Sunday, July 15, 2012

Rarity And A Snazzy Repaint Makes A Mundane Ornament Valuable With The 2012 San Diego ComicCon Battlestar Galactica Gold Cylon Centurion Special Edition Hallmark Ornament!

The Good: Good sculpt, Decent sound effect, Collector’s value
The Bad: No light effect, Very weak sound effect, Backheavy.
The Basics: With a very simple repaint, last year’s mundane Cylon Centurion ornament becomes this year’s collector’s item with the 2012 SDCC Gold Cylon Centurion Hallmark Keepsake ornament!

Between last year and this, I have managed to watch both Battlestar Galactica and its first sequel Galactica 1980 (those reviews will be posted in the next few days, check back!). So, unlike last year, when I truly had no frame of reference but vague childhood memories of a toy my stepbrother had when I reviewed the Cylon Centurion ornament ( that’s here!), now I get, at least, the classic Battlestar Galactica. So, when Hallmark Keepsake announced that for the first time it would be releasing an exclusive ornament at the San Diego Comic Con that had sounds, I was initially excited that it was a Gold Cylon Centurion. This distinguishes it as a leader of the Cylons and it’s an initially cool concept. It is, however, entirely a repaint of the exact ornament that was released last year. Outside the paintjob, it is identical to the silver (common) release 2011 Cylon Centurion ornament.

For those unfamiliar with Gold Cylon Centurion, this is a gold and black mechanized warrior who is out to destroy humanity in the Battlestar Galactica franchise. Reminiscent of the Star Wars stormtroopers, save in shiny gold armor, the Gold Cylons were armed and deadly and they hounded the surviving humans in Battlestar Galactica. The Gold Cylon Centurion is seen briefly aboard the Cylon Base Star in the series finale of Battlestar Galactica.

Hallmark released the Gold Cylon Centurion ornament as an exclusive edition of 1350 ornaments only at the San Diego Comic Con and it features the Gold Cylon Centurion on a base that allows it to have a sound function.


The Gold Cylon Centurion ornament faithfully recreates the black and gold soldier on a black base. The Gold Cylon Centurion is well-molded and looks like the robot it is supposed to. The Hallmark Gold Cylon Centurion ornament is made of solid black and gold plastic that features the gold soldier with its black skirt-like cape and a blaster which the Centurion is holding in a two-handed grip. This ornament does not have the date stamped or painted on it. This ornament is powered by very small watch batteries (included!) which allow the sound effect to be activated.

The Gold Cylon Centurion is detailed very well, which makes some sense because the Gold Cylon Centurion is supposed to have a completely manufactured look to it. The robot soldier is 4 1/2” tall, 2 3/4“ wide and 2 1/16” deep. This makes it one of the bigger ornaments from Hallmark and it was originally released at $24.95, because at Comic Con, you pay for your ticket and a premium for all the premiums!

The Gold Cylon Centurion stands upon a base that has the Battlestar Galactica title in the appropriate typeface across the front. I found myself a little less impressed by this detail. Hallmark could have molded the name in and accented it with paint, but it appears to basically be silkscreened on and that seems like it might wear off much easier than other ornaments.


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, the Gold Cylon Centurion could have a light and sound function. Fans of the Gold Cylons are likely to be disappointed that the Gold Cylon Centurion only has a sound function. I’m not usually one to gripe about this sort of thing, but the Gold Cylon Centurion’s eyes are supposed to be lasers or something that glows red and it looks at an angle like Hallmark did get the visor red colored. Unfortunately, it does not light up.

However, a button on the front left side of the Gold Cylon Centurion’s base does activate the sound function. When pressed, the battery-operated ornament begins to speak. The voice chip plays one of four soundclips from the television show wherein the Gold Cylon menaces humanity. I’m fine with the sound clip not featuring anything about Christmas. However, the volume on this ornament was uncharacteristically low, making it less impressive than it ought to be, even with four quotes. The Gold Cylon Centurion ornament is powered by watch-sized batteries, which are included with the ornament!


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake Gold Cylon Centurion ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. For those creating the ultimate science fiction Christmas Tree, the Gold Cylon Centurion ornament is a fair addition. The ornament has the standard steel hook loop embedded into the top center of the Gold Cylon Centurion’s head, which is the most stable point on the ornament. Unfortunately, because of the way the Centurion is cast with the skirt and legs (and presumably some of the electronics for the sound clips) the ornament is a little backheavy. I found I could not adjust it in any way that did not have a fifteen to twenty degree pitch from the back up. Fortunately, this works better as a desk ornament because of the stable base, for those who want a Gold Cylon Centurion the whole year round!


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 from virtually every major franchise, including retro television shows like Battlestar Galactica, Cheers (but not Frasier!), and Star Trek. The Gold Cylon Centurion ornament is already selling at twice the original issue price and, given that it was limited to 1350 pieces and has already sold out, one might easily expect that it will continue to rise in value, at least through the current holiday season.


Fans of the Battlestar Galactica franchise, Cylons and Hallmark ornaments are going to want to get this ornament while they can; history has shown the Comic Con exclusives, even when they are lackluster repaints, explode in value after the event is over.

For other limited edition Hallmark genre ornaments, please check out my reviews of:
2012 Momaw Nadon Star Wars ornament
2011 New York Comic Con U.S.S. Defiant Limited Edition Star Trek ornament
2011 Harry Potter The Golden Snitch 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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