Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Delta Flyer: The Only Other Obvious Choice For A Star Trek: Voyager Ornament Satisfies!

The Good: Amazing detail, Good light effects, Interesting sound effect
The Bad: Odd choice for sound chip, a bit obscure for casual fans, Slight balance issue
The Basics: With great detailing, a good light and sound effects, Hallmark Keepsake creates a surprisingly worthwhile ornament of the Delta Flyer craft!

As Hallmark Keepsake continued to make starship ornaments in the Star Trek line, they eventually fell into a collection of ships that were obscure and not as instantly recognizable as the initial ones. Promoting Star Trek: Voyager until its end, Hallmark used 2002 to release the Delta Flyer, one of the most obscure starships that made. And while the ship is not the most recognizable or popular and it has both lights and sound, Hallmark seemed to know that this would not be their big grail and as a result, they seemed to have limited production of this one more, making it retain its value now in the secondary market.

For those unfamiliar with the Delta Flyer, by the time the fifth season of Star Trek: Voyager came about, the shuttlecraft aboard the U.S.S. Voyager were more or less all gone. As a result, in the third episode of that season, "Extreme Risk" (reviewed here!), Tom Paris built a new warp landing craft, the Delta Flyer. The Delta Flyer was Paris's little vessel and allowed him to show off his piloting abilities and make for some decent chase scenes for the show. This little ship was essentially the racecar version of the shuttlecrafts and it was quite a bit more durable. Hallmark's choice of the Delta Flyer is an interesting one, but one that might is quite obscure for casual fans of the Star Trek franchise.


The "Delta Flyer" ornament faithfully recreates the obscure Federation landing craft in solid white and gray plastic. The ornament, released in 2002, is an impressive casting of the short-range ship with an immaculate paint job and very neat feature. Measuring four and three quarter inches long, two and five-eighths inches wide and one and one-quarter inches tall, the Delta Flyer ornament is an intriguing addition to the Star Trek ornament line, appearing before a few other, more essential, starships. Like the other smaller ships in the Star Trek universe, this ornament clearly is not in scale with the larger starships in the line. As if to compensate, there is added appeal to fans of Star Trek with the voice chip. Still, despite how common it was and how it was not a primary ship, it quickly sold with its $24.00 price tag. As a result, Hallmark had a decent success on its hand, at least with Star Trek fans.

The Hallmark "Delta Flyer" ornament is made of a durable plastic and has the landing craft on its own, as is typical for Hallmark's starship line of Star Trek ornaments. Like the previous Star Trek ornament release, this one has the date stamped on it, in this case on the bottom, aft section of the ship like a license plate, though the number is discrete enough to not be intrusive! This ornament plugs into the standard light strand of Christmas lights in order to light up.

The Delta Flyer is detailed incredibly, at least as much as is appropriate. The Delta Flyer had a few sections of baffle panels and nooks and crannies and the Delta Flyer has each and every one meticulously detailed on the ornament. This ship looks sleek and fast and things like the exposed top section have great details. Hallmark gets them absolutely right! As well, the Delta Flyer has all of the appropriate markings, like the racing stripes on the sides of the ship with the craft's name and call numbers.

As well, there are molded details, like the tips of the nacelles being molded in red plastic and the warp nacelles themselves having blue plastic that is translucent for the light effect! In fact, the only place Hallmark sacrificed detail for efficiency was on the windows. The front windows are painted black and that works fine because otherwise fans would gripe about the detail on the people and panels inside. This looks great; Hallmark did a pretty impressive job with getting the details on this ornament just right for the exacting collectors and fans.


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, the "Delta Flyer" has a light function, as well as an audio one! This was one of the few Star Trek ornaments to both light up and play a sound clip. The "Delta Flyer" has a speaker on the bottom surface, as well as a button to activate the sound chip. The Delta Flyer has a seven inch cord that is attached to the bottom of the ornament. This green electric cord is embedded into the bottom, center - slightly aft - section and it allows the ornament to be plugged into a Christmas light strand.

Plugging the ornament in (one needs to remove a single light bulb from the strand, then slide the male end from the ornament into the female end on the strand) activates the light effect on the "Delta Flyer." The light effects on this starship ornament are remarkably simple; the warp nacelles and thrusters light up. It is a blue and red light effect for the nacelles and the thrusters are red pinpricks near the aft. The ship glows pretty well, though the blue is a little more muted than some might like. The light effect is not irresistibly bright.

As well, there is a button on the bottom of the ornament. When pressed, while plugged in, the ornament begins to speak. Actress Kate Mulgrew actually recorded a special bit of dialogue specifically for use in this ornament. As a result, when the button is pressed, the ornament speaks with Mulgrew's voice, saying "This is Captain Janeway of the Federation vessel Delta Flyer. We are on a mission of peaceful exploration." Kate Mulgrew, who plays the captain of the U.S.S. Voyager is the lead actress for Star Trek: Voyager and it is wonderful that she participated. The only (semi) issue is with the ship that the chip is associated with. Janeway was much more associated with the U.S.S. Voyager than Paris's pet project, the Delta Flyer. Still, it is a nice touch.


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake "Delta Flyer" ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate Star Trek Christmas Tree, the "Delta Flyer" ornament is a take-it-or-leave-it piece, solely because of its lack of iconic status or recognizability. The ornament has the standard brass hook loop embedded into the top center of the craft, which is the most stable point on the ornament. As a result, the ornament, when affixed to a tree with a hook, hangs almost perfectly balanced from that loop.

Unfortunately, this is not the best balanced ornament and when plugged in to a light strand, it no longer hangs flat. With the cord slack, the Delta Flyer's aft section is pushed up, pitching the fore section down at about forty degrees. When the cord is taunt the Delta Flyer only has a minimal amount of pitch (about fifteen degrees of rotational offset from the cord). That way, it is more or less well-balanced and stable on a tree; one might almost write off the angle as a "dramatic pose."


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 (reviewed here!). Since then, they have made ornament replicas of almost all of the major starships from the franchise- as well as some real minor ones - and they have all been more mass produced than that first one. The "Delta Flyer" ornament was a fan draw more than one bought by the public at large. It was fans who bought it up, not investors or general fans of science fiction. Still, it was bought up rapidly and this one seems to have been less mass-produced, as if Hallmark knew it would not be a huge draw. It is one of the moderately difficult Hallmark Star Trek ornaments to find on the secondary market, and it seems to have held its own as far as value goes. One supposes quality does truly pay off!


Fans of the Star Trek franchise, Captain Janeway, the Federation and the Delta Flyer specifically are likely to enjoy this ornament, even if it is a strange choice. Strange choice or not, it is a decent ornament and one that can only enhance the collection of a Star Trek fan.

For other Star Trek ship ornaments from Hallmark, please check out my reviews of:
2012 U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D 25th Anniversary Edition
2011 U.S.S. Defiant (New York Comic Con Exclusive)
2011 Romulan Bird Of Prey
2010 U.S.S. Enterprise (Star Trek refit)
2009 Klingon Battlecruiser
2008 U.S.S. Reliant
2006 U.S.S. Enterprise (reissue)
2005 U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-A
2003 Scorpion Attack Craft
2001 Deep Space Nine
2000 Borg Cube
1999 Runabout Rio Grande
1998 U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-E
1997 U.S.S. Defiant
1996 U.S.S. Voyager
1995 Romulan Warbird
1994 Klingon Bird Of Prey
1993 U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D
1992 Shuttlecraft Galileo


For other ornament reviews, please visit my Ornament Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2012, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
| | |

No comments:

Post a Comment