The Good: Good balance, Wonderful sculpt, Decent price, Good sound effect, Most of the coloring.
The Bad: Some sloppy coloring detailing around the edges of the character.
The Basics: For 2011, Star Wars fans were given sound effects for their character ornament as Jedi Master Yoda speaks on the Christmas tree!
Star Wars fans, I have argued before, have been pretty well exploited when it comes to the number and pricing of the Hallmark Keepsake ornaments. In 2011, there are a whopping six ornament sets for Star Wars fans to track down and the San Diego Comic Con exclusive pair is already commanding prices over a hundred dollars! For the more thrifty fans, or more casual fans, there is the Jedi Master Yoda ornament, which is the first common-release Star Wars character ornament to feature sounds (to the best of my knowledge).
Jedi Master Yoda is the standard-release Star Wars Hallmark character ornament, and it is the fifteenth in an ongoing series. Released in 2011, this has been easily available and one suspects that with the popularity of the character, the addition of the sound effect and the overall quality of the ornament, the Jedi Master Yoda ornament will not be available by Christmastime.
Hallmark Keepsake has a line of collectible ornaments from major franchises, like Star Wars and Star Trek. From the Star Wars line comes the Jedi Master Yoda ornament. Fans of the Star Wars Trilogy will easily recall Jedi Master Yoda. For those unfamiliar with Jedi Master Yoda, he is on Dagobah in The Empire Strikes Back (click here for my review of the film!). He is the small Jedi Master that Luke goes to visit on the swamp planet. There, after meeting Luke Skywalker, he takes the human back to his hut and shortly thereafter begins training Luke in the way of the Jedi.
The Jedi Master Yoda ornament recreates the alien Jedi in solid plastic. The ornament, released in 2011, is the small creature peering inquisitively downward, as he first appeared in the movie. Yoda is cast standing on a muddy stump, clearly on Dagobah. He is wearing his Jedi robes and leaning heavily on his gimmer stick. This Yoda ornament is just over 2 3/4" tall, 2 1/4" wide and 1 1/2" deep. Hallmark charged $17.95 for the ornament originally and it has been moving pretty steadily at that price.
The Hallmark Jedi Master Yoda ornament is made of a durable plastic and has him holding his gimmer stick. He green-skinned humanoid originally embodied by a puppet. The ornament is molded with a decent amount of detailing. The character has the brow lines, toenails and fingernails that helped give Yoda more definition than the average puppet back in the day. Jedi Master Yoda is detailed exceptionally in the body (what can be seen), in the stump and on the costume. The outfit is rendered precisely, with different layers to it.
The coloring detail on Jedi Master Yoda is very good as well. The robes Yoda is wearing are gray and brown and they are distinctly different in color than the browns and black of the stump. The robes have realistic depth and shading and is supposed to make the fabric look worn and unclean! Unfortunately, around the edges, the paint job was pretty sloppy on every Jedi Master Yoda I found. The borders of the robes and stump tend to get overlapped and miscolored, which lowers this from being a perfect ornament. This is too bad because the ornament was impressive on some coloring details, like the glossy sheen to the eyes and the moss crawling up the log.
As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, Jedi Master Yoda has a sound chip but no light effect. When a button on the stump is pressed, Yoda speaks one of four bits of dialogue from The Empire Strikes Back when Luke first arrives, including the wonderful "Mudhole . . . slimy, my home this is!" line. The speakers for this ornament are adequate and the ornament comes with the batteries needed to run it. I set off one for about an hour straight and the batteries did not seem to fade at all!
As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake Jedi Master Yoda ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate Star Wars Christmas Tree, Jedi Master Yoda is essential and this one is even better than the first one Hallmark released. Truth be told, I have not reviewed the other Yoda ornaments, but because this one has the sound effect, I tend to recommend it. This ornament has a brass hook loop embedded into the top center of the log behind Yoda. From that hook, the Jedi Master Yoda ornament hangs balanced. It is perfectly level when hung there and the ornament sways when rocked, but otherwise sits stable in the right position!
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 my review of that one!). Since then, they have branched out into other popular franchises like Star Wars and The Wizard Of Oz. The Jedi Master Yoda ornament is not at all limited and has not appreciated in the secondary market yet, which makes sense because many Hallmark stores still have him on their shelves. At this point in the Star Wars ornament collections, the primary characters have all been done and there is one other Yoda ornament, though that does not have a sound effect. I suspect that this will cause the earlier Yoda ornament to devalue and with any luck, this will turn out to be a decent investment piece in the future.
Like most Star Wars ornaments, the Jedi Master Yoda has nothing to do with the Christmas holiday and it would have been perfect were it not for the lack of attention to coloring detail around the edges. Still, this is a worthwhile piece and most Star Wars fans will be pleased to add it to their collection.
For other Hallmark ornaments of Star Wars characters, please check out my reviews of:
2011 Bossk Limited Edition ornament
2010 Lando Calrissian Limited Edition ornament
2010 Luke Skywalker X-Wing Pilot
2010 Boba Fett and Han Solo in Carbonite mini-ornament set
2009 Greedo Limited Edition ornament
2009 Han Solo As Stormtrooper
2008 Emperor Palpatine ornament
2005 Slave Leia ornament
1999 Max Rebo Band mini-ornament set
For other holiday ornaments, please check out the index page!
© 2011 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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