Saturday, June 22, 2013

Ornament Review: Statler and Waldorf - 2008 Hallmark Ornament

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Funny exchanges between two well loved characters
Cons: Big and boxy; not Christmassy
The Bottom Line
Insults at Christmas?
Yes with Statler and Waldorf
And that just means laughs

"Hanging Around This Christmas Tree is Better Than That Theater."  "Anything's Better Than That Theater."

While my appreciation for all the characters on The Muppet Show has grown over the years, my favorites remain Statler and Waldorf, aka the two old men in the balcony.  So when I discovered that Hallmark had released an ornament of them in 2008, I had to get it.

The ornament features the two men in their customary chairs in their private booth.  They are turned toward each other and talking, obviously cracking each other up.  Behind them, you can see the ruffles of the curtains, and there's even detail on the front of their balcony.  Overall, the ornament is fairly simple and has a rather large and boxy shape.  But I'm not quite sure what else you could do for these characters.

This is what Hallmark calls a Magic ornament, meaning it has sound.  There's a button on the front of the balcony, and when you press it, you hear one of five exchanges between these characters from The Muppet Show.  My favorite of these is probably, "This show is awful."  "Terrible."  "Disgusting."  "See you next week?"  "Of course."  For people like me who love these characters for their insults, these lines are just the icing on the cake.  The ornament requires three lithium button batteries to run, and they fit into a compartment on the bottom of the ornament.

Because the speaker for the ornament is on the very bottom, there are three tiny bumps that set the ornament off any flat surface by just an fraction of an inch.  Those are perfectly level, however, so if you decide to display the ornament year round, it will sit flat.  However, since Statler and Waldorf are facing slightly down, you get more out of the ornament if you keep it at eye level or above.

There's a small brass ring for hanging the ornament on the top.  When you hang it, the ornament tips forward ever so slightly.  We're talking only noticeable to the very observant.  The ornament is a little on the heavy side, so you'll want to be sure to find a sturdy branch to hang it on.

I must not be alone in loving these two old hecklers.  This ornament has skyrocketed in price more than any of the other recent Muppet ornaments have.  If you decide to get this one, be prepared to pay a lot or hunt for a while to get it.

That said, to me it was worth the hunt.  I have a lot of fun pressing the button every couple of days and getting a new exchange to laugh over.  Just knowing the characters is all the context you need for a good laugh.

If I had to list a complaint, it would be that there is nothing really Christmassy about the ornament.  Okay, so their private box is red, but that's not really enough.  Then again, most of the pop culture ornaments I get aren't especially Christmassy, so it's a minor issue.

Statler and Waldorf make for a great ornament because of the quotes the ornament provides.  This will provide a laugh at Christmas or year round.

Original Price: $16.50

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