The Good: Generally good sculpt, Inexpensive
The Bad: Fairly severe balance issue, Seems small for the price, Sloppy paint job/lighter on painted details
The Basics: The latest Spotlight On Snoopy ornament is more of a mess than a thrill for Peanuts fans with the 2015 Building Buddies Snoopy ornament.
As we move ever closer to Hallmark Gold Crown stores opening for preview events tonight and for the inevitable rush of Ornament Preview Weekend everywhere tomorrow morning, fans are figuring out which ornaments they are going to shell out their hard-earned money on. While there are a number of collectors who will buy whatever is put before them in the field in which they are interested (genre ornament collectors are surprisingly indiscriminate in the quest to complete their collection!), others who are trying to find considerate gifts or are working on a budget might actually find reviews of these ornaments to be invaluable. So, for this year's thrifty shoppers, one of the few Hallmark ornaments I've had a chance to check out so far that should be crossed off your list is the Building Buddies Snoopy ornament.
The 2015 Building Buddies Snoopy ornament is plagued by balance issues and lacked the painted detailing on the actual ornaments (at least all of the ones I have found) that the promotional materials showed. As a result, it seems like - if one absolutely must have every Peanuts or Snoopy ornament - this is a good one to wait to get on clearance at the end of the season!
The Building Buddies Snoopy ornament is the eighteenth ornament in the Spotlight On Snoopy Series. It features Snoopy from Peanuts wearing a hardhat and an apron, holding a hammer in his right hand, with a toolbox by his left foot which holds Woodstock. Woodstock is popping out of the toolbox, as if he is ready and eager to help this carpenter version of Snoopy. The sculpt is generally and the concept is decent-enough, but it is very off-balance and the painted detailing does not mirror the quality of the sculpt.
The Hallmark Building Buddies Snoopy ornament is made of a durable plastic and has the characters cast in very bright plastic. The Building Buddies Snoopy ornament is 2 1/4" tall by 1 3/4" deep by 1 1/4" wide. The sculpting is very simple; hammer, Woodstock, and hat are simple and stylized as opposed to being detail rich, which is not that much of a problem considering the source material. What surprised me was that the toolbox actually had a fine grain sculpted into the side of it to make it look like wood.
Unfortunately, the sculpted detail for the Building Buddies Snoopy ornament was not mirrored in the paint job. For sure, Peanuts fans have to expect monotones – no real depth or shading or attempt at realism to the coloring. But the Building Buddies Snoopy ornament looks ridiculously simple and the wood grain was not painted on the ornaments I looked at (I checked out three!) the way it was on the box and promotional materials. The simplistic toolbox made it look more like a toddler toy than animated.
As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, Building Buddies Snoopy could have a sound or light function, but it does not. This is a very basic ornament intended to be one of the more affordable options without flair. In that regard, it is fine; it does not need a light or sound function. That also helps Hallmark keep the price on it lower than most of the other Peanuts ornaments this year.
As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake Building Buddies Snoopy ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate Peanuts Christmas Tree, the Building Buddies Snoopy ornament is mediocre at best on its own and poor when balance is added as a factor. Hallmark has the standard steel hook at the logical point, the top of Snoopy's helmeted head. However, from there, the toolbox upon which Woostock is perched, Snoopy's nose, and the hammer all weigh the ornament down, causing the ornament to pitch awkwardly. In fact, the 30-45 degree forward pitch makes this a sloppy and poorly-constructed Peanuts ornament, like Snoopy's toolbox is falling and he is lurching to hammer it!
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 made ornament replicas of virtually everything that has ever had collectibles associated with it (and some that Hallmark has pioneered). The Building Buddies Snoopy ornament seems like it would appeal well to Peanuts fans, but it's hard to imagine they are not feeling tapped out by the sheer number of Peanuts ornaments Hallmark has produced. Given that it is the 18th in the Spotlight On Snoopy series, fans might feel compelled to collect it, but those with discriminating tastes will be happy to pass it by. Those who look at it for quality will undoubtedly be comfortable to wait and risk on it at half price. Given how few of the recent Spotlight On Snoopy ornaments have appreciated in value, waiting for them to get clearanced is not much of a risk at all.
The Building Buddies Snoopy ornament is a rare disappointment from Hallmark and one that makes the argument well that the Spotlight On Snoopy series should be retired sooner, as opposed to later!
For other Peanuts holiday ornaments, please check out my reviews of:
2013 Bird-Watcher Snoopy
2012 In The Spirit
2012 Onstage Antics
2012 Fisherman Snoopy
2011 Snoopy Claus
2011 Ho! Ho! Ho! Tasty Snow!
2010 "Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!"
2009 Just The Right Tree
For other ornament reviews, please visit my index page!
© 2015 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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