Sunday, January 29, 2012

An Average Execution Of Spider-Man, Hallmark’s 2011 Spider-Man Ornament Is Okay.

The Good: Good casting of the character, Decent coloring detail.
The Bad: No special features, Slight bias in balance, Seems expensive for the simplicity of the ornament.
The Basics: A very simple ornament, the 2011 Spider-Man Hallmark ornament is underwhelming, but all right.

I’m not a Spider-Man fan, in general. The Spider-Man films (reviewed here!) did not grab me. That said, with its amazing cast and decent first trailer, I am excited about The Amazing Spider-Man coming out later this year. But, I try to review all sorts of ornaments, so when Hallmark released a Spider-Man ornament in 2011, I decided to give it a fair shake.

The verdict, for a change, is remarkably simple. This is a good ornament, but it is in no way great. Instead, as small as it is, it made me feel it was overpriced. It is hard to complain that the ornament is underdetailed as it is based on the classic comic book appearance of Spider-Man, so it looks pretty much like it is supposed to. This is a solidly average ornament.


The Spider-Man ornament recreates the young hero in solid plastic. The ornament, released in 2011, is a fair recreation of the popular character as he appears in the comic books, not the cinematic rendition of Spider-Man. That said, because the ornament features no fleshtones, it is colored vibrantly and well.

Spider-Man is the masked hero of New York City, crouching on his web with one hand raised ready to sling a new web and swing off to stop crime! The ornament, like the character, is dominated by red, black and blue and the ornament also has white for the web beneath Spider-Man’s feet. The detailing is as good as one might expect with the vibrant colors broken up well by the finer detailing of the webbing on the costume. Inscrutable and ready-for-action, this Spider-Man looks pretty good.

It is almost enough to make it worth the $14.95 original issue price. For an ornament without any sound chip or light function, this still seems a little high for me, especially for the size. The Hallmark Spider-Man ornament is made of a durable plastic and has him in an action pose, so those inclined to set the ornament on a desk can use it that way well beyond the holiday season. This Spider-Man ornament measures out at 3" tall, 2" wide and deep.


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, Spider-Man 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 those who might not want to shell out for the more expensive ornaments. This Spider-Man simply hangs.


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake Spider-Man ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate Marvel Universe Christmas Tree, a Spider-Man ornament is essential, though maybe not this one. Spider-Man has been around for decades and the Spider-Man comic books remain one of the most popular. The ornament has a brass hook loop embedded in it. From that hook, the Spider-Man ornament hangs with an unfortunate bias toward the back. Because the web and feet are so heavy – compared to the front of the character – the ornament pitches up slightly. It is not the worst-balanced ornament ever, but it is noticeably off.


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!). Since then, Hallmark has gotten into every major franchise from Disney to Twilight to the Marvel Comics universe. The Spider-Man ornament was not at all limited and it is one of the ornaments I can find very easily now that the holiday has passed. Given how the other Marvel ornaments have met demand without leaving a lot of people wanting, this is not likely to be an incredible investment piece.


I wanted to like the Spider-Man ornament, but it just didn’t thrill me and with the slight balance issue, it just seemed a little pricy for what one gets. On the plus side, those shopping the post-Christmas clearance sales might be happy to get one of these for their collection.

For other Marvel or genre Hallmark ornaments, please check out my reviews of:
2011 Thor ornament
2010 Defender Of Justice Iron Man 2 ornament
2011 Golden Snitch Harry Potter ornament


For other ornament and toy reviews, please check out my index page!

© 2012 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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