Sunday, June 9, 2013

Poor Balance Seriously Undermines The 1999 Worf Ornament!

The Good: Imaginative casting, Generally good coloring
The Bad: No special features, Overproduced, Underdetailed, Comparatively expensive.
The Basics: The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine character ornament of Lieutenant Commander Worf is robbed of potential greatness by a pretty severe balance issue!

As I eagerly await the new crop of Hallmark Ornaments around this time next month, I am finishing going through the last remnants of my personal collection and reviewing the ornaments there. One of the ones that I was very much on the fence about keeping was the Lieutenant Commander Worf Hallmark ornament. I love Worf. Who doesn’t?! He is the character who has appeared in the most hours of Star Trek in the entire franchise! And the 1999 Hallmark ornament of Worf is good, but it could be a lot better, making it a much tougher sell than it ought to have been

The Lieutenant Commander Worf is a Hallmark ornament released in 1999 as part of the finale celebration for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. To date, it is pretty easy to find in the secondary market because of how unenthusiastic the response was to the ornament's release, despite the character being essential to the franchise.

Hallmark Keepsake has a line of collectible ornaments from major franchises, like Star Trek. From the Star Trek line comes the Lieutenant Commander Worf ornament. Fans of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine will easily recall Lieutenant Commander Worf as he is only full Klingon in StarFleet. This sculpt of Worf is from Season 4 of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (reviewed here!), after he has joined space station Deep Space Nine as the Strategic Operations Officer. This version of Worf has the Klingon officer holding up his Batleth sword menacingly.


The Lieutenant Commander Worf ornament recreates the Klingon officer in solid plastic. The ornament, released in 1999, is a completely recognizable alien character, with his Batleth sword drawn. He has somewhat tanned skin, not nearly as dark as Michael Dorn’s distinctive character had. Similarly, the surface details are molded and painted on. His body is cast in an action position, with both his hands on his Batleth and his expression is a fairly angry one. Given that the ornament was designed for fans, this is an ornament that appeals to collectors and the Lieutenant Commander Worf ornament is instantly recognizable to them.

The Hallmark Lieutenant Commander Worf ornament is made of a durable plastic and he has his hands on his curved Batleth sword and legs spread as if he is leaping angrily. He has his distinctive forehead ridges, but not detailing fine enough to capture his fingernails. Still, Hallmark did a decent job of giving his sash texture and molding details like the communicator on his chest and leather wraps on the Batleth handles. The ornament's eyes are brown with black pupils and they lack a realistic sheen to them. Lieutenant Commander Worf's feet are spread apart with his knees bent, so he does look very active.

The Lieutenant Commander Worf ornament is detailed fairly in the coloring department. Lieutenant Commander Worf's outfit is predominately black, with the red shoulders of Command. But more than most Hallmark ornaments, this one seems to be painted in a rushed fashion. The paint around the communicator is chipped and there was considerable paint bleed between the character’s hands and the leather wraps on the Batleth sword. This undermines the overall value of the ornament and detailing on the sash was inconsistent between the several Worf ornaments I inspected.


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, the Lieutenant Commander Worf ornament 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 or mural series of Star Trek ornaments. This Lieutenant Commander Worf ornament simply hangs and there are no additional accessories for the ornament.


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake Lieutenant Commander Worf ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate Star Trek Christmas Tree, Lieutenant Commander Worf is very much necessary, though this might not be the best possible execution of the character. The ornament has a steel hook loop embedded into the top of the Batleth. From that hook, the Lieutenant Commander Worf ornament hangs entirely lopsided. At best, he looks like he is falling on his ass, at worst, he looks like he is sliding and trying to use the Batleth to slow himself down.


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!). The Lieutenant Commander Worf ornament is a ridiculously common ornament that may often be found for less than its original issue price in the secondary market. At this point in the Star Trek ornament collections, most of the primary and most popular characters have all been done and the popular secondary characters are being explored. Lieutenant Commander Worf was overproduced and it easily available inexpensively in the secondary market.

This is a poor investment piece and it is unlikely it will appreciate in value.


The Lieutenant Commander Worf Christmas ornament should have been an essential Star Trek ornament, but the physics of this ornament rob it of its proper place in one’s collection. If one can find it inexpensively enough and has room on their tree for a clunky, unbalanced ornament, by all means, pick it up. Otherwise, we might as well hold out for a better one from Hallmark!

For other Star Trek ornaments of characters, please check out my reviews of:
2011 Legends Of Star Trek Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy
2011 Legends Of Star Trek Spock
2010 Legends Of Star Trek Captain James T. Kirk
2009 Limited Edition Ilia Probe
2005 Khan
2004 Commander Charles “Trip” Tucker
1997 Dr. McCoy
1996 Mr. Spock


For other ornament reviews, please check out my Ornament Review Index Page!

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