The Good: Amazing detailing on Dobby, Decent balance, Collectible value
The Bad: More expensive for an ornament lacking a function
The Basics: The "Gift For Dobby" 2010 Limited Edition ornament is surprisingly good and exceedingly rare. A must for Harry Potter fans, if they can find it.
Some might think that I am down on Hallmark ornaments because I have such high standards for them. This is the opposite of the truth, however, as I want the ornaments to have value for their cost. One of the most astonishingly good values from Hallmark in the 2010 season is an ornament that very few people are likely to even see - indeed, I lucked upon one far after the Sneak Preview weekend and was only able to review it now for that reason. The ornament is the Harry Potter limited edition "Gift For Dobby" ornament. And for those who can find it in stores, it is worth it and for those needing a strong review to encourage you to buy it online, I sincerely hope this review serves that purpose!
Thus far, from the Harry Potter ornament collection, I've only reviewed last year's "Happy Birthday, Harry!" (click here for that review!). I feel lucky to have found the limited edition Dobby ornament as it is exceptionally-detailed, has good balance and fits the Harry Potter ornament theme.
For those unfamiliar with the concept, Dobby is a house elf from Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets (click here for my review of that!). At the climax of the film, the abused house elf, Dobby, is granted his freedom through trickery orchestrated by Harry. The new, limited edition Dobby ornament captures the moment Dobby retrieves a sock from the slain book and is granted his freedom.
The "Gift For Dobby" ornament is a very simple character ornament made of solid plastic. The ornament, released in 2010, is a remarkable ornament which is impressive for its detailing, especially the eyes. In fact, all it leaves the collector wanting is a soundchip, which is does not possess. Without it, the price seems a little high for such a basic ornament. Surprisingly, for an ornament based upon a virtual character, the ornament looks lifelike, not animated. Measuring just over 3" tall, Dobby virtually sold out at the Hallmark stores during the Preview Weekend at the original issue price of $9.99.
The Hallmark "Gift For Dobby" ornament is made of a durable plastic and has the house elf holding the opened book - complete with holes in it - and black sock. The eyes are appropriately glossy and look realistic - even with their bright green tones - and his skin tones actually have depth and shading to them which make Dobby look like a real creature! Even Dobby's sackcloth is well-detailed to look worn and the eager expression on his face is masterfully created.
The Hallmark sculptors capture Dobby holding Tom Riddle's diary and it looks realistic and the holes in it are a great touch for fans who know the story. The sock is well-cast as well, though it does not have much detail it actually needs.
As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, "Gift For Dobby" could have a function like a sound chip or light effect, but does not. This is just an ornament that captures the character so consumers may put it up on their tree. For its size, the ornament is not at all overpriced, especially with the virtual guarantee that it will appreciate in value.
As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake Dobby ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate fantasy Christmas Tree, the "Gift For Dobby" ornament is a great addition. The ornament has a brass hook loop that comes out of the top Dobby’s head. This is a remarkably stable ornament that only sways when it (or the tree) is bumped. The "Gift For Dobby" ornament is exceptionally well-balanced.
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, but none of them have truly exploded in value. Given how the Dobby ornament was produced in limited quantities and almost all outlets sold out of it at their Sneak Preview weekend back in July, this is one of the few that might well appreciate!
In other words, this might be one of the better investment pieces for the Harry Potter ornament line.
With excellent balance and great detailing, the "Gift For Dobby" ornament is brought down only by minutia and I strongly recommend it. This remains one of Hallmark's better ornaments of the 2010 season and best ever!
For other genre ornaments, please check out my reviews of:
2009 "A Deadly Duel" The Phantom Menace ornament
2004 "The City On The Edge Of Forever" Star Trek ornament
2010 "Defender Of Justice" Iron Man 2 ornament
For other ornament reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!
© 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.