Friday, July 14, 2017

Rewarding Fans Well, The 2017 Lavender Luxe Barbie Ornament Is Pretty Cool!

The Good: Good sculpt, Vivid coloring, Good blending of porcelain & fabric elements, Hair coloring!
The Bad: Left-heavy, No flexibility.
The Basics: In 2017, Hallmark Keepsake rewarded ornament club members with an exquisite Barbie ornament that is a classy high-end Barbie: Lavender Luxe Barbie!

In all of my reviews of Barbie Hallmark ornaments, I cannot recall ever reviewing one of their high-end member exclusive ornaments that was made of porcelain. That changes today as I managed to get my hands on the Limited Edition Member Exclusive Lavender Luxe Barbie! The 2017 Lavender Luxe Barbie seems like an excellent place to start on the Barbie ornament line for 2017 as this is an astonishingly good - even if it is not perfect - ornament. For the first time, I understand why people might hunt down the premium Barbie ornaments!

For those unfamiliar with them, Barbie dolls have been a leading trademarked doll (and model for unrealistic female bodytypes!) from Mattel for over seventy years. Hallmark Keepsake picked up the Barbie license in order to produce Christmas ornaments and Lavender Luxe Barbie was one of a couple of exclusive Barbie ornaments offered in 2017.


The Lavender Luxe Barbie is intended as a premium Barbie ornament for Ornament Club Members in 2017. As such, it is a porcelain and fabric Barbie ornament. The 2017 Lavender Luxe Barbie is a little larger than many of the other Barbie ornaments as it is 4 3/4"tall by 2 1/8" wide by 2 1/4" deep. It is also the most expensive Barbie ornament on the market in 2017 with an original issue price of $29.95. And, despite a few very small flaws with it, it does seem to be a quality level that pretty much justifies that price.

The Lavender Luxe Barbie ornament recreates the Lavender Luxe Barbie doll and she is an elegant bejeweled version of Barbie. The ornament features the recognizable visage of Barbie, save that she has flowing red hair that cascades over her left shoulder. This Barbie is wearing a lavender ball gown that is tight on the legs (almost like a mermaid, which is a different exclusive Barbie!), a plunging neckline and very high gloves on her arms. The sculpt is an impressive rendition of Barbie and the dress has appropriate stress lines to imply the legs that would be inside it. Between that and the flow of her hair, the Lavender Luxe Barbie ornament looks compellingly animated, as opposed to a woman up on a pedestal!

The Hallmark Lavender Luxe Barbie ornament is made of porcelain and a thin mesh fabric and the ornament looks very good on the coloring front. The fabric and paint match perfectly, so the accents do not contrast with the body of the ornament. The skin tones have subtle depth and shading to them and Lavender Luxe Barbie's cheeks have a subtly rosy pallor to them. The gloves are a pearlescent white that makes them look like satin or velvet and the accents on the midriff of the dress - glitter or sparkles - manage to not look cheaper or contrast with the rest of the ornament's quality. I was most impressed by the level of depth and shading to Lavender Luxe Barbie's red hair. Her hair looks incredible on the coloring front!


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, Lavender Luxe Barbie could have a function like a sound chip or light effect, but does not. This is just an ornament, a comparatively high-cost, high-quality option for fans of Barbie. I think it's disappointing that Lavender Luxe Barbie does not have any articulation to her limbs. This is less disappointing than with many Barbie ornaments as the porcelain would seem to limit the ability to articulate her limbs.


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake Lavender Luxe Barbie ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate Barbie Christmas Tree, the Lavender Luxe Barbie ornament is necessary only for the die-hard fans (or, I suppose, anyone who loves classy-looking redheads!).

The ornament has a metal hook loop embedded into the top center of the character's head. I'm not certain what the metal is, but one would presume steel. Because the ornament is porcelain, the hook loop is thinner (the metal was baked in) and not shiny. As a result, the hook loop looks a little more flimsy than the hook loop on other Barbie ornaments. Despite the appearance, it seems to do the job of holding the ornament, though. From the hook loop, there is a slight left-bias to the Lavender Luxe Barbie ornament (or, if it twists, just a touch front-heavy). The balance issue is not severe, but it is noticeable.


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 Lavender Luxe Barbie ornament is an exclusive and it does seem like it is being coveted by fans of the Barbie ornament line, though collectors have been buying it up slower than I would have expected, probably because of the high initial price. Despite being porcelain, the Lavender Luxe Barbie is not showing the usual fast appreciation in value compared with other Barbie ornaments. I suspect that once enough people start seeing how nice this ornament is in person (as opposed to online photos), its value will increase.


Fans of the Barbie franchise and exclusive ornaments in general are likely to be thrilled by the 2017 Lavender Luxe Barbie ornament, even if it is a little more expensive than others in the line.

For other Barbie ornament reviews, please check out:
2016 Barbie Picnic Set (Limited Edition)
2016 Soccer Player Barbie
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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