Thursday, December 28, 2017

A Surprising Success: The 2017 Mario Super Mario Ornament Is A Winner!

The Good: Excellent sculpt, Perfectly accurate coloring, Collectible value
The Bad: Slight balance issue
The Basics: The 2017 "Super Mario" ornament is a near-perfect Hallmark ornament that is likely to please classic video game fans!

Every now and then, Hallmark takes a real risk on a new franchise for its ornaments. For the 2017 ornament season, Hallmark developed a relationship with Nintendo, which was an interesting departure for the card and ornament company; if it had made any video game-themed holiday ornaments before now, it seems like it might have been a while ago or they were not all that popular. For 2017, Hallmark released a line of Super Mario Hallmark ornaments and the first one I found (and that sold out!) was Mario himself.


The Mario Super Mario ornament is a character-based video game ornament, made of solid plastic by Hallmark. The 2017 Mario Super Mario ornament features Mario from the popular video game franchise in his distinctive plumber's outfit (with hat) in mid-jump. Mario, in the ornament form, is in the process of hitting his head on one of the coin boxes from the Super Mario video game, with a coin appearing to rise out of the top of the mystery box.

The 2017 Super Mario is 2 5/8" tall by 1 1/2" wide and deep. The sculpt is incredibly accurate, featuring a three-dimensional look to the character and the box - including texture for the border and question mark on the coin box. Mario is sculpted with his gloved hands, appropriately, in fists and a big smile on the character's face. The Mario ornament has impressive detailing for the character's ears and big buttons on the plumber's overalls. Details like the eyebrows and mustache are sculpted on, as opposed to just painted on.

The coloring for the 2017 Mario ornament is simple, but entirely accurate to the character. The colors are monotones and the bright red, blue and yellow look just like they do in the video game. The character's eyes are expertly painted on and the "M" logo on Mario's cap is wonderfully applied. This ornament looks great on both the sculpt and coloring front, especially for what is such a comparatively simple source material.


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, "Mario" has neither a light, nor a sound effect. This is just the ornament on its own with no additional features. That's a little disappointing given how Hallmark could have made the coin box light up and/or included any number of sound effects (or music) from the Super Mario video game. Sadly, though, this is just Mario on his own without any additional features. Given how this is a new franchise for Hallmark, not taking the risk on a more expensive ornament, with features, right off the bat makes some sense.


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake Mario Super Mario ornament is to be hung on a Christmas tree. The 2017 Mario ornament has a steel hook loop embedded into the top of the coin that is atop the coin box. From that position, the 2017 Mario is just a touch front and right (when viewed from the front, looking at his face) heavy. The balance issue is noticeable because the box ought to be level and the coin should be coming out of it perpendicular to box. But, because of the character's shape, the balance is thrown just a touch 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. Mario is one of the first video game-themed ornaments from Hallmark and it sold out at every Hallmark Gold Crown store that I could find where it was stocked. It has already appreciated on the secondary market, almost doubling in price, so it seems like it's a great investment piece for those who were able to find it!


The 2017 Mario Super Mario is a near-perfect Hallmark ornament and it stars off Hallmark's relationship with Nintendo right!

For other Hallmark ornaments, please check out my reviews of:
2017 Lavender Luxe Barbie ornament
2017 He's Mr. Snow Miser The Year Without A Santa Claus ornament
2017 P-5000 Powered Work Loader Aliens 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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