Wednesday, December 21, 2011

More Listless Than Extraordinary, The 2011 Campus Sweetheart Barbie Ornament

The Good: Fair sculpt, Vivid coloring, Decent balance
The Bad: Not an exciting sculpt, No flexibility
The Basics: In the continuing series of classic Barbie dolls made into ornaments, the 2011 Campus Sweetheart Barbie arrives as a well-crafted but uninteresting ornament.

As we race toward Christmas, I am trying very hard to get in a few last ornament reviews! This year, it seems I am actually paying attention to the Barbie line of Hallmark ornaments. So, it makes sense that I would look into their main-line run of Barbie ornaments. For the past eighteen years, Hallmark has been making Barbie ornaments and for 2011, the eighteenth collectible Barbie ornament is the Campus Sweetheart ornament. And . . .

. . . it’s fine. This is one of those ornaments that is all right, but it is not going to light the world on fire, so it is hard to write much about.

For those unfamiliar with them, Barbie dolls have been a leading trademarked doll (and model for unrealistic female bodytypes!) from Mattel for over sixty years. Hallmark Keepsake picked up the Barbie license in order to produce Christmas ornaments and Campus Sweetheart Barbie is one of twelve Barbie ornaments produced for 2011!


The Campus Sweetheart Barbie ornament recreates the Campus Sweetheart Barbie doll with Barbie looking like she has just won a beauty contest. The ornament features Barbie with a very 1960s look to her. She has a bubble cut haircut and is a brunette version of the popular doll. This Barbie ornament is 4 1/4" tall by 2 1/2" wide and 2 3/8”deep because of the skirt on her dress.

The Hallmark Campus Sweetheart Barbie ornament is made of a durable plastic entirely. The ornament features the beauty queen holding a trophy in her hand and a bouquet of roses in the crook of her arm. Her facial expression is not one of pride, but rather the same expression virtually every Barbie doll has. Perhaps that is why I am unenthusiastic about this ornament that is objectively pretty cool. Everything looks different and distinct, but that face that says the same thing every other Barbie doll says, “I’m happy to be pretty!”

The Campus Sweetheart Barbie features a bright pink dress and a solid base, so this Barbie ornament stands as well as it hangs from a tree. The silver of the trophy actually looks metallic as opposed to gray, so Hallmark paid a lot of attention to the detailing on this ornament. The white gloves on the ornament lend it a very classic beauty queen look.


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, Campus Sweetheart Barbie could have a function like a sound chip or light effect, but does not. This is just an ornament, a low-cost (comparatively) option for fans of Barbie. I think it's disappointing that Campus Sweetheart Barbie does not have any articulation to her limbs. It was well within the abilities of Hallmark to make the ornament articulated at least at the shoulders or neck, but they opted for a boring statue look for the ornament and that disappoints some.


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake Campus Sweetheart Barbie ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate Barbie Christmas Tree, the Campus Sweetheart Barbie ornament is a great addition. The ornament has the standard brass hook loop embedded into the top of the character's head. From there, one hangs the ornament and this Barbie ornament is perfectly balanced! Unlike the doll itself, which is almost impossible to get to stand up, the Campus Sweetheart Barbie ornament has great balance and hangs perfectly!


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 (reviewed here!). Since then, they have branched out into every major franchise from Barbie to Gone With The Wind to Twilight. The Campus Sweetheart Barbie ornament is selling surprisingly coldly, despite the fact thay it is one of the better in the Barbie ornament line. I imagine this one will be one of the easier Barbie ornaments to find on the secondary market, especially after the Christmas holiday.


Despite flooding the Barbie ornament market in 2011, the Campus Sweetheart Barbie is not a bad ornament for collectors of ornaments or Barbie fans. For investors, though, there are better ones!

For other Barbie ornament, please check out my reviews of:
2011 Prima Ballerina Barbie ornament
2011 Christmas Celebration Barbie ornament
1996 Enchanted Evening Barbie ornament
1994 Barbie Debut ornament


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

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