Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Hallmark Ornament Spotlight-
2010 Captain James T. Kirk
(Star Trek Legends Series)

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Item Name: Captain James T. Kirk Star Trek Legends Ornament
Manufacturer: Hallmark

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Hallmark released this piece as part of their 2010 keepsake assortment.

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The Rundown: It's that time of year again... Time for the holiday clearance sale at Hallmark! If you've stayed thrifty and avoided buying Hallmark's 3 Trek ornament offerings for this year, now is the time for a trip to your local Hallmark. As the holiday winds down, the stores begin to divest themselves of their Christmas ornament selection... meaning you'll be able to snag the trio at a deep discount if you're lucky. Sadly, this season's offerings weren't quite up to par with the last few years. While the Amok Time ornament was pretty cool, the 2009 film inspired Enterprise left a bit to be desired (especially in the quality control department). The last of the three is the Kirk we're looking at today. How's he stack up? Let's take a look...

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Kirk is the first in a new series of Hallmark ornaments dubbed "Star Trek Legends". The series is slated to feature a new character from the original television series every year. While I'm all for more TOS-inspired ornaments, this seems a little redundant to me. Sure, the series may end up giving us some characters we don't already have in ornament form eventually, but I really see this as Hallmark looking at a way to sell us the main guys again in new poses. We already have perfectly good ornaments of most the original crew from Hallmark. The only way a "re-do" makes sense is if you do it better... and judging by this Kirk, they aren't doing them any better.

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Let's start with the head... You're probably looking at that pic up there and thinking to yourself- "man, that is a pretty horrible likeness". Well, you're wrong. The likeness is great, see?

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The ornament is a dead ringer of John Belushi as Captain Kirk from the old SNL Star Trek skit. Kudos to Hallmark for plucking this obscure moment of Trek history and producing this... Wait. What? It's supposed to be Shatner? Really? Oh.... well. Yeah, it sucks then.

Seriously, I know that in the past I've cut Hallmark some slack on likenesses. These things are usually fairly small, and the materials used to make them aren't really conductive to facial accuracy.... but I can't let this one slide. At 4" tall, there's no reason the likeness on this Kirk should be SO much worse than previous smaller efforts from Hallmark. It's bad. Real bad.

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Unfortunately, the likeness isn't the only issue on Kirk. His proportions are REALLY wonky. Take a look at his pipe-cleaner arms and ridiculously inflated phaser up there. In the immortal words of Captain Panaka from Star Wars Episode I- "Looks pretty bad". I'm really not sure how Kirk even made it into production looking like this.

Oh yeah, and it's a minor gripe, but Kirk can't stand on his own either. I know, I know, he's meant to hang from a tree. Maybe I'm weird, but I like to display my ornaments too, and there really isn't any reason that a "posed" figure like this shouldn't be able to stand on it's own. Oh well, enough belly-aching... Here's his box bio-

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That's weird. They forgot to mention his adventures with Dan Aykroyd in "Blues Brothers". They must have run out of space.

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To be fair, Kirk was the cheapest of this year's offerings at only $14.95. Too bad he isn't worth that though. Simply put, the previous single Kirk produced by Hallmark WAY back in 1995 is a superior product and can still be had for less than that. As I said at the start of this though, it's clearance time at Hallmark, so you should be able to find Kirk for a cheaper price now. I'm willing to bet that if you find any of this year's ornaments still on the shelves, it will be this one. "Legends" Kirk doesn't bring anything new to the table, other than worries that Hallmark may be letting the quality slip on their Trek products just a bit...

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