Monday, November 23, 2015

She Might Be Iconic, But The 2015 Celebration Barbie Ornament Isn't One Of Hallmark's Winners!

The Good: Generally good sculpt, Neat sparkles, Good balance
The Bad: Very obvious seams, Seems expensive, Lack of detailing, Poor fabric elements.
The Basics: The 2015 Celebration Barbie Hallmark ornament does not hold up against its variant!

Every year when I set to reviewing Hallmark Keepsake ornaments, I find myself debating whether or not to review prime ornaments and their variants. Usually, I only review the prime ornament, especially if the ornament is essentially identical to its variant. In the case of Barbie ornaments, I seldom review both the caucasian and black variants of the ornaments. In the case of the 2015 Celebration Barbie ornament, I found it was worthwhile to review both. After all, the classic, caucasian, Celebration Barbie ornament this year seems to be substantively less-than its black counterpart (reviewed here!).

Somehow, the black Celebration Barbie ornament manages to hide its assembled quality better than its blonde counterpart and the differences make all the difference. The 2015 blonde Celebration Barbie ornament is distinctly inferior compared to its black variant.


The 2015 Celebration Barbie ornament recreates this year's limited edition caucasian 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 prior years when Hallmark had the license to produce Barbie holiday ornaments. The 2015 Celebration Barbie ornament is 4 1/2" tall by 3" wide by 2 3/4" deep.

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 the hair leaves Barbie's ear exposed. On the ornament's ear is a tiny piece of glitter, which embodies an in-scale earring. Barbie's red lips stand out in a gaudy way, contrasting her pale skin with the bright red. The Celebration Barbie ornament does not have fingernails, either sculpted into the hands or painted on. The glitter on the Celebration Barbie's bustier is obvious, but does not pop the way it does against the black Celebration Barbie's skin tones. The arms, hair and other parts have deep seams, which make it look like the 2015 Celebration Barbie ornament was assembled . . . and not with pieces that entirely fit!


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 fairly 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 was released at the October Ornament Release Weekend and it has sold out at several of the Hallmark stores I've been to. Despite my thoughts on the ornament, given that this is the first year Hallmark is once again producing the Celebration Barbie ornaments, one suspects that Hallmark will sell most of them and the rest will be bought up by dealers banking on them as an investment. Whether that pans out seems like it would depend upon how subsequent years manage to keep the enthusiasm for Barbie at Hallmark. That makes this ornament an investment crapshoot and it seems like it would be produced in great enough quantity to meet demand and thus could be unlikely to gain value fast.


The 2015 Barbie Celebration ornament looks simple and assembled, which undermines the return of the iconic doll in ornament form!

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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