Thursday, November 13, 2014

Wonderful Christmas Ornament: The 2014 Snow Miser Ornament Delights!

The Good: Decent sculpted details, Glitter, Coloring details
The Bad: No sound chip/feature, Very slight balance issue, Assembled look.
The Basics: The 2014 "Snow Miser" ornament from The Year Without Santa Claus is a pretty cool ornament, despite some issues with balance and a seam at the nose!

When it comes to Hallmark ornaments, I usually find myself considering the genre ornaments as opposed to the ones that are actually intended for Christmas. As an atheist, I don’t celebrate Christmas and as a reviewer, I do not like to give in to pressure to lower my standards for products that readers might have a strong emotional component to. My wife is much more into the holidays and in fostering her collection of Christmas ornaments, I am branching out from my usual reviews of genre-themed Christmas ornaments. To that end, tonight I am considering the Snow Miser ornament from this year’s Hallmark ornament collection – the October releases. In past years, several October ornament releases have suffered from my pen for being a lower quality than they could be (especially considering that Hallmark had more time to get them right given the late release!). The Snow Miser may not be a flawless ornament, but it was definitely one worth waiting for!

For those unfamiliar with The Year Without Santa Claus, Snow Miser was one of two weather-controlling brothers who was part of manipulating Christmas. An impassioned plea from Mrs. Claus gets Snow Miser to reconsider the way he is affecting Christmas. It is Snow Miser, hat and icicle cane in his hands, mid-dance step that is the subject of this year’s The Year Without Santa Claus ornament!

Ken Crow did an impressive and accurate sculpt of the Snow Miser and the ornament was affordable and neat at the original issue price of $14.95, even without any sort of sound or light function!


The "Snow Miser" ornament recreates Snow Miser as he appeared in The Year Without Santa Claus, during one of his songs. The ornament, released in 2014, is an entirely accurate sculpt of Snow Miser with fine detailing on the hands, nose with icicles hanging from it and pointed chin. The subject of the ornament was an animated (or Claymation-style stop animation) one and Ken Crow captured the whimsy and originality of the character’s design. Measuring three and three-quarters inches tall by 2 1/8” wide by 1 1/2" deep, the "Snow Miser" 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 "Snow Miser" ornament is made of durable, mostly translucent, plastic and has the character Snow Miser, dancing with his hat raised over his head. The Snow Miser’s hair and jacket are translucent. The clear plastic for the icicles and cane make it look like they are made of ice! This ornament is augmented by glitter that some of the other ornaments of characters who appeared in snowy environments possessed! Apparently, Snow Miser was only snowy for his jacket. All other elements of the Snow Miser ornament are clean and clearly rendered in simple plastic. Unfortunately, Snow Miser’s nose has a strong seam at its base, making it clear that the nose was attached to the face as part of a post-sculpt process.

The Snow Miser is colored in simplistic, but solid colors, which is entirely accurate for the character.


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, "Snow Miser" could have a sound or light function, but it does not. The closest it actually possesses is the glitter. For those who are fans of The Year Without Santa Claus, it might be disappointing that Snow Miser does not feature an electronic function that would allow him to play a sound clip from one of his distinctive songs.


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake "Snow Miser" ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate Christmas Tree, the "Snow Miser" ornament is very much a worthwhile addition. The ornament has the standard steel hook loop embedded into the top front of Snow Miser’s raised hat. From that position, the Snow Miser ornament hangs with a slight right bias. The right side of the ornament seems a little heavier than the left and as a result, it is about ten degrees lower on the right. While the leaning is not excessive, it is noticeable.


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. "Snow Miser" is part of the The Year Without Santa Claus ornament line and the only one from that franchise in 2014. This ornament has sold out at about half of the Hallmark Keepsake stores I have been to since their release in October. As a result, I suspect that the Snow Miser ornament will at least retain its value for the foreseeable future!


Fans of The Year Without Santa Claus, Snow Miser, Hallmark ornaments and Christmas in general will discover a lot to like about the Hallmark Snow Miser ornament! The fun, imaginative ornament is an affordable treat and a must-buy for those who like ornaments based on Christmas specials!

For other October-release Hallmark ornaments, please check out my reviews of:
2014 Bane The Dark Night Rises ornament
2014 Beatris “Tris” Prior Divergent ornament
2014 Olaf Frozen 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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