Friday, July 22, 2011

An Argument For Lemon Laws For Ornaments: The Harry Potter Ornament "Fleeing The Fiendfyre" Flops!

The Good: Good balance, Decent concept.
The Bad: Comparatively expensive, Exceptionally poor likenesses, No light effect
The Basics: A poor, overpriced ornament, "Fleeing The Fiendfyre" seems more designed to exploit Harry Potter fans than actually create a quality ornament.

I am a huge fan of Hallmark ornaments and I am a fan of genre works that are worth merchandising. I, honestly, enjoy quite a bit surrounding myself by things I love and remind myself of the things I like. But I am very much against exploiting fans of any franchise. Unfortunately, some of the Hallmark ornaments simply do exploit fans of the major franchises. One of the franchises that have been exceptionally exploited is the Harry Potter franchise, largely because the final film of the franchise has just been released. I'm not talking about the limited edition The Golden Snitch ornament (reviewed here!). Hallmark does some limited edition ornaments and they have been doing Harry Potter ornaments for years before now, even limited edition ones. But then this year there is "Fleeing The Fiendfyre," a terrible ornament that is vastly overpriced when compared to other ornaments of the same size.

"Fleeing The Fiendfyre" has good balance and the translucent plastic for the fire is a clever touch, but it is a poor sculpt of the three main characters, features a lack of detailing and runs $24.95, which is far more expensive than the larger Twilight ornament or the similarly poor quality Star Trek character ornaments (which run $19.95 and $14.95, respectively). And I wanted to like the ornament because my wife has actually gotten me into the Harry Potter franchise.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, “Fleeing The Fiendfyre” is a holiday ornament that features a moment from Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Par 2 (click here for that review!). Trying to find and destroy one of the last Horcruxes, Harry Potter, Ron and Hermione end up in the Room Of Requirement where Draco Malfoy and his allies set fire to the room. The magical fire threatens the trio, so they hop on brooms and fly out of the room in advance of the fire. It is the moment the fire is licking the heels of the three young people on brooms flying out of the room that is captured for the ornament.


“Fleeing The Fiendfyre” recreates the moment from Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows by featuring Harry, Hermione, Ron on brooms and the fire behind them. The ornament, released in 2011, is a poor rendition of the characters. The characters, like many of the ornaments for Harry Potter look more like the artwork associated with the novels. In other words, Ron, Hermione and especially Harry Potter look animated, much like they do on the cover of the books. Measuring 2 1/2" tall, 2" wide and 3 1/4" deep, the “Fleeing The Fiendfyre” did not sell out during the Preview Weekend at the original issue price of $24.95.

The Hallmark “Fleeing The Fiendfyre” ornament is made of a durable plastic and has the three young people on brooms with a large sculpted flame behind them. All characters and their brooms are touching the flame, so all of the pieces are molded together, so there is nothing that will fall off on this ornament.

The ornament is very light on detailing for Harry, Hermione and Ron. None of the characters have much in the way of sculpted or coloring details. Harry's glasses are molded and painted on and Hermione has the tiara Horcrux in her hand. The details, though, are very light. None have realistic fleshtones, their clothes are monotonal, and they eyes are simply black dots. The fire for the Fiendfyre is translucent orange plastic, but it is all the same tone, without any accents or depth of shading.


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, “Fleeing The Fiendfyre” could have a function like a sound chip or light effect, but does not. This is just an ornament that captures a moment from the film and freezes it so consumers may put it up on their tree. The fire would have been cool to light up, though.


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake “Fleeing The Fiendfyre” ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate fantasy Christmas Tree, the “Fleeing The Fiendfyre” ornament is a poor addition, both in scale and detail, especially compared with other Harry Potter ornaments. The ornament has a brass hook loop that comes out of the top of the fire behind Harry. This is a fairly stable ornament that only sways when it (or the tree) is bumped.

Despite the pictures, the ornament hangs very level. The characters do not hang so they look like they are ascending out of the flame.


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, a few of which have started to really explode in value because of the end of the cinematic franchise. Given how expensive the ornament is initially and how it has no light or sound functions, it is hard to believe this one will be appreciating any time soon.

In other words, this might not be the best investment piece.


Despite having good balance, "Fleeing The Fiendfyre" is so poorly detailed as to not be worth paying for. Fans who see this before paying for them will likely feel like this is a cashgrab. It is more expensive than comparable ornaments and lacks the detailing of ornaments that are similar prices from things like Gone With The Wind, The Wizard Of Oz and Star Wars. Fans deserve better and Hallmark could do better. They should have.

For other Harry Potter ornaments, please check out my reviews of:
2010 The Pensieve
2010 A Gift For Dobby (Limited Edition!)
2009 "Harry! Happy Birthday!"


For other ornament reviews, please visit my index page, there you will find an organized listing of all the ornaments I've reviewed!

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

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