Sunday, October 12, 2014

Just Under Animated: The 2014 Captain America Ornament Soars!

The Good: Not overly expensive, Good sculpt, Decent coloring, Good balance
The Bad: Lack of subtlety in coloring/skin tones
The Basics: The 2014 Captain America from Captain America: The Winter Soldier Hallmark ornament is actually one of the best super hero ornaments that Hallmark has produced in recent years!

Hallmark ornaments of real-life renditions of characters – like the ornaments of comic book characters as they appear in the cinematic rendition of the characters – often fall a little short because they lack realistic depth and shading for the skin tones. Unlike characters who are not bound by realistic skin tones, like Iron Man, characters of humans who are more mundane in their superhero form tend to be tough to capture for holiday ornaments. Until this year’s Captain America Hallmark ornament, Hallmark had not captured the cinematic rendition of Steve Rogers, Captain America in a must-buy form. Now, however, they have!

Captain America is a common-release, mass-produced Hallmark ornament from the new Captain America film. Reflecting the darker nature of the Marvel Cinematic Universe at this point, this Captain America is distinctly one from Captain America: The Winter Soldier. This is one of four Marvel comics ornaments produced by Hallmark this year (including the ComicCon exclusive).

For those unfamiliar with him, in Captain America: The Winter Soldier (reviewed here!), Steve Rogers is working for S.H.I.E.L.D. and is disillusioned with it. When the Winter Soldier turns up on a killing spree of major spies, Captain America works desperately to stop H.Y.D.R.A. from breaking down all that S.H.I.E.L.D. has built. To that end, he goes out with his shield and backpack to fight crime. It is Captain America, in his black outfit in mid leap that is the subject of the 2014 Captain America ornament and Hallmark gets so much of it right!


The Captain America ornament recreates the American super soldier in solid plastic. The ornament, released in 2014, is an incredibly good recreation of the heroic character as he appears in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Because there is almost none of the skin for the character showing, Hallmark was not pressured to make the ornament match the look of Chris Evans in his Captain America uniform.

Captain America is the hooded character in a leaping pose, with his iconic shield in his right hand. His left hand is molded in a fist, cocked back and ready to punch from the gut. The detailing on the ornament is incredible. From the six-pack to the armored legs and the very basic emblem on the character’s chest, the 2014 Captain America ornament is perfectly molded for the character. The character is augmented with belts and holsters, making him well-armed and ready for action.

The quality of the ornament is enough to make it worth the $14.95 original issue price, especially for fans of the cinematic version of Captain America. The Hallmark Captain America ornament is made of a durable plastic and has him in an action pose that looks very realistic. This Captain America ornament measures out at 4 1/4" tall, 1 1/2" wide and 2 1/2" deep.

The coloring for the ornament is done in monotones, though most of that works. Outside the skin tones, the monotones work. Captain America’s face and hands are not endowed with realistic depth and shading. However, the browns and black of the outfit look realistic. Moreover, the shield is painted with a very cool pearlescent color that is also realistic for a shield that is supposed to be metal!


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, Captain America 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 more expensive ornaments. This Captain America simply hangs.


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake Captain America ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate Marvel Universe Christmas Tree, Captain America is essential and this is the best version so far. The ornament has a steel hook loop embedded in the top center of the back of his head. From that hook, the Captain America ornament hangs perfectly level. This ornament is not hard to make look like it is well-balanced given the action pose for the character. I’ve not yet found a way it could be balanced from the hook loop that does not make it look well-posed.


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, Hallmark has gotten into every major franchise from Disney to Twilight to the Marvel Comics universe. This Captain America ornament was not at all limited. I have not yet found it sold-out anywhere, but given the quality of the ornament, this seems like THE Captain America ornament to buy at this point, suggesting that it would be a decent investment piece.


Regardless of how one regards Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the new Captain America ornament based on the new uniform from that film makes for a wonderful ornament!

For other Marvel Hallmark ornaments, please check out my reviews of:
2014 War Machine Iron Man 3 ornament
2014 Web-Slinging Wonder The Amazing Spider-Man 2
2013 Iron Patriot Iron Man 3 ornament
2012 Captain America The Avengers ornament
2012 Iron Man The Avengers ornament
2012 Thor The Avengers ornament
2012 The Amazing Spider-Man ornament
2011 Spider-Man ornament
2011 Thor ornament
2010 Defender Of Justice Iron Man 2 ornament


For other ornament reviews, please check out my Ornament Review Index Page!

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

No comments:

Post a Comment