Friday, July 27, 2012

Intricate In Some Aspects, Impressive In Others, The 2012 Monsters, Inc. Ornament Is Just Worth Picking Up!

The Good: Generally good sculpt, Generally good coloring.
The Bad: Poor balance, Comparatively expensive, Obvious seams, Underdetailed on the hair.
The Basics: The 2012 Monster’s, Inc. ornament has just enough to recommend it to anyone who loves Disney-Pixar movies and Sulley!

Despite being somewhat disappointed at last year’s first-in-the-series Pixar ornament from Up, during the Hallmark Preview Weekend recently, I was very excited to see that Hallmark is continuing that particular line (which means that the number of Disney-related ornaments for this year is now insanely high). This year, the Pixar line-up features a new Monster’s, Inc. ornament. The Monster’s, Inc. ornament is the second in a series of Disney/Pixar ornaments, which strangely seems to be a separate line-up from the Toy Story ornaments the company has been making.

For those unfamiliar with Monster’s, Inc. (reviewed here!), it is the story of the monsters who come out at night to torment children from under their beds. The film follows Sulley and Mike, who are two working class monsters who inadvertently end up bringing a child, Boo, into the monster world with them!

Sulley and Boo looking at one another as Boo reaches out to caress Sulley’s face is how Hallmark captures the pair for the 2012 ornament.


The Monster’s, Inc. ornament recreates Sulley and Boo as they appeared near the end of Monster’s, Inc.. Sulley looks soft and happy and Boo is wrapped in her monster sleeping bag/pajama set. The ornament, released in 2012, is a very cool and accurate sculpt of both the monster and the baby. While the broad strokes are excellent, the execution of the details is slightly problematic. Monsters, Inc. (the film) revolutionized the level of detail one saw one things like digitally-created hair and eye textures. As a result, the lack of hair detailing on the sculpt for the Monsters, Inc. ornament is a bit disappointing.

That said, Hallmark made the stalks on Boo’s costume exceptionally thin and detailed. The big eye stalks may be breakable, but they look incredible and the Monster’s, Inc. ornament stands out in that regard. The Monster’s, Inc. ornament measures three and five-eighths inches tall, three inches wide and two and one quarter inches deep. The Monster’s, Inc. ornament is a very solid ornament and it has a bit of heft to it. At that size, it seems a bit expensive at the original issue price of $17.95.

The Hallmark Monster’s, Inc. ornament is made of a durable plastic and features good coloring, but the subjects are fairly easy to color correctly as they lack realistic depth and shading. Unfortunately, this is yet another ornament Hallmark seems to have rushed to market as the ones I inspected all had very noticeable and deep seams, making them look assembled instead of organic. Given how I’ve never seen this problem so widespread before, it suggests they rushed somewhere in the process that Hallmark has not in the past. As a result of this flaw, the Monsters, Inc. ornament is a slightly tougher sell than it ought to be.


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, Monster’s, Inc. could have a sound effect, but it does not. Instead, this is a less-expensive option that is just the two principle characters.


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake Monster’s, Inc. ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate Disney or Pixar movie Christmas Tree, the Monster’s, Inc. ornament is a very expensive option with a serious balance problem. The ornament has the standard brass hook loop embedded into the top back of Sulley's neck. But even from that position, it is not far back enough to eliminate a bias that the character’s tail creates. This is a severely backheavy ornament and it tilts noticeably as a result. No matter how I adjusted the ornament, I could not get it to hang perfectly level.


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!). Within a few years, every major franchise from Star Wars to A Nightmare Before Christmas to Indiana Jones started making Hallmark ornaments. Monster’s, Inc. is one of many Disney ornaments on the market this year, including (at least!) four Disney-Pixar specific ornaments.


Fans of Monster’s, Inc., Disney, John Goodman, and Hallmark ornaments are likely to like the look of the ornament, but once the Monsters, Inc. ornament is closely inspected it becomes apparent it is not all that it could have been.

For other Disney-themed Hallmark ornaments, please check out my reviews of:
2012 Merida Brave ornament
2012 It's All About The Hair Tangled ornament
2011 Rapunzel Tangled ornament
2011 CLU’s Light Cycle from Tron: Legacy ornament
2011 Up ornament
2011 A Snowy Surprise The Nightmare Before Christmas ornament
2011 Captain Jack Sparrow Pirates Of The Caribbean ornament
2010 Tron: Legacy Light Cycle ornament


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

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