Thursday, May 30, 2013

Ornament Review: Candy Claus - Noel Nutcrackers #1 - 2008 Hallmark Ornament

Stars: 3 out of 5
Pros: Creative use of candy to create Santa
Cons: Looks kind of ugly
The Bottom Line:
This one's a mixed bag
Creative use of candy
Not that appealing

Noel Nutcrackers Got Off to a Shaky Start with Candy Claus

As much as I love Christmas, I'm not a traditionalist.  Yes, I have some nutcrackers that are very traditional in their look.  But I also like to get some different looking nutcrackers.  That's why I started collection the Noel Nutcracker series from Hallmark.  It started with Candy Claus, which is the weakest entry in the series.

As the name suggests, this nutcracker is of Santa Claus, but he is made from candy.  He's standing on a peppermint base.  His legs are licorice, his shoulders and gum drops, and his arms are candy canes.  His hair and beard are frosting, although his nose and upper whiskers are a hard, wrapped candy still in its wrapping.  You get the idea.  Frankly, the way artist Sue Tague used candy to create this guy is very creative, and I love that part of the ornament.  In one hand he's holding a Christmas tree shaped lollipop, and in the other he's holding a stocking with a gingerbread man and a candy cane inside.  The gumdrops have flakes of glitter on them, making them seem like they are really made out of sugar instead of plastic.

And yes, he is a working nutcracker.  Just like on a real nutcracker, there's a tab in the back that lowers his mouth.  Naturally, I wouldn't put any real nuts in there to crack; it's just not strong enough to be anything but a decoration.

I bought the ornament when I started collection Hallmark at the beginning of the year.  Unlike the other two in this series, I can't decide if I like this one or not.  It's a nice idea, but the execution just doesn't quite work.  I like some of the details.  And one time when I look at it I think it's cute.  The next time, I don't especially like it.

The little brass hook for hanging Santa is hidden on the back of his head.  He hangs straight, or close enough to straight that you'd never notice.  The peppermint base he stands on also makes him steady if you want to leave him out somewhere, and it provides a nice place for the 1 in a Christmas tree that Hallmark likes to hide on all their series ornaments.

Considering how great the other two ornaments in the series are, it's a shame that they started with Candy Claus.  While there is some appeal to him, I probably would have passed him by without my collector's need to complete the series.

Check out the rest of the Noel Nutcrackers series.

Original Price: $15.00

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