Friday, May 31, 2013

Ornament Review: Pac-Man - 2008 Hallmark Ornament

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Cool light and sound on this faithful arcade recreation
Cons: Back and sides light up when they shouldn't
The Bottom Line:
Trip down memory lane
Right there on your Christmas tree
Geeky, yes.  But cool.




Pac-Man Will Gobble His Way into Your Heart with this Arcade Ornament

Yes, I am a child of the 80's, and I love all those old video games.  Pac-Man is a particular favorite, and I spent many an hour playing Pac-Man on my Atari 2600.  I didn't play real arcades very often, but he was always a favorite there, too.  So naturally, I wanted Hallmark's 2008 Pac-Man ornament.

This ornament is a recreation of the classic arcade machine.  It's even got the panel on the front where you'd insert your quarter to play the game.  It's bright yellow and has the original game artwork painted on the sides, which include some highly digitized fruit, a bit of the screen, and of course a fully drawn Pac-Man with hands and feet.  The front includes a raised joystick and the one player or two player buttons.  There's also a picture of the game on the screen.  Pac-Man hasn't eaten too much of the board yet, but the cherry has come out.

This is a Magic ornament that includes light and sound.  On the back, you'll find a panel that can be removed easily.  The ornament takes three watch type batteries, and your first round are included.  When you press either the one or two player button, the game lights up and the sound starts.  For about 15 seconds, you get sounds from the game including the classic opening music, Pac-Man eating some pellets, chasing ghosts, and then finally dying.  The game stays light for a total of 30 seconds.  The screen lights up and the name at the top lights up as well.  Unfortunately, when you get the ornament in a dim room (like, say, in a room only light by a Christmas tree), you'll see that the sides of the ornament are thin enough to let light through as well.  That ruins the effect a little, although it is still very cool.  There is no easy way into the ornament, so once the light bulb burns out, I can't figure out a way to replace it.

The ornament has a flat base, so you can display it easily somewhere if you want do.  However, Hallmark designed it to hang on your tree.  You'll find their standard brass hook on the top of the ornament.  Pac-Man hangs perfectly straight.  Despite having the batteries and other electronic workings in him, he's also fairly light.  I'm sure the fact that he's made out of plastic helps with that.  He'll weigh down the branch he's on a little, but it won't be that bad.

The geek in me loves this ornament.  The sound and light really make Pac-Man extremely cool.  Just make sure you have some way to play the classic game handy because I have a feeling this ornament will make you want to play.

Original Price: $18.50

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