Wednesday, November 19, 2014

For The 50th Anniversary Of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer Hallmark Makes An Irresistibly Cute Ornament!

The Good: Decent sculpted details, Accurate coloring, Cool light function, Good balance
The Bad: Low collectible value, Paint job.
The Basics: The 2014 "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" ornament from Hallmark is well worth picking up for fans of generic Christmas ornaments!

This year, apparently, marks the fiftieth anniversary of the animated Christmas special of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer. To commemorate the event, Hallmark has produced a Hallmark Keepsake ornament of the climactic event of the tale of Rudolph. Given my wife’s desire for some more generic Christmas ornaments for her tree this year, I was somewhat unsurprised when she requested the Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer ornament, which I was lucky enough to find on sale at Hallmark’s Open House Event earlier this month!

For those unfamiliar with The Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer was the savior of Christmas when his glowing nose allowed him to guide Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Night. In the special The Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, the elf Hermey and Rudolf have to journey together to save Christmas. It is Hermey the elf riding Rudolph that is the subject of the 2014 The Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer 50th Anniversary ornament.

Nello Williams made an immaculate and completely accurate sculpt of the Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer and the ornament was affordable at the original issue price of $14.95 and it was an even better value at $5.00 off!


The "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" ornament recreates Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer as he appeared in the stop-motion animation special The Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer. The ornament, released in 2014, is an entirely accurate sculpt of both Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer and Hermey the Elf. The subjects of the ornament were animated and Nello Williams captured the playful sense of adventure inherent in the characters’ design. Measuring three and one-quarter inches long by 2 7/8” tall by 1 7/16" wide, the "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" ornament is on-scale with most of the other character ornaments Hallmark offers. As well, it is one of the more affordable Hallmark Keepsake ornaments at only $14.95.

The Hallmark "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" ornament is made of durable plastic and has the character Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, with Hermey on his back, presumably rising into the sky. Hermey is waving and his hair, hat and belt are all accurately sculpted. The ornament gets Rudolf perfectly right from his spiked little horns to his hooves. He has a 50th Anniversary medal molded to his collar and it fits the look of the ornament well.

The Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer is colored in simplistic, but solid colors, which are entirely accurate for the character. Rudolph’s eyes are painted with glossy paint, which make them look wet and realistic. Hermey’s eyes are also glossy; the rest of the ornament is cast and painted in matte paint. On mine, Hermey’s collar was very sloppily painted, bleeding into the top of his coat. The coloring, though, is otherwise good and accurate.


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" has a light function, but no sound chip. On Rudolph’s collar is a button. When depressed, Rudolph’s nose lights up, thanks to a trio of 1.5 Volt watch batteries.


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate Christmas Tree, the "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" ornament is a perfect addition. The ornament has the standard brass hook loop embedded into the side of Hermey’s hat. From that position, the Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer ornament hangs nicely level. Unfortunately, the hook loop is in a pretty obvious and obtrusive position, but the result is a perfectly-balanced ornament, so it is hard to complain!


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. "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" is part of the The Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer ornament line and the only one from that franchise in 2014. This ornament seemed to benefit from being discounted at the Hallmark Open House. As a result, I suspect that the Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer ornament will have a tough time doing more than retaining value, but it seems feasible that it will not be available on post-Christmas clearance.


Fans of the stop-motion animation special Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, Hallmark ornaments and Christmas in general are likely to be thrilled by the Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer 50th Anniversary ornament. Despite slightly sloppy paintwork and a likely lack of collectible value, this remains an easy-to-recommend ornament!

For other Christmas ornaments, please check out my reviews of:
2014 Snow Miser The Year Without Santa Claus ornament
2012 Michael Oher ornament
2009 Mr. Plow The Simpsons 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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