Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Overproduced Olaf: The 2015 Olaf In Summer Hallmark Ornament!

The Good: Decent sculpted details, Collectible value, Glitter
The Bad: Front-heavy, Assembled look
The Basics: The 2015 "Olaf In Summer" ornament continues to exploit the breakout character from Frozen with a reasonably cool ornament!

Whenever a work that has merchandising associated with it has a breakout character, it becomes pretty obvious by the way the licensees exploit the most popular character. With the immense worldwide success of the Disney film Frozen, fans were rapidly deluged with merchandise featuring Olaf, the lovable snowman voiced by Josh Gad. Last year, the breakout Hallmark ornament was Olaf (reviewed here!) and this year, Hallmark seems to be trying desperately to continue to capitalize on the popularity of Olaf with their Olaf In Summer ornament. And Olaf In Summer is good, but not a perfect or truly amazing ornament.

For those unfamiliar with Frozen (reviewed here!), Olaf was the magically-created sentient snowman who accompanied Anna and Kristoff on their quest to find Elsa. Olaf provided comic relief and had a brief fantasy about what it would be like to be a snowman in the summer.

With an original issue price of $14.95, the Olaf In Summer ornament makes for a fair option for those who could not get their hands on the original Olaf ornament at an affordable price.


The "Olaf In Summer" ornament recreates Olaf as he appeared in the one song in Frozen. The ornament, released in 2015, is an entirely accurate sculpt of Olaf the snowman standing on a patch of grass looking enthusiastically down at a flower. The subject of the ornament was a computer-generated snowman who sang and danced and the sculptor did an exceptional job of capturing the curved, animated look of Olaf! The Olaf In Summer ornament is, oddly enough, cast in a different scale from the original Olaf ornament, which allowed Hallmark to not make the base overwhelmingly large.

Measuring two and five-eighths inches tall by two and one-quarter inches wide by two and one half inches deep, the "Olaf In Summer" ornament is a smaller-scale ornament than most of the Disney character ornaments this year.

The Hallmark "Olaf In Summer" ornament is made of a durable plastic and has Olaf, mouth open in one of the biggest smiles ever, twig arms flailing out, standing on a disc of grass, looking down at a single purple flower poking up from the ground. The ornament is sculpted accurately and gets the look of Olaf perfectly right! This ornament is augmented by glitter that some of the other ornaments of Disney characters who appeared in snowy environments possessed! For accuracy, Olaf is made pretty awesome by the fact that non-snow elements, like his coal buttons, eyes, mouth, carrot nose, and twig arms and hair do not have any glitter on them!

Unfortunately, the Olaf In Summer ornament looks very assembled. The flower's base has a very noticeable seam as does the area around Olaf's feet. It looks like the elements of the Olaf In Summer ornament were manufactured separately and then glued together and that is a disappointing look for the character.


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, "Olaf In Summer" could have a sound or light function, but it does not. The closest it actually possesses is the glitter. Given how the base could easily have held a speaker and the concept of Olaf In Summer was accompanied by memorable dialogue and a song, it seems like Hallmark cheaped out on the execution of the ornament by neglecting a sound function for it.


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake "Olaf In Summer" ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate Disney movie Christmas Tree, the "Olaf In Summer" ornament is hardly a must-have, especially after last year's success with the basic Olaf ornament! The ornament has the standard brass hook loop embedded into the top center of the back of Olaf’s head. From that position, the Olaf In Summer ornament is noticeably front-heavy. The ornament pitches forward and down, because the flower and front of the base are heavier than anything behind the ornament hook loop. Because the base is


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. "Olaf In Summer" is the the second Olaf ornament and part of a barrage of Frozen ornaments this year. Olaf In Summer did not sell out during Ornament Release Weekend and it is unsurprising given how overproduced Olaf became last year. Given that Olaf merchandise has been vastly overproduced over the last year - when I was out at Ornament Release Weekend this year, one Hallmark store had Olaf plush dolls on clearance for 90% off! - it is unlikely that Olaf in Summer will be a decent investment piece. The market is oversaturated, even for Hallmark ornaments from Frozen.


Fans of Frozen, Disney, Olaf, and Hallmark ornaments are unlikely to be wowed by the Olaf In Summer ornament; it's a mediocre ornament that feels like the last desperate cashgrab of a fad that has passed. Despite the balance and lack of feature, the ornament is not bad, but it is hardly spectacular.

For other Disney-themed Hallmark ornaments, please check out my reviews of:
2015 Jiminy Cricket Pinocchio Limited Edition ornament
2015 WALL-E
2015 Rapunzel And Pascal Tangled ornament
2015 Tiana Ballerina The Princess And The Frog
2015 Ariel's Thingamabobs The Little Mermaid ornament
2014 Queen Elsa Frozen Limited Edition
2014 Bank On Hamm Toy Story ornament
2014 Jack's Peculiar Pet The Nightmare Before Christmas ornament
2014 The Daring Princess The Princess And The Frog ornament
2014 Rapunzel's Long Locks Tangled ornament
2014 The Little Mermaid 25th Anniversary ornament
2014 "This Is Halloween" The Nightmare Before Christmas ornament
2014 All Eyes On Belle Beauty And The Beast ornament
2013 Under The Sea The Little Mermaid
2013 The Nightmare Before Christmas Jack’s Sleigh O’Scares
2013 Tiana's Party Dress The Princess And The Frog ornament
2013 Beautiful Belle Beauty And The Beast
2013 Fierce With A Frying Pan Tangled ornament
2013 Ariel's Big Dream The Little Mermaid ornament
2013 Merida The Archer Brave ornament
2012 The Circle Of Life The Lion King ornament
2012 Jack Sneaks A Peek The Nightmare Before Christmas ornament
2012 Monsters, Inc. ornament
2012 Merida Brave ornament
2012 It's All About The Hair Tangled ornament
2011 Rapunzel Tangled ornament
2011 CLU’s Light Cycle from Tron: Legacy ornament
2011 Up ornament
2011 A Snowy Surprise The Nightmare Before Christmas ornament
2011 Captain Jack Sparrow Pirates Of The Caribbean ornament
2010 Tron: Legacy Light Cycle ornament
2009 Welcome To Christmastown The Nightmare Before Christmas 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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