Tuesday, July 12, 2016

After The Legends Line, Hallmark Makes A Mediocre Ensign Pavel Chekov Ornament!

The Good: Good balance, Detailing on the tricorder, Good general sculpt
The Bad: Unfortunately obvious seams, Animated look, Paint issues
The Basics: The 2016 Ensign Pavel Chekov ornament is average at best, made valuable only by its limited edition nature.

During my month and a half sabbatical from writing reviews, actor Anton Yelchin died. As a young man, Yelchin's body of work is comparatively small and he is, arguably, best known worldwide for playing Ensign Pavel Chekov in J.J. Abrams's two Star Trek films and the forthcoming Star Trek Beyond. Yelchin's version of Chekov from the rebooted Star Trek films is not the subject of the new, 2016 limited edition Star Trek ornament from Hallmark; their Ensign Pavel Chekov ornament features the classic Star Trek character, as portrayed by Walter Koenig. Ensign Chekov is, essentially, a continuation of Hallmark's vastly overproduced Legends Of Star Trek ornament line and it fits the general quality and scale of those ornaments, even if it is more expensive and produced in lesser quantities.

Starting out at $15.95, the Legends Of Star Trek Ensign Pavel Chekov ornament looks like an animated version of Chekov, which is ironic because Ensign Chekov was absent from the animated Star Trek series from the 1970s.

For those unfamiliar with Ensign Pavel Chekov, he was the navigator aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise for most of Star Trek (reviewed here!). Played with one of the most ridiculous "Russian" accents by Walter Koenig, Ensign Pavel Chekov is a seminal Star Trek character, despite the fact that he came in as a new character in the second season.


The Legends Of Star Trek Ensign Pavel Chekov recreates the Navigator of the Enterprise in solid plastic and ribbon. The ornament, released in 2016, is presented very generally, with a decent head sculpt that is, predictably, underdetailed on the coloring front. Ensign Pavel Chekov is fairly recognizable to genre fans holding up a tricorder with both hands. Molded to be recognizable, the ornament still has a more animated look for the character than one might hope for. This comes from the character’s very simplistic colorscheme that lacks realistic depth and shading. As well, Chekov's arms have deep, ridiculous-looking seams where they connect to the character's chest section. Measuring four inches tall by one and three-sixteenths inches wide by one and one-eighth inches deep, the Legends Of Star Trek Ensign Pavel Chekov ornament has been selling, despite it being a limited edition ornament.

The Hallmark Legends Of Star Trek Ensign Pavel Chekov ornament is made of a durable plastic and black ribbon and has the human junior officer standing in his yellow shirt, tight black pants and shiny black boots. The face is sculpted to be a good representation of Walter Koenig and, outside the eyes lacking Koenig's sparkle and zest for life, the representation is good. This ornament is molded without deep attention to detail, like fingernails.

Conversely, Hallmark went to create painstaking detailing for the tricorder, getting it in perfect proportion with the rest of the ornament. The tricorder is exceptionally detailed in both sculpt and coloring. The black ribbon mimics well the leather strap the props from the show had.

The Legends Of Star Trek Ensign Pavel Chekov is colored correctly with his yellow Command shirt, outside his skin tones, which are very basic. Ensign Pavel Chekov has appropriately pale skin, but the ornament lacks the depth and shading of most collectibles. I was impressed that the boots were a glossy black, while Chekov’s pants were appropriately matte in their finish. While the tricorder in his hands is well-colored and detailed, including having blue highlights on the tricorder's screen, the skin is much less impressive or realistic in its detailing. The fingers have a lack of definition between them as well. Unfortunately, on three of the four Ensign Pavel Chekov ornaments I found, the paint job was flawed; with issues in the eyes and odd color spots on the shirt. The black spots on the yellow shirt are troublingly obvious given the brightness of the yellow color.


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, the Legends Of Star Trek Ensign Pavel Chekov could have a function like a sound chip or light effect, but does not. This is just an ornament, a comparatively low-cost option for those who might not want to shell out for the starship or mural series of Star Trek ornaments. This is Ensign Pavel Chekov, standing alone with a tricorder as opposed to behind his navigator's console on the bridge. Having the ornament without any features might disappoint some collectors.


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake Legends Of Star Trek Ensign Pavel Chekov ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate Star Trek Christmas Tree, the Legends Of Star Trek Ensign Pavel Chekov ornament is a necessary one, given that Chekov is an iconic character, probably the last iconic Enterprise crewmember that had not yet been immortalized by Hallmark. The ornament has a brass hook loop that comes out of the top, center, of Ensign Pavel Chekov's skull. To its credit, Hallmark's Legends Of Star Trek Ensign Pavel Chekov is perfectly well-balanced from that point.


Hallmark Keepsake began delving into the collectibles market in 1991 with Star Trek when it introduced the exceptionally limited edition U.S.S. Enterprise ornament (reviewed here!). Since then, they have made ornament replicas of almost all of the major starships from the franchise and when they started on the personnel in 1995, though this is the first Chekov ornament. The Legends Of Star Trek Ensign Pavel Chekov ornament was not a fast-selling ornament, at least it did not sell out at most Hallmark stores I checked out during Ornament Preview Weekend, but it seems coveted by the fans who purchased the prior six Legends Of Star Trek ornaments.

Given the precedent from the prior Legends Of Star Trek ornaments, along with the way this ornament has an original issue price $1 more than the other ones, it is hard to see how the Ensign Pavel Chekov ornament would appreciate much in the secondary market. Unlike the prior ones, which sold largely on clearance, the Chekov ornament might actually sell out at full price and, at least, not depreciate in value. It remains, given the paint issues on the ones I found, a tough sell for all but the die hard fans.


Fans of the Star Trek franchise, Walter Koenig and Ensign Pavel Chekov are likely to feel compelled to pick up the Legends Of Star Trek Ensign Pavel Chekov ornament to complete their collections, but not be ornament most fans will be exceptionally excited about.

For other Star Trek ornaments of characters, please check out my reviews of:
2015 Legends Of Star Trek Lieutenant Uhura
2014 Legends Of Star Trek Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu
2014 Vina The Orion Slave Woman (Limited Edition)
2013 Legends Of Star Trek Commander Montgomery “Scotty” Scott
2012 Legends Of Star Trek Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy
2011 Legends Of Star Trek Spock
2010 Legends Of Star Trek Captain James T. Kirk
2009 Limited Edition Ilia Probe
2005 Khan
2004 Commander Charles “Trip” Tucker
1999 Lieutenant Commander Worf
1997 Dr. McCoy
1996 Mr. Spock


For other Christmas ornament reviews, please visit my Ornament Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2016 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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