The Good: Decent balance, Neat light effect, Good sculpt
The Bad: Creepy, Seems expensive for what it is, Simplistic coloring details
The Basics: “This Is Halloween” immortalizes a very quick moment in The Nightmare Before Christmas in a very average way.
Since Ornament Release Weekend began, I have been trying to review an ornament a day. Instead of just obsessing on the new, October, ornament releases, I decided to mix it up and review ornaments that have been on the shelves since July and the new releases. So, while there is a brand new, limited edition A Nightmare Before Christmas ornament, I’m looking back to the general-release ornament: “This Is Halloween.“
For those unfamiliar with A Nightmare Before Christmas (reviewed here!) Jack Skellington, a denizen of Halloweentown sings a whole song about the nature of Halloween and the horrors that occur in the town of Halloween. During the song and dance number, Jack Skellington finds himself in a fountain which pretty much vomits into the fountain to fill it with a green fluid. It is Skellington in the fountain, as it vomits its nuclear waste-like fluid into the fountain’s reservoir that is the subject of the “This Is Halloween” ornament.
The "This Is Halloween" ornament recreates Jack Skellington in his singing pose, standing in the fountain. The ornament includes the Jack, the dragon-like statue that makes up half the fountain and the fountain reservoir in which Jack is standing. The ornament, released in 2014, is as accurate as it can be considering it is based upon an animated work for the source material. Because everything in A Nightmare Before Christmas is colored in simple solid colors (without human shading or details), the ornament appropriately does not have complex shading to it.
Still, Hallmark clearly made an effort on the "This Is Halloween" ornament and almost everything about the ornament looks good and functions well. Jack Skellington has adequate detailing in his eyes and in his spindly legs and jacket. Measuring four and a quarter inches tall, two and three-quarter inches wide and two and five-eighths inches deep, the "This Is Halloween" ornament is a little smaller than many of the other The Nightmare Before Christmas Ornaments.
The Hallmark "This Is Halloween" ornament is made of a durable plastic, but because it has very thin pieces, like Skellington’s arms and tuxedo coattails, it seems a bit more brittle than other Hallmark ornaments. This ornament remains fairly easy to find at Hallmark stores, so there is no reason (yet) to look for it in the secondary market, despite the fact that A Nightmare Before Christmas is pretty popular. This ornament features a battery to power the light effect.
What drives down the “This Is Halloween” ornament is that the sculpt of the fountain is pretty incredible, but the coloring of it is simplistic. While the grays of the fountain are mottled, as if it is an actual rock-based dragon, there is very little coloring that accents the molded crevices on the fountain and the fountain dragon. As a result, the bricks and scales are molded into the ornament, but they do not pop. The result is that “This Is Halloween” is actually a somewhat boring ornament.
As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, "This Is Halloween" has both a light and sound effect. On the side of the fountain reservoir, there is a very well-concealed button. The button, when pressed, activates the light effect. The light effect is cool, but a bit simple. There column of green “vomit” lights up and the glow is awesome. Unfortunately, the rest of the pool of fluid is not lit up, so the light effect does not spread out over the whole rest of the ornament. The sound effect is a sound clip from the song “This Is Halloween.” It is a good sound clip, though it is not a very long or particularly distinctive clip of the song. The sound clip is loud enough, but not the whole song at all. As a result, it cuts off in a somewhat problematic way for truly immortalizing the moment.
As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake "This Is Halloween" ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate Christmas Tree for A Nightmare Before Christmas, the "This Is Halloween" ornament is a necessary addition. The ornament has the standard steel hook loop embedded into the top, back of the dragon’s back, between its wings. The wings actually hide the hook loop fairly well.
The placement of the loop makes this a perfectly balanced ornament, which is surprising given how much of the ornament is positioned in front of the dragon statue.
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!). Within a few years, virtually every major studio with a marketable property jumped on the bandwagon and began merchandising Christmas ornaments, including A Nightmare Before Christmas. "This Is Halloween" was one of two A Nightmare Before Christmas ornaments released in 2014 and fans seemed to like it, though it is quite common. Even so, this ornament appears to be more than adequately produced and is not likely to be a great investment piece. This is an ornament that might be better to wait until after the holiday is over and pick it up half-price!
This year’s A Nightmare Before Christmas wide-release ornament is kind of gross and not as rich on the details as one might hope, but “This Is Halloween” still has enough to loosely recommend it.
For other Disney-themed Hallmark ornaments, please check out my reviews of:
2014 All Eyes On Belle Beauty And The Beast ornament
2014 Olaf Frozen ornament
2013 Under The Sea The Little Mermaid
2013 The Nightmare Before Christmas Jack’s Sleigh O’Scares
2013 Tiana's Party Dress The Princess And The Frog ornament
2013 Beautiful Belle Beauty And The Beast
2013 Fierce With A Frying Pan Tangled ornament
2013 Ariel's Big Dream The Little Mermaid ornament
2013 Merida The Archer Brave ornament
2012 The Circle Of Life The Lion King ornament
2012 Jack Sneaks A Peek The Nightmare Before Christmas ornament
2012 Monsters, Inc. ornament
2012 Merida Brave ornament
2012 It's All About The Hair Tangled ornament
2011 Rapunzel Tangled ornament
2011 CLU’s Light Cycle from Tron: Legacy ornament
2011 Up ornament
2011 A Snowy Surprise The Nightmare Before Christmas ornament
2011 Captain Jack Sparrow Pirates Of The Caribbean ornament
2010 Tron: Legacy Light Cycle ornament
2009 Welcome To Christmastown The Nightmare Before Christmas ornament
For other ornament reviews, please check out my Ornament Review Index Page!
© 2014 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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