Friday, August 17, 2012

“I’ll See You In Hell!” The Han Solo To The Rescue Star Wars Ornament Is One Of This Year’s Winners!

The Good: Great sculpt, Wonderful sound effect, Decent balance, Generally good coloring.
The Bad: PRICE, Very obvious seams!
The Basics: While still expensive, the 2012 "Han Solo To The Rescue" Hallmark ornament is one of the best Star Wars diorama ornaments yet made!

This year, at Hallmark ornament preview weekend, I had a real thrill. Seeing the Han Solo To The Rescue ornament, I was pretty thrilled given that Hallmark did such a good job presenting Han Solo in his Hoth gear atop a tauntaun. When I discovered the button on the snow base of the ornament, I was delighted by the quotes. When “I’ll see you in hell!” came up, I was absolutely thrilled. There are just too few Christmas ornaments that reference hell!

For those unfamiliar with Han Solo’s role as a savior, early in The Empire Strikes Back (reviewed here!), Han Solo rides a tauntaun to find Luke Skywalker near-death on the frozen planet of Hoth.

It is Han Solo atop his tauntaun looking for Luke Skywalker that is the subject of the Han Solo To The Rescue ornament.


The "Han Solo To The Rescue" is a diorama -style ornament from Hallmark, which recreates scenes from The Empire Strikes Back both with a molded scene and special effects. "Han Solo To The Rescue" features a sound effect, but no light effect. "Han Solo To The Rescue" is well worth picking up because it does what it sets out to do exceptionally well. Unfortunately, collectors and fans will have to pay for that quality. Hallmark's initial price for the ornament was $32.95, which was the most expensive (initial price) Star Wars ornament for the year and it was priced comparably with the highest price Star Trek ornament of the year.

The 2012 "Han Solo To The Rescue" is made of durable plastic and includes a sound function emitted through a tiny speaker on the base of the ornament. The 2 3/4" wide by 4 1/4" tall by 2 1/2" deep ornament faithfully recreates Han Solo atop the furry, horned creature, the tauntaun. The tauntaun has some great molded details, like the appearance of fur. The tauntaun also is molded with things like saddle straps and Han Solo is appropriately bundled up in his Hoth gear. The ornament has incredible detailing to the boots, bedroll on the back of the saddle and even the appearance of fur on the hood. Unfortunately, the seams on this ornament are disturbingly obvious, which is a problem with many of the ornaments this year.

As for the coloring, the Han Solo To The Rescue ornament is exceptionally well-colored. The snow is white, the grays are gray on the tauntaun’s fur and the blue of Han Solo’s jacket is great. In fact, the only thing that looks inaccurately colored are the tauntaun’s claws. Outside that, the coloring details are immaculate!


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, the "Han Solo To The Rescue" ornament features a sound effect, but not a light effect. Powered by batteries that are housed in the ornament (and come with it), the "Han Solo To The Rescue" has four phrases. When the button on the ornament is pushed, Han’s lines as he prepares to go find Luke Skywalker outside the Rebel base are played out the speaker on the bottom. It's not exactly the most Christmas-themed ornament, but it captures perfectly the moment it represents and the volume was loud enough that I could hear all of the effects clearly, even during a noisy Preview Weekend with lots of people clamoring about me.


As an ornament, the "Han Solo To The Rescue" is intended to be hung on a Christmas tree and for that purpose, the ornament is great. The "Han Solo To The Rescue" features a brass loop protruding from the back of Han Solo’s hood.. From that point, the ornament hangs remarkably stable. It does not tip in any direction, though it will twist if the tree or ornament is bumped.


The "Han Solo To The Rescue" ornament was issued at $32.95, which is ridiculously expensive, despite the quality of the ornament. At that price, it is not terribly collectible and it is unlikely its value will appreciate significantly. For the last month since they have been on the market, the "Han Solo To The Rescue" ornament has sold slowly, though all five of the local Hallmark stores near me have sold at least one each. This does not look to be a sellout ornament or a great investment piece for investors.


The 2012 "Han Solo To The Rescue" Hallmark ornament looks good, is balanced well and despite the seam that is obvious, it remains well worth picking up!

For other Star Wars diorama ornaments, please be sure to visit my reviews of:
2011 Showdown At The Cantina
2010 His Master’s Bidding
2009 A Deadly Duel


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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