Monday, February 27, 2017

Ornament Review: A Sweet Surprise - 2016 Hallmark Ornament

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Great scene and fun magic elements
Cons: Really wish it were a Magic Cord ornament
The Bottom Line:
A gingerbread house
Complete with music and lights
Pleasing ornament

Light and Music Make This Ornament Sweet

I have self-control when it comes to Hallmark ornaments.  (Really, you can stop laughing now.)  I don’t buy every ornament I want as soon as it comes out.  In fact, in the case of 2016’s A Sweet Surprise, I waited until after Christmas and bought it for half off.

This ornament combines Hallmark’s recent rash of scene inside ornaments with the recently completed Noelville series.  Add in a magic element, and you have an ornament I ultimately fell for.

The ornament itself is a teardrop shaped ball with the point at the bottom.  It is blue on the bottom half and white glittery snow on top.  Inside, we see a scene of a gingerbread house sitting in the snow.  Next to it is a reindeer made from a roll cake.  There are two trees next to the house, but they are the only thing that doesn’t appear to be made of food.

As someone who was collecting the Noelville series, which featured a town made from gingerbread houses, I immediately caught the connection here.  But this ornament works well even if you didn’t collect that series.  After all, this isn’t an official series piece.  It’s very festive and beautiful looking.

And that’s before you add the light and sound.  When you press the button disguised as one of the stones leading up to the house, you get a second sound clip of “Deck the Halls” while lights inside the ornament flash along.  The clip is just over 20 seconds.  The house and trees themselves light up, and the background switches between green and blue lights.

Which brings me to my only real complaint about this ornament.  To get the show to play, you need to install 3 button batteries.  This is the perfect piece for Hallmark Magic Cord.  If this were a Magic Cord ornament, I probably would have bought it right away.  I would love to see this ornament interacting with others and their light shows.  It’s fun as an individual ornament, but it would be awesome as a Magic Cord piece.  And the price point certainly supports that since this is on the pricey side for a magic ornament but in line with what Magic Cord ornaments cost.

Since the point of the teardrop is at the bottom of this ornament, you have to hang it.  Fortunately, the ornament hangs straight.  That’s no real surprise since the ornament is a ball.  It is heavy, however, so you’ll want to make sure you put it on a sturdy branch.

Even though this is just a regular magic ornament, it is still very fun.  If you missed A Sweet Surprise, you might want to give it a second look.

Original Price: $29.95

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