little black dots and they lack a realistic sheen to them. Captain James T. Kirk’s feet are molded in an action position, as if he is ready for battle.

The Captain James T. Kirk ornament is detailed poorly in the body and face. Hallmark gets the costume fine with Captain James T. Kirk’s yellow outfit having the appropriate insignia. The color is a little brighter yellow than the actual uniforms, though. What truly causes the ornament to flop is the facial sculpt and coloring details there. Kirk looks nothing like William Shatner in this rendering and the skin is monotonally light tan, lacking any realistic shading or subtlety. The cheeks are too puffy for Kirk from this time period and the skin does not look like Kirk's, it looks like an animated version of Captain Kirk, more recognizable by the uniform than the sculpt or coloring. And his hair, hard to render on a good day, is monotonally cast and colored, making it look more like an odd helmet than a head of hair.


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, the Captain James T. Kirk ornament 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 series of Star Trek ornaments. This Captain James T. Kirk ornament simply hangs and there are no additional accessories for the ornament.

This Hallmark Ornament from the Star Trek line includes a trading card (more like a gift card), featuring the picture from the box on a little cardboard card.


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake Captain James T. Kirk ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate Star Trek Christmas Tree, Captain James T. Kirk is very much unnecessary as there was an earlier Captain Kirk ornament several years back. The ornament has a brass hook loop embedded into the top center, slightly back, of the character's skull. From that hook, the Captain James T. Kirk ornament hangs well. The balance is good 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 (my review is available by clicking here!). The Captain James T. Kirk ornament is a ridiculously common ornament that is currently mostly absent from the secondary market as it is still widely available in the primary market. I suspect, watching people avoid it this year at the Las Vegas convention, that it will be available severely discounted after the holiday 2010 season.

This is likely to be a poor investment piece and it is unlikely it will appreciate in value.


Captain James T. Kirk starts out the Star Trek Legends Hallmark ornament line on a sour note. It is unnecessary, poorly rendered and fans seem to be ambivalent to it.

For other Hallmark ornaments reviewed by me, please check out my reviews of:
2005 Khan Ornament
2009 "Welcome To Christmastown" The Nightmare Before Christmas Ornament
2010 Rebel Snowspeeder Ornament


For other ornament reviews, please check out my index page for a nice, organized listing of them!

© 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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