The Good: Not overly expensive, General details of the sculpt
The Bad: Underdetailed on the coloring front, Poor balance, Lack of finer sculpted details
The Basics: The 2015 The Hulk Vs. Ultron Hallmark ornament from The Avengers: Age Of Ultron is overpriced, poorly balanced, and poorly colored for the subjects it represents.
When it comes to evaluating holiday ornaments, there are few I dread like ones based on a subject that is "live action" and it ends up looking horribly animated and phony. Unfortunately, the 2015 The Hulk Vs. Ultron ornament based upon The Avengers: Age Of Ultron falls into that category. The irony is that both The Hulk and Ultron in the film are virtual characters, but they were animated to fit seamlessly into the real world shots in the movie. Sadly, the ornament is nowhere near as detailed or colored as precisely as it ought to be in order to match the quality of the best Hallmark ornaments based upon subjects from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
For those unfamiliar with it, near the climax of The Avengers: Age Of Ultron (reviewed here!), the transformed version of Bruce Banner tries to duke it out with the robot Ultron only to discover that his strength is not enough to dent Ultron's vibranium limbs! It is the Hulk fist raised as he comes down to do a power punch as Ultron grabs the Avenger's shoulder that is the subject of the incredibly simple ornament.
The The Hulk Vs. Ultron ornament recreates the furious Avenger and the robot bent on world domination in solid plastic. The ornament, released in 2015, is a poor recreation of the heroic character and his adversary as they appeared in the blockbuster film The Avengers: Age Of Ultron. Unfortunately, the characters are not presented with nearly the same level of sculpted or coloring detail as the special effects team at Marvel put into their endeavor. The Hulk Vs. Ultron ornament features the two virtual characters grappling with one another. Hulk looks like he is descending into a punch, while Ultron looks like it is rising up to punch the Hulk back.
Alas, the detailing is not enough to make it worth the $19.95 original issue price, at least for fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Hallmark The Hulk Vs. Ultron ornament is made of a durable plastic and has both characters in an action pose. The Hulk Vs. Ultron ornament measures out at 3 3/4" wide, 3 1/2" tall and 2 1/4" deep. The ornament lacks finer sculpted details; The Hulk does not actually look like Mark Ruffalo version of The Hulk and Ultron is not sculpted with most of its finer details (though his head fins are present in a vague, underdeveloped, way). The Hulk has sculpted toenails, but not fingernails.
The coloring for the ornament is done in monotones. In other words, The Hulk’s skin is one color; unlike the promo materials, this ornament's skin is monotonal green. There is no subtlety or shading that makes this ornament distinct. Similarly, Ultron is cast in a gray paint with a vague metallic quality to it, instead of the bright, clean silver of Ultron from the film. Ultron is highlighted well-enough with red and black accents, but otherwise the coloring for ornament is a bland recreation of the character.
As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, The Hulk Vs. Ultron could have a function like a sound chip or light effect, but does not. This is just an ornament, a high-cost option, compared to the ornaments that have sound chips. This The Hulk Vs. Ultron simply hangs.
As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake The Hulk Vs. Ultron ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate Marvel Universe Christmas Tree, The Hulk Vs. Ultron is not at all essential, especially in this version. The ornament has a steel hook loop embedded in the Hulk's shoulder. From that hook, the The Hulk Vs. Ultron ornament hangs in such a way that he leans heavily toward the Ultron side. This makes it look like both characters are falling at inorganic angles. In other words, it looks lopsided, not dynamic.
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 The Hulk Vs. Ultron ornament was not at all limited. I would not bet, given how the other Marvel ornaments have met demand without leaving a lot of people wanting, and how little it looks like the cinematic version of The Hulk Vs. Ultron, that this will not be an incredible investment piece. Given how expensive the ornament is with its initial release price, it is unlikely that it would be of value to investors, especially as it would be a tough sell to expect anyone to pay more than that release price!
The Avengers: Age Of Ultron might thrill fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but Hallmark's rendition of the battle between The Hulk and Ultron is nowhere near as exciting.
For other Marvel Hallmark ornaments, please check out my reviews of:
2014 War Machine Iron Man 3 ornament
2014 Hulk Smash! ornament
2014 Captain America from Captain America: The Winter Soldier
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!
© 2015 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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