Sunday, June 2, 2013

Ornament Review: Surrounded by Snakes - 2010 Hallmark Ornament

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Great balance and detail.  Fun sound clip
Cons: Wish both parts of the sound clip were new
The Bottom Line
Classic moment caught
Why does it have to be snakes?
Great detail, fun sound

Even If You Hate Snakes, You'll Like This Indiana Jones Ornament

I'm not a fan of snakes, so I've always understood Indiana Jones' aversion to them in Raiders of the Lost Ark.  So you might be surprised to learn that one of the ornaments I got this year was Surrounded By Snakes, Hallmark's Indiana Jones offering for 2010.  Even with my dislike of snakes, this is going to make a nice addition to my tree.

The ornament features Indiana Jones at the Well of Souls scene.  At this point in the movie, he's been captured by the Nazis and dropped down a giant hole filled with deadly snakes.  The only thing keeping them at bay is the fire on the two torches he's holding.

The base of this ornament is fairly big.  While the bottom we don't see is even, the top is made to look like an uneven surface on the ground.  There are seven snakes slithering on the outside edges of this ornament and one rearing its head up threatening Indy.  Indy is leaning over slightly, holding two torches, ready to wave one at that snake to scare him back for a moment.

The detail on this ornament is outstanding.  Even though most of the snakes are small, they are still painted well and make fairly scaly.  The main snake is given more detail including bigger bands of white and a hood.  Of course, that only make sense if he's about to strike Indy.

Indiana, meanwhile, is great.  You can see the wrinkles in his clothes.  His jacket is open just enough that we can see his gun.  And around back, his whip is hanging from his belt, ready for action.  While his face is hidden by his hat, if you tip is back, he looks like Harrison Ford.  The fire on torches he is holding are a clearish orange plastic, making them see through enough to really represent fire.

The ornament is a magic ornament, which in this case means that Hallmark has added sound to it.  The ornament takes three watch type batteries, which are included.  There is a small button near the front of the ornament.  The ornament alternates between two things when you press it.  The first is Indiana saying, "Snakes.  Why did it have to be snakes?"  In the background, you can hear them hissing and rattling at him.  I'm not completely sure it is the clip from the actual movie, but it's darn close if it isn't.  The second thing if plays is the Indiana Jones theme song.  While I love the song, it was included in last year's Indiana Jones ornament, so I wish they had found something else to include here.  That's a minor complaint over all, however.  It would have been fun in the torches lit up while the ornament was making sound, however I'm not sure there is enough room for a light bulb in the torches themselves.

Given the wide base the ornament has, it's no surprise to me that it sits flat when you set it on a table.  What is a bigger surprise is that when you hang it from the brass hook on Indy's right shoulder, he hangs straight as well.  The ornament is so big, Indy is off to one side, and it has batteries.  Really, if it had tipped a bit one way or the other, I wouldn't have been surprised in the least.

While I would have preferred a completely new sound chip, I still love this ornament.  Surrounded By Snakes takes a classic scene and manages to make it more enjoyable than scary.

Original Price: $18.95

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