#6: 2016 Enterprise “Pilot” Painted Event Edition
2021 Secondary Market: $395.95
Size: 6” L x 2 1/2” W x 1 1/2” H
#6 on our list is a repaint of the 2016 50th anniversary Hallmark store ornament. The Keepsake available in stores was an all gold version of the early Enterprise while the Event Edition, which was released the same year, was a screen accurate painted version. Both ornaments played Kirk’s opening monologue and the Star Trek theme song.
Lynn Norton commented about his work on the the ornament in a 2015:
“This is the one that I really went out of my way to make as accurate as possible. I based it on the original shooting model with its larger bridge dome, larger deflector dish and nacelle features as a tribute to the series’ 50th anniversary. Assuming it’s able to maintain all of its details in final production, it’s more accurate than anything I’ve done before.”startrek.com
The decision seems odd for Hallmark to make the gold Enterprise the more widely available ornament and the painted version available as the Event Exclusive. It seems both versions would have benefited in the other’s release plan. The recognizable repaint available to the mass market would have been a safe and possibly more successful way to go and the limited gold version would have still been sought after by collectors.
Star Trek is one of those rare television shows that had two pilots. The original 11’ Enterprise model that was made for Star Trek’s pilot, The Cage filmed in late 1964, would be altered between pilots and again before the series aired. Most notably, lights were added to the model for the filming of Star Trek’s second pilot Where No Man Has Gone Before filmed in July of 1965. The easiest way to discern the differences between the first and second pilot ship designs is the vent grating at the back of the warp nacelles.
As you can see, the Event Exclusive Enterprise’s vent grating is present placing the ship firmly as a Where No Man Has Gone Before ornament. Once the series began filming its official run in May of 1966 the Enterprise would again be altered dropping the needles on the front of the nacelles and adding the space matrix restoration coils* on the rear.
*I’m not really a nerd but more of a researcher**
**Okay, running a Hallmark Star Trek Ornament website constitutes me as a nerd. I get it!
The next time we DROP in on the Top 10 it will be at #5.
“The decision seems odd for Hallmark to make the gold Enterprise the more widely available ornament and the painted version available as the Event Exclusive. It seems both versions would have benefited in the other’s release plan. The recognizable repaint available to the mass market would have been a safe and possibly more successful way to go and the limited gold version would have still been sought after by collectors.”
Maybe so—if collectors were our only market here.
When we share ideas among ourselves for our next ornaments, we do keep collectors in mind, certainly, but we also want to appeal to our customers looking to give meaningful gifts as well as people who count themselves as Star Trek fans to varying degrees. When we do a U.S.S. Enterprise ornament, we do hear “Oh, sheesh, not ANOTHER Enterprise!” from a segment of our customers—and that segment includes collectors. We do listen to them. Admittedly, the pilot configuration can appear identical to past sculpts we’ve done of the Enterprise to the casual shopper as well as to some longtime fans. That year, when I’d point out the bridge dome and nacelle features and the deflector dish to shoppers, I’d more often than not get a “Ohhhhh, yeaaaaah . . . I guess I see it now.” So a screen-accurate painting of that sculpt carried the burden of looking too familiar to most browsers of our display. We couldn’t very well put a big arrow on the display that read “No, wait, this one has a bigger bridge dome, see?”
We also knew that for Star Trek’s 50th anniversary year, we wanted to honor the show with something unlike any ornament we’ve done in previous years. A golden anniversary merited a golden Enterprise, we believed, and our idea for it was different enough from previous ship ornaments that we believed it would catch the attention of even casual fans. We believed then that it belonged “on the wall” for everyone rather than at a limited quantity for convention goers, and I stand by that decision. The convention repaint felt like a natural fit for an event that draws a higher percentage of keen-eyed collectors than our typical Hallmark Gold Crown store, so we went with it.
Your mileage may vary, as they say, when it comes to our ornament choices, and I get that. There’s a peek behind the curtain for that one, at least in regard to our thought processes.
I posted too soon! I very much want to note that I totally dug this entry. You gave a nicely detailed background to the design. It was almost like reading my original pitch to the Keepsakes team! I sure do not want my comment above to sound like a smack against what you offered to your readers. It was terrific!
No offense at all. I love hearing what happens in the background and after you explained the decision process it makes complete sense. As you can see I am a big fan of the repaint pilot Enterprise but I was never going to go without either no matter how they were released.
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