Friday, July 29, 2011

The 2011 Captain Jack Sparrow Hallmark Ornament Is Almost Better Than The Movies!

The Good: Great sculpt, Generally good, Comparatively inexpensive
The Bad: Slightly off balance, Sloppy paintwork on all the ornaments I've seen.
The Basics: The 2011 "Captain Jack Sparrow" ornament is slightly off balanced and poorly detailed with the coloring, but is a pretty impressive sculpt and is generally colored well.

I have not, traditionally, been a fan of the films in the Pirates Of The Caribbean Saga. Even so, I can recognize that its popularity has been such that it is a new merchandising cash cow for Disney and the franchise has infiltrated one of my favorite products: Hallmark Keepsake ornaments. Even with my antipathy toward Pirates Of The Caribbean, I was pleasantly surprised to discover this year's Hallmark ornament for Pirates Of The Caribbean was actually so good. Sure, a jaded portion of myself thinks that the 2011 Captain Jack Sparrow ornament is critically timed to keep fans interested with the forthcoming DVD release of Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (reviewed here!), but the truth is that Hallmark got it almost completely right with the ornament and they deserve some praise for that.

For those unfamiliar with the films, in the Pirates Of The Caribbean movies, the lead protagonist is Jack Sparrow, a quirky sea pirate played by Johnny Depp. He is frequently at the center of mayhem as he searches for objects of value on his adventures, usually at sea. Jack Sparrow with a pistol and a sword in mid-leap is how Hallmark captures the sea captain for the 2011 ornament.


The "Captain Jack Sparrow" ornament recreates Jack Sparrow from no particular moment in the Saga, but it captures the adventure of the character. The ornament is just Jack Sparrow, with a pistol in his right hand, raised, and a sword in his left hand. The ornament, released in 2011, is a very cool and accurate sculpt of Jack Sparrow with his shirt billowing out behind him. He has a bandanna on his head and that masks most of his hair, though the ornament features the character's braids on the sides of his face.

Hallmark clearly made quite an effort on Jack Sparrow as he has decent detailing like the brooch on his shirt and the buttons on his shirt's cuffs. Measuring four and one-half inches tall, three inches wide and two and three-quarter inches deep, the "Captain Jack Sparrow" ornament is one of the larger Hallmark character ornaments this year. As well, it is surprisingly affordable at only $14.95.

The Hallmark "Captain Jack Sparrow" ornament is made of a durable plastic and has Jack Sparrow in mid-leap. The ornament is incredibly detailed in the sculpted details and the colored details are generally good. More than any other Hallmark character ornament I've seen, Captain Jack Sparrow looks like he has realistic depth and shading to the skin tones on his face and chest. But I've looked over thirty of this ornament and not a single one was colored perfectly. The bandanna, buttons, the jewelry on Sparrow's clothes, hair and the various color accents on his gun, all seem to be variable quality as far as the paint jobs go. As well, the ornament has eyes that lack luster or zest and considering that those are key selling points for most fans of Johnny Depp as Sparrow, that is a pretty brutal blow against the ornament.


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, "Captain Jack Sparrow" could have a sound effect, but it does not. Instead, this is a less-expensive option that is just the character.


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake "Captain Jack Sparrow" ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate movie nostalgia Christmas Tree, the "Captain Jack Sparrow" ornament is a surprisingly affordable option that can only enhance the tree of those who like a lot of lights and sounds. The ornament has the standard brass hook loop embedded into the top center of Jack Sparrow's head. This is fairly obvious and necessary for the ornament. The only hanging problem for the "Captain Jack Sparrow" ornament is that the balance is slightly off. When hung properly, the Captain Jack Sparrow ornament is slightly backheavy, causing the front to lean up at about a fifteen degree angle. This is minor, but noticeable and consistent through all of the Captain Jack Sparrow ornaments I tested.


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. "Captain Jack Sparrow" is one of only a few Pirates Of The Caribbean ornaments on the market and at least the third of Jack Sparrow. Johnny Depp fans and fans of the Pirates movies are very happy about the "Captain Jack Sparrow" ornament. They have a lot to be happy with with this one.


Fans of the Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise, Johnny Depp, and Hallmark ornaments are likely to be thrilled by this ornament, despite its minor problems. For those looking for an affordable, decent genre ornament, Captain Jack Sparrow might well do it!

For other Hallmark character ornaments, please check out my reviews of:
2011 Fleeing The Fiendfyre Harry Potter ornament
2011 Limited Edition Bossk ornament
2010 Limited Edition Harley Quinn ornament


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

© 2011 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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