Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Better Than The Blonde: The 2015 Black Celebration Barbie Ornament Succeeds!

The Good: Generally good sculpts, Good coloring/contrast, Good balance
The Bad: Very obvious seams at arms, Weird fabric accents.
The Basics: Potentially the best of the Barbie ornament line since Hallmark picked it back up this year, the 2015 Black Celebration Barbie Hallmark ornament is worth getting!

This year marks Barbie's return to Hallmark's ornament line after two years of Hasbro trying to license the line to less profitable ornament manufacturers. This year's ornament line reboots the Celebration Barbie line with the 2015 Celebration Barbie and the black Barbie version is arguably the best of the line, though Hallmark has two more slated for later in the season. While the "traditional" blonde Barbie may get more press, the ethnic variant of the 2015 Celebration Barbie ornament is superior, both in construction and coloring. The reds in the Celebration Barbie's dress contrast beautifully with Barbie's skin tones and her dark hair offsets the silver of her dress far better than the blonde version of the same ornament.

Despite that, even the black Celebration Barbie ornament is far from perfect; the cloth and plastic elements gel poorly and the ornament still looks assembled in the way the arms connect to the main body of the doll ornament. That said, the black 2015 Barbie Celebration ornament is worth picking up!


The 2015 Celebration Barbie ornament recreates this year's black Celebration Barbie doll in ornament form, which allows collectors to get a more affordable version of the popular doll in ornament form. The ornament was released with an original issue price of $17.95, which is on par with other ornaments in the Barbie line, at least from the past years that Hallmark had the license.

The 2015 Celebration Barbie ornament has a silver dress with a dark red bustier and the cloth element is a weird mesh that descends flatly from Barbie's waist. The mesh is very thin and much of the silver of the skirt is visible through the cloth element. Barbie's hair cascades over her shoulders and is swept back enough to reveal giant glittery earrings that look amazing contrasting off her chocolate colored skin. Barbie's red lips compliment her skin tones and one of the few surprises for the ornament is that Barbie's nails are not done - either molded on or colored appropriately. The glitter on the Celebration Barbie's bustier also contrasts her skin beautifully and adds an element of realism to the ornament's look. Were it not for the way the arms have deep seams on them, giving the ornament an assembled look to it, the sculpt and coloring would be quite incredible.


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, the Celebration Barbie ornament could have a function like a sound chip or light effect, but it does not. This is just the ornament, with its off fabric elements accenting it. I've long thought that it was disappointing that the Celebration Barbie ornaments do not have any articulation to her limbs. With rebooting the line, fans are given consistency and fidelity to the past Barbie ornaments, rather than improvements with the new additions.


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake 2015 Celebration Barbie ornament is that the ornaments will be hung on a Christmas Tree. For those creating the ultimate Barbie Christmas Tree, the Celebration Barbie ornaments become necessary for the die-hard collectors. Barbie has a steel hook loop at the top, back, of her head and from there she hangs perfectly level!


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 branched out into every major franchise from Barbie to Gone With The Wind to The Hunger Games. The Celebration Barbie ornament set was just released at Ornament Release Weekend and it has sold out at about half of the Hallmark stores I've been to. Hallmark seems to underproduce the black Barbie ornaments and this year seems to be no exception. As a result, despite the fabric element looking terrible, this looks like it might be a sell-out and a decent investment ornament!


The black 2015 Barbie Celebration ornament is a decent return to the collection, even if it is hardly flawless.

For other Barbie ornament reviews, please check out:
2015 Barbie Celebration Set (2013/2014 Celebration Barbie)
2012 Barbie Provencale
2012 Brava, Ballerina! Barbie
2012 Holiday Celebration Barbie (Black)
2012 Holiday Celebration Barbie (Caucasian)
2012 Matinee Fashion Barbie - Final In The Series!
2012 Tweed Indeed Barbie
2011 Celebration Barbie (Black)
2011 Campus Sweetheart Barbie
2011 Prima Ballerina Barbie ornament
1996 Enchanted Evening Barbie ornament
1995 Barbie Debut (Brunette) - Club Exclusive
1994 Barbie Debut 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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