Category Archives: Hallmark Discussion

2021 Top 10 Hallmark Star Trek Ornaments: #2

#2: 2011 U.S.S. Defiant

Retail: $32.95
2021 Secondary Market: $2,499.95
Size: 5 1/4” L x 2 1/2” W x 1 3/4” H
Code: QMP4068
Quantity: 700

When I was a youngster one of my favorite cereal prizes were those that glowed in the dark. It was a rare day for any box of cereal to make it from the brown paper shopping bag to the cabinet before I ripped into the box to dig out my reward. When a box would show up with a glow-in-the dark prize it was an even bigger event.

It would be the same process every time: rip open the cereal box, plunge my grubby hands down into the box up to my elbows; first on one side of the box and then the other side. I remember that brief moment of panic when the prize would be hidden extra deep. Then my fingers would hit that familiar cellophane wrapper and the buried treasure would slowly rise from the depths, cereal spilling out across the table.

I would attempt to close up the box but it would now have that bloated center where the cardboard packaging had stretched out and the tab would no longer reach the slot on the opposite flap. But this was no time for food storage etiquette so off I would go, leaving behind the opened box of tomorrow’s stale breakfast. After a brief stop at the highest wattage in the house, my hands dangerously close to a light bulb, I was off to the darkest place in the house…the family bathroom. It was there that skeletons would magically dance in the mirror’s blackness, warning stickers would reveal themselves in all their glory, or spiders would come alive. The glow-in-the-dark technology was beyond that of rocket science to a six year old boy, it was magic.

Fast forward nearly four decades and Hallmark produces a repaint exclusive of their 2006 Enterprise ornament:

Commissioned in the mid-23rd century, the U.S.S. Defiant served as one of 13 Constitution-class starships that explored strange new worlds on behalf of the United Federation of Planets.  In the classic Star Trek episode “The Tholian Web” (1968), the Defiant became trapped in an area of spatial interphase between universes, the properties of which gave the starship an eerie green glow before it was consumed by a rift to suffer an uncertain fate. This special edition ornament is one of 700 issued for and only available at the 2011 New York Comic-Con Event.

2011 Defiant Keepsake Box Text

Every Christmas season since 2011, Hallmark reintroduces me to the glow-in-the-dark technology of my childhood. When the Christmas tree lights go off at the end of a long day, the Defiant Keepsake remains glowing in the darkness of space and always bringing a smile to my face.

The glowing aspect of the ornament may not bring back childhood memories for everyone. The secondary market prices may put a stale taste in the mouths of collectors but this ornament does exactly what it sets out to do in the simplest of ways. No batteries. No cord. No Magic sound. No Magic lights. No Magic motion. Just good old fashioned magic, glow-in-the-dark magic, the magic of childhood.

Nine down, one to go. Next time we reach #1 on our Top 10 list.

Artist Inspiration: 2000 Seven of Nine

This is the first in a new series where we will be looking at Hallmark Star Trek Keepsake ornaments and the images that likely inspired the artist’s sculpts, a topic that spawned from the recent Top 10 articles.

2000’s Seven of Nine ornament was crafted by Anita Marra Rogers and depicts Seven donning a silver Borg Exoplating Emulation Suit (read: catsuit) with her left hand on her stomach and her right hand on her thigh. It is an iconic pose that was taken from Jeri Ryan’s publicity shoot which preceded her 1997 Voyager fourth-season debut.

In the first image (above left) we see the familiar blue bodysuit that also appears on the ornament (above middle). Rogers seems to have gotten her inspiration for the ornament from the pose in the silver bodysuit (above right). The feet, legs, arms and hands are all identical and only the head position and shoulder angle are not in alignment. Looking at a second image from the same photo shoot we find a perfect match. Comparing the ornament and the second publicity shot (below), everything seems to match up with the exception of her right pinky finger.

