Saturday, July 9, 2016

HAPPY ORNAMENT PREVIEW WEEKEND! The Limited Edition Beauty And The Beast Lumiere Starts The Year Off (Mostly) Right!

The Good: Good sculpted details, Great balance, Collectible value, Most of the coloring details
The Bad: Not as metallic as the promotional photographs make it look, No sound chip/feature
The Basics: The 2016 "Lumiere" ornament from Beauty And The Beast is a neat, but not perfect, limited edition Hallmark ornament which kicks off Ornament Preview Weekend.

I took a little over a month off from reviewing, but I am back now! June was a pretty brutal month in politics and in my personal life, but after a brief disconnect from writing reviews, I am back in time for Hallmark's Ornament Preview Weekend! Ornament Preview Weekend is one of the big events each year for me as a reviewer and it is enough to get me out of my self-imposed sabbatical. The truth, however, is that this year I was comparatively unenthusiastic about Ornament Preview Weekend. I looked over my Hallmark Dreambook (the catalog with the main-release ornaments) fairly late in the cycle and I was surprised by how few genre ornaments truly impressed me enough to want to preorder them. In fact, it was only in going through the supplement for the Dreambook with the limited edition ornaments that I discovered some that I could be excited about. My wife has a Disney ornament collection and the one that instantly interested her was the limited edition ornament of Lumiere from Beauty And The Beast.

This year's Lumiere ornament from the Disney Hallmark ornament line is part of Disney's celebration of the 25th Anniversary of Beauty And The Beast and part of the company's effort to build hype for next year's live-action version of the film. The limited edition Disney ornament is very cool and is rapidly approaching a sell-out at the few Hallmark Gold Crown stores I visited today. That said, the promotional images of the Lumiere ornament appear to have a very different luster to them than the actual ornament, which was a serious detraction for me - much less of one for my wife, who loves the ornament!

For those unfamiliar with him, Lumiere was the magically-transformed man-turned-candelabra living in the Beast's castle in Beauty And The Beast (reviewed here!). The debonair Lumiere tries to set the mood for Belle and the Beast to try to create an environment where Belle will fall in love and thus break the spell that will free him and the others living in the castle.

Hallmark created a memorable sculpt of Lumiere, though they charged $15.95, originally for the limited edition ornament, despite it not having any sort of sound or light function to augment it.


The "Lumiere" ornament recreates Lumiere as he appeared in Beauty And The Beast, looking like he is singing "Be Our Guest" and is mid-song. The ornament, released in 2016, is an entirely accurate sculpt of Lumiere, holding a matchstick like a cane and preparing to remove the cap on his candle-head. The subject of the ornament was an animated candelabra with three candles who sang and danced and Hallmark captured that well from the flames for hands to the nose and eyelids of the personified candle!

Measuring three and three-quarters inches tall from the bottom of the base to the top of the cap, two and one-half inches wide and one and a half inches deep, the "Lumiere" ornament is on-scale with most of the other Disney character ornaments. As a limited edition ornament, the Lumiere ornament reflects the new, higher pricing from Hallmark with an original release price of $15.95.

The Hallmark "Lumiere" ornament is made of a durable plastic and has Lumiere, left hand on his cap, his right candle hand holding his matchstick "cane." The arms are very thin, but the plastic is apparently strong enough to resist breakage. Aspects like the wrist cuff ornamentation are sculpted onto the ornament for realism and look amazing. Lumiere's mouth is open as if he is in the middle of singing "Be Our Guest." The ornament is sculpted accurately and gets the look of Lumiere perfectly right! Lumiere's eyebrows are slightly raised and his eyelids are sculpted with a somewhat sultry half-lidded look.

On the coloring front, Lumiere is a real mixed execution. Hallmark did amazing work on some of the coloring. like the way the character's eyelids are presented with a faint yellow to set them apart from the white of the main candle head. The flame hands are monotonal yellow, which is fitting in that the animated character was created without realistic coloring depth and shading. The bugaboo for me is in the coloring for the pieces of Lumiere that are intended to be metal - the candelabra parts and the character's cap. Hallmark used a gold flake coloring and that makes the character look like plastic, as opposed to bronze. My primary issue is that the ornament looks less like the photograph on the box or promotional materials. On the box and promotional materials, Lumiere looks like he is cast using a reflective metallic plastic, so he looks more like a reflective gold or bronze, as opposed to a tarnished gold coloring. When you're expecting metal - or something that looks like metal - it is hard to get excited about the metal flake plastic. My wife, however, felt very differently and thought that it was much easier to take care of as a plastic ornament - and one that would weigh less on the branches and risk our cats less than a metal ornament.


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, "Lumiere" could have a sound or light function, but it does not. While fans of Beauty And The Beast might have wished the ornament would possess a sound clip of Lumiere singing "Be Our Guest" or light up flame hands, the ornament does not. For the price, the ornament is fine without any additional functions, especially given that it is a limited edition piece.


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake "Lumiere" ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate Disney movie Christmas Tree, the "Lumiere" ornament is an awesome addition! The ornament has the standard brass hook loop embedded into the top back of Lumiere’s candle head. From that position, the Lumiere ornament hangs perfectly level. The balance for this ornament is incredible and it looks like Lumiere is beginning his dance routine.


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. "Lumiere" is not the first Beauty And The Beast ornament the company has released and is one of two Hallmark Beauty And The Beast ornaments released this year. Hallmark has a pretty strong record of producing Disney limited edition ornaments that appreciate in value and, despite the lack of realistic metal coloring to the ornament, Lumiere might well be one of their successes that ends up appreciating in value quickly.


Fans of Beauty And The Beast, Disney, Lumiere, and Hallmark ornaments will be excited by this full-sized, limited edition Lumiere ornament, though those who buy based on the box or promotional materials might feel a little less initial thrill. But, given the limited edition nature of the ornament, the quality of the sculpt and the other decent coloring aspects, Lumiere is bound to thrill the die-hard Disney and Beauty And The Beast fans!

For other Disney-themed Hallmark ornaments, please check out my reviews of:
2015 "Let It Go" Frozen ornament
2015 "Yo, Rugman!" Aladdin ornament
2015 Olaf In Summer Frozen Ornament
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
2014 Olaf Frozen 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!

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