Saturday, June 1, 2013

One Of The Most Bland Star Wars Ornaments Produced: The 1998 Princess Leia Flops

The Good: Decent sculpt, Great balance
The Bad: Very bland, No collectible value, Very light on detailing
The Basics: Princess Leia is an exceptionally bland Hallmark ornament that helped bolster the market viability of the Star Wars ornament line, but is utterly unremarkable.

When it comes to Hallmark’s Star Wars ornament line, despite the way fans have been exploited by Hallmark in the last few years, I am glad that it exists. However, when it comes to the character line of Star Wars ornaments, the line-up got off to a much rockier star than fans might want to admit and by comparison now, so many of them just look terrible. Foremost on that list is the one I consider today; the Princess Leia ornament. Overly simple and very bland, the second character ornament, Princess Leia is dull. It was dull when it was released and it is exceptionally unremarkable now.

For those unfamiliar with Princess Leia, this is the white-cloaked Princess Leia as she was introduced in A New Hope (reviewed here!). This ornament looks just like Princess Leia Organa when she was brought before Grand Moff Tarkin to witness the destruction of her home planet of Alderaan.

This is a very simple Hallmark ornament that even Star Wars fans seem uncaptivated by.


The "Princess Leia" ornament recreates the captive Rebel in solid plastic. The ornament, released in 1998, is an instantly recognizable likeness of Princess Leia as she waits for death or the destruction of the Death Star. The sculpt is an embodiment of Princess Leia in her white gown with her hands folded in front of her and her hair in her iconic buns. While she has her silver belt, her facial expression is remarkably simple and bland.

The Hallmark "Princess Leia" ornament is made of a durable plastic and is an inaction pose. This version of Princess Leia looks like she is waiting for something to happen as opposed to doing something at all active.

Princess Leia is detailed adequately, but entirely underwhelmingly. The white dress, which is the bulk of the ornament, is only broken by the flesh of her hands, head, and the silver belt. The monotonal white outfit makes the ornament look very plain. That is accented by the facial expression that looks disinterested and somewhat unremarkable. The wide eyes are almost comical on this ornament because the skin tones are not accented with any realism. The result is that Princess Leia, in this ornament form, looks very much like a cartoon character instead of a work based on a live-action, real world human being. Her feet are barely visible poking out from under the gown and they are similarly bland.


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, Princess Leia 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 those who might not want to shell out for the starship series of Star Wars ornaments. This is Princess Leia simply hangs.


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake "Princess Leia" ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate Star Wars Christmas Tree, the "Princess Leia" seems like it would be essential. The ornament has a brass hook loop embedded into the top center of the character's head (this Princess Leia had her hair parted to the sides and then in buns on the sides of her head – the brass hook is near the back between the buns, right along the center part of her hair). From the hook, the Princess Leia ornament hangs perfectly balanced. Given that she stands rather straight and has no parts jutting out, that her balance is exceptional is unsurprising.


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 branched out into other popular franchises like Star Wars and The Wizard Of Oz. The Princess Leia ornament is the second in the series. Princess Leia was mass-produced, so much so that the value of the ornament plummeted and can still be found well below the original issue price.


Fans of the Star Wars franchise, Carrie Fisher and Princess Leia are likely to be equally unimpressed by the Princess Leia ornament. It is bland, overproduced and does not fit in with the newer, more detailed Hallmark Star Wars ornaments. That said, it is the only (to date) white-dress Princess Leia ornament Hallmark has made. The die hard fans might want it, even if only for that reason.

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
2000 Darth Maul
1999 Max Rebo Band mini-ornament set


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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