Monday, January 16, 2017

Accessorizing Ornaments?! Barbie, Please! The 2016 Picnic Set Flops!

The Good: Sculpts are not bad
The Bad: Vastly overpriced for the size, Lack of coloring detail, Horrible balance, Ridiculous concept and weird execution.
The Basics: Even the most die-hard Barbie fans are likely to be seriously disappointed by the 2016 Barbie Picnic Set mini-ornament set.

One of the recent trends from Hallmark that I have found to be much more annoying than it is compelling is their production of mini-ornaments. Over the past few decades, there have been the occasional mini-ornaments, usually of either popular ornaments that are miniaturized in order to make for a cute, affordable, option without any flash compared to the full releases (like with the Star Trek starship mini-ornaments) or with tiny ornaments of characters who could not reasonably hold their own with a full-sized ornament release, like the Max Rebo Band ornament set (reviewed here!) from the Star Wars line. In 2016, though, there were well over a dozen mini-ornament sets and their appeal is largely lost on me.

Despite that, I went into my consideration of the 2016 Barbie Picnic Set mini-ornament set with no expectations. Despite opening my mind, I was terribly disappointed in the execution of the Barbie mini-ornament set. Intended to pair with the Cherry Pie Picnic Barbie ornament (reviewed here!), the 2016 Picnic Set does not actually accessorize the Barbie character ornament; at best, its pieces might hang near it. The 2016 Picnic Set ornament set features mini-ornaments of a basket, camera, and sun glasses.

In 2016, Hallmark released a limited edition set of three mini-ornaments of three accent pieces for the Cherry Pie Picnic Barbie ornament - ironically none of which is a cherry pie! - with generally poor results.


The "Picnic Set" ornament set is a very simple ornament set with three surprisingly generic elements, all cast in solid plastic.

The largest piece in the Picnic Set is the picnic basket. At 1 3/16" wide, 1 7/8" tall, and 3/4" deep, the picnic basket looks fairly decent. In addition to looking like a picnic basket in the right proportions to the Cherry Pie Picnic Barbie ornament, it features a decent rendition of the coloring detailing on the basket to look good. It looks, outside the glossy coating on the ornament, like it is woven reed, with a blanket or napkin inside it! The picnic basket is recognizable.

Anyone who opens up the Picnic Set is at very real risk of losing the camera within the set. The camera is very basically molded and colored in monotones - black and silver/gray plastic - the camera mini-ornament is 1/4" tall, 1/2" wide and 3/8" deep. The tiny camera mini-ornament looks painfully simplistic, almost goofy for its size and incredibly basic nature.

Flat-out goofy are the sunglasses that are part of the 2016 Picnic Set. The sunglasses are bright pink and black and are a pair of sunglasses with the arms folded back. so they cannot in any way be used to actually accessorize the Cherry Pie Picnic Barbie ornament! As well, they are a bit large comparatively, given that the ornament is 1/2" wide, 3/16" tall and 1/4" deep. The sunglasses also have incredibly poor balance, so they do not hang at all level.

None of the mini-ornaments in the Picnic Set at all wow the consumer!


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, "Picnic Set" subjects could have a special function like a sound chip or light effect, but they do not. Given how they have such simple subjects, Hallmark did well without any bonus features. This mini-ornament set does not even feature a way to combine the ornaments into an interesting display piece.


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake "Picnic Set" ornaments are to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate Barbie-themed Christmas Tree, the "Picnic Set" ornaments are a fairly lousy and indistinct addition. The basket mini-ornament seems flimsy on its brass hook loop. The sun glasses are terribly off-balance on a steel hook loop. The camera is similarly (though not as extremely) poorly balanced in its steel hook loop.


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!). Since then, they have delved into virtually every other collectible franchise in an attempt to cash in on every major license. The Barbie series has had several ornaments made for it and the "Picnic Set" ornaments was one of two limited edition Barbie ornaments produced in 2016 and it was much more commonly available than the other one.

There are very few limited edition Hallmark ornaments that have remained available the way the 2016 Picnic Set has, which suggests to me that Barbie fans found the set as overpriced and ridiculous as I did. That might explain why I was able to find the 2016 Picnic Set at multiple Hallmark Gold Crown stores after Christmas, on clearance prices. That implies that the 2016 Picnic Set is a poor investment for those who look at the collectible nature of these ornaments.


The 2016 Picnic Set is a solidly poor mini-ornament set that is unlikely to bring anyone over to the whole mini-ornament "phenomenon" Hallmark has been attempting to create!

For other Barbie ornament reviews, please check out:
2016 Ballet Wishes Barbie
2016 Holiday Barbie
2015 Celebration Barbie (Black)
2015 Barbie Celebration Set (2013/2014 Celebration Barbie)
2012 Barbie Provencale
2012 Brava, Ballerina! Barbie
2012 Holiday Celebration Barbie (Black)
2012 Holiday Celebration Barbie (Caucasian)
2012 Matinee Fashion Barbie - Final In The Series!
2012 Tweed Indeed Barbie
2011 Celebration Barbie (Black)
2011 Campus Sweetheart Barbie
2011 Prima Ballerina Barbie ornament
1996 Enchanted Evening Barbie ornament
1995 Barbie Debut (Brunette) - Club Exclusive
1994 Barbie Debut ornament


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

© 2017 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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