Friday, December 9, 2011

Not A Lot To Celebrate (Even With Two Variations), The 2011 Celebration Barbie (Caucasian) Ornament Underwhelms

The Good: Good sculpt, Cool metallic accents, No cloth
The Bad: Dull, No flexibility, Hair looks fake, Poor balance.
The Basics: For 2011, Hallmark Keepsake presented the Celebration Barbie Hallmark ornament and left a lot of Barbie enthusiasts unimpressed.

With Christmas rapidly approaching, I continue to sort through the various Hallmark ornaments that have come my way for review and I am trying to prioritize them some. In the case of the 2011 Celebration Barbie, I was woefully unimpressed. The annual Barbie tradition of releasing a limited edition Christmas doll has yielded some great and interesting dolls. Some of their ornament counterparts, however, are less than impressive. In the case of the 2011 Celebration Barbie, I found it impossible to recommend.

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 Celebration Barbie is one of twelve Barbie ornaments produced for 2011! It is worth noting that there are two versions of the Celebration Barbie, a Caucasian and a black Barbie. Locally, I could only find the Caucasian one, so this review is exclusively for her.


The Celebration Barbie ornament recreates the Celebration Barbie doll with Barbie in her rich green Christmas dress. The ornament features the recognizable visage of Barbie with her long blonde hair cascading down over her right shoulder. She looks like a glamour model and is pretty much exactly what one expects when they think of Barbie; thin waist, busty and a neutral smile on her face. The Celebration Barbie is the latest in the series that replicates the popular doll in ornament form.

The ornament has Barbie wearing a flowing green Christmas gown with beautiful gold accents to it. This Barbie ornament is 4" tall by 3" wide and 2 3/4” deep because of the solid bell form to the dress. The Hallmark Celebration Barbie ornament is made entirely of durable plastic and has the feminine icon standing alone, with her right hand on her hip and her left arm straight. Her dress is colored deep green and has a gold front panel on the skirt as well as gold accents all around the stomach and chest area. She does not have feet molded on, so the bottom of the ornament is a single, flat piece.

This Barbie has the doll’s usual make-up coloring to her face and eyes, so she looks made-up for a Christmas party. Her hair is unfortunately presented, though. It almost looks like part was molded on and another portion was attached or the paint for the lower half of Barbie’s hair was different. Either way, the hair looks unfortunately fake.


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, Celebration 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 Celebration 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 Celebration Barbie ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate Barbie Christmas Tree, the Celebration Barbie ornament is a mediocre addition. The ornament has the standard brass hook loop embedded into the top back of the character's head. From there, one hangs the ornament and this Barbie ornament is unfortunately backheavy. The weight of the dress, the way it is molded, pulls the back of the ornament down some. As a result, the Celebration Barbie ornament has about a fifteen degree pitch, that is somewhat awkward.


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 Celebration Barbie ornament is selling surprisingly coldly, which might have something to do with the sheer number of Barbie ornaments that Hallmark flooded the market with this year. I imagine this one will be one of the easier Barbie ornaments to find on the secondary market, especially after the Christmas holiday.


Fans of the Barbie franchise are likely to initially like the look of the 2011 Celebration Barbie ornament, but a closer inspection reveals an unfortunately flawed ornament.

For other Barbie ornament reviews, please check out:
2011 Prima Ballerina 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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