2021 Top 10 Hallmark Star Trek Ornaments: #5

#5: 2008 “The Trouble with Tribbles”

Retail: $28.00
2021 Secondary Market: $59.95
Size: 4” H
Code: QXI4291

In 2008, Hallmark released an ornament depicting a scene from the most famous episode in the Star Trek franchise. With a clever design, the ornament recreates the moment at the end of the episode, The Trouble with Tribbles, when dozens of the furry creatures descend onto Kirk’s head from an overhead compartment.

Once you look past the fact that Kirk appears to be selling tokens in a subway booth and his lack of eye detail it is a welcome surprise to see Kirk’s green Captain’s uniform with the plunging neckline. According to starfleet.ca, Kirk wore a version of the green wraparound four times in the first season and nine times in the second. Ultimately, you only had a one in six chance of seeing Kirk in green. Or did you?

“The Command uniforms had never actually been gold at all in The Original Series thanks to a trick of light and early color television. Star Trek premiered in 1966, just after the color television transition of ’65, when most networks began switching their broadcasts to at least 50% color. Desilu Productions, the studio producing Trek for NBC, wanted to capitalize on this and demanded a color palette of bright, primary colors. In accordance with this directive, William Ware Theiss, the designer of the original Starfleet uniform, chose a distinctive palette for the crew: a bright cherry-red, a steel-toned blue, and lime green. The red and blues of the on-set fabrics maintained their color on the film stock of the day. But the green uniforms appeared gold on screen through a combination of studio lighting, velour material, and the film stock used.

After The Original Series, the gold design of the command uniforms was further cemented into Trek lore in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “Trials and Tribble-ations.” In that episode, Dr. Bashir is confused about the uniform conventions of the era after traveling back in time to the original Enterprise, but is set straight by Chief O’Brien and Captain Sisko. It marks the first time that the original gold uniform code is mentioned in dialogue and is a nod to fans “in the know,” who would often engage in the gold vs. green debate. The gold appearance of the TOS uniforms had been officially retconned into the franchise.“

ScreenRant

Upon further inspection there is a lot of gray on this ornament. A lot! The gray is only broken up by the metallic Q*Bert-style stickers on the sides. The Sound and Motion activation button is prominently displayed front and center (but is conspicuously missing on the ornament’s box image). Pressing the Magic Sound and Motion button activates the ornament and it cycles through three pieces of dialogue emanating from a delta-shaped speaker while a barrage of Tribbles rain down on Kirk.

Tribbles: (cooing and falling).
Kirk: I want these things off the ship. I don’t care if it takes every man we’ve got I want them off the ship.
Tribbles: (cooing and falling).

Tribbles: (cooing and falling).
McCoy: Jim, I think I’ve got it. All we have to do is quit feeding them. Quit feeding them, they stop breeding.
Tribble: (squawking).
Kirk: Now he tells me.
Tribbles: (cooing and falling).

Tribbles: (cooing and falling).
Kirk: And tell that board of inquiry I’m still the Captain and as Captain I want two things done. First, find Cyrano Jones and second…close that door.
Tribbles: (cooing and falling).

The sound of Tribbles falling onto Kirk is something akin to the sound of acorns bouncing off a sidewalk but overall The Trouble with Tribbles ornament hits it out of the park. It checks all the boxes…Tribbles in motion, Tribbles cooing, episode dialogue, and Kirk sporting the deep-v, green wraparound tunic.

This is a heavy, solid ornament so reserve a larger branch for it. One of these days I will perform an autopsy on this ornament to see the conveyor belt design inside. Until then, I will take Hallmark’s word that it is Magic Motion.

Next time we will get an ornament that doesn’t quite top the Top 10 but reaches a respectable #4.

1 thought on “2021 Top 10 Hallmark Star Trek Ornaments: #5

  1. Kevin Dilmore

    Not only Magic Motion, but the falling foam tribbles boast a special anti-static coating to keep them from clumping together. Great selection!

    Like

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s