Monday, August 13, 2012

The Athlete From The Blind Side Is Hallmark’s 18th Football Legends Ornament!

The Good: Good sculpt, Generally good coloring detail, Decent balance
The Bad: Comparatively underdetailed, Arms do not look right at all!
The Basics: The 2012 "Michael Oher" ornament is an odd mix of great detailing and simplicity that make for a mixed football-themed ornament.

Up until now, I have – for the most part – limited my reviews of holiday ornaments to genre ornaments because that it was I am most interested in. I am not a huge sportsfan, so it seemed natural for me to shy away from the sports-themed Hallmark ornaments. Until today, in fact, the closest I came was in reviewing a non-Hallmark Syracuse Orange-themed ornament (that’s here!). Today, that changes with my take on the Michael Oher ornament!

For those not big into sports, Michael Oher was the subject of the film The Blind Side (reviewed here!). As a neglected child taken in by a wealthy family, his story made for a surprisingly good film. Now, Michael Oher in his Baltimore Ravens uniform makes for a pretty decent ornament!


The Michael Oher ornament recreates the football player in a position ready to block or shuffle with his hands at waist level. The ornament is just Michael Oher, with his helmet on, in his uniform. The ornament, released in 2012, is a decent rendition of the football player, though he looks nothing at all like the actor who played him in The Blind Side. Then again, his face is barely visible beneath the helmet’s guard!

Hallmark clearly made quite an effort on Michael Oher, but the ornament is an odd mix of exceptionally detailed and quite simple. On the sculpting front, though, the real problem is the arms. While the rest of the ornament looks strong and sturdy, the arms on the Michael Oher figure look smooth and surprisingly undermuscled. Measuring five inches tall, two and one eighth inches wide and two and one-half inches deep, the "Michael Oher" ornament is one of the larger Hallmark character ornaments this year. Apparently, having Michael Oher in his uniform with NFL insignias raised the licensing fee to make this a $17.95 ornament. And from the basic sculpt, Michael Oher looks pretty good.

The Hallmark "Michael Oher" ornament is made of a durable plastic, but the coloring is done entirely in monotones. The uniform is very clean and Hallmark clearly had the ability to do some very impressive work. The patches on the ornament’s arms, which have exceptionally detailed coloring and lettering, are very clear indications that Hallmark can produce something impressive in this regard. However, the skin is entirely monochromatic and the lack of detailing on the arms seems silly. In other words, Hallmark could have made the human elements of the Michael Oher ornament pop; they chose not to.


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, "Michael Oher" could have a sound effect, but it does not. Instead, this is a less-expensive option that is just the character.


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake "Michael Oher" ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate sports nostalgia Christmas Tree, the "Michael Oher" ornament is a decent option. The ornament has the standard brass hook loop embedded into the top center of Michael Oher's helmeted head. This is fairly obvious and necessary for the ornament. Hanging there, the ornament is absolutely perfectly balanced. This Michael Oher ornament looks ready to run or block!


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. "Michael Oher" is the eighteenth NFL-endorsed “Football Legends” ornament and locally, he has been selling fairly well.


Fans of the The Blind Side, the Baltimore Ravens, Michael Oher, and Hallmark ornaments who want a sports-themed Christmas tree have a lot to like with the Michael Oher ornament, though it is not at all perfect.

For other Hallmark character ornaments released in 2012, please check out my reviews of:
Scarlett Meets Her Match Gone With The Wind ornament
Thor The Avengers 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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