The Good: Decent coloring, Generally good sculpt, Good balance, Inexpensive enough
The Bad: Balance issue, Low collectible value
The Basics: Before the recast in 2012, Hallmark released a Darth Maul ornament in 2000 and they did a decent job.
As part of a pretty major blitz of Hallmark ornaments in 2000, Hallmark released a number of Star Wars ornaments focused on The Phantom Menace. There were at least five Star Wars ornaments in 2000 and the best of the bunch was the Darth Maul ornament.
Fans of the Star Wars Prequels will easily recall Darth Maul as the primary antagonist to the Jedi in The Phantom Menace (reviewed here!). The nasty looking alien Sith who cuts down one Jedi before being dispatched pretty easily has remained popular with fans for years.
It is Darth Maul, standing with his two-handed lightsaber in both hands that is the subject of the 2000 Darth Maul ornament!
The Darth Maul ornament recreates the tattooed and horned alien in solid plastic. The ornament, released in 2000, features just the character with his trademark lightsaber. Darth Maul is cast in an action pose, his weapon in both hands and his outfit billowing behind him. This Darth Maul ornament is in the same scale as the other Star Wars character ornaments. Hallmark charged $14.95 for the ornament originally and that makes it one of the most affordable Star Wars ornaments in recent years.
The Hallmark Darth Maul ornament is made of a durable plastic and has him holding his lightsaber in both hands. The ornament is molded with a decent amount of detailing. In addition to the usual cool molded details like the horns on his face, I was especially impressed by how much case sculptor Patricia Andrews put into the lightsaber and eyes. The lightsaber is contoured and etched with precision to look entirely realistic. As well, details like molding on the boots exhibit a level of care and attention that is impressive.
As well, the coloring details are immaculate. The red and black portions of the face are presented with perfect delineations and no color bleed. The outfit is a clean black and the boots are glossy, which offsets them nicely (and realistically), making them appear to be leather in contrast with the cloth appearance of the ornament’s tunic.
As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, Darth Maul could have a sound chip or light effect, but he has neither. This is one of the basic ornament releases from Hallmark, without any frills.
As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake Darth Maul ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate Star Wars Christmas Tree, Darth Maul would have been essential, had it not been recast last year! This ornament has a brass hook loop embedded on the back, center, between his shoulder blades. From there, this action-posed ornament hangs with an unfortunate forward lean. The lightsaber is heavier than most of the rest of the ornament and causes the ornament to hang with a forward pitch.
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 my review of that one!). Since then, they have branched out into other popular franchises like Star Wars and The Wizard Of Oz. The Darth Maul ornament is not at all limited and actually plummeted in value after the release of the 2012 version of the same character.
The Darth Maul ornament is fair, despite the balance issue and the low collectible value. But, given that the ornament is now a redundancy and Darth Maul has been vastly overmerchandised, it is one more for the fans than those who love quality Hallmark ornaments.
For other Hallmark ornaments of Star Wars characters, please check out my reviews of:
2012 Lego Imperial Stormtrooper
2012 Sith Apprentice Darth Maul
2012 General Grievous
2012 Momaw Nadon Limited Edition
2011/2012 Lego Darth Vader
2011 Jedi Master Yoda
2011 Bossk Limited Edition ornament
2010 Lando Calrissian Limited Edition ornament
2010 Luke Skywalker X-Wing Pilot
2010 Boba Fett and Han Solo in Carbonite mini-ornament set
2009 Greedo Limited Edition ornament
2009 Han Solo As Stormtrooper
2008 Emperor Palpatine ornament
2005 Slave Leia ornament
1999 Max Rebo Band mini-ornament set
For other holiday ornaments, please check out the Orament Review Index Page for an organized listing!
© 2013 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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