Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Perfect Peanuts Ornament? The Ho! Ho! Ho! Tasty Snow! Ornament Is THE Peanuts Ornament To Buy!

The Good: Good sound chip, Decent light effect, Good sculpt, Reasonable price, Good balance
The Bad: Not the most iconic moment of A Charlie Brown Christmas
The Basics: A perfect ornament, the "Ho! Ho! Ho! Tasty Snow!" from the Peanuts line is an unmemorable moment immortalized as a pretty wonderful collectible.

For the first time in years, it looked like I might not actually get in a review of a Peanuts Christmas ornament! The last few years, I have made a point of checking out ornaments like “Just The Right Tree” (reviewed here!) and the "Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown" ornament (reviewed here! ). While some might think I have been overly critical of them in the past, I am proud to say that even with my high standards, the 2011 Peanuts "Ho! Ho! Ho! Tasty Snow!" ornament is perfect!

For those unfamiliar with the concept, "Ho! Ho! Ho! Tasty Snow!" takes a moment from A Charlie Brown Christmas and immortalizes it as a Hallmark Keepsake ornament. Honestly, though, I have not seen the Charlie Brown Christmas special in years, so I do not remember this specific moment in it. I suspect it is at the end of the show, though, as Charlie Brown, Lucy and Linus are standing outside as the snow begins to fall, tasting the falling snow.

It is Linus, Lucy and Charlie Brown standing in the snow looking giddy that is the subject of the "Ho! Ho! Ho! Tasty Snow!" Hallmark Ornament. To add extra value to this one, Hallmark provided this ornament with a decent light-up function and a great sound chip.


The "Ho! Ho! Ho! Tasty Snow!" ornament recreates the moment Charlie Brown, Linus and Lucy walk outside and find it snowing. When that happens, they begin to catch snowflakes on their tongues and talk about what a fun activity that is. The ornament features all three characters standing on a mound of snow in front of a brick wall. The ornament also features a half-dome background with a light up screen. The ornament, released in 2011, is a perfect ornament, despite the initial price (which, comparatively is low this year!). This Peanuts ornament features both a sound and light function and is well-balanced. Hallmark was able to get this ornament absolutely correct because the characters in it are animated and as a result, do not require much in the way of shading detail. Hallmark did an amazing job with adding value to "Ho! Ho! Ho! Tasty Snow!" by including the whole diorama feel to it.

Hallmark made a clear effort on "Ho! Ho! Ho! Tasty Snow!" by including glitter on the snowy ground and surprisingly bright light screen function on the dome. Measuring three and a half inches tall, three and a half inches wide and 2 7/16” deep, the "Ho! Ho! Ho! Tasty Snow!" ornament is one of the largest and most animated Peanuts ornaments. Hallmark does not have any other pricy Peanuts ornaments this year, so the $24.95 initial price tag is less likely to invoke sticker shock than what fans of Star Wars or Star Trek are going through!

The Hallmark "Ho! Ho! Ho! Tasty Snow!" ornament is made of a durable plastic and has the three children looking out at the person looking at the ornament, with the bundled up Charlie Brown with his eyes closed and tongue out to catch snowflakes. Linus also has his tongue out, though neither actually has a snowflake painted on their tongue! The dome gives this ornament a very clear front and back. The snow and characters are colored properly, with the bright colors used on their clothing to offset the white of the snow and these look like little three-dimensional models of the two characters. Hallmark similarly gets away with not having proper flesh tones because this ornament is based upon a cartoon where the fleshtones are not realistic at all.


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, "Ho! Ho! Ho! Tasty Snow!" has both a light effect and a sound effect. Plugging the cord into a light socket – using the new Hallmark Magic Cord technology - on a non-blinking light strand on the dome above and behind the children lights up and virtual snow begins falling on the screen! This might be a simple special effect, but it looks absolutely awesome. The light screen with the falling snow illuminates the ornament brightly and makes the “Ho! Ho! Ho! Tasty Snow!” ornament truly stand out, even in a darkened room! The light effect further accents the glitter in the snow on the ground, which help reflect the light and light the characters from below.

The button to activate the effects - the lights stay on when the ornament is plugged in - is in front of the children in the snow on the ornament. I’m unsure why Hallmark did not put the button on the thick base, but this is not enough to rob the ornament of perfection. When the button is pressed, Linus, Lucy and Charlie Brown speak. They talk about catching snowflakes on the tongue and the clip is neat, even if it is not an iconic moment from the program. The sound chip plays a clip clip that lasts several seconds from the Christmas special and it is clear, even though the speaker is on the bottom of the ornament.


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake "Ho! Ho! Ho! Tasty Snow!" ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate Peanuts Christmas Tree, the "Ho! Ho! Ho! Tasty Snow!" ornament is a must-have addition. The ornament has the standard steel hook loop embedded into the top center of the dome backdrop. This is fairly unobtrusive and necessary for the ornament. Hanging plugged or unplugged, the ornament has great balance. The Magic Cord, unlike some of the earliest connectors for Hallmark ornaments, seems very supple, allowing the ornament to hang in a well-balanced way!


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 made ornament replicas of virtually everything that has ever had collectibles associated with it (and some that Hallmark has pioneered). The "Ho! Ho! Ho! Tasty Snow!" ornament had very broad appeal as A Charlie Brown Christmas was almost universally popular from the first time it aired through contemporary times. As a result, this very cool ornament is likely to be coveted by fans and general consumers alike. If the Magic Cord is successfully adopted for subsequent Hallmark releases, this ornament will likely be sought after as one of the pioneers of the new technology. I’m betting on it being a great investment piece and I know I’ll be going out trying to get any I can find half off after Christmas this year!


While the moment embodied by the “Ho! Ho! Ho! Tasty Snow!" ornament might not be the most iconic, it is hard to argue with results. The sound function and lights are great making this one of the must-buy ornaments from Hallmark’s 2011 line!

For other 2011 holiday ornaments, please check out my reviews of:
Campus Sweetheart Barbie
New York Comic Con Exclusive U.S.S. Defiant Star Trek ornament
The Golden Snitch Harry Potter ornament


For other ornament reviews, please visit my index page!

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