Sunday, July 26, 2015

Outside The Balance, Ariel's Thingamabobs Is A Perfect Ornament!

The Good: Decent sculpted details, Affordable, Neat coloring accents
The Bad: Back-heavy
The Basics: The 2015 "Ariel's Thingamabobs" ornament from The Little Mermaid is an understated great ornament from Hallmark and is easy to recommend to fans!

It is a rare thing when my wife and I disagree on a Disney Hallmark ornament and it actually affects whether or not we buy it. While I have a modest collection of Star Trek and science fiction Hallmark ornaments, my wife collects the cute holiday ornaments and the ornaments from her favorite Disney films. This year, she went through the wishbook and picked out the ones she wanted and when we have gone ornament shopping since, she has stuck to her original list.

She decided, based on the dreambook, that she did not want the Ariel's Thingamabobs ornament from The Little Mermaid. This surprised me because she is a huge fan of The Little Mermaid and she has several other ornaments from that film. But, even after we saw it in person, she was adamant that she did not want the ornament. As a fan and collector, I think she is making a terrible mistake; the Ariel's Thingamabobs ornament is one of the best Hallmark ornaments this year and a very cool Disney ornament!

For those unfamiliar with The Little Mermaid (reviewed here!), early in the film, the mermaid Ariel explores a shipwreck and she finds things like a fork and a shell with an oyster. She sings a song about the artifacts she has found and her cravings to be on land.

Katrina Bricker did an absolutely incredible sculpt for the ornament and it includes a glass shell backing that makes it feel like one of Ariel's ancient artifacts!


The "Ariel's Thingamabobs" ornament recreates Ariel and shell - with pearl - that she is holding inside a glass seashell with kelp accents on the side. The ornament, released in 2015, is an incredible sculpt of the mermaid Ariel, especially for the smaller scale, and is instantly recognizable to anyone who loves The Little Mermaid.

Measuring three inches tall and wide by one inch deep, the "Ariel's Thingamabobs" ornament is a slightly smaller than most of the Disney ornaments, but it packs a lot in. At only $14.95, it is one of the more affordable Disney ornaments this year and with the feel of glass to its backing shell, it gives the impression of being a real value!

The Hallmark The Little Mermaid "Ariel's Thingamabobs" ornament is made of glass and durable plastic and has Ariel, swimming up from the ocean's floor and essentially hovering inside the ornament holding the shell in her left hand. The sculpt is accurate enough to make the mermaid look perfectly recognizable. The paint accents on the "Ariel's Thingamabobs" are pretty incredible. Ariel has a blush to her cheeks and the kelp that frames the ornament is pearlescent. The tail even has some sparkle accents to it! Even the character's eyes are well-detailed and colored!


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, The Little Mermaid "Ariel's Thingamabobs" could have a sound or light function, but Hallmark opted to make a less-expensive ornament option for fans of The Little Mermaid instead of augmenting it with a feature.


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake The Little Mermaid "Ariel's Thingamabobs" ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate Disney movie Christmas Tree, the "Ariel's Thingamabobs" ornament is a great addition, despite having some balance issues. The ornament has the standard steel hook loop embedded into the top center of the back of the shell, right behind an ornamental starfish. The starfish hides the hook loop well. Unfortunately, from that vantage, the ornament is backheavy. That means that the level bottom of the ornament actually pitches upward, like the ornament is falling slightly back into the tree. The balance issue is enough to rob the ornament of perfection, though it is not a serious-enough defect to make it unworth buying!


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. "Ariel's Thingamabobs" is one of many The Little Mermaid ornaments the company has released and one of several Disney ornaments on the market for 2015. This ornament appears to be resonating with fans and has sold out at several of the Hallmark shops I have gone to! As a result, I was unsurprised to find it already increasing in value on the secondary market. That suggests that it will be a good investment piece, even at its full, original release price.


Fans of The Little Mermaid, Disney, Ariel, and Hallmark ornaments are likely to love the The Little Mermaid Ariel's Thingamabobs ornament, despite the minor balance issue. As a low-cost Disney ornament, it is a must-buy, even if my wife can't see that!

For other Disney's The Little Mermaid Hallmark ornaments, please check out my reviews of:
2014 The Little Mermaid 25th Anniversary ornament
2013 Under The Sea The Little Mermaid
2013 Ariel's Big Dream The Little Mermaid ornament


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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