Saturday, June 22, 2013

Ornament Review: The Swedish Chef - 2009 Hallmark Ornament

Stars: 3 out of 5
Pros: Captures a specific sketch well
Cons: Balance uneven, personally, not too crazy about Swedish Chef
The Bottom Line
Tilting ornament
Captures a specific scene
With the Swedish Chef

Bork! Bork! Bork!

I realize I'm in the minority, but I've never quite scene the appeal of The Swedish Chef.  This character from The Muppet Show comes out and shows us how to cook something.  However, he always creates a mess (which I do find funny), and he talks with an indecipherable fake Swedish accent.  I can never understand a word he is saying.

Anyway, that didn't stop me from getting the 2009 Hallmark ornament based on the character.  (Stupid collector mentality.)  Unlike the other Muppets ornaments that Hallmark has done, this one is based on a very specific scene from season two.  In that scene, the Swedish Chef is trying to show us how to cook a lobster.  Just as he gets the live lobster in the pot of hot water, some lobster bandidos come in, hold the chef up, and help their friend escape from the pot.

I'm a little surprised that they got this specific with their ornament since the others they've done are generic enough that you can enjoy them no matter how many or few episodes of the show you've seen.  Even though I've seen season two, I don't know specifically which episode this was in, and I don't even remember having seen it.  I had to look the video up on line to refresh my memory.  Having said that, this is a better than usual Swedish Chef sketch since it involves a big surprise and a few other characters.

The ornament itself features the Chef standing behind a counter on a tiled floor.  There's a lobster in the pot, and two of the three bandidos who show up in the sketch are on the counter holding two guns each on him.  It's a very red and white ornament with brown on the cabinets.

The floor that the Chef is standing on also provides a flat base, so if you want to leave this ornament out year round, it will rest on any surface.

However, if you want to display the ornament on your Christmas tree, you'll find a hook on the top of the Chef's hat.  Unfortunately, this ornament tips pretty far to the front right corner.  If you want it hanging straight, you'll have to position it such that a lower branch will hold it level.

Like the other recent Muppet ornaments, this is a Magic ornament, meaning in this case that it has clips from the sketch.  There are three clips.  The first is the Chef singing as the sketch opens, which is a universal moment from all of his sketches.  The second clip is from the bandidos.  Finally, we get the last few moments of the sketch as the bandidos leave and the Chef tries to comprehend what just happened.  That's the best one out of the lot.  These three rotate through, so if you press the button on the side of the cabinet three times, you'll hear all of them.  There's a compartment in the base of the ornament that holds the 3 button type batteries the ornament needs to run.

Despite the fun Magic element, this ornament is only okay.  When you combine my ambivalent feelings at The Swedish Chef with the tilt, it winds up being average.

Original Price: $16.50

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