Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Max Rebo Band Miniaturized As Ornaments Are All Right!

The Good: Decent detailing, Good balance
The Bad: Fairly expensive, Easy to miss on a tree!
The Basics: Obscure characters, even for Star Wars fans, the Max Rebo Band three-pack of mini-ornaments is easy to pass by, despite their quality.

Last year, as I reviewed a plethora of ornaments, I found myself almost completely indifferent to a whole genre of ornaments: mini-ornaments. In the case of the popular Star Wars line of Hallmark ornaments, The Max Rebo Band ornaments are particularly uninspired, despite being decent sculpts.

For those not intimately familiar with the Star Wars films, The Max Rebo band was an alien band playing music in Jabba's palace at the beginning of Return Of The Jedi (click here for that review!) before the "special edition" of that film crapped up the scene with a whole cadre of computer-generated muppets singing an inappropriately boisterous song. The band originally consisted of Sy Snootles, Max Rebo and Droopy McCool.


Hallmark Keepsake, trying to milk collectors for a little more money and realizing that they could not credibly do what Hasbro has been doing (i.e. making action figures of every single background character and alien in Star Wars), released mini-ornaments of supplemental characters. The Max Rebo band is a collection of three ornaments, each about an inch tall, which depict Sy Snootles with her microphone, Max Rebo with his organ encircling his midsection, and Droopy McCool with his wind instrument stuck in his mouth.

The ornaments come with no articulation, but surprisingly detailed sculpts and coloring details. Sy Snoodles has great coloring detail with her tiny green spots on her head and the coloring to her extended lips. Similarly, the keys on Max Rebo's organ look like they could be pressed down upon, they are so detailed. Even the few keys on Droopy McCool's woodwind (it looks like an electric clarinet) have decent color details, despite being only a few millimeters wide!

Each of these ornaments is right around an inch tall, so the level of detail from the leafy skirt of Sy Snoodles to the organ of Max Rebo are actually impressive. . . if you can find these ornaments on your tree. They blend in pretty easily, making them a tough sell for those putting them on an actual Christmas tree.


These mini-ornaments do not feature any light or sound features.


Because they are so small and the loops for the hooks are situated at the highest point on each ornament's head, these are all three perfectly balanced ornaments. They also work wonderfully as earrings as a result.


Each year, Hallmark comes out with two major Star Wars ornaments: a character and a space ship. These mini-ornaments were released before the diorama ornaments began to be released and they seem drastically expensive at the original issue price of $18.00. Since then, the secondary market has been generally unkind to them and the price has deflated, though many collectors still do not collect these because they do seem disproportionately expensive.


The Max Rebo band may be well-balanced and look good, but they seem too expensive and too easily lost for most Star Wars fans.

For other Star Wars Hallmark ornaments, please check out my reviews of:
2008 AT-AT and Snowspeeder
2010 "His Masters Bidding"
2010 Rebel Snowspeeder


For other ornament reviews, please visit my index page!

© 2010, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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