Sunday, July 12, 2015

Of All The Years Not To Have A Variant . . . The 2015 U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-C Ornament Won't Wow The Fans!

The Good: Good sculpt, Decent light effect
The Bad: Back-heavy, Expensive, No sound effect, Lack of authentic coloring details
The Basics: For 2015, Star Trek fans are treated to the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-C in ornament form from Hallmark, but those for whom the ornament would be of interest will be disappointed by the lack of detailing on the ship.

As Ornament Preview Weekend comes to a close, I find myself evaluating what is usually one of the most reliable franchises in the Hallmark ornament line: Star Trek. I also find myself recalling the longest ornament-related discussion of the weekend. I watched as the eyes on the clerk at one Hallmark Gold Crown store glazed over as I discussed the problems with the new Star Trek starship ornament. Hallmark has released the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-C as this year's Star Trek starship ornament. The subject of this ornament is incredibly obscure; the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-C was only in a single episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. The fans who love that episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation will see the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-C ornament and be instantly caught at how it does not look like the ship from the episode.

For those unfamiliar with the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-C, this was the starship that appeared from the past and drastically altered the future in the Star Trek The Next Generation episode "Yesterday's Enterprise" (reviewed here!). Captained by Rachel Garrett, the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-C was attacked by Romulans while defending a Klingon outpost and was thrown forward in time by an anomaly. That anomaly led to a war between the Klingons and the Federation that saw the Federation brought to the edge of defeat before the Enterprise-C was returned to its native time.

The U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-C only ever appeared in the Star Trek franchise as a battle damaged ship, scorched from Klingon weapon's fire. The thing is, Hallmark has produced battle damaged starship ornaments as variants, so they have the ability to do justice to the subject; that they chose not to is disappointing to the fans who would appreciate an Enterprise-C ornament in the first place!


The "U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-C" ornament generally recreates the obscure Federation starship in solid gray plastic. The ornament, released in 2015, perfectly captured the sculpted details of the Enterprise-C. This was easy enough to do as the Enterprise-C was very close to the Enterprise-D, which has been rendered for three prior Hallmark ornaments. Hallmark created the starship with its distinctive bridge dome, engineering hull with the deflector area distinctively angled for the Ambassador-class U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-C and warp nacelles. Measuring four and three-quarters inches long, three inches wide and one and one-quarter inches tall, the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-C ornament is one of the more obscure Star Trek ships. It is shocking that the NCC-1701-C is being given ornament treatment before the NX-01, the starship from Star Trek: Enterprise!

The Hallmark "U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-C" ornament is made of a durable gray plastic with red and blue plastic accents on the nacelles and deflector dish. This ornament is the starship on its own, as is typical for Hallmark's starship line of Star Trek ornaments.

The U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-C is molded adequately. The Enterprise-C has details molded into the starship, like nacelle ridges, plating on the saucer section and the deflector dish on the front of the engineering hull. Unfortunately, the Enterprise-C lacks a faithful paint job. So, while the ornament features highlights on the saucer section's ridge and the call numbers for the starship, it lacks any of the battle scarring and painted on details that would make it appear like the Enterprise-C as seen in "Yesterday's Enterprise."


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, the "U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-C" has a light function. Fans of the ornaments might be a little disappointed that this ornament has a light function, but no audio one, especially considering that "Yesterday's Enterprise" is very popular and had a number of great quotes that would be well-played from a Hallmark sound chip. Many of the Star Trek ornaments both light up and play a sound clip. The "U.S.S. Enterprise-C" does not. The Enterprise-C ornament includes the three batteries needed to get it to light up.

The bridge dome of the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-C is actually the button that activates the ornament's light effect. By pressing the bridge dome, the ornament's nacelles and deflector dish light up. The lights stay lit for approximately thirty seconds and to Hallmark's credit, this is one of the Star Trek ornaments with the brightest light effects.


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake "U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-C" ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate Star Trek Christmas Tree, the "U.S.S. Enterprise-C" ornament is not exactly an essential piece. The ornament has the standard steel hook loop embedded into the top, aft portion of the saucer section.

The location of the loop is the best that Hallmark could reasonably do. However, the Enterprise-C is very backheavy as a result of the hook loop placement. The location of the hook loop forces the front of the saucer up about thirty degrees as the nacelles weigh the back down a fair bit. As a result, this ship does not cruise straight through space, but rather is always ascending.


Hallmark Keepsake began delving into the collectibles market in 1991 with Star Trek when it introduced the exceptionally limited edition U.S.S. Enterprise ornament (reviewed here!). This Enterprise-C recreation is vastly more mass produced. Given that the original release price is very high ($32.95) for an ornament with only a light function, it is unlikely to appreciate in value for quite some time, if ever. Most of the obscure Star Trek ship ornaments have depressed in value over the years as demand by fans was met exceptionally easily. As a result, I recommend fans wait until the end of the season when they can find this ornament on clearance to purchase it.


Fans of Star Trek The Next Generation, science fiction and the U.S.S. Enterprise specifically are likely to wait for Hallmark to make an exclusive battle damaged Enterprise-C ornament before they feel it is essential to add the ship to their collection. Until then, they will do better to find this one on the cheap than pay full price for this unbalanced ornament.

For other Star Trek ship ornaments from Hallmark, please check out my reviews of:
2014 U.S.S. Vengeance Star Trek Into Darkness
2013 Battle Damaged U.S.S. Kelvin (Comic Con Exclusive)
2013 U.S.S. Kelvin
2012 U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D 25th Anniversary Edition
2011 U.S.S. Defiant (New York Comic Con Exclusive)
2011 Romulan Bird Of Prey
2010 U.S.S. Enterprise (Star Trek refit)
2009 Klingon Battlecruiser
2008 U.S.S. Reliant
2006 U.S.S. Enterprise (reissue)
2005 U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-A
2004 Vulcan Command Ship
2003 Scorpion Attack Craft
2002 Delta Flyer
2001 Deep Space Nine
2000 Borg Cube
1999 Runabout Rio Grande
1998 U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-E
1997 U.S.S. Defiant
1996 U.S.S. Voyager
1995 Romulan Warbird
1994 Klingon Bird Of Prey
1993 U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D
1992 Shuttlecraft Galileo


For other ornament reviews, please visit my Ornament Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2015 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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