Friday, December 16, 2016

Strong Concept, Poor Execution: The 2016 Paratrooper Snoopy Ornament!

The Good: Good sculpt, Generally good coloring
The Bad: Expensive, Balance issue, Connection between the parachute and Snoopy is off, Seems small for the price.
The Basics: The 2016 Paratrooper Snoopy ornament expands the Snoopy ornament line to The Peanuts Movie in a poor way.

When The Peanuts Movie was released, it was interesting to see how companies that were already licensees reacted to having a new source of material from which to create merchandise. In the case of Hallmark, the sheer volume of Peanuts ornaments that have been produced over the years is staggering. So, the fact that Hallmark Keepsake began to produce ornaments based on The Peanuts Movie seemed rather surprising. In many ways, the first release - the 2016 Paratrooper Snoopy ornament - felt like an unfortunate cashgrab on the part of Hallmark.

Created in a similar scale to the other Snoopy ornaments, the 2016 Paratrooper Snoopy is $3.00 more than the other Snoopy ornaments this year. Unfortunately, the 2016 Paratrooper Snoopy does not justify the added price as the execution of the concept is deeply flawed.


The Paratrooper Snoopy ornament features Snoopy from The Peanuts Movie wearing his Red Baron hat and goggles (raised, not on his eyes), with a scarf flying behind him. As the name suggests, the 2016 Paratrooper Snoopy is wearing a parachute and in this case, it is deployed. That creates the gimmick for the Paratrooper Snoopy, which is that the main ornament is connected to the plastic parachute by nylon cord (like fishing line). But instead of holding the Snoopy character tautly, the cord easily warps and as a result, Snoopy does not hang in the direction or orientation he is supposed to. Because of that, the Paratrooper Snoopy ornament is very awkward in its execution.

Measuring two and one-half inches long and tall and one and one-half inches deep, the Paratrooper Snoopy ornament is a pretty average-sized Peanuts ornament. At $15.95, it is actually one of the more expensive Peanuts ornaments produced for the 2016 holiday season.

The Hallmark Paratrooper Snoopy ornament is made of a durable plastic and has the characters cast in very bright colored plastic. The sculpting is very simple and the coloring is all done in monotones. The 2016 Paratrooper Snoopy is instantly recognizable as Snoopy and this version has flocking that makes him glittery. The enhanced coloring on the Snoopy character is very cool, but is the only real positive aspect of the ornament.


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, Paratrooper Snoopy could have a sound or light function, but it does not. This is a very basic ornament, which is more expensive than the other ornaments from the Peanuts line without any serious difference in size or quality. Instead, this seems to just be trading on The Peanuts Movie.


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake Paratrooper Snoopy ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate Peanuts Christmas Tree, the Paratrooper Snoopy ornament is surprisingly poor. Hallmark has the standard brass hook at the on top of the parachute. Unfortunately, with the warping of the fishing line, the parachute does not hang level and Snoopy looks like he is parasailing, not parachuting. With the scarf, the balance issue is quite noticeable and this is an unfortunately off-balance ornament in multiple axis's.


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 (click here for that review!). Since then, they have made ornament replicas of virtually everything that has ever had collectibles associated with it (and some that Hallmark has pioneered). The Paratrooper Snoopy ornament seems like it would fail to grab the Snoopy-loving market, as fans have so many other options and this one is so much more expensive than other ones. Given the higher initial price, the 2016 Paratrooper Snoopy is unlikely to appreciate in value any time soon.


The higher price, the connection warping and the balance issue completely undermine any appeal that the 2016 Paratrooper Snoopy might have had for fans of The Peanuts Movie or Snoopy in general.

For other Peanuts holiday ornaments, please check out my reviews of:
2015 Building Buddies Snoopy
2013 Bird-Watcher Snoopy
2012 In The Spirit
2012 Onstage Antics
2012 Fisherman Snoopy
2011 Snoopy Claus
2011 Ho! Ho! Ho! Tasty Snow!
2010 "Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!"
2009 Just The Right Tree


For other ornament reviews, please visit my index page!

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