Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Well-made, But Not Exciting, The 2013 Pirates Of The Caribbean Ornament Is A Mixed Bag!

The Good: Great sculpt, Generally good coloring detail, Good balance, Decent sound clip
The Bad: No light effect, Subject is entirely unremarkable.
The Basics: The 2013 "Pirates Of The Caribbean" ornament is well crafted, but unexciting, making for a more mundane-feeling ornament than it ought to have been.

With the new year’s worth of exciting Hallmark ornaments now on display at Hallmark stores everywhere, I find myself amused by the franchises that are surviving with the collectibles versus the ones that Hallmark has given up on. This year, for example, is the first in three years where the company has not produced a Twilight themed ornament. And yet, the Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise not only had a new ornament, it is a step up – in terms of content – from the prior years, which featured Johnny Depp-based appeal with the 2011 Captain Jack Sparrow ornament (reviewed here!) and the 2012 “On Stranger Tides” (reviewed here!). This year, Hallmark avoids my usual gripes about skin tones with its Pirates Of The Caribbean ornament when it released the skull symbol used with the logo from the credits and promotional materials (not quite iconic yet, really), but in the process, they produced an ornament that simply does not feel exciting or interesting, despite being well made and offering more value than some of the prior Pirates Of The Caribbean ornaments.

For those unfamiliar with the idea of the ornament, Pirates Of The Caribbean the skull with the crossed swords behind it from Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl (reviewed here!). Honestly, it has been a while since I watched the movies, so I only recall the symbol from the ride upon which the films are based, the opening credits for the first film and the promotional materials for the rest of the franchise. The skull symbol is the subject of the Pirates Of The Caribbean ornament.


The "Pirates Of The Caribbean" ornament recreates the skull with the bandanna and crossed swords behind it. The ornament, released in 2013, is completely accurate in its sculpting and looks appropriately rendered in three dimensions, which makes sense because the original logo skull was a computer-generated effect and could thus be made into a 3-D framework for an ornament exceptionally easily. But Hallmark made sure to get details precisely right, like the depth of the mouth cavity and the tiny earring that hangs from the bandana. The beads on the forehead “earring” are exceptionally finely molded, making for an impressive effect.

The Hallmark "Pirates Of The Caribbean" ornament is made of a durable plastic and is colored precisely. The skull is not a clean white, which makes sense and even the handles on the swords are painted with enough subtlety and color variation to make them look like worn leather! Each of the beads on the earring is painstakingly colored and this is one of the ornaments that lives up to the standards set by the promotional materials on the coloring and sculpt fronts.

For an ornament that is 4 ¼” wide by 3 ¼” tall and 2” deep, the $17.95 initial price for the ornament is not bad.


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, "Pirates Of The Caribbean" has a sound effect, but not a light effect. Given that the eyes light up in the logo, it is a little disappointing that the battery-operated effect does not include a light component. As it is, though, the sound clip is impressive. When the button is pressed, a sound clip for the Pirates Of The Caribbean theme plays and it lasts for about thirty seconds. I was impressed – in addition to the quality of the sound – by the volume of the sound clip! This is one of the loudest ornaments Hallmark has produced!


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake "Pirates Of The Caribbean" ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate movie nostalgia Christmas Tree, the "Pirates Of The Caribbean" ornament is very much unnecessary, but a fun addition. The ornament has the standard brass hook loop embedded into the top center of the skull. This is fairly obvious and necessary for the ornament. Hanging there, the ornament is absolutely perfectly balanced.


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!). Within a few years, every major franchise from Star Wars to A Nightmare Before Christmas to Indiana Jones started making Hallmark ornaments. "Pirates Of The Caribbean" is one of only a few Pirates Of The Caribbean ornaments on the market and it might be the only Pirates Of The Caribbean ornaments not to feature Jack Sparrow. It seems to be a crapshoot as to whether or not the sound feature will drive the fans to the ornament, though if I had to bet, I’d bet it won’t, despite the incredible quality of the ornament!


Fans of the Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise, pirates in general and Hallmark ornaments should love the Pirates Of The Caribbean ornament. For my money, it lacks an X factor of greatness and while I remain impressed by it, I find myself not excited about it and rating it accordingly.

For other Hallmark genre ornaments released in 2013, please check out my reviews of:
Hogwarts Castle Harry Potter ornament
Boushh Star Wars Limited Edition ornament
U.S.S. Kelvin Star Trek ornament
Scarlett’s Green Gown Gone With The Wind ornament
At Jabba’s Mercy Star Wars ornament
Iron Patriot Iron Man 3 ornament


For other ornament reviews, please visit Ornament Review Index Page for an organized listing!

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