Thursday, October 30, 2014

If You Think They’ve Done It Before . . . The 2014 Star Wars Scout Trooper Ornament!

The Good: Decent coloring, Generally good sculpt, Good balance, Inexpensive enough
The Bad: Low collectible value, Weird stance choice, Base issue
The Basics: The 2014 Star Wars Scout Trooper ornament is one of the less inspired character ornaments Hallmark has produced.

For the last eighteen years, Star Wars fans have been treated to character ornaments of the beloved characters from the Star Wars franchise. Between the standard ornaments in the series and the limited edition ones that have alternately pleased and driven the fans crazy, the territory has pretty well been mined. Until the new movies come out, there is a pretty good argument to be made that Hallmark has hit all of the essential characters. The argument is perhaps made best by this year’s ornament: the subject of this year’s Star Wars character ornament is the Scout Trooper. When you start getting into faceless Imperial troopers whose costumes were only featured in one of the six movies and billing it as the character ornament of the year, it is a tougher sell than any of the characters that have recognizable actors associated with them. Ironically, 2013 was the anniversary of Return Of The Jedi and the Scout Trooper was not produced for that event, instead it was held over until this year as the main Star Wars character ornament.

Fans of the Star Wars Saga will recall the Scout Trooper as the specialized stormtroopers seen on Endor in Return Of The Jedi (reviewed here!). The armored Stormtrooper has the special helmet, leggings and arm protection that is less armored to help the Scout Trooper get around on its speeder bike. The Scout Troopers were essential to the film’s speeder bike chase, but were otherwise filling the same niche as the Stormtroopers on Endor.

It is Scout Trooper, his specialized Scout Trooper blaster pistol in his hand, that is the subject of the 2014 Scout Trooper ornament!


The Scout Trooper ornament recreates the lightly armored specialized Endor Stormtrooper in solid plastic. The ornament, released in 2014, features just the character with his distinctive pistol raised, walking on the forest floor of Endor. The Scout Trooper is cast in an action pose, his weapon at the ready and his knees slightly bent, as If he were in mid-turn when the sculptor caught him and said “freeze!” The Scout Trooper ornament is 4 1/2" tall, 2 3/8" wide and 1 1/2" deep. Hallmark charged $17.95 for the ornament originally and that makes it one of the most affordable Star Wars ornaments in recent years, though it does represent a price hike over prior character ornaments. This is the eighteenth common-release character ornament from the Star Wars ornament line!

The Hallmark Scout Trooper ornament is made of a durable plastic and has him holding his pistol, in his right hand, half-raised. The ornament is molded with a decent amount of detailing. In addition to the usual cool molded details like the ribbing on the armor’s midsection and the flaps on the pouches on his outfit, the ornament features realistic wrinkling on the boots, which indicate the lines of force for the twisting character inside the costume! The ornament has the character’s distinct helmet molded perfectly, so the character – despite being somewhat obscure – is entirely recognizable. Unfortunately, the attention to detail (or the ability to render it well) did not translate to the ground upon which the Scout Trooper is walking. The ground is realistically dimpled to look dirty and rocky, but the rocks on the ground look added, with noticeable seams where the rocks come out of the base.

The coloring on the Scout Trooper is exceptional, though the Scout Trooper is a fairly easy character to get right in that regard. The character’s costume is simply black and white, so it is pretty hard to get the ornament wrong. That said, Hallmark deserves a lot of credit for bothering to get the detailing right; the Scout Trooper features dirt and wear on the boots, which make the character look like he was part of a real environment and saw action. Instead of being a ridiculous “clean” version of the character, Hallmark made the Scout Trooper look realistic and good with the weathering aspect!


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, Scout Trooper could have a sound chip or light effect, but he has neither. This is one of the basic ornament releases from Hallmark, without any frills.


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake Scout Trooper ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. For those creating the ultimate Star Wars Christmas Tree, the Scout Trooper is very much an extravagance, as opposed to a must-have character. This ornament has a brass hook loop embedded on the back, center, of the character’s helmet. From there, this action-posed ornament hangs with good balance, keeping the ground level, though the ornament rocks very easily.


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!). Since then, they have branched out into other popular franchises like Star Wars and The Wizard Of Oz. The Scout Trooper ornament is not at all limited and has not appreciated in the secondary market yet, nor is there any good reason why it would, given how obscure the subject of the ornament is. There should be plenty of this ornament available at clearance prices after the holiday!


Like most Star Wars ornaments, the Scout Trooper has nothing to do with the Christmas holiday, but even die-hard Star Wars fans are not clamoring for this ornament. It is adequate, but Hallmark might have done better to either tease a character from the new films or gone with one of the lingering important characters from the Saga that they had not yet done as the subject of the ornament. For what it is, though, the Scout Trooper is fine.

For other Hallmark ornaments of Star Wars characters, please check out my reviews of:
2013 Jango Fett
2013 Wicket And Teebo
2013 Lego Yoda
2013 Boushh Limited Edition
2012 Lego Imperial Stormtrooper
2012 Sith Apprentice Darth Maul
2012 General Grievous
2012 Momaw Nadon Limited Edition
2011/2012 Lego Darth Vader
2011 Jedi Master Yoda
2011 Bossk Limited Edition ornament
2010 Lando Calrissian Limited Edition ornament
2010 Luke Skywalker X-Wing Pilot
2010 Boba Fett and Han Solo in Carbonite mini-ornament set
2009 Greedo Limited Edition ornament
2009 Han Solo As Stormtrooper
2008 Emperor Palpatine ornament
2005 Slave Leia ornament
2000 Darth Maul
1999 Max Rebo Band mini-ornament set
1998 Princess Leia


For other holiday ornaments, please check out my Ornament Review Index Page for an organized listing!

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