The Good: Cute, Good sculpt, Decent balance
The Bad: Very basic coloring, some sloppy painting
The Basics: The 2016 "Santa's Sweet Reindeer" limited edition ornament is fun, cute, but not nearly as collectible as Hallmark might have hoped.
A few years ago, as my wife got into collecting Hallmark ornaments of her own, I was forced to look into the non-genre ornaments that Hallmark produces. This might seem like an ironic reversal, but the truth is, since 1990, the only reason I have gone to Hallmark stores are for their genre-themed holiday ornaments; the more traditional Christmas ornaments they produce and sell had been a pretty massive blind spot to me, not to mention the greeting card portion of their stores. But, a few years back, I was dragging my wife around with me on Ornament Preview Weekend as I was hunting exclusive ornaments and she saw the Mint Chocolate Chipmunk ornament (reviewed here!) declared it adorable and I "paid" her for letting me drag her to several Hallmark Gold Crown stores by buying her the ornament. Shortly thereafter, she went through the Dreambook and found other cute, pun-based ornaments that she fell for. 2016 and 2017 have been pretty fallow for that style of ornament, but late last year, I saw one that I thought was cute. Right before this year's ornament preview weekend, one of my local Hallmark stores dug out their remaining ornaments from last year and clearanced them on a pretty deep discount. I was pleasantly surprised to see they had one copy of the ornament that had lingered in my mind in that discounted stock. That ornament was the Santa's Sweet Reindeer ornament.
Santa's Sweet Reindeer is cute and a good basic ornament, but it did not seem to resonate with collectors and the simplistic and sometimes sloppy paintjob on the ornament makes it look unfortunately cheap.
The Santa's Sweet Reindeer ornament is a Reindeer, made of a chocolate jelly roll (like a Ho-Ho), with candy cane antlers, gumdrop feet and what appears to be mint leaves for the ears! The ornament, released in 2016, is a limited edition ornament that was released during Ornament Debut Weekend and was intended to be a companion ornament to the Santa's Sweet Ride ornament. Either people did not find or did not care for the 2016 Santa's Sweet Reindeer ornament, because it did not seem to sell out anywhere I could find during its initial release.
Hallmark made a decent effort to make a good ornament with the Santa's Sweet Reindeer ornament, but the ornament is very simple in both sculpt and coloring, though it is well balanced. Measuring three and one-half inches tall, one and one-eighths inches wide and two and one-quarter inches deep, the "Santa's Sweet Reindeer" ornament is a decent-sized Hallmark ornament. Despite its size, the 2016 Santa's Sweet Reindeer ornament seemed expensive with its initial release price of $15.95, which might be why there were so many left even after the ornament was put on clearance after the season last year.
The Hallmark "Santa's Sweet Reindeer" ornament is made of a durable plastic, but the coloring is done entirely in monotones, which is simplistic but fair for the ornament's subject. Most of the Reindeer is a glossy brown with glossy white to represent the frosting filling. The candy canes are white and red and there is a purple-striped blanket on the reindeer's back, which seems to imply a blanket made of gum! The best coloring aspect of the 2016 Santa's Sweet Reindeer ornament is the inclusion of sparkles on the feet to represent the sugar of the gumdrops.
Unfortunately, several of the Santa's Sweet Reindeer ornaments I looked at had imprecise paintjobs. The lines between the white frosting filling and the brown cake body were blurred and the green from the ears ofted overlapped the brown of the reindeer's head.
As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, "Santa's Sweet Reindeer" could have a sound effect, but it does not. Instead, this is a less-expensive option that is just the cute animated character.
As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake "Santa's Sweet Reindeer" ornament is to be hung on a Christmas tree. And the "Santa's Sweet Reindeer" ornament would be a good option for anyone who wants a family tree, enjoys food, thinks puns are funny or who loves animals, despite the less-precise paintjob. The ornament has the brass hook loop embedded into the top center of the back of the Reindeer’s body. From there, the ornament hangs perfectly level, with its feet looking like they would stand flat on the ground, like it is supposed to.
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. "Santa's Sweet Reindeer" is a non-genre ornament that is limited edition, which leads buyers to hope it has an inherent collectible value. Unfortunately, it seemed to be a terrible investment piece; its value tanked and it can still be found dirt cheap in the secondary market.
Fans of cute food, reindeer, Hallmark ornaments, and generic Christmas ornaments are likely to find the Santa's Sweet Reindeer ornament cute, but a tough sell at its full price.
For other non-genre Hallmark ornaments, please check out my reviews of:
2017 Lavender Luxe Barbie Limited Edition ornament
2016 Green Thumb Snoopy ornament
2015 Misfit Friends 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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