Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Strong Finish To The Celebration Line, The 2012 Barbie Celebration (Caucasian) Hallmark Ornament Is Pretty Cool!

The Good: Good sculpt, Cool gem accents, No cloth, Decent balance, I like the hair!
The Bad: No flexibility
The Basics: For it final Barbie Celebration ornament, Hallmark’s 2012 Celebration Barbie Hallmark ornament helps the line go out on a high note!

As the final wave of Hallmark ornaments crosses my desk, I am trying to prioritize some of the most noteworthy of the ornaments. As a pleasant surprise to me and to actual fans of Barbie, the 2012 Celebration Barbie ornament, which recreates the limited edition Christmas Barbie doll in ornament form is a pleasant surprise from Hallmark Keepsake. It is well-established that Hallmark has lost the license for Barbie and this will, barring a sudden reversal from Mattel and Hallmark, be the final year Hallmark Keepsake produces Barbie Christmas ornaments (investors, be forewarned!). The red dress 2012 Celebration Barbie ornament will be the final one in the line.

For those unfamiliar with them, Barbie dolls have been a leading trademarked doll (and model for unrealistic female bodytypes!) from Mattel for over sixty years. Hallmark Keepsake picked up the Barbie license in order to produce Christmas ornaments and Celebration Barbie is one of several Barbie ornaments produced for 2012! It is worth noting that there are two versions of the Celebration Barbie, a Caucasian and a black Barbie. The Caucasian is the typical blonde Barbie in a festive red dress and she is pretty well-executed.


The Celebration Barbie ornament recreates the Celebration Barbie doll with Barbie in her rich red Christmas dress. The ornament features the recognizable visage of Barbie with her long blonde hair cascading down over her shoulders. She looks like a glamour model and is pretty much exactly what one expects when they think of Barbie; thin waist (though in this outfit that is not as exaggerated as one might expect!), busty (also, not as exaggerated on this ornament) and a pleasant smile on her face. The Celebration Barbie is the latest in the series that replicates the popular doll in ornament form.

The ornament has Barbie wearing a flowing red Christmas gown with silver jeweled accents to her dress and neck. This Barbie ornament is 4 1/16" tall by 2 5/8" wide and 2 1/2” deep because of the solid bell form to the dress. The Hallmark Celebration Barbie ornament is made entirely of durable plastic, save the faux-fur stole on her biceps and has the feminine icon standing alone, with her arms out at her sides, slightly raised, as if she was caught in the first movements of a hug. Her dress is colored two very close shades of red and has a front panel on the skirt that has jeweled accents. The slightly different shading and texture to the dress makes it look like real fabric and that is pretty impressive! She does not have feet molded on, so the bottom of the ornament is a single, flat piece.

This Barbie has less make-up than the usual doll or ornament which makes her look less garish and more natural. Her hair is actually incredibly colored. This Celebration Barbie has a slight shimmer to her blonde hair, so she looks like a platinum blonde and that is a nice touch! That adds depth to the ornament’s head and actually makes it look more distinctive than many of the other Barbie ornaments.


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, Celebration Barbie could have a function like a sound chip or light effect, but does not. This is just an ornament, a low-cost (comparatively) option for fans of Barbie. I think it's disappointing that Celebration Barbie does not have any articulation to her limbs. It was well within the abilities of Hallmark to make the ornament articulated at least at the shoulders or neck, but they opted for a boring statue look for the ornament and that is disappointing.


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake Celebration Barbie ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate Barbie Christmas Tree, the Celebration Barbie ornament is a good addition. The ornament has the standard brass hook loop embedded into the top back of the character's head. From there, one hangs the ornament and this Barbie ornament is fairly evenly balanced.


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 branched out into every major franchise from Barbie to Gone With The Wind to Twilight. The Celebration Barbie ornament is selling fairly well, probably because it is the last of the line. I suspect that this will be a strong investment piece and the Celebration Barbie ornaments are a Christmas-themed line, with all thirteen (now!) pieces being reasonably obtainable. That none of them have exploded in value is an enticement to collectors and first and last in a series have a tendency to appreciate faster than most, so this should be a strong “buy” to anyone looking to complete the set or invest after the holidays!


Fans of the Barbie franchise can be thankful that the 2012 Barbie Celebration ornament takes the collection out on a high note, ending their affiliation with Hallmark with dignity.

For other Barbie ornament reviews, please check out:
2012 Matinee Fashion Barbie - Final In The Series!
2012 Tweed Indeed Barbie
2011 Celebration Barbie (Black)
2011 Campus Sweetheart Barbie
2011 Prima Ballerina Barbie ornament
1996 Enchanted Evening Barbie ornament
1994 Barbie Debut ornament


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

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