Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Animated And Underdetailed, The 2013 Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott Legends Of Star Trek Ornament!

The Good: Fair price, Good balance, Detailing on the scanner
The Bad: Overproduced, Animated look, Head size is off, Skin coloring.
The Basics: The 2013 Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott ornament is another mediocre "Legends Of Star Trek" ornament from Hallmark that looks much more like an animated series version of Scotty than a live-action one!

When it comes to ornaments, Hallmark seems to be cyclical in its production of character ornaments. They go from making exceptionally detailed – almost lifelike coloring and detailing – and something more akin to an animated, cartoonish-looking version of the characters they make into ornaments. Whenever the pendulum swings toward the animated, I find myself utterly disappointed. After all, why should fans settle for animated-style detailing when Hallmark has the technology to produce lifelike ornaments. So, with this year’s character outing for the Star Trek line, the Legends Of Star Trek Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott ornament left me instantly disappointed the moment I saw it. Further inspection only left me further underwhelmed.

Starting out at $14.95, the Legends Of Star Trek Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott ornament looks only vaguely like Scotty; he’s more like Scotty by default as being the only redshirt male Hallmark would bother making an ornament of.

For those unfamiliar with Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott, he was the Chief Engineer aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise for almost every episode of Star Trek (reviewed here!). Played brilliantly by James Doohan, Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott became an iconic character in popular culture with his reputation as a miracle worker, saving the Enterprise constantly from danger. The "Legends Of Star Trek" series gives Hallmark a chance to cast Scotty for the first time, which is somewhat surprising given how many of the other main characters and Khan were already made into ornaments.


The Legends Of Star Trek Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott recreates in only a general way the famed Chief Medical Officer of the Enterprise in solid plastic. The ornament, released in 2013, is presented very generally, with a problematically undeveloped sculpt for the face and head. Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott is fairly recognizable to genre fans holding up an engineering device (it’s either a specialized scanner or a laser cutter. Molded to be clearly recognizable, the ornament still has a more animated look for the character than one might hope for. This comes, arguably, from the character’s rounded head and very generalized colorscheme that lacks realistic depth and shading. Measuring four and a quarter inches tall by one and a half inches wide by one and three-quarters inches deep, the Legends Of Star Trek Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott ornament has been selling slowly at my local Hallmarks since its Preview Weekend.

The Hallmark Legends Of Star Trek Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott ornament is made of a durable plastic and has the human officer standing in his red shirt, tight black pants and shiny black boots. The face is sculpted a bit more round than James Doohan's ever was. This ornament is molded without deep attention to detail, like fingernails. Even so, it is clearly James Doohan’s most famous character! Moreover, Hallmark went to create painstaking detailing for the scanner, getting them in perfect proportion with the rest of the ornament. The scanner is exceptionally detailed in both sculpt and coloring. Oddly, the same cannot be said about the head. Scotty’s head looks disproportionately large, especially compared to his hands.

The Legends Of Star Trek Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott is colored correctly with his red Engineering shirt. Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott's flesh looks fine, but is monotonal in its rendering. I was impressed that the boots were a glossy black, while Scotty’s pants were appropriately matte in their finish. While the engineering device in his hands and the rank braids on his forearms are well-colored and detailed, the skin is much less impressive or realistic in its detailing.


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, the Legends Of Star Trek Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott 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 is Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott, standing alone with his engineering tool. Having the ornament without any features might disappoint some collectors.


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake Legends Of Star Trek Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate Star Trek Christmas Tree, the Legends Of Star Trek Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott ornament is a necessary one, given that there are no other Scotty ornaments, but it is easily replaced should Hallmark ever do something more for the character. The ornament has a brass hook loop that comes out of the top, back, of Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott's skull. To its credit, Hallmark's Legends Of Star Trek Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott is very well-balanced from that point.


Hallmark Keepsake began delving into the collectibles market in 1991 with Star Trek when it introduced the exceptionally limited edition U.S.S. Enterprise ornament (reviewed here!). Since then, they have made ornament replicas of almost all of the major starships from the franchise and when they started on the personnel in 1995, though this is the first Scotty ornament. Even so, the Legends Of Star Trek Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott ornament was a commercial flop in its first weekend (three of my five local Hallmarks informed me they have not sold a single one) and it has not picked up much since.

Given the precedent from the prior Legends Of Star Trek ornaments, combined with the already-slow sales of this ornament, this is not the best investment piece; hold out for it to be on the clearance racks at the season’s end.


Fans of the Star Trek franchise, James Doohan and Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott are likely to have mixed reactions to the Legends Of Star Trek Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott ornament. Yet again, Hallmark has erratic detailing, mixing an animated-looking person with an impressively realistic piece of equipment in the character’s hands. That makes it very tough to recommend.

For other Star Trek ornaments of characters, please check out my reviews of:
2012 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
2003 Subcommander T’Pol
1997 Dr. McCoy
1996 Mr. Spock


For other Christmas 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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