Monday, March 4, 2013

An Ornament Set For The Die-Hards: The 2001 Hogwarts School Crests Hold Up Well!

The Good: Great detail, Balance, Value
The Bad: Vastly overpriced for the size/rarity.
The Basics: A boon for the die-hard Harry Potter fans, the Hogwarts School Crests are an ornament set almost worth hunting down.

Every now and then, my wife and I discover a “grail gift” for one another. Recently, I stumbled upon a gift she truly loved and that surprised us both, something she had not known about at all. It was the 2001 Hogwarts School Crests Harry Potter ornament set from Hallmark! The set of five mini-ornaments is very much only for die-hard fans of the Harry Potter book and movie series. Even so, my wife is quick to point out that even for the die-hard fans, only three of the five mini-ornaments in this pack are really worthwhile.

For those unfamiliar with the franchise, the Hogwarts School Crests are in almost all of the Harry Potter film (reviewed here!). Hung on the walls of the magical school, Hogwarts, especially in the dining hall, the main crest and house crests are evident on the various uniforms of characters in the films that were set at the Hogwart’s School Of Witchcraft & Wizardry.

In 2001, Hallmark released a limited edition set of five mini-ornaments of the seals of each of the Hogwarts schools and for the main school.


The "Hogwarts School Crests" ornament set is a very simple ornament set, made of embossed metal that has a very timeless look to it. Ranging from 1” to 1 1/2” tall, each of the five crests of the Hogwarts schools is represented, with both its appropriate icon and colorscheme. The Hogwarts crest is the largest of the five and is primarily gold and black, with a very noble and official appearance. Gryffindor is gold and red, with a lion embossed on its surface. The school crest for Slytherin is predominately green and has the snake upon its shield. The two minor houses, Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw feature their birds and the names of the school they are associated with. All of the crests are beautifully manufactured so they are consistent (even if few fans really care about Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff).


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, "Hogwarts School Crests" could have a function like a sound chip or light effect, but they do not. Given how they have such simple subjects, Hallmark did the best they could with the crests and they did not really require additional functions to sell them.


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake "Hogwarts School Crests" ornaments are to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate fantasy Christmas Tree, the "Hogwarts School Crests" ornaments are an intriguing addition, but not at all an essential one. Each ornament has a hook loop at the top of the crest and hung from there with a standard Christmas tree hook, they are remarkably stable ornaments.


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!). Since then, they have delved into virtually every other collectible franchise in an attempt to cash in on every major license. The Harry Potter series has had several ornaments made for it and the "Hogwarts School Crests" ornaments might well be the most expensive of the bunch. While other Limited Edition Harry Potter ornaments have risen and fallen in value, the Hogwarts School Crests skyrocketed in value and have stayed pricey for years.

It is hard to get excited to shell out so much money for such small ornaments. Moreover, as an investment opportunity, the Hogwarts School Ornaments seem to have already peaked. Unless one finds them at a store where their value has gone unchecked over the years, most collectors will pay a premium price just to get their hands on these. While they are well-made, they are not really worth the premium collector’s price.


The Hogwarts School Crest Ornaments are a neat set and for those who want some real flair, they could easily be adapted to make cute (if expensive) earrings. As ornaments, they are small, surprisingly well-detailed and accurate to the source material. But they are very overpriced in the secondary market and that makes them harder to recommend in my book than die-hard collections might want to admit.

For other Harry Potter ornaments, please check out my reviews of:
2012 The Final Battle
2011 The Golden Snitch (Limited Edition!)
2011 Fleeing The Fiendfyre
2010 The Pensieve
2010 A Gift For Dobby (Limited Edition!)
2009 "Harry! Happy Birthday!"


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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