So, why did Rogers change Seven’s clothing from silver to blue? John Orquiola explains the production issues with the silver suit:

“Ryan wore the silver suit for a few episodes, but it was retired because of the many issues it caused for the actress. The catsuit, with its corset complete with molded breasts, was so restrictively tight that Ryan had trouble breathing. In fact, nurses with oxygen tanks were present on the set and Ryan passed out four times during production. In addition, not only did the corset prevent Ryan from bending but it took her 20 minutes to go to the bathroom, and production would need to be halted just so the actress could relieve herself.

The silver catsuit with the high collar, of course, is what Ryan wore as Seven of Nine in publicity photos for Star Trek: Voyager, but the actress spoke up about her discomfort and her uniform was changed. Less restrictive (but no less form-fitting) alternate costumes were designed in various colors. A brown costume had no collar, which allowed Ryan to turn her neck, and throughout the four seasons she starred in, Seven rotated between cobalt blue, grey-blue, and plum-colored versions of her catsuit.”

ScreenRant

Jeri Ryan had not worn the silver bodysuit for over a year when Rogers would have likely begun the design process for the 2000 ornament. It stands to reason that the artist liked Seven’s pose from the publicity shoot but made the bodysuit color change to match what Ryan was wearing on screen…likely from the direction of CBS.

2021 Top 10 Hallmark Star Trek Ornaments: #3

#3: 1992 Shuttlecraft Galileo

Retail: $24.00
2021 Secondary Market: $22.94
Size: 3 1/2” L x 2 1/2” W x 1 1/4” H
Code: QLX7331

#3 on our Top 10 is Hallmark’s follow up to the inaugural Enterprise ornament with 1992’s Galileo. The Galileo was a shuttlecraft assigned to the USS Enterprise, and appeared in the series five times beginning with the episode “The Galileo Seven”.

Left: Galileo screen image. Right:1992 Hallmark ornament.

The shuttlecraft is a simple but accurate sculpt with a pigtail cord that plugs into a light string. When activated the Galileo’s front window and aft thruster arrays light up. Once the button is pressed Leonard Nimoy’s voice can be heard from the the underside speaker…”Shuttlecraft to Enterprise, Shuttlecraft to Enterprise. Spock here. Happy Holidays. Live long and prosper.

Hallmark recognized the strength of the Star Trek fan base from the previous year and put on Galileo Landing Party events at stores across the country. These events included costume contests, coloring contests, Enterprise mobile giveaways and motorized store displays of the Galileo orbiting a moon. Hallmark’s Galileo ornament advertising was everywhere, most notably in a commercial with Leonard Nimoy.

  • Leonard Nimoy: ”Excuse me. I’m interested in the new collectors ornament from Hallmark.”
  • Hallmark Employee: “Ahh…the shuttle craft Galileo from the starship Enterprise.”
  • Leonard Nimoy: “Precisely.”
  • Hallmark Employee: “You know? It lights up when you plug it in. And listen…”
  • Spock Ornament Recording: “Shuttle craft to Enterprise. Spock here. Happy holidays. Live long and prosper.”
  • Leonard Nimoy: “Fascinating.”
  • Voiceover: “For a store in your sector now carrying the Star Trek ornament call 1-800-HALLMARK.”
  • (Leonard Nimoy holds hand up in Vulcan salutation)
  • Hallmark Employee: ”Live long and prosper, right?”
  • Leonard Nimoy: “No, I’ll take five.“
Stills from Hallmark’s Galileo commercial featuring Leonard Nimoy.

Hallmark wasn’t going to be caught in short supply like they had in 1991. Kevin Stevens best explains,

“Anticipating a repeat of the response to their Enterprise ornament, Hallmark produced the Galileo in greater numbers. Retailing for $24, this ornament was so available to retailers that demand never exceeded supply. Fans and collectors bought the Galileo in quantity. Hallmark heavily advertised the ornaments in science fiction and Star Trek publications. This exposure, combined with the increased production numbers, meant that fans interested in obtaining the ornament were able to do so easily at retail prices”

Strange New Worlds

The sheer number of Christmas trees that had the Galileo on them makes this the most famous of Hallmark Star Trek ornaments and a favorite for nearly 30 years. To many the Galileo was their first and possibly only Star Trek ornament and, like a first love, holds a special place in one’s heart.

