Saturday, July 6, 2013

Animated Enterprise: The Subcommander T’Pol Ornament Doesn’t Quite Wow!

The Good: Great coloring on the uniform.
The Bad: Not a great likeness of Subcommander T’Pol, Light on the skin coloring detailing, Expensive for the quality, Minor balance issue, Virtually no collectible value.
The Basics: Despite having a generally recognizable form, the Subcommander T’Pol ornament is not worth picking up.

In advance of Hallmark’s Ornament Premiere Weekend, I’m going through the last of my ornaments before the deluge of ornament reviews begins next week! The last of the Star Trek ornaments I have on hand to review is the 2003 Subcommander T’Pol ornament. The sex symbol of Star Trek: Enterprise is one of only three characters from Enterprise to be immortalized in ornament form and, alas, it is pretty unimpressive, though the likeness is recognizable for the fans of the series.

For those unfamiliar with Subcommander T’Pol, she was the Science Officer aboard the NX-01 Enterprise for Star Trek: Enterprise (reviewed here!). Played with more smirk than professional detachment by Jolene Blalock, T’Pol became the sex symbol immediately because of how she was dressed in Enterprise. Therefore, it makes some sense that Hallmark would make Subcommander T’Pol the second in its series of Star Trek: Enterprise ornaments right behind Captain Archer. Unfortunately, this incarnation of Subcommander T’Pol is a poor showing. Sculpted and colored in an under-detailed way, the Subcommander T’Pol ornament is unremarkable.


The "Subcommander T’Pol" ornament poorly recreates the Chief Science Officer of the Enterprise in solid plastic. The ornament, released in 2003, is the basic form of T’Pol, but it lacks strong detailing to fit in with some of the other ornaments, though many of the Star Trek character ornaments seem to have an unfortunately animated look to them. Measuring four and a half inches tall, the Subcommander T’Pol ornament is a poor representation of the Vulcan overpriced at the original issue price of $14.95. Dressed in a catsuit, this is a vague representation of the Vulcan officer looking more like a sex kitten than a competent scientist doing serious work in space.

The Hallmark "Subcommander T’Pol" ornament is made of a durable plastic and has the Vulcan standing alone, chest thrust forward, in a multicolored catsuit. Her suit is colored correctly with various browns, reds, whites and greens mixed together. Despite the suit coloring, the head and face are poorly done. There is no realism to the flesh color and the eyes are completely dead. In fact, the sculpt looks like it could have been an alternate pose of Seven Of Nine, save for the pointed ears, longer hair and lack of the eye piece.

Subcommander T’Pol is detailed adequately, in the body, if not the face. Star Trek fans tend to be a bit more demanding, though. T’Pol looks fairly unemotional, but not very lively. This ornament remains ridiculously easy to find in the secondary market, due largely (one suspects) to its lack of popularity when it was released, owing to the poor coloring of it.


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, Subcommander T’Pol 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 Trek ornaments. This is T’Pol simply hangs.


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake "Subcommander T’Pol" ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate Star Trek Christmas Tree, the "Subcommander T’Pol" ornament is one that is not exactly essential. The ornament has the standard metal hook loop embedded into the top center (rear) of the character's head.

As well, the Subcommander T’Pol ornament is unbalanced. With her bust and the way her arms are splayed out slightly, she leans forward slightly. This means her feet do not hang flat with the ground, so she is slightly off-kilter.


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 made ornament replicas of almost all of the major starships and many of the characters from the franchise and they have all been more mass produced than that first one. The "Subcommander T’Pol" ornament was a pegwarmer that went unbought by fans as well as by the public at large. There were few fans who bought it and almost no investors or general fans of science fiction picked it up. It is one of the easiest ones to find on the secondary market and its value has since plummeted.


Fans of the Star Trek franchise, Jolene Blalock and Subcommander T’Pol are likely to be largely disappointed by the Subcommander T’Pol ornament. The facial, ear and coloring details are mediocre at best and given how it has almost no value, it makes it not worth picking up. Hopefully, the new crop is better!

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 III
1997 Dr. McCoy
1996 Mr. Spock


Check out my other ornament reviews at my Ornament Review Index Page!

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