Friday, July 20, 2012

Near Perfect, Hallmark’s 2012 The Dark Knight Rises Ornament Helps Us Get Even More Excited For The Dark Knight Rises!

The Good: Good sculpt, Decent balance, Most of the detailing, Proportionally inexpensive, Very cool.
The Bad: Minor painting issues.
The Basics: As The Dark Knight Rises hits theaters, Hallmark releases its timely The Dark Knight Rises ornament and has a real winner!

It actually pleases me greatly to both discover an ornament that doesn’t leave me much (if anything) to kvetch about and one where Hallmark timed it perfectly to capture consumer enthusiasm. Such is the case with the The Dark Knight ornament for The Dark Knight! Released during the Preview Weekend last weekend, The Dark Knight is a higher caliber of collectible than some of the Mattel figures that have been hitting the stores in advance of the film’s release.

Hallmark and DC created an ornament that is evocative of the film persona of Bruce Wayne as Batman for the The Dark Knight Rises ornament. Using early images from The Dark Knight Rises (reviewed here!), Hallmark sculpted a perfect ornament, but (unfortunately) the three that I found all had issues with the paint job. These issues are in no way severe enough to leave me panning the ornament, but it is enough for me to highly recommend really looking over the ornament you are purchasing prior to the purchase.


The Dark Knight Rises ornament faithfully presents Bruce Wayne in his black film costume for Batman. This is the Batman in his solid black armor, yellow utility belt and black cowl and cape. The ornament, released in 2012, is exceptional for an ornament based upon the costumes used in Christopher Nolan’s Batman films. With such a rich three-dimensional model, Hallmark was able to create an ornament that features decent surface details and coloring. Measuring three inches tall, four and a half inches wide and two and one half inches deep, the The Dark Knight Rises ornament is one of three DC super hero-based ornaments released by Hallmark in stores (there was a San Diego Comic Con exclusive one as well) in 2012 and it is almost the best. The Dark Knight Rises came with an original retail price of $14.95 and if any remain at the end of the year, it would be outright theft to pick them up at half price!

The Hallmark The Dark Knight Rises ornament is made of durable plastic. Batman’s costume is colored in bold black and muted yellow. He is ripped, though the armor is more defined than his musculature. The Dark Knight Rises has the traditional Batman bat symbol on his belt, though two of the ones I looked at had paint jobs that were sloppy. He is wearing his cowl, cape and spiked gloves and the portion of his lower jaw that is exposed contrasts the darkness nicely.

The Dark Knight Rises features a Batman who looks like a real-world character. His face is sculpted with sharp angles for the face, looking exactly like the lower jaw of Christian Bale! The scowl is a great touch and in that regard, Batman looks great for this ornament.

Unfortunately, though, one each of the The Dark Knight Rises ornaments I looked at, there were paint issues. More frequently, the cowl piece that covers Batman’s nose tended to be sloppily rendered on the flesh above his lip. In other words, far too frequently, I found this ornament with a black pain splotch on his upper lip. This does mute the coolness of an otherwise awesome sculpt and coloring job for the ornament.


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, The Dark Knight Rises could have a sound chip or a light-up function. He has neither, but frankly, this is a cool-enough ornament on its own to be well worth the money without any function or gimmick!


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake The Dark Knight Rises ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate superhero Christmas Tree, the The Dark Knight Rises ornament is a great piece with exceptional balance. The ornament has the standard brass hook loop embedded into the top of Batman’s cape at a surprisingly unobtrusive position. From there, the ornament, when affixed to a tree with a hook, hangs perfectly, though this is one of the widest Hallmark ornaments this year.


Hallmark Keepsake began delving into the collectibles market in 1991 with Star Trek when it introduced the exceptionally limited edition U.S.S. Enterprise ornament (reviewed here!). Since then, they have made ornament replicas of almost all major franchises like DC comics, The Wizard Of Oz and Harry Potter. The The Dark Knight Rises ornament just began selling last weekend and with this weekend’s release of the film The Dark Knight Rises it could actually sell-out (which would be a first, as far as I know, for a non-limited edition Batman ornament). Either way, I suspect so long as people love the film, this ornament will appreciate in value.


Fans of Batman, Christopher Nolan’s vision of Batman, Christian Bale, and DC comics characters are likely to find the The Dark Knight Rises ornament to be one of the best ornaments in years and one well worth picking up!

For other DC Universe superhero Hallmark ornaments, please check out my reviews of:
2011 Batman Takes Flight
2011 Green Lantern
2010 Limited Edition Harley Quinn
2009 Wonder Woman ornament


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

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