Monday, March 18, 2013

Hallmark Peanuts Wireless Band Review: Linus on Trumpet

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Two new songs and a new note of harmony
Cons: If you missed out on the first four, you'll need to track them down, too
Bottom Line:
Two jazzy new songs
To go with new instrument
Linus on trumpet

Trumpeter Linus Joins the Peanuts Wireless Band

2011 saw the release of four members in what Hallmark called a Peanuts Wireless Band.  But they were through after releasing those four originals.  For 2012, they released on more - Linus on Trumpet.  And he's a great addition to the band.

Like the others in the series, Linus is not an ornament.  Instead, he's almost six inches tall from the base of the piece to the top of his head.  He's wearing a red Santa hat, red scarf, and red pants as well as a green coat.  And he's holding a trumpet.  Like the other members of the band, the base of this piece is rather large and accounts for an inch and a half of height.

What makes Linus and the others fun is how they interact with each other.  Each member of the band will start one of two songs, but all of them join in and play all the songs.  That means if you have all five of the pieces in this set, you can hear 10 different songs.  And even though Linus was released a year later, he still interacts with all the others and they will chime in on his songs.

And what songs does Linus get to lead?  There's a short version of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" and a longer version of "Joy to the World."  I'd say that "Joy to the World" is one of the longest songs any of them play.  Both of these songs have a jazz feel to them, although "Joy to the World" is more so and a very fun arrangement.  The trumpet sounds could be a little more convincing, but he still sounds good overall.

And he blends in well with the others.  Yes, you do notice a bit of trumpet to the other songs that wasn't there last year, so Linus is adding something to the arrangements.  Since most of the songs last around 30 seconds, they aren't sophisticated, but they are very fun.

Now, I lined all five of mine up under a tree this last December, but you could put them around a room and they'd still interact appropriately.  If I had places to put them around the room, I would just to give it a bit more stereo.  Still, they are quite fun, and I play with them often.

Linus does nod his head and move his upper body in time to whatever song he is playing.  It's a fun effect, although I would have been fine with just the sound.

Like the others, Linus needs three AAA batteries to actually play the music.  The first set is included, and I didn't wear them out during December this last year.

So if you had the others, be sure to pick up Linus.  And if you are looking for something fun, see if you can track down all the members of the Peanuts Wireless Band.

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