Category Archives: Hallmark Discussion

Artist Inspirations: 2023 Data and Spot

2023 Data and Spot

In 2023, Hallmark will be releasing an ornament of Data with his pet cat, Spot. The ornament’s reproduces Data reciting Ode to Spot, a poem he wrote about his four-legged friend.

Spot, on the ornament, is represented as an American Shorthair but would appear in the fourth season of Star Trek: The Next Generation as a male Somali cat. In subsequent seasons, Spot would “become” a female American Shorthair. After Star Trek: The Next Generation, Spot would make appearances in two Star Trek movies. Years later, we would even see Spot II in Star Trek: Picard.

2017 Picard and Data

The 2023 ornament’s base was previously used by Hallmark on the 2017 Picard and Data ornament. The red and tan base, labeled Star Trek: The Next Generation, houses the circuitry and speaker for the audio recording.

In this year’s ornament, Data cradles Spot with his left arm, his right hand near the nape of his neck. Data’s use of his left arm to anchor the feline is a hint that the ornament is based off an on-screen image because Brent Spiner, too, is left-handed.

TNG’S “Schisms” (S6, E5)

Data was not holding Spot when he recited Ode to Spot in the 6th season episode “Schisms”. Instead, Data was sitting, arms empty and by his side. In fact, the entire episode is Spot-less.

So, let’s try to find the moment that inspired the sculpt of the ornament by revisiting Spot’s television and big screen appearances.

Left: “Data’s Day” (S4,E11), Right: “In Theory” (S4, E25)

Data holds Spot in a similar position as seen on the ornament in both “Data’s Day” and “In Theory” but Spot is not an American Shorthair in these episodes.

Left: “A Fistful of Datas” (S6, E8), Right: “Birthright I” (S6, E16)

Data briefly holds Spot in a left-handed cradle in “A Fistful of Datas” but he never faces the camera in a useful way for an artist to use it as inspiration. In “Birthright I”, we briefly see Spot sitting in the Captain’s chair and in what may be the most factually accurate Star Trek moment ever…the cat just lies there.

Left: “Descent II” (S7, E1), Right: “Phantasms” (S7, E6)

“Descent II” can be ruled out since the only attention Spot receives is from Geordi. Spot is in three scenes in “Phantasms”, none of which have Data holding Spot as he does on the ornament. Instead, Data handles Spot in a two-handed hoisted position.

Left: “Force of Nature” (S7, E9), Right: “Genesis” (S7, E19)

In “Force of Nature” Data, once again, holds Spot with both hands under her front two legs. Notably, in this episode, Spot is referred to as a female for the first time. Spot’s sex is definitively confirmed in “Genesis” when she gives birth to a litter of kittens. Still, Data never holds her as he does on the ornament.

Above: “Star Trek: Generations”

Spot made her big screen debut appearing in two scenes of 1994’s Star Trek: Generations. The first scene, Data picks Spot up off the table. The second, Data holds spot close to his chest after discovering she survived the crash landing of the Enterprise-D. Neither resemble the ornament sculpt.

Left: “Star Trek: Nemesis”. Right: “Star Trek: Nemesis” deleted scene.

In Star Trek: Nemesis, Data’s brother, B-4 holds Spot in a similar position as the ornament. In a deleted scene from Nemesis, Worf and Geordi clean out Data’s room and Worf appears to take ownership of Spot as he cradles him right-handed.

Star Trek Picard’s “Et in Arcadia Ego I” (S1, E9)

Spot II appeared in Star Trek: Picard as an artificial life-form made in the likeness of an American Shorthair. Nothing in the episode seems to have inspired our ornament.

Left: “Data’s Day” (S4,E11), Right: 2023 Data and Spot Hallmark ornament

After reviewing Spot’s eleven screen appearances, we circle back to his first appearance in Star Trek: The Next Generation. The position of Spot’s left paw on the computer console is the first clue that the ornament was modeled after this moment in “Data’s Day” and not the scene from Star Trek: Nemesis. Further confirmation comes after comparing the position of Data’s arms and sleeve cuffs, they are nearly identical.

