Friday, December 7, 2012

Severely Undervalued, The 2012 The Bat The Dark Knight Rises Ornament Is Very Cool!

The Good: Good sculpt, Most of the detailing, Proportionally inexpensive, Very cool, Investment potential
The Bad: Balance issue
The Basics: To coincide with the Blu-Ray/DVD release of The Dark Knight Rises, Hallmark quietly released The Bat in 2012 for their October/November ornament push!

I am thrilled by the fact that there are still some times I manage to be surprised when I am out hunting for collectibles. The last time (before now) that happened was on my birthday when I was downstate and saw the Prometheus Engineer (Chair Suit) action figure (reviewed here!) in the store and that clued me into the existence of the toy line! Similarly, after a pretty lousy job interview upstate last week, I stopped at the small Hallmark store I noticed on my way home and was delighted to discover a new Hallmark Keepsake ornament that really impressed me. It was The Bat from The Dark Knight Rises and the only thing more surprising about it for me was returning home to learn that this limited edition ornament has had almost no play in the secondary market. In fact, I’ve already found The Bat discounted some places and that surprises me given the quality of this uniquely sculpted, limited edition ornament.

Is it possible that The Dark Knight Rises really soured fans on Batman and Batman collectibles that much? Or, is it more likely that fans simply did not know of the existence of this Ornament Release Weekend exclusive ornament?

Seen near the beginning, and at the climax, of The Dark Knight Rises (reviewed here!), The Bat is the flying vehicle built by Lucius Fox for Batman. The hovering vehicle with multiple cannons is unique to The Dark Knight Rises and looks like the Batmobile, but without the tires.

Hallmark clearly took some time and care in having The Bat sculpted. After a long string of exclusive event ornaments that were simply recolored versions of prior ornaments, The Bat stands out as an exclusive that should be exploding in value.


The Bat ornament faithfully recreates the flying vehicle from The Dark Knight Rises in black and clear plastic. The Dark Knight Rises came with an original retail price of $14.95 and several Hallmarks still have them, so it is possible they might even be around after the holidays!

The Hallmark The Bat ornament is made of durable plastic, though it is tough to take too many chances on the strength of the plastic on the gun turrets. The Bat is sculpted to look precisely like the flying vehicle with the clear canopy, sharp angles, and the gun turrets pushed forward from the main body of the vehicle a significant amount. The guns end in very thin, very fine barrels that look like they would snap with unfortunate ease. So far, mine have not!

On the coloring front, Hallmark chose wisely with The Bat. This is a stealth vehicle that is cast in a glossy black plastic and requires no markings or paint highlights in order to make the vehicle match the one in the film. Hallmark got the coloring and sculpt absolutely perfect on this ornament!


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, The Bat could have a sound chip or a light-up function. He has neither, but frankly, this is a cool-enough ornament on its own to be well worth the money without any function or gimmick!


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake The Dark Knight Rises ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate superhero Christmas Tree, The Bat ornament is decent supplemental piece. Unfortunately, The Bat is a tough ornament on the balance front. In order to not have the hook going through the canopy (which is the point that would have been ideal for balance purposes), Hallmark smartly embedded the hook loop behind the canopy. That puts a lot of weight on the front from the gun turrets. The leverage of the frontweight causes The Bat to lean forward. While this has the effect of making it look like it is lifting off, or descending for a strafing run, it makes it impossible for the ornament to hang level, if one wanted that.


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 of almost all major franchises like DC comics, The Wizard Of Oz and Harry Potter. The Bat is a limited edition ornament that sold during the October Hallmark release event and while some places sold out of it, not everywhere did. As a result, its value has been comparatively depressed for a limited edition Hallmark ornament. However, it is hard not to want to bet on the future investment value of this ornament. As Christopher Nolan’s final chapter in The Dark Knight Trilogy gains more appreciation, it seems like this one would appreciate in value.


Fans of Batman, Christopher Nolan’s vision of Batman, action movie vehicles, and DC comics characters will find The Bat to be a quality ornament worth hunting down to add to their collections, especially now, before they are all bought up and you have to pay a premium for it!

For other DC Universe superhero Hallmark ornaments, please check out my reviews of:
2012 Catwoman ornament
2012 "Beware My Power" Green Lantern ornament
2012 The Dark Knight Rises
2011 Batman Takes Flight
2011 Green Lantern
2010 Limited Edition Harley Quinn
2009 Wonder Woman ornament


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

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