Monday, December 26, 2016

Olaf Talks Back, But The 2016 Olaf Peekbuster Ornament Is A Tough Sell!

The Good: Decent sculpted details, Fun vocals, Glitter
The Bad: Expensive, Sloppy paint job, Slightly off-balance
The Basics: The 2016 Olaf Peekbuster Hallmark ornament is a fun concept ornament from Frozen that is just a little off to keep it from being truly worthwhile.

Today is the first day of the big Hallmark ornament clearance event and now that I am back from my annual outing to the local Hallmark Gold Crown stores, I'm back to review another ornament! Usually, I try to pick an ornament that is a good investment for collectors and investors to pick up as ornaments hit 50% off and despite the flaws in the 2016 Olaf Peekbuster ornament, it might well fit into that category. The flaws in the Olaf Peekbuster ornament are minor enough that it is generally in the average range for ornaments, but the price made me consider it as just a little below average.

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 the snowman on his own is the subject of a new peekbuster style talking ornament in 2016.


The "Olaf Peekbuster" ornament recreates Olaf as he appeared in Frozen, though not from a specific scene or iconic moment. The ornament, released in 2016, is an entirely accurate sculpt of Olaf the snowman, albeit in a larger scale than normal, in a seated position attached to a base of snow. 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 with a realistic looking snow base!

Measuring four and one-quarter inches tall and two and a half inches wide and deep, the "Olaf Peekbuster" ornament is a larger scale ornament than most of the other Disney character ornaments and many of the other peekbuster-style ornaments. As such, it was one of the more expensive Disney themed Hallmark ornaments at $19.95.

The Hallmark "Olaf Peekbuster" ornament is made of a durable plastic and has Olaf, twig arms lowered as he touches his toes. The Olaf Peekbuster ornament has the appropriately goofy, open smile on his mouth. 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! I checked out four copies of the Olaf Peekbuster ornament and all of them had sloppy paintjobs around the eyes and many had orange from the carrot painted well off the seam where it connects to the head.

The snowy base that the Olaf Peekbuster ornament is on looks generally good and matches the quality of the Olaf figure that sits upon the mound of snow.


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, the "Olaf Peekbuster" has a sound function that is the key selling point of this ornament. The Olaf Peekbuster has vocal clips that sound just like Josh Gad (who voiced Olaf in Frozen) admonishing people about keeping the surprise of the gifts the ornament is guarding. The bottom of the snow mound has a little button that when slid into the "on" position activates the peekbuster ornament. When the ornament is on, movement made within a few feet of the sensor on the front of the Olaf Peekbuster activates the sound function. Olaf delivers one of (at least) seven sound clips related to loving surprises and not trying to peek at the presents. The ornament certainly sounds like Olaf in both vocals and in the tone/character of the sound clips.


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake "Olaf Peekbuster" ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate Disney movie Christmas Tree, the "Olaf Peekbuster" ornament is essential! The ornament has the standard steel hook loop embedded into the top center of the back of Olaf’s head. From that position, the Olaf ornament hangs with a slight left bias, as if the hardware for the sound function is off-center and slightly heavier than the rest of the ornament. The balance for this ornament is slightly off, which is made noticeable by the base Olaf is on, which does not hang level. The balance issue is not excessive, but it is recognizably off.


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. The "Olaf Peekbuster" is the latest Frozen ornament and one of two from Hallmark released in 2016. The Olaf Peekbuster sold out a many Hallmarks I visited long before they could ever be clearanced. At the original $19.95 issue price, the Olaf Peekbuster seemed expensive. Despite the paint job issue and the slight bias in the balance, if one can find it on clearance now, it might be worth it. But it seems unlikely it would appreciate in value above its original issue price, so getting it discounted seems like the most probable way to make one's money back as an investment piece.


Fans of Frozen, Disney, Olaf, and Hallmark ornaments might love the concept of the Olaf Peekbuster ornament, but the execution is not flawless and the ornament is a bit expensive comparatively. That said, Olaf has been over-merchandised and even with the minor quirks, the Olaf Peekbuster ornament is a little tougher sell than it might have been had it been released a few years ago.

For other Frozen Hallmark ornaments, please check out my reviews of:
2015 Let It Go
2015 Princess Anna
2015 Olaf In Summer
2014 Queen Elsa
2014 Olaf


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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