Hallmark appears to have used the image from “Data’s Day” when Data is seated and holding Spot at the computer console. The Somali breed that was used in the scene was substituted for the more common American Shorthair breed used in following seasons. The ornament shows Data standing and Hallmark needed to look no further than the 2017 Picard and Data ornament for a pair of Data legs and a Next Generation ornament base to place them on. Add the recording of Ode to Spot and we have the 2023 Data and Spot ornament!

Ode to Spot

Felis Catus is your
taxonomic nomenclature
An endothermic quadruped
carniverous by nature
Your visual, olfactory,
and auditory senses
Contribute to your hunting skills
and natural defenses.

I find myself intrigued
by your sub-vocal oscillations
A singular development
of cat communications
That obviates your
basic hedonistic predilection
For a rhythmic stroking of your fur
to demonstrate affection.

A tail is quite essential
for your acrobatic talents
You would not be so agile
if you lacked its counterbalance
And when not being utilized
to aid in locomotion
It often serves to illustrate
the state of your emotion.

Oh Spot, the complex levels of
behavior you display
Denote a fairly well developed
cognitive array
And though you are not sentient,
Spot, and do not comprehend
I nonetheless consider you
a true and valued friend.

-Lt. Commander Data

Other Artist Inspirations…

Three Ornament Ideas for Future Christmases

Mike Poteet of has posted an article with three ideas for future Hallmark Star Trek ornaments.

“I have a lot of fun admiring my Hallmark Star Trek ornaments every Christmas season. But I can’t help but wonder why some rather obvious subjects have still gone overlooked. Here are a few unsolicited suggestions—my Christmas wish list, if you will—for the good folks at Hallmark as they contemplate future Star Trek ornaments.”, Hallmark Star Trek ornaments: 3 ideas for future Christmases by Mike Poteet

Read the full article here.

2011 Defiant Available!

Another 2011 Defiant threatens to make a dent in someone’s holiday pocketbook. The latest glow-in-the-dark ship to be offered on eBay has a price of $1284.98 with shipping. This ornament appears to have some discoloration on the saucer section and as noted in the description the box has some slight creasing.

2011 Defiant
Date SoldPriceShippingTotal
December 10, 2021$1,899.99$0.00$1,899.99
February 4, 2022$1,899.95$39.95$1,939.90
February 9, 2022$1,899.95$39.95$1,939.90
February 12, 2022$1,799.95$39.95$1,839.90
February 21, 2022$1,200.00$29.95$1,229.95
September 24, 2022$1,500.00$25.00$1,525.00
December 6, 2022$2,000.00$0.00$2,000.00
Ebay selling prices of 2011 Defiants over the past year.
Don’t miss out! Ultra rare and very desirable USS Defiant glow in the dark. New York comic con exclusive limited to 700 pieces. Stored in tissue paper for many years. Box has some spider veins. Please view all photos for condition. Overall great piece at a VERY good price! Warp speed shipping!

Two things that make me go “Hmmmm . . ..”

—The listing is down—or at least I can’t find it in my searches.

—That mottling on the primary hull. The Defiant was a bit of an experiment for us. It was the first time we used phosphorescent paint on an ornament to that extent. Maybe after 10 years, they all are doing that. I’ve not pulled mine out to look at it in some time. I’m understandably curious.

In my search, I *did* find this listing: (seen in this post)

And this one is making my Spidey Sense tingle. Very high price, all feedback seems to be as a buyer rather than a seller, and all those photos but not one photo of the ornament itself? While I recognize that there are plenty of sellers on eBay for whom English is not a first language. That said, the description on this one also gives me pause.

If you go looking for the one in this post and find the one in my comment, this is me, friend to friend, saying caveat emptor.

