Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Ornament Review: Santa's Workbench - 2016 Hallmark Ornament

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Great details in a fun piece
Cons; Tool sticker
The Bottom Line:
Where Santa builds toys
Collaborative design
With lots to look at

Get a Peak at This Year’s Toys with Santa’s Workbench

After several years looking at Mrs. Claus’s items in the house, the Keepsake artist team went back to Santa for their 2016 studio piece.  Santa’s Workbench is another truly delightful piece.

This unofficial series features items in the Claus home.  All of the Keepsake artists work together, creating one tiny part of the overall ornament.  That means these pieces are slightly bigger than the average Hallmark ornament, but I don’t mind in the least.  In fact, I absolutely love it.  Why?  Because there are so many little things to see and enjoy, and I can spend hours doing just that.

We’ve caught Santa as he’s working on a train.  The train is front and center on the bench.  It’s mostly green, but there is plenty of red on it.  Be careful since the red paint must still be wet, judging from the open can of red paint on the bench.  Around the train, you’ll see the plans for the train, a hammer, a paintbrush, a snowman tool holder and a penguin brush holder.  On the upper shelf, there’s Santa’s snacks, a plate of cookies and a mug of hot chocolate.  A kitten is leaning over the upper shelf as well.  Maybe it’s because she knows there is a cute little mouse hiding on the bottom shelf.  Down there, we see a wood plane, a rocking horse, a pull duck toy, and three nutcrackers in progress.  Off to the side, we see Santa’s toolbox.

There are some fun touches to this piece.  For example, Santa has left his snowman pipe on his bench.  And his mug?  Why, it’s Santa, of course.  There’s a small snowflake on the can of paint.  It’s things like that I love looking for.

Unfortunately, there is one downside to the ornament this year.  Behind the work surface, we see several tools hanging so they are easy to grab.  However, those tools are really just an illustration on a sticker.  It actually looks tacky when you see it in good light.  It’s a little less obvious if the ornament is a little in shadow, like in a dark room with only Christmas tree lights to illuminate.  While I still love this ornament overall, it is disappointing.

Being a piece of furniture, it’s really no surprise that this ornament stands up with no issues.  It’s sturdy enough that you can set it out as a display, like with the other pieces of furniture, and enjoy it that way.

Or you can hang it on your tree.  There is a loop for doing just that on the top shelf just to the left of the mug.  That makes it a little tricky to get the hook in there, but once you do, you’ll find that it tips ever so slightly to the right.  I’m a bit surprised since it looks like the loop is in the center of the ornament.  However, the tip is so small that you will only find it if you are looking for it, and you are definitely not going to notice it when you have the ornament hanging in the middle of tree branches.

I have truly come to love these collaborative pieces of furniture.  Santa’s Workbench is another fine piece you’ll want to add.

Original Price: $39.95

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