Friday, May 9, 2014

Ornament Review: Charlie's Favorite Pastime - Happiness is Peanuts All Year Long #11 - 2014 Hallmark Ornament


Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Good sculpt; Charlie Brown's smile
Cons: Appears too big; Issues with hanging
The Bottom Line:
The batter is up
Charlie gets ready to throw
Will this one strike out?




Come On, Charlie Brown, Throw a Strike!

In case you haven't noticed, I'm not really a sports guy.  I hardly watch sports on TV, and the only one I play is ultimate Frisbee.  Still, I can't complain about Charlie's Favorite Pastime, the eleventh entry in Hallmark's Happiness is Peanuts All Year Round series.  Charlie Brown loves baseball - it is a constant in the strip over the years.  It's a natural addition to the series.

As you might imagine, the ornament features Charlie Brown getting ready to throw out a pitch.  He's standing back on his right leg with his left up in the air.  His gloved left hand is sticking out in front of him while the ball is back in his right hand ready to fly.  He's standing on a brown oval.  While that oval is smooth, it is obviously designed to represent Charlie's pitcher's mound.  Charlie Brown is wearing his usual yellow shirt with a black zig zag and a red hat; he's got the biggest smile on his face.

If you bought the Happiness Is… stand that was sold separately but designed to display the series, the background for this month features the previous mentioned pitcher's mound front and center, a grassy field behind that.  Lucy is on the left hand side with her mouth wide open, obviously yelling something to him.  Snoopy is on the right hand side, and he's obviously asleep.

It's actually the background that provides one of the problems for this ornament for me.  Lucy and Snoopy are so small in it, that it makes Charlie Brown look so big in comparison.  It's almost like this is the largest ornament in the series, which I just know is an optical illusion.  I'm sure the idea was to make them seem like they are standing in the background, but it doesn't quite work.  This isn't the first time other characters have been in the background, but they have worked while this one doesn't.

The other issue I have with the ornament involves hanging it at all.  Yep, the hook isn't turned right, so if you do hang Charlie Brown on the stand, he faces either completely to the left or completely to the right.  One way, his glove blocks Snoopy; the other you can't see the ball in his hand.  Despite a slight tip forward when he's hanging, Charlie Brown does look essentially straight when you hang him.

Fortunately, there's that nice brown base.  I will be setting Charlie out on the nice base of the stand when it comes time to display this ornament.  I can turn him ever so slightly to see the details and the background and know he's solid and not going anywhere unless the stand gets a major jolt.

This is the eleventh in the year long series, so there is an 11 in a Christmas tree on the base of the ornament.

Charlie Brown has never convinced me that baseball is a good sport, but I will still enjoy Charlie's Favorite Pastime every June.  It's hard to resist something that makes Charlie Brown look so happy.

Be sure to check out the rest of the Happiness is Peanuts All Year Long series.

Original Price: $12.95

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