Friday, November 26, 2010

A Substandard Genre Ornament, The 2010 Scarlett O'Hara Gone With The Wind Ornament Underwhelms.

The Good: Good detailing on lamp, Generally good balance
The Bad: Animated look, Overpriced for what it is, No functions, Utterly unimpressive.
The Basics: A disappointing Hallmark outing, the Scarlett O'Hara ornament is underdetailed and overpriced for such a basic ornament.

Last year, as I made strides to diversify the ornaments I was reviewing for the holiday season, I decided to take a left turn away from my usual science fiction-themed ornaments and review something very different. I chose the "Frankly, My Dear" Gone With The Wind ornament because I could recognize the quality of the complex little ornament and it deserved reviewing. Unfortunately, the 2010 "Scarlett O'Hara" ornament deserves far less attention and fans of both Gone With The Wind and Hallmark ornaments are likely to be far less impressed with this one.

For those unfamiliar with the film, Gone With The Wind (click here for my review of the film!), the primary female protagonist is Scarlett O’Hara. She oscillates between being a strong woman and a whiny, clingy shrew and frankly, I wasn't such a huge fan of the film that I ever wanted to collect Gone With The Wind memorabilia. One of the latter moments of the film, if I recall correctly, has O'Hara with her sabre and a lamp waiting anxiously. That is how she is depicted in the 2010 Scarlett O'Hara ornament.


The Scarlett O'Hara ornament wrapped up to keep warm, waiting with her lamp held high. The ornament includes Scarlett, her saber and the lamp all cast in solid plastic. The ornament, released in 2010, is a thoroughly underwhelming ornament, especially for the price. First, the image is not an iconic one of Scarlett O'Hara, so it lacks the universal quality or oft-referenced nature of prior ornaments, like last year's "Frankly, My Dear."

Moreover, Scarlett O'Hara has a pretty pathetic paint job and sculpt. This version of Scarlett O'Hara lacks a realism of human qualities that is possible in ornaments today. If the Liberty Kids did a Gone With The Wind episode, this would be a great sculpt and coloring job. But Gone With The Wind was not an animated movie, so having ornaments that look that way is just problematic and insulting. Measuring just under four inches tall, the ornament is two inches wide and two inches deep. The “Scarlett O'Hara” ornament is a surprisingly small Hallmark ornament for the $14.95 original issue price.

The Hallmark “Scarlett O'Hara” ornament is made of a durable plastic and Scarlett alone. She is carrying an ornate lantern that looks like clear glass and this is the best-detailed part of the ornament. The texturing on the lamp gives it a reality that is quite spectacular. Unfortunately, the finer details end with that. Scarlett's face is fairly angular and it lacks realistic coloring and shading. The result is that this looks like an animated or cartoon version of Scarlett and most fans will be severely disappointed by that. The saber in Scarlett's hand is also very animated looking and her dress does not have anything spectacular in the way of detailing to it. Ultimately, it is a very simple ornament that feels simple.


Unlike most Hallmark Keepsake ornaments, the 2010 “Scarlett O'Hara” has no sound or light effects.


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake “Scarlett O'Hara” ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate movie nostalgia Christmas Tree, the “Scarlett O'Hara” ornament is at the very least a well-balanced one. The ornament has the standard brass hook loop embedded into the top center of O'Hara's head. The loop's location is fairly unobtrusive and necessary for the ornament. The “Scarlett O'Hara” ornament is surprisingly light and it sways slightly when hung from a hook on the brass loop. In addition to being quite light, the balance for the ornament is perfect. The character hangs level, not thrown off by her raised lamp, making for an ideal holiday ornament as far as balance goes.


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, virtually every classic film franchise jumped on the bandwagon and began merchandising with Hallmark as well. Classic properties like Marilyn Monroe, Elvis, The Wizard Of Oz and Gone With The Wind have been made into Hallmark Keepsake Christmas ornaments. “Scarlett O'Hara” is one of the only Gone With The Wind ornaments on the market and the only one for the franchise in 2010. Fans of the book and film seem to be appropriately lukewarm to the “Scarlett O'Hara” ornament. For such a basic ornament the $14.95 original issue price seems a little steep. I suspect this will be available after the holidays, but for those considering it, do not pay the overblown Internet prices for it. It is rightfully inexpensive and given the lack of rich coloring detail, many fans are likely to be disappointed.


Fans of Gone With The Wind, Scarlett O'Hara, Vivien Leigh, and Hallmark ornaments are likely to be split on this ornament. But given the quality of many other Hallmark ornaments this year that do get skin tones right, it is impossible to recommend the more animated appearance of this Scarlett O'Hara ornament. Hallmark could have done better with this one.

For other Hallmark ornaments reviewed by me, please check out my reviews of:
2010 "The Pensieve" Harry Potter ornament
2010 "Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown" Peanuts ornament
2010 Edward And Bella Twilight ornament


For other ornament reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

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