Hallmark’s Storytellers have made their mark on franchises like Star Wars, Peanuts, Harry Potter and Nightmare Before Christmas but it was in 2020 that the Storytellers made their way into the Star Trek universe.
Jake Angell had previous experience with Hallmark Star Trek ornaments but he really made his mark with his work on the Storyteller series.
Not only has he made many of the Storytellers characters but he is credited with the Enterprise Tree Topper that has become so familiar on many nerd Christmas trees.
Robert Chad only sculpted one Star Trek ornament but his solo venture was a duo doozie.
Arex and M’Ress were characters from the often overlooked Star Trek: The Animated Series but they hold a special place in the hearts of those that watched them on Saturday mornings in the early 70s.
In 2018, Chad was called upon to sculpt a rare two ornament set. The ornaments were available at San Diego Comic-Con, Las Vegas Star Trek Convention and New York Comic Con and limited to a run of 2,800.
On occasion, Hallmark has released an ornament that is classified as a Special Limited Edition. These ornaments have larger run numbers than the Special Event ornaments that spring up at conventions but not quite the quantity that the normal Keepsakes line has.
The Special Limited Edition Ilia Probe ornament was Julie Forsyth’s first and only Star Trek sculpt. Even with her sparse Trek resume, Forsyth has made quite the impact with other lines with Hallmark. Artistic talent runs in the family, Julie has worked side by side at Hallmark with her sister, Sue Tague.
Hallmark only produced three blown glass Star Trek ornaments and Rich LaPierre was responsible for one of them.
In 1999, LaPierre designed the two sided oblong ornament. On one side, the profile of the U.S.S. Enterprise on a starry background and the opposite side emblazoned with the words STAR TREK in that familiar Trek font.
This rare blown glass ornament gives some extra sparkle on every Trek tree it hangs from.
Emma Leturgez-Smith “I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t drawing, painting or sculpting. When I was a teenager, I started to get the wild idea that maybe I was onto something.”
“Video games, cartoons and landscapes are big sources of inspiration for me, but sometimes random things like an appealing combination of colors can also be inspiring.”
“Most of the ornaments I’ve sculpted from home were done with a talkative Parrot hooting in my ear.”1
Lynn Norton has a fleet of over thirty Star Trek ship ornaments under his belt beginning with the original Enterprise ornament in 1991. Norton details that endeavor, “Now, I also had to fight the initial idea of having a string of garland hanging along the edge of the primary hull, and Santa Claus popping out of the bridge — true story! I wanted to make it as accurate as possible.”
“At Hallmark, Don Palmiter, Dill Rhodus and I brought fine scale model-making to the ornament business. We really had to convince our art directors we could go beyond cute and traditional and make really believable small models to be used as ornaments.“ 2
“I have to say that the “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” space-station ornament is still my favorite. It was the most challenging sculpture for me and the Keepsake engineering staff,” he says. “My idea to offer it with docked miniature starship ornaments turned out to be a winning combination with Star Trek fans.”3
“I consider the ships I have sculpted to be like characters rather than objects,” he says. “Each is recognizable, and almost as specific as a human face. I’m looking at them as a fan, of course — I’ve been watching since the first broadcast—but also as a sculptor who appreciates their beauty and qualities as icons.”4
Hallmark has made three Star Trek ornaments with Magic Motion and happily they all have a Tribble theme. The first of the Tribble ornaments was released in 2008 and brought about by Hallmark artist Don Palmiter, his only venture into the Star Trek ornament universe.
“The Trouble with Tribbles” design is the most complex Star Trek ornament as it incorporates a hidden belt system to recycle the miniature Tribbles and uses a special anti-static coating to keep the foam Tribbles from clumping together as they fall.
Magic Motion would be revisited twice more in 2019 and 2020 when the furry Tribbles would become life size.
Responsible for the most famous Hallmark Star Trek ornament of all time, Dill Rhodus was the artist who brought the Shuttlecraft Galileo to life.
The Galileo came out the year after the hard to find Enterprise debuted the Hallmark Star Trek line of ornaments. The general public scrambled to pick up the Galileo in hopes that it would rise in value like the Enterprise had the previous Christmas season. Hallmark promoted the ornament heavily with in-store displays, Shuttlecraft Landing Parties and even a commercial starring Leonard Nimoy who also lent his voice to the popular shuttlecraft ornament.
There is a huge population that grew up hearing ”Shuttlecraft to Enterprise, Shuttlecraft to Enterprise. Spock here. Happy Holidays. Live long and prosper” every December.
If Lynn Norton is the king of Star Trek ship ornaments then Anita Marra Rogers is certainly the queen of the the Star Trek character ornaments.
Rogers would contribute more than thirty Star Trek ornaments during her career. Her Trek career began with Captains Kirk and Picard in 1995 and went through the Star Trek Legends series more than twenty years later. From 1991 through 2016 Rogers would be responsible for all but two of the character ornaments.
Rogers would also make her mark with some of the scene ornaments including “The City on the Edge of Forever” in 2004. ”I just love that episode. It has everything that’s made Star Trek so popular for so long.”5
”After so much research on the characters, I couldn’t help but get interested in all the journeys and battles and mysteries. And there’s such depth to the characters they’ve developed for the various series. I call myself a fan now. Not quite a Trekker, but definitely a fan.” 5
In five years, from 2011-2015, Valerie Shanks was the artist behind some of the most memorable ornaments in the Star Trek line.
She was responsible for the one and only Vina, the infamous Spock death ornament from Star Trek II, a Gorn attacking Kirk on Cestus III and Spock communicating with the Horta on Janus IV.
“I love Star Trek, so (2013’s ”Arena”) was one ornament I really wanted to do! I sculpted the characters on the computer, so I got to print them out in 3D and pose them to make sure everything fit together well. The real challenge was making the rock look real—that’s what I like the most. I wanted it to have a nice texture that felt like limestone.”
“Go big or go home” seems to be the motto of Orville Wilson who is responsible for two of the largest Star Trek items in Hallmark’s line. In 2016, Wilson’s ”To Boldly Go” table topper was released to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Star Trek.
Just three years later a new take on the Transporter Chamber was offered up by Wilson in a similar scale as his last piece.
The previous Transporter Chamber ornament of 2006 measured 4.25” high while Wilson’s measures a whopping 7.6”.
- 1999 Stamp
- 2004 Insignias
- 2008 Communicator
- 2009 Phaser
- 2018 Enterprise
- 2018 Discovery
- 2019 Enterprise Refit
- 2019 Saru & Burnham
- 2019 Tribble
- 2020 Tribble
- 2020 Uhura Storyteller
- 2020 Sulu Storyteller
- 2021 Chekov Storyteller
- 2021 La Sirena
- 2022 Scotty Storyteller