Monday, October 28, 2013

Out Of Scale, But Essentially Correct, The 2013 Mockingjay The Hunger Games Hallmark Ornament Will Generally Please Fans.

The Good: Good detail, Perfect balance, Not terribly expensive
The Bad: Larger than realistic scale, Muted brass color (as opposed to metallic)
The Basics: The Hunger Games gets Hallmark’s ornament attention with the limited edition Keepsake Ornament of Mockingjay, which has not yet found its market.

With the conclusion of both the Harry Potter Saga (reviewed here!) and The Twilight Saga (reviewed here!), licensees are struggling to make their quotas on merchandise to an entire demographic that was opened up by those two film franchises based upon the book series’. Both Twilight and Harry Potter tapped into a neglected demographic: geek fan girls (also known as the “daddy buy me” crowd, at least when the first Twilight film was released). Trying to fill that niche in 2013 has been disastrous with underperforming young adult fantasy films at the box office and going into autumn, the last bet for the niche audience is The Hunger Games. As the cinematic release of Catching Fire nears, licensees like Hallmark are banking on The Hunger Games franchise with a new ornament. Hallmark, unlike the film studios, went very conservatively with its betting. Replacing two ornaments last year (one each from Twilight and Harry Potter) with one from The Hunger Games, Hallmark has largely sold-out of its limited edition Mockingjay ornament.

For those unfamiliar with the franchise, Mockingjay is the pin in The Hunger Games (reviewed here!) and Catching Fire (reviewed here!) that Katniss Everdeen is given to wear as a symbol of her District when going to the Hunger Games as a Tribute. The tiny pin is worn by Katniss while she is in the Games.

Now, fans can thrill to the limited edition ornament, at least those who are lucky enough to find them. Diehard fans will be a little less likely to be impressed by the Mockingjay than the casual fans as this ornament is grossly out of scale and is manufactured in bronze plastic, as opposed to metal (which Hallmark has been known to use for some of its ornaments).


The "Mockingjay" ornament is a very simple ornament of the recognizable artifact made of solid plastic. The ornament, released in 2013, is a generally accurate ornament which is impressive for its likeness to the prop, both in coloring and sculpt, if not its overlarge scale. The "Mockingjay" is a solid ornament that looks just like the actual prop from the movies, save that it is quite a bit bigger than the one in the film. Measuring 1" thick, 3 9/16" wide and 3 3/4" tall, "Mockingjay" has virtually sold out at the Hallmark stores during the October Release Weekend at the original issue price of $14.95.

The Hallmark "Mockingjay" ornament is made of a durable plastic and is the simple bird inside the ring. It has all of the appropriate lines of texture on the front, most notably the wings and a thin line for the beak.

The Hallmark sculptors capture the Mockingjay pin symbol perfectly, though it is large. While the Mockingjay ornament is not shiny for a true metal look, the bronze color does not look horrible. Appropriately, this ornament is cast in monotonal bronze plastic, which might look unremarkable, but it is accurate for the item upon which this ornament is based.


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, "Mockingjay" could have a function like a sound chip or light effect, but does not. This is just an ornament, so it has both simplicity and durability going for its long term prospects. For its size, the ornament is not really overpriced, especially with the virtual guarantee that it will appreciate in value if Catching Fire does well at the box office.


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake "Mockingjay" ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate fantasy Christmas Tree, the "Mockingjay" ornament is a great addition, but hardly an essential one. The ornament has a brass hook loop that comes out of the top of the ring. Hung from there with a standard Christmas tree hook, this is a remarkably stable ornament that only sways when it (or the tree) is bumped. The "Mockingjay" ornament is exceptionally well-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!). Since then, they have delved into virtually every other collectible franchise in an attempt to cash in on every major license. The The Hunger Games series started with this limited edition ornament and there is no bead yet on whether or not it will match the collectible value of prior limited edition ornaments. But, given how the "Mockingjay" ornament was produced in limited quantities and almost all outlets sold out of it at their Ornament Release weekend already, this should appreciate on the secondary market in the long term!

In other words, this might be one of the better investment pieces of 2013.


Less incredible than fans might hope, who would have wanted a metal Mockingjay much like NECA’s pin line, the 2013 Limited Edition Mockingjay ornament at least gives Hallmark’s The Hunger Games fans something to put on the Christmas tree.

For other fantasy ornaments, please check out my reviews of:
2013 Merida The Archer Brave ornament
2013 Bilbo Baggins The Hobbit ornament
2012 Edward And Bella’s Wedding Twilight ornament


For other ornament reviews, please visit my Ornament Review Index Page for an organized listing of all the ornaments I have reviewed!

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