-Kevin Dilmore






Outside Articles

Artist Inspirations: Episode Images That Influenced Ornament Design

By the Numbers

Top 10 Ornaments (1991-2021)

A Day in the Life of an Ornament

Cloaked Ornaments – Star Trek Ornaments Hidden in Plain Sight

We Need a Cerritos Ornament And More! (Lower Decks – Season 3, Episode 10 Spoilers)

In the California-class [line], there are three types of hull painting: there’s blue, red, and yellow.

We’ve extended the visual metaphor of the uniforms to the ships, and the Cerritos has yellow on the hull because it’s primarily a second contact engineering ship. They show up to planets that need engineering stuff done on them in order to be able to communicate with the Federation.

There’s also, you’ll see in the show, blue-hulled California class ships, which are usually deployed to places where there has to be more medical expertise, and red-hulled ships that are like for moving around ambassadors and doing more command-level stuff.

-Mike McMahon, TrekCore August 6, 2020

Hallmark has a long history of making Event Edition ornaments that were simple ornament repaints using previous production molds. Past repaints include:

  • 2009 Uhura Gold (2007 Uhura Red)
  • 2011 USS Defiant (2006 Enterprise)
  • 2013 Kelvin Damaged (2013 Kelvin)
  • 2016 Enterprise Pilot (2016 Enterprise Gold)
  • 2017 Enterprise C Damaged (2015 Enterprise C)
  • 2019 USS ISS Enterprise (2016 Enterprise Gold)

If we can just get a USS Cerritos ornament there are years worth of Event Edition repaints available. There appears to be six California-class paint schemes. The simple yellow striping that we have seen on the Cerritos and on other ships in red and blue. We also have the more full coverage paint scheme of the same three colors.

Besides the Cerritos, the other 27 known California-class ships now include…

  1. Alhambra
  2. Anaheim
  3. Bakersfield
  4. Burbank
  5. Carlsbad
  6. Culver City
  7. Eureka
  8. Fresno
  9. Inglewood
  10. Merced
  11. Mount Shasta
  12. Oakland
  13. Pacific Palisades
  14. Redding
  15. Riverside
  16. Rubidoux
  17. Sacramento
  18. San Clemente
  19. San Diego
  20. San Jose
  21. Santa Monica
  22. Sherman Oaks
  23. Solvang
  24. Vacaville
  25. Vallejo
  26. Ventura
  27. West Covina

A U.S.S. San Diego would be fun for a certain pop-culture convention.

Battle Damaged Custom Star Trek Ornaments

A current eBay auction has a set of three classic Hallmark Star Trek ornaments that have been heavily modified to give an impressive post-battle look. The custom war-torn set includes the 1993 Enterprise D, 1994 Klingon Bird-of-Prey, and 1998 Enterprise E with a minimum bid of $99.00 and $11.57 shipping. is not affiliated with this auction.

Item Number: 285000626957

2023 Data and Spot *UPDATED*

Here is our first sneak peek of the 2023 Star Trek ornaments. We have seen The Next Generation ornament base used one other time on the 2017 Picard and Data ornament.

2023 Data and Spot

Things just got real…

This ornament features SOUND! Press a button to hear Data’s poetic tribute to his beloved pet, “Ode to Spot.”

-Kevin Dilmore

Felis catus is your taxonomic nomenclature,
An endothermic quadruped, carnivorous by nature;
Your visual, olfactory, and auditory senses
Contribute to your hunting skills and natural defenses.

I find myself intrigued by your subvocal oscillations,
A singular development of cat communications
That obviates your basic hedonistic predilection
For a rhythmic stroking of your fur to demonstrate affection.

A tail is quite essential for your acrobatic talents;
You would not be so agile if you lacked its counterbalance.
And when not being utilized to aid in locomotion,
It often serves to illustrate the state of your emotion.

O Spot, the complex levels of behavior you display
Connote a fairly well-developed cognitive array.
And though you are not sentient, Spot, and do not comprehend,
I nonetheless consider you a true and valued friend.

-Data, Star Trek: The Next Generation, “Schisms”, Season 6, Episode 5