Sunday, June 30, 2013

Ornament Review: Toymaker Santa #4 - Spring Rocking Horse - 2003 Hallmark Ornament

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Real springs make for an awesome ornament
Cons: Tilts way too much when you hang it
The Bottom Line
Wish it didn't tilt
Even so, it's so much fun
With cowboy Santa

Real Springs on This Spring Rocking Horse Ornament

It’s always the little touches that make me love one of Hallmark’s ornaments.  That’s certainly the case for the fourth Toymaker Santa ornament.

This ornament features Santa testing a spring rocking horse.  He’s sitting on the horse with one hand on a rope connected to the horse’s head and his other arm is up in the air.  With his mouth open in a big O, you get the feeling that he is whooping it up like he’s riding a bucking bronco at a rodeo.  The fact that he has a cowboy hat hanging on his back only helps with that illusion.  His legs are sticking out in front of him making it hard to see the horse’s head, but if you look, you can tell that the paint on the horse offers some festival reds and greens in the reigns and saddle.  There’s even a 2003 painted on the horse, which is the year the ornament first came out.

Since this is a spring horse, the horse is suspended over a red frame by four springs.  And here’s the touch I love, those four springs are real springs.  If you are gentle with this ornament, you can actually make Santa and the horse rock back and forth like the horse would if it were a real toy.

The red frame is designed so that it will stand on a table or other flat surface perfectly level.  Unfortunately, I can’t way the same for hanging the ornament.  Frankly, that’s not surprising since the hook is on the top of Santa’s head, and he’s leaning pretty far back.  The ornament tips pretty badly toward the front right corner.  I really wish it didn’t, but in order for that to happen, Santa probably would have had to be sitting straight up, which would have ruined the effect of the piece.  Fortunately, you can disguise the tipping pretty well if you find two branches close together.  Hang the ornament from one and rest it on the lower.

Santa’s green shirt is hiding the artist’s initials and the 4 in a Christmas tree that Hallmark uses for their series pieces.

I wish this ornament hung straight so I could give it 5 stars.  I really do love it.  But it just tips too badly to justify it.  It doesn’t seem to be much of an issue to collectors since this is one of the rarer pieces in a popular series.

So tracking down this particular edition in the Toymaker Santa series might be hard.  While it isn’t perfect, I think it is worth it.

Be sure to check out the rest of the Toymaker Santa series.

Original Price: $14.95

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