Monday, March 6, 2017

Impressively Cute, The 2016 Soccer Player Barbie Ornament Is Cool!

The Good: Good sculpt, Great coloring, Wonderful balance.
The Bad: Seems expensive
The Basics: The 2016 Hallmark Keepsake Soccer Player Barbie ornament is cute and a good alternative to the standard "beauty queen" Barbie ornaments.

Every year, Hallmark does a fairly wide array of ornaments centered around the Barbie doll line. In fact, Hallmark is so committed to the line that after losing the license, two years later, Hallmark fought to get it back and started producing Barbie ornaments again en masse. The Barbie ornaments are largely the standard blonde Barbie doll in ornament form, with only a few variations in costume and pose. One of the delightful variations in the Barbie ornament line came in 2016 with the Soccer Player Barbie Hallmark ornament.

For those unfamiliar with them, Barbie dolls have been a leading trademarked doll from Mattel for over sixty years. Hallmark Keepsake picked up the Barbie license in order to produce Christmas ornaments and Soccer Player Barbie is one of several Barbie and Barbie-themed ornaments produced for 2016!


The Soccer Player Barbie ornament recreates the Soccer Player Barbie doll with Barbie looking fun and holding a pink and black soccer ball. The ornament features the recognizable visage of Barbie, though as a brunette, wearing a very simple soccer uniform. This Barbie is uncharacteristically wearing minimal make-up and the coloring for this ornament is a very bright paint job that features incredible contrast between the neon pink and black of the uniform. The ornament has Barbie wearing a simple pink t-shirt, black shorts, and pink sneakers with white knee socks. This Barbie ornament is 4" tall by 1 3/4" wide and 1" deep.

The Hallmark Soccer Player Barbie ornament is made entirely of durable plastic and has the feminine icon standing alone, holding her soccer ball in her left arm. The pose for the Soccer Player Barbie is very different from other Barbie ornaments and it looks like Barbie is coming off the field after a good win . . . that somehow managed to not mess up her hair. The sculpted detailing on Barbie's face, socks and soccer ball are incredibly good. Hallmark even included what appears to be seams on the soccer ball!

The coloring for the Soccer Player Barbie is incredibly good. The Soccer Player Barbie features bright pink for the shoes, t-shirt and what would be the white on the soccer ball. The Soccer Player Barbie looks distinctive and fun, if over-the-top feminine. The bright pink of the outfit contrasts well with the black on the costume, the brown of Barbie's hair and the simple skin tones of the character. This is a good-looking Barbie ornament.


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, Soccer Player Barbie could have a function like a sound chip or light effect, but does not. This is just an ornament, a low-cost (comparatively) option for fans of Barbie. I think it's disappointing that Soccer Player Barbie does not have any articulation to her limbs. It was well within the abilities of Hallmark to make the ornament articulated at least at the shoulders or neck, but they opted for a statue look for the ornament, without any limb articulation.


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake Soccer Player Barbie ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate Barbie Christmas Tree, the Soccer Player Barbie ornament is a fantastic addition. The ornament has the standard steel hook loop embedded into the top center of the character's head. The hook loop is fairly obvious from its necessary position on the top of Barbie's head. From there, one hangs the ornament and the Soccer Player Barbie ornament is perfectly balanced! Unlike the doll itself, which is almost impossible to get to stand up, the Soccer Player Barbie ornament has great balance and hangs perfectly!


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 branched out into every major franchise from Barbie to Gone With The Wind to Twilight. The Soccer Player Barbie ornament sold well and seemed to meet customer demand. I could not find any of the Soccer Player Barbie ornaments on clearance after the end of the season, so this one might well appreciate in value as it does not appear to be overproduced.


The Soccer Player Barbie ornament is very cute and well-balanced, but even at its original release price, it seemed a little expensive for an ornament without a sound or light function. Despite that, it is an excellent addition to anyone's Barbie ornament collection.

For other Barbie ornament reviews, please check out:
2016 Barbie Picnic Set (Limited Edition)
2016 Holiday Barbie
2016 Cherry Pie Picnic 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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