Saturday, March 3, 2018

Ornament Review: Noelville Express - 2016 Hallmark Release

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Creative and delicious looking train to complement the Noelville series
Cons: Hard to hang two ornaments together; doesn’t light up
The Bottom Line:
Chugging into town
Sweet Noelville complement
Adds to town display

Ghost of Series Past Chugs into the Noelville Station

Just because Hallmark has officially ended one of their series, it doesn’t mean you will never see a related ornament again.  Hallmark officially ended their Noelville series in 2015, but 2016 saw Noelville Express.

While the rest of the series was made up of gingerbread houses and shops, this is actually not a building at all.  Instead, it is a train but uses the general gingerbread house idea.  That means that the train cars themselves are gingerbread brown, but the fun comes in the decorations.  The wheels are made of hard peppermint candies, the smoke stack and smoke on the engine are a vanilla ice cream cone.  There are hard candies on the roof.  In keeping with the rest of the series, we have a gingerbread engineer waving at us from the window.  And in the train car, we can see what this train is hauling.  You guessed it, a variety of sweets, including a sugar cookie and a cupcake.

Honestly, this ornament is enough to give anyone a sugar high, and as a result, I love it.  It’s creative and so much fun, everything I loved about the Noelville series when it was at its peak.

However, the ornament does have a couple of drawbacks.  First, it is a two-piece set.  I don’t know about you, but I have a really hard time getting a set of ornaments to hang and look good on a Christmas tree.  The branches are too far apart or not at the right angle, etc.  Fortunately, the two pieces do hang level, so if you have to split them up, that’s an option.  While they do hook together, it’s mostly for show.  You will need those branches to be close together to these pieces will easily come apart.

One of the things I loved about the Noelville series is that you could hook them to a light string and see the lights glow in the windows.  This ornament doesn’t do that.  I know, I know, it’s a series compliment.  Still, it would be fun if it glowed like the others.

Of course, one way to get around the issues with this set hanging is to set it out.  The wheels are all level, so it sits out just fine.  Unfortunately, we never got a Noelville train station, so we can’t put it out that way to enjoy, but this would still be a fun addition to a Noelville town display.

And that’s why, despite my complaints, I am mostly happy with the Noelville Express.  It’s a fun way to add on to a series that has already ended.

This ornament displays well with the Noelville series.

Original Price: $19.95, and only available to Keepsake Ornament Club Members

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