Friday, November 7, 2014

Finale Of The Season: The 2014 Queen Elsa Frozen Hallmark Ornament Succeeds!

The Good: Great sculpted details, Collectible value, Glitter, Base, Broadstrokes on the coloring
The Bad: Slightly back-heavy, No sound chip/feature, Very basic coloring/paint job
The Basics: The 2014 "Queen Elsa" ornament from Frozen caps off the current holiday season’s ornaments well, but far from perfectly!

Today marked the de facto finale of Hallmark’s annual ornament release season! All over the United States beginning today, Hallmark Keepsake stores are having open houses to sell ornaments and the jewel of the weekend is certainly the 2014 Queen Elsa Frozen ornament! I had the pleasure of going to several Hallmark stores on my way to and from seeing Interstellar (reviewed here!) and I was thrilled when some of them actually had my order of Queen Elsa ornaments in!

For those unfamiliar with Frozen (reviewed here!), Queen Elsa was the magically-endowed sister of Anna, the princess who is lonely and searching for Elsa much of the film. Queen Elsa ascended to the throne of Arendelle after her parents were killed sailing to a nearby country and she had the misfortune of causing all manner of things to freeze whenever she became overly emotional. After she freaks out and freezes over all of Arendelle, Queen Elsa runs off. It is the regal queen looking in control of her freezing powers that is the subject of her limited-release Frozen ornament.

The ornament was one of the very few ornaments produced for the November release and had an original release price of $14.95, which it sold out the first run at every Hallmark store I know of at!


The "Queen Elsa" ornament recreates Queen Elsa as she appeared in Frozen, though not from a specific scene or iconic moment. The ornament, released in 2014, is a pretty wonderful sculpt of Queen Elsa, attached to a snowflake base. Queen Elsa is almost instantly recognizable as a blonde Disney princess with a long, flowing blue dress.

Measuring three and one-half inches tall from the bottom of the base to the top of her hair, the "Queen Elsa" ornament is on-scale with most of the other Disney Princess character ornaments. She is 2 1/2” wide by 3” deep and, when she can be found in stores, she is only $14.95.

The Hallmark "Queen Elsa" ornament is made of a durable plastic – so durable the base is made of a heavy plastic that feels almost like glass! - and has Queen Elsa, arms by her side on her thighs, looking very regal with a full smile on her face. The ornament is sculpted accurately and gets the look of Queen Elsa perfectly right! She has her lock of blonde hair draped over her right shoulder and her head is turned so she is looking over that shoulder. The Queen Elsa ornament is augmented by a little bit of glitter on the bottom of her braid and the top of her dress, similar to other ornaments of Disney characters who appeared in snowy environments. The sculpt is further accented by detailing on the dress bottom in the form of etched in ice patterns and painted on snowflakes.

The paint job on Queen Elsa is generally good. Elsa’s skin tones are rendered in monotones and her hair is similarly solid-colored. That said, Hallmark included painted detailing on her eyebrows and they look good. Unfortunately, the paint job on the Queen Elsa ornaments I found was a little sloppier than some of the other ornaments this year. Elsa’s hands are ungloved and the flesh-colored paint barely covers the tops of her hands, so the sides of her hands are the blue translucent plastic that is, apparently, the color under the dress! I also noticed several paint issues with paint on the hair, neck and other areas where it looks like paint was just slapped on. Queen Elsa’s eyes, however, are perfectly rendered with bright blue irises and black pupils on the white eyeballs, so clearly Hallmark had the ability to do this ornament’s coloring right!


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, "Queen Elsa" could have a sound or light function, but it does not. The closest it actually possesses is the glitter. Given Queen Elsa sings in Frozen and the ornament comes with a significant base portion, it is disappointing that one of her big songs is not included as a sound clip the ornament can play!


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake "Queen Elsa" ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate Disney movie Christmas Tree, the "Queen Elsa" ornament is essential! The ornament has the standard steel hook loop embedded into the top center of the back of Queen Elsa’s head. From that position, the Queen Elsa ornament hangs with the back pulling it down. This ornament is back-heavy and that it tips is problematic because the base accents its off-balanced nature!


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, every major franchise from Star Wars to A Nightmare Before Christmas to Indiana Jones started making Hallmark ornaments. "Queen Elsa" is the second Frozen ornament the company has released and one of several Disney ornaments on the market for 2014. This ornament sold out via pre-order/want lists and is not likely to be found on the shelves at any Hallmark stores, even this weekend for its release date! Despite the fact that Hallmark will be releasing more Queen Elsa ornaments over the next month, there is no reasonable expectation that it will not continue to sell out and be virtually impossible to find except on the secondary market.


Fans of Frozen, Disney, Queen Elsa, and Hallmark ornaments are likely to overlook the defects in the execution of the Queen Elsa ornament because it is so rare and valuable, though discriminating collectors will be more likely to judge it a bit more harshly than the year’s other Frozen ornament!

For other Disney-themed Hallmark ornaments, please check out my reviews of:
2014 Jack's Peculiar Pet The Nightmare Before Christmas ornament
2014 Rapunzel's Long Locks Tangled ornament
2014 The Little Mermaid 25th Anniversary ornament
2014 "Welcome To Halloween" The Nightmare Before Christmas ornament
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 visit my Ornament Review Index Page for an organized listing!

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