Sunday, November 27, 2016

Front-Heavy And Weird, The 2016 On The Night You Were Born Ornament Is More Awkward Than Iconic!

The Good: Good coloring, Accurate rendition
The Bad: Seems pricy, Front-heavy, Indistinct ceramic element
The Basics: The 2016 "On The Night You Were Born" ornament is a problematic 3-D rendition of the children's picture book.

One of the new trends in Hallmark Keepsake ornaments is creating ornaments of children's books that are three-dimensional renditions of the open book with a popped out mini-sculpture in it. The ceramic sculptures are iconic characters from the books and some of these ornaments have been well-executed. I decided to check one out given their rising popularity. This year's primary book-based ornament is based upon On The Night You Were Born. From the October Ornament Release comes the On The Night You Were Born ornament, which might not be the best-executed ornament of this style.

The 2016 On The Night You Were Born ornament is a mediocre ornament that features an open version of On The Night You Were Born with a little sculpture of a baby in a basket, all wrapped up and with a very generic painted face on it . . . which is unfortunately unbalanced.


The On The Night You Were Born ornament is an ornament that features the book On The Night You Were Born with the book open and a wrapped baby in a basket bursting out of the ornament into the third dimension. The ornament is similar to the book, but open and with the mini-sculpture. The ornament, released in 2016, is a standard-release ornament, though it was one of the later ornaments released for the season, so some stores did not even display it! The On The Night You Were Born ornament is 2" tall, 3 1/2" wide and 1" deep.

Hallmark made a creative reinterpretation of the baby from the book for the On The Night You Were Born ornament. The medium-sized Hallmark ornament is heavy and features the wrapped baby in a basket at the bottom, front of the ornament. The basket is detailed more in its coloring than by its sculpted details. Similarly, Hallmark painted on the sleeping baby's face and what I learned from inspecting several copies of the ornament is that the paint job for the face is unfortunately inconsistent. Three of the ornaments I found had smeared faces!

The Hallmark "On The Night You Were Born" ornament is colored in monotones, which is perfectly appropriate for an ornament based on artwork from a children's book. The ornament's moon is arguably the most shaded aspect of the ornament and in some lighting, the face in the moon that is looking down upon the baby is obscured! The blues of the night sky on the open page and the cover are monotonal, not truly deep or shaded. Still, the ornament looks good for the book it represents.


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, "On The Night You Were Born" could have a sound or even a light effect, but it does not. Given that there is not an iconic reading (like an essential audiobook version) of the book On The Night You Were Born, consumers have no real expectation for an additional feature.


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake "On The Night You Were Born" ornament is to be hung on a Christmas tree. And the "On The Night You Were Born" ornament is a poor option for anyone who has fond memories of childhood associated with the book upon which the ornament is based, based on the ornament's balance. The ornament has the brass hook loop embedded into the top of the book, slightly to the right from the spine. From that point, the On The Night You Were Born is very poorly balanced as the heavy sculpture weighs down the front at a noticeable and awkward pitch.


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. "On The Night You Were Born" is a non-genre ornament that is not part of an annual series, but seemed to come to Hallmark from their licensing with Dreamworks. Given that it was one of the later releases of the season, it was not the most popular or best-selling ornaments Hallmark produced this year! With the original issue price of $15.95 seeming a little high and it not selling out anywhere I've found, it seems unlikely to appreciate in value anytime soon, especially if many of them are sold only via after-season clearance.


Fans of cute ornaments, children's books, Hallmark ornaments, and generic Christmas ornaments are likely to find the On The Night You Were Born ornament a bit of a disappointment for the price, especially with its severe balance issue.

For other non-genre Hallmark ornaments, please check out my reviews of:
2016 Holiday Celebration Barbie ornament
2016 "An Honorable Proposal" Gone With The Wind ornament
2015 The Poky Little Puppy Golden Book 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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