Monday, July 30, 2012

Jack Sneaks A Peak At A Generally Cool Ornament!

The Good: Decent balance, Generally cute, Good sculpt, Good coloring
The Bad: Light effect is underwhelming and thus the ornament seems expensive.
The Basics: “Jack Sneaks A Peek” finds Jack Skellington looking behind the Christmas Tree!

It has been so long since I last saw The Nightmare Before Christmas that I almost think it is time for me to give it another shake and see if I like it this time! Despite having not seen it in some time, I do tend to make an effort to review the annual The Nightmare Before Christmas Hallmark ornament, like the 2009 “Welcome To Christmastown” ornament (reviewed here!) and the 2011 “A Snowy Surprise” ornament (reviewed here!). For 2012, that ornament is the Jack Sneaks A Peek ornament.

For those unfamiliar with The Nightmare Before Christmas (click here for my full review of the movie!) Jack Skellington, a denizen of Halloweentown finds himself transported to Christmastown in a bizarre turn of events and there the spirit of Christmas (or, at least, an obsession with Santa Claus) reaches Jack. It is Jack opening the portal to Christmastown, embedded in a stump that is the subject of "Jack Sneaks A Peek." To add extra value to this ornament, Hallmark provided the "Jack Sneaks A Peek" ornament with a simple bright white light effect.


The "Jack Sneaks A Peek" ornament recreates Jack Skellington as he eagerly pulls on the handle on the Christmas tree door. The ornament includes the Jack, the stump/ground, and the tree. The ornament, released in 2012, is as authentic as it can be considering it is based upon an animated work for the source material. Because everything in A Nightmare Before Christmas is colored in simple solid colors (without human shading or details), the ornament appropriately does not have any coloring depth or shading to it.

Still, Hallmark clearly made an effort on the "Jack Sneaks A Peek" ornament and almost everything about the ornament looks good and functions well. Jack Skellington has adequate detailing in his eyes and in his spindly legs and jacket. The stump even has appropriate age lines. Measuring 3 3/4" tall, 2 ¾” wide, and 2” deep, the "Jack Sneaks A Peek" ornament is a fairly substantial ornament, but even with the light feature, given how very basic it actually is, it seems a little pricier.

The Hallmark "Jack Sneaks A Peek" ornament is made of a durable plastic, but because it has very thin pieces, like Skellington’s legs and arms, it seems a bit more brittle than other Hallmark ornaments. This ornament remains fairly easy to find at Hallmark stores, so there is no reason (yet) to look for it in the secondary market, despite the fact that A Nightmare Before Christmas is pretty popular. This ornament features a cord to power the light effect and is one of the few that does that instead of utilizing batteries.


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, "Jack Sneaks A Peek" has a light effect, but no sound effect. Whenever the light cord is plugged into a strand of Christmas lights (you must remove the bulb first), the bright white light from the crack behind the Christmas tree (which helps to indicate that this is a doorway to somewhere magical) lights up. I was utterly unimpressed with this. The light effect is not so bright as to create a real blinding stream, so one is left with a mediocre sense of illumination that merely lights up the hollow stump. That’s a big disappointment. This is a rather simplistic effect and because most fans of The Nightmare Before Christmas are comparatively younger, odds are they will want more from this ornament than just that.


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake "Jack Sneaks A Peek" ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate Christmas Tree for The Nightmare Before Christmas, the "Jack Sneaks A Peek" ornament is a decent addition and arguably one of the most appropriately Christmas-themed ornaments from the line. The ornament has the standard brass hook loop embedded into the top center of the stump. This is fairly obvious and necessary for the ornament.

The placement of the loop makes this a perfectly balanced ornament, which is surprising given how tall it is and how complicated the figure on it looks. Nevertheless, it hangs with the flat floor upon which Jack stands perfectly parallel to the floor!


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!). Within a few years, virtually every major studio with a marketable property jumped on the bandwagon and began merchandising Christmas ornaments, including A Nightmare Before Christmas. "Jack Sneaks A Peek" was the only A Nightmare Before Christmas ornament released in 2012 and fans seemed to like it, though it is quite common. Even so, this ornament appears to be more than adequately produced and is not likely to be a great investment piece.


Despite not precisely recalling the moment that is the source material for the “Jack Sneaks A Peek” ornament, the new Hallmark The Nightmare Before Christmas ornament truly holds up for ornament collectors and Tim Burton fans!

For other 2012 genre Christmas ornaments, please check out my reviews of:
On Stranger Tides Pirates Of The Caribbean ornament
Edward And Bella’s Wedding Twilight ornament
The Final Battle Harry Potter ornament


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

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