The Good: Cool, Decent balance, Looks good
The Bad: Not iconic, Appears pricey.
The Basics: "A Snowy Surprise" is a decent Christmas ornament from Hallmark from The Nightmare Before Christmas, despite the fact that it is not distinctly The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Since I began reviewing Hallmark ornaments for the past few years, I have been sure to include The Nightmare Before Christmas in my reviewing. The Nightmare Before Christmas is one of the major franchises that Hallmark licenses to make ornaments, regardless of how I feel about the film. So far, I've reviewed the "Welcome To Christmastown" ornament (here!) and now, for 2011, I picked up the “A Snowy Surprise” ornament.
For those unfamiliar with A Nightmare Before Christmas (click here for my full review of the movie!) Jack Skellington, a denizen of Halloweentown finds himself transported to Christmastown in a bizarre turn of events and there the spirit of Christmas (or, at least, an obsession with Santa Claus) reaches Jack and he tries to bring that back to Halloweentown. It is Jack, disguised as a snowman, that is the subject of "A Snowy Surprise." The Hallmark "A Snowy Surprise" ornament is a very basic ornament and not one that is an iconic aspect of The Nightmare Before Christmas.
The "A Snowy Surprise" ornament recreates Jack Skellington encased in the body of a snowman. The ornament, released in 2011, is as authentic as it can be considering it is based upon an animated work for the source material. Because everything in A Nightmare Before Christmas is colored in simple solid colors (without human shading or details), the ornament appropriately does not have any coloring depth or shading to it.
Still, Hallmark clearly made an effort on the "A Snowy Surprise" ornament and almost everything about the ornament looks good and functions well. Jack Skellington has adequate detailing in his eyes and in his spindly legs and his arms, which are sticking out of the snowball and help it become evident to those who have not seen the movie in years recall that it is Jack Skellington under the snowballs. The character's arms in his distinctive striped jacket's sleeves are visible. The snow of the snowball has glitter on it and the character's green hat is made of green felt. Measuring 3 3/8" tall by 2 3/4" wide by 1 3/8" deep, the "A Snowy Surprise" ornament is the same price as similar size ornaments. Actually, the Captain Jack Sparrow ornament (reviewed here!) is a bit larger and that is an iconic character in an action pose. The disguised Jack Skellington with his candy cane umbrella handle and green umbrella.
The Hallmark "A Snowy Surprise" ornament is made of a durable plastic, felt and glitter. The ornament's arms are made of very thin wire, though it does not seems more breakable. This ornament remains fairly easy to find at Hallmark stores, so there is no reason (yet) to look for it in the secondary market, despite the fact that A Nightmare Before Christmas is pretty popular.
As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, "A Snowy Surprise" has no light effect or sound effect. The ornament just has felt and glitter and no other features, which is good considering it is $14.95 and adding any light or sound function would likely have made it about $5 - $10 more.
As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake "A Snowy Surprise" ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate Christmas Tree for A Nightmare Before Christmas, the "A Snowy Surprise" ornament is an extravagance. It is utterly unnecessary. The ornament has the standard brass hook loop embedded into the top center of the character's green felt hat. This is fairly obvious and necessary for the ornament.
The placement of the loop makes this a perfectly balanced ornament.
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!). Within a few years, virtually every major studio with a marketable property jumped on the bandwagon and began merchandising Christmas ornaments, including A Nightmare Before Christmas. "A Snowy Surprise" was the only A Nightmare Before Christmas ornament released in 2011 and fans seemed to like it, though it is quite common. Even so, this ornament appears to be more than adequately produced and is not likely to be a great investment piece. This is the only ornament option for fans of Tim Burton’s works in 2011.
Despite the fact that "A Snowy Surprise" could be pretty much any snowman outside the mouth and arms, it is enough to please most The Nightmare Before Christmas fans. Given that there are at least eight other Hallmark ornaments from The Nightmare Before Christmas, most fans have the key characters from the film in ornament form. This is a well-balanced ornament that fits the Christmas theme well, but it doesn't scream iconic Burton, so many fans will find it easy to pass by.
For other Christmas ornaments from 2011, please check out my reviews of:
2011 Indy In Action Indiana Jones ornament
2011 Bella, Edward and Jacob Twilight ornament
2011 The Golden Snitch Harry Potter ornament
For other ornament reviews, please check out my index page!
© 2011 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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