Monday, August 4, 2014

Cuteness Robbed Of Perfection By Bad Placement: The Mice Cream Sundae Ornament Is Awesome!

The Good: Cute, Generally decent sculpt, Well-painted, Good balance, Collectible value
The Bad: Terrible placement of hook.
The Basics: The 2014 "Mice Cream Sundae" limited edition ornament is robbed of perfection only by the placement of the steel hook at the top!

For the Hallmark Ornament Preview Weekend last month, I actually found myself in a quandary. I’ve never before considered shelling out the $25 for the yearlong membership into Hallmark’s ornament club because they do not create genre-exclusive ornaments that would make it worth it for me. But, when I was out getting some of the exclusive ornaments that are found at Hallmark Keepsake stores, I saw on display the 2014 Mice Cream Sundae ornament! The Mice Cream Sundae ornament was absolutely adorable and I knew the moment I saw it that I wanted it. Unfortunately for me, it was an exclusive to club members and was not available to purchase in any of the stores. So, I set out to finding the ornament I had seen on display in the secondary market. Now that I have managed to acquire the club exclusive ornament for myself, I am thrilled to say the cute ornament truly is amazing and worth picking up!

Unfortunately, the Mice Cream Sundae ornament is not quite perfect. While it has almost everything to make for a perfect ornament, it falls short in a surprisingly obvious way. Sculptors Kristina Gaughran and Robert Hulbert placed one of the two mice on this ornament behind the necessary steel loop that holds an ornament hook (probably for making the balance perfect). Unfortunately, this makes it exceptionally difficult to actually put an ornament hook into the loop and puts the loop in front of part of the cute ornament, which is somewhat ridiculous. If only the loop was behind the cherry, this would be a truly perfect ornament.


The Mice Cream Sundae ornament is a clear plastic ice cream sundae glass that is filled with “ice cream” and has two tiny mice climbing on it. The ornament, released in 2014, is a limited edition ornament that was exclusive to members of the Hallmark Ornament Club.

Hallmark made a decent effort to make a good ornament with the Mice Cream Sundae ornament and they nailed the ornament for absolute cuteness. One of the tiny mice is perched atop the ice cream sundae where it is placing the cherry atop the sundae’s chocolate sauce. There is another mouse looking up at the other mouse, holding a little spoon. Both mice are wearing tiny scarves and they look adorable. Measuring four inches tall, three and one-half inches wide (to the end of the tiny wire tail on the upper mouse) and one and seven-eighths inches deep, the "Mice Cream Sundae" ornament is a larger-sized Hallmark ornament. This is a somewhat pricey ornament as it bears an original retail price of $20.00, plus the price of joining the club which allows consumers access to the ornament. While it is bigger than some of the ornaments, the fact that it does not have any special function for that price makes it seem expensive. That said, it is so cute that I willingly shelled out for it after seeing it in the store only once!

The Hallmark "Mice Cream Sundae" ornament is made of a durable plastic, but the coloring is done entirely in monotones, which is fine. The sundae glass is made of transparent plastic, which allows the consumer to see the ice cream inside it. The ornament is accented with molded-on sprinkles and the ornament has such impressive details as molded-in texture for the mice’s hair and ears. This is a very cute ornament and it is well-colored for the subjects.


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, "Mice Cream Sundae" could have a sound effect, but it does not. Instead, this is an ornament option that is just comprised of the cute animated characters.


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake "Mice Cream Sundae" ornament is to be hung on a Christmas tree. And the "Mice Cream Sundae" ornament is a great option for anyone who wants a family tree or who loves animals. The ornament has the steel hook loop embedded into the top center of the ornament. Unfortunately, because the cherry on top of the ornament is only millimeters behind the steel loop, it is virtually impossible to thread an ornament hook through the hanging loop. While the ornament has perfect balance when hung, getting the hook into the ornament is problematic and it blocks both the cherry and the top mouse! This is a somewhat ridiculous placement for the hook loop, even if it allows the ornament to hang with incredible balance when a hook is attached (after much finessing).


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. "Mice Cream Sundae" is a non-genre ornament that is limited edition, which leads buyers to hope it has an inherent collectible value. Honestly, finding club exclusive ornaments online led me to conclude that none of the non-genre ornaments are great investment ornaments. Almost all of the club exclusive ornaments I could find have lost value over the years and despite its cuteness, there is no reason to suspect the Mice Cream Sundae would beat that trend.


Fans of cute food, mice, Hallmark ornaments, and generic Christmas ornaments are likely to find the Mice Cream Sundae ornament worth picking up, even if it is not enough to justify joining the Hallmark Ornament Club to buy it. Getting it on the secondary market now gives collectors access to this awesome, adorable, ornament, even if it might be available in the future at clearance prices.

For other 2014 Hallmark ornaments, please check out my reviews of:
2014 Kisses For Kacey Limited Edition ornament
2014 Vina Star Trek ornament
2014 All Eyes On Belle Beauty And The Beast ornament
2014 Lego Boba Fett Star Wars ornament


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

© 2014 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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