This clipping is from The Country Journal in May of 1994. It is an article that covers Patrick Stewart and the last days of Star Trek: The Next Generation but what catches the eye is the Hallmark ad in the lower right.
Unfortunately, the image is too blurry to make out the details but it is a Rowe-Manse Emporium and Country Store advertisement offering a buy back program of the 1991 Hallmark Enterprise ornament. As the ad shows, Rowe-Manse was offering $150 for Hallmark’s first Star Trek ornament. $150 in 1994 is equivalent to $268.50 in 2021. The ‘91 Enterprise is currently available on eBay for $75 and up. Originally sold for $20, the Enterprise was a huge success and supply did not keep up with the high demand.
Roxanne Roberts of the Washington Post wrote on the ornament’s rarity in 1991, “Demand for the Starship is the greatest that Hallmark has ever had for any ornament, says spokeswoman Betsy Helgager. The company will not release production figures but the Enterprise, which premiered this summer at about 11,000 retailers, was quickly reissued this fall when Hallmark realized it had a phenomenon on its branches. Each store got about 50. Since the ornament went on display in August, stores have been inundated with requests. Most started waiting lists; after a while, they stopped taking names. On Oct. 1, when retailers were allowed to reorder the spaceship, Hallmark received more than $1 million in orders, said one representative. Most shipments were sold out the day they arrived. People are still calling, even offering extra money.“
In 1993, Kevin Stevens wrote for Strange New Worlds, “Prices for the Starship Enterprise ornament climbed to $175, eventually topping out at about $250. One dealer at a Los Angeles area Star Trek convention had priced the ornament at $400. Prices for this piece have since stabilized at about $200.”
The Rowe-Manse Emporium was a New Jersey business that sold collectibles, toys, jewelry, food and candy and was known for its wooden escalator. Unfortunately, this specialty department store went out of business in the early 2000s.