Friday, December 15, 2017

The 2017 Black Holiday Celebration Barbie Is A Little Off!

The Good: General details for the sculpt, Good balance, Cool sparkles on the fabric element
The Bad: Expensive, Noticeable seams, Plastic look, Odd leg placement, Coloring of the star behind her head
The Basics: The 2017 Black Celebration Barbie Hallmark ornament tries to adapt to the character's coloring, but the result is a less-impressive ornament than the other one.

Every year, Hallmark makes two versions of their Holiday Celebration Barbie ornament. There is the caucasian version of Barbie based on the literal, original, traditional Barbie and there is the black Barbie, which is one of the few versions of Barbie that - in the source doll material - is rendered as a black Barbie, as opposed to a character of a different name. Most years, when Hallmark makes the Holiday Barbie ornaments, all that changes is the coloring for the hair, eyes and skin. For 2017, though, the black version of the Holiday Barbie also had to change the star ornament that was molded into Barbie's back. Unfortunately, this makes for worse coloring for the ornament and the ornament ends up looking sickly, as opposed to impressive or interesting.


The 2017 Celebration Barbie ornament recreates this year's limited edition black Celebration Barbie doll in ornament form, which allows collectors to get a more affordable version of the popular doll in ornament form. The ornament was released with an original issue price of $19.95, which is a fair bit pricier than other ornaments in the Barbie line and it feels more expensive given the relative quality of the ornament. The 2017 Celebration Barbie ornament is 5" tall by 3 1/4" wide by 2 3/4" deep.

The 2017 Celebration Barbie ornament has a red dress with an enhanced sequin/cloth element for the dress on Barbie's bust. Barbie's hair cascades to her shoulders and looks generally good, save that the hair has a bit of a seam around the character's head, so it looks like a stuck-on wig. On the back of Barbie's neck is a big Christmas star that looms behind her head. The Holiday Barbie ornament looks all right, though the open skirts force the legs into a very odd, detached look from the rest of the ornament.

On the plus side, the 2017 Holiday Barbie ornament has skin, hair, and eye coloring that looks beautiful. The character's skin tones are fairly solid, but somehow Hallmark manages to make Barbie's face look anything but plastic. This is a Barbie ornament where the character looks good and the sequin sparkles on the top really pop, but the star behind Barbie looks terrible. The star coloring is more of an olive bronze, as opposed to the gold of the caucasian Holiday Celebration Barbie and that looks truly off.


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, the Celebration Barbie ornament could have a function like a sound chip or light effect, but it does not. This is just the ornament, with a decent fabric element accenting it. I've long thought that it was disappointing that the Celebration Barbie ornaments do not have any articulation to her limbs. The Barbie ornament is an ornament that does not emulate the doll for articulation at all.


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake 2017 Celebration Barbie ornament is that the ornaments will be hung on a Christmas Tree. For those creating the ultimate Barbie Christmas Tree, the Holiday Barbie ornaments become necessary for the die-hard collectors. Barbie has a steel hook loop at the top of her head and from there she hangs perfectly level!


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 The Hunger Games. The Holiday Barbie ornament was released at the October Ornament Release Weekend and it has sold out at several of the Hallmark stores I've been to. Already the 2017 Holiday Barbie ornament has begun to appreciate in the secondary market, despite its high original release price. The Holiday Barbie ornament often seems to peak quickly in the secondary market before leveling out or even dropping, so it makes little sense to buy it in the secondary market now when some Hallmark's might still be able to get it in.


The 2017 Black Barbie Celebration ornament is faithful to the source material, but the star truly looks ugly in this rendition, which drives it down a bit.

For other Barbie ornament reviews, please check out:
2017 Lavender Luxe Barbie ornament (Limited Edition)
2017 Holiday Celebration (White) Barbie ornament
2017 Dream Date Barbie ornament
2016 Ballet Wishes Barbie ornament
2016 Holiday Celebration Barbie ornament
2016 Soccer Player Barbie ornament
2016 Cherry Pie Picnic Barbie ornament
2016 Picnic Set Ornaments (Limited Edition)
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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