Thursday, January 31, 2013

Barbie Ornaments Dance Into History With The 2012 Brava, Ballerina! Barbie Ornament!

The Good: Good sculpt, Decent use of mesh, Decent balance
The Bad: No flexibility, Coloring is a little off, compared to artwork
The Basics: In its final ballerina release of a Barbie ornament, the 2012 Hallmark Keepsake Brava, Ballerina! Barbie ornament looks good, but not as vivid as the artwork indicated!

With 2012 being the final year for the Barbie line of the Hallmark Keepsake ornaments, I was surprised to learn that for the last several years, there has always been a Ballerina Barbie ornament offered. I suppose it shouldn’t have surprised me, as many little girls want to be ballerinas and the popularity of The Nutrcracker makes the ballerina a pretty common Christmas image worldwide. Fortunately for fans of the Ballerina Barbie ornaments, the line went out on a pretty high note with the Brava, Ballerina! Barbie ornament.

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 Brava, Ballerina! Barbie is one of several Barbie and Barbie-themed ornaments produced for 2012!


The Brava, Ballerina! Barbie ornament recreates the Brava, Ballerina! Barbie doll with Barbie up on her left toes, with her right leg bent at the knee and the toe pressing out from the left knee, as if in the early stages of a pirouette. The ornament features the recognizable visage of Barbie with her blonde hair pulled back, but then cascading behind her. This Barbie is uncharacteristically wearing minimal make-up (which is ironic considering how much make-up stage ballerinas actually have to wear! The ornament has Barbie wearing a simple pink tutu with flared skirt. The skirt is webbed, pink and made of nylon. This Barbie ornament is 4 1/2" tall by 2 1/4" wide and deep because of the skirt.

The Hallmark Brava, Ballerina! Barbie ornament is made of a durable plastic outside the nylon skirt and has the feminine icon standing alone, holding her hands before her, as if she is beginning a complicated dance move. Her one-piece is colored dull pink with darker pink accents for the toeshoes and skirt. This Barbie is distinctive in that she has decent depth and shading on her skin tones in her face. Her hair is a little less impressive and the Brava, Ballerina! Barbie ornaments I picked up for review (I went back a couple times to confirm it) all had a duller, more pale color palate to them than their box photography presented. While there is something to be said for the photographs on the boxes being for reference purposes only, the Brava, Ballerina! Barbie ornament is noticeably more pale than the artwork on the box.


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, Brava, Ballerina! 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 Brava, Ballerina! 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 disappoints some.


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake Brava, Ballerina! Barbie ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate Barbie Christmas Tree, the Brava, Ballerina! Barbie ornament is a great addition. The ornament has the standard brass hook loop embedded into the top center of the character's head. From there, one hangs the ornament and this Barbie ornament is perfectly balanced! Unlike the doll itself, which is almost impossible to get to stand up, the Brava, Ballerina! Barbie ornament has great balance and hangs perfectly!


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 Brava, Ballerina! Barbie ornament sold well and seemed to meet customer demand. While there were none locally available after the holiday, I noticed that this is not one that has not moved in price much since the holidays. I suspect that if one can find it at clearance prices now, this will be a decent investment piece for the future, especially with it being the final release.


The Brava, Ballerina! Barbie ornament might not color match to the pictures on the package, but it is still a decent release and a worthwhile ornament for Barbie or ballerina fans!

For other Barbie ornament reviews, please check out:
2012 Holiday Celebration Barbie (Black)
2012 Holiday Celebration Barbie (Caucasian)
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 Ornament Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2013 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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