Friday, October 9, 2015

Costly Quality: The 2015 Happiness Makes Magic Hallmark Ornament!

The Good: Well-constructed, Neat sound and light feature, Good balance
The Bad: Oppressively expensive
The Basics: The 2015 "Happiness Makes Magic" ornament is very cool, but very pricey!

Every now and then, I encounter something where the rigid system I have for rating things essentially gets thrown out. This usually comes when one element of the item is disproportionate to the rest of the item. For example, Requiem For A Dream (reviewed here!) is, objectively, a great movie, but the tone is so overwhelmingly oppressive that it becomes impossible to recommend. In the realm of holiday ornaments, I've just encountered an ornament that seems so wonderful objectively, but its price is so high in proportion to its quality, size, and lack of rarity, that it overwhelms the "by the numbers" rating of the ornament. That ornament is the 2015 Happiness Makes Magic ornament.

On Ornament Preview Weekend, I was visiting my favorite Hallmark store and one of the exceptionally helpful clerks brought the Happiness Makes Magic ornament to my attention. I was instantly impressed with it; it has a cute light and sound function and it seemed very well-made. Then I saw the price tag. At $29.95, the 2015 Happiness Makes Magic ornament is oppressively overpriced and virtually impossible to recommend. Despite that, on its merits, it is a neat Hallmark ornament!


The Happiness Makes Magic ornament is an ornament that is essentially a snow globe - without any fluid in it. The little ornament looks like an old fashion gumball machine with a giant snowflake inside the clear plastic globe, instead of gumballs.

Hallmark made a durable-looking ornament with the Happiness Makes Magic ornament and it is a festive, generic Christmas ornament. Measuring four and a half inches tall, two and three-quarters inches in wide and deep, the "Happiness Makes Magic" ornament is a decent-sized Hallmark ornament. This is also one of the most expensive Hallmark ornaments this year, at least of the non-genre ornaments. It originally retailed at $29.95, which is pricey even for an ornament with lights and sound.

The Hallmark "Happiness Makes Magic" ornament is made of thick plastic and the red, glossy plastic of the base and arch that holds the clear plastic globe is accented with silver-white plastic. The ornament features a white snowflake on the front of the ornament's base, which is where the button for the function is hidden. Inside the globe is a white, glitter-covered snowflake that appears suspended inside the globe. The arch around the globe is fairly thick and looks supportive.


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, "Happiness Makes Magic" has both a light and sound effect. The batter-powered ornament is activated by a button that is discretely hidden in the front snowflake on the ornament's base. When one presses the button, the globe lights up, the snowflake inside the globe begins to spin and music begins to play. I did not recognize the tune, but the music clip is over thirty seconds long and while it plays, the snowflake spins faster and faster and the color of the snowflake shifts from white to purple to blue! The function is a neat one and the volume for the music is loud enough that the song could be heard even in a fairly crowded room!


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake "Happiness Makes Magic" ornament is to be hung on a Christmas tree. And the "Happiness Makes Magic" ornament is a good generic Christmas ornament. The ornament has the brass hook loop embedded into the top of the globe, at the most natural place for it to be. The hook loop is perfectly centered in this exceptionally well-balanced ornament and from the hook loop, the ornament hangs such that the bottom of the base is 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!). Within a few years, every major franchise from Star Wars to A Nightmare Before Christmas to Indiana Jones started making Hallmark ornaments. "Happiness Makes Magic" is a non-genre ornament. Given the incredibly high release price it is unlikely that this ornament will appreciate in value. In fact, it is tough to believe that any stock of this ornament that is around at the end of the season and gets clearanced after the holiday would ever reach its release price again, so overpriced is this ornament.


Fans of snowglobes, Hallmark ornaments, and generic Christmas ornaments are likely to still find the Happiness Makes Magic ornament overpriced, despite the apparent quality of the construction, light and sound feature and balance of the ornament.

For other non-genre Hallmark ornaments, please check out my reviews of:
2015 Season's Treatings ornament set
2015 Black Celebration Barbie ornament
2015 Building Buddies Snoopy 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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