Friday, May 31, 2013

Ornament Review: Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown! - 2010 Hallmark Ornament

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Wonderful lights, sound, and look capture ending of TV special
Cons: Tree too nice, unbalanced, price
The Bottom Line:
Peanuts fans will say
Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!
With this ornament

No Peanuts Fan Will be Able to Resist "Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!"

I tried.  I really, really tried.  I told myself it was too expensive.  I told myself I didn't need it.  And I still wound up buying Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!  This Hallmark ornament isn't perfect, but it's so neat I just had to get it.

The ornament sets out to remind us of the ending of the classic Christmas special A Charlie Brown Christmas.  The main ornament depicts Lucy, Linus, Snoopy, and Charlie Brown standing in front of a Christmas tree.  Lucy, Linus, and Snoopy have their eyes closed and are obvious singing (or howling in Snoopy's case).  Charlie Brown is standing front and center with a big smile on his face.

The four characters are standing around a Christmas tree, and it's the first flaw with the ornament.  Instead of being small and scraggly like the one in the special, this one is taller than any of the characters and fully filled in.

The characters and tree are standing on an oval base.  That base depicts outdoor scenes from the special, but without any characters in them.  We've got the Christmas tree lot, the snowman Pig Pen was building, Snoopy's dog house, Lucy's psychiatric booth, and a couple of houses.  All of this is covered in snow, and it looks quite nice.

Now, what sold me on this ornament is the fact that it is a Hallmark Magic ornament.  It takes 3 AAA batteries (which aren't included), which fit quite nicely in the base.  There is a button between Snoopy and Lucy.  When you press it, you get three sound clips that rotate in order.  If they aren't the real sound bite from the special, they are very darn close.  Without digging out my DVD to compare, I can't tell the difference.  The first one features Linus' line about how he never thought the tree was such a bad little tree.  Secondly, there is a few seconds of humming follwed by everyone say, "Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!"  Finally, the kids sing the first line of "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing."  Each clip is about 10 seconds long.

There's also a light component.  When you press the button, the star at the top of the tree lights up, and some of the blubs on the tree flash on and off.  The lights flash for about 10 seconds, the length of the clip, but the star on the tree stays lit for an extra 15 seconds.  The lights are dim, so they show up best in a dark room or on a Christmas tree without only the Christmas tree lights on in the room.  But I can see them as long as the ornament isn't in direct light.

I was playing around with this ornament in the store, and as soon as I pushed the button, I fell in love.  I love A Charlie Brown Christmas.  And to have the clips from that show just makes me smile.  The lights blinking on the tree are also a nice touch.  It just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

While the base of this ornament is flat, if you want to hand the ornament, you'll find it doesn't hang straight.  The hook for hanging it is in the back of the tree, and with basically the entire ornament in front of hook, it's not surprising to me that it tips forward.  If you hang it high enough, you'll still be able to enjoy the detail on the characters.

I mentioned earlier the price.  This ornament is $28.95, which even for Hallmark seems a bit steep.  I waited until I had a coupon to get it, but once I had played with it, I knew I would have to get it.

I have a feeling I'm not going to be alone.  This ornament captures the final moments of a beloved Christmas special so well, I have a feeling that Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown! will be popular with Peanuts fans despite the high price.

Original Price: $28.95

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