Check back next time to see what ornament shines through at #2?

2021 Top 10 Hallmark Star Trek Ornaments: #4

#4: 2020-2022 Storyteller Enterprise Tree Topper

Retail: $149.99
2021 Secondary Market: $179.99 (still available in stores through 2022)
Size:  6.59″ W x 9.89″ H x 15″ D.
Code: QXI6004

Star Trek fans and collectors have been clamoring for a tree topper for years. 2016 brought the Death Star tree topper to Star Wars fans. In 2019, Harry Potter fans got their tree topper in the form of the Hogwarts Castle. Finally in 2020, the centerpiece of Star Trek Christmas trees everywhere soared into homes. A mammoth 15” long Enterprise Tree Topper places #4 on our Top 10 list. Standing at almost 10” tall it is the bane of Christmas trees everywhere that may have already been brushing the ceiling.

Storytellers by Hallmark are a series of themed ornaments that are linked together to recreate a story. Disney, Harry Potter, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Peanuts and Star Wars are all brands that have received the Storytellers treatment in recent years.

The chosen Storyteller episode is Mirror, Mirror, one of the rare times all the main characters had a substantial part to play. In this episode, we encounter the evil version of our loved crew who are now a part of the Terran Empire instead of the United Federation of Planets. The characters in the Mirror Universe are aggressive and mistrustful in personality.  This is a universe where advancement is more likely achieved by murder rather than promotion. Mirror, Mirror is a much beloved episode of Star Trek and the mirror universe would be revisited in five episodes of Deep Space Nine, two episodes of Enterprise and nine episodes of Discovery.

By far the heaviest ornament to date, the Enterprise tree topper comes with a rigid plastic rod that Velcro’s to the top of your tree. Once the rod is secured, the Enterprise mounts onto it and the end result is a surprisingly stable topper. The ornament is then connected to a power adapter (included) which needs to be strategically hidden within the tree. Press the button on the remote control or on the base of the tree topper to watch it illuminate in blue, green, purple, red, white, and yellow lights. The sound effects range from Star Trek’s theme to thunder to the transporter chamber and many other sound effects.

The tree topper is a beautiful sculpt by Jake Angell who has been doing ornament designs since 2012. The Enterpise is activated by a Starfleet Delta remote which is an ornament of its own in disguise. The upper and lower main arrays glow in a stunning white but the standout is the rotating nacelles. This ship is the real deal.


When linked with other Star Trek Storytellers ornaments you will hear dialogue from the episode. The beauty of the design is that the ornaments communicate whether you own two ornaments or all eight that are planned in the series. The ship’s main function when other characters are connected is that of ship sound effects which gives the scenes a true Star Trek atmosphere.

Mirror, Mirror Storytellers Series
Enterprise Tree Topper (July 2020)
Kirk (July 2020)
Sulu (July 2020)
Uhura (October 2020)
Spock (July 2021)
Chekov (October 2021)
McCoy (2022)
Scotty (2022)

There is no reason to pay inflated prices on eBay or secondhand sites. All of the Storytellers that have been released will be available in Hallmark stores through 2022. The only time the entire set will be for sale at once will be October through December 2022. The set will not be available after Christmas 2022.

Image from hallmark.com review

This ornament will stand proudly atop your Christmas tree.
This ornament has a remote control.
This ornament has lights.
This ornament has sound.
This ornament communicates with other ornaments.
This ornament can be displayed on its own.
This ornament would bully its way into any Top 10 list.
This ornament is three pounds of Christmas goodness.

Next time, logically, we discuss #3.

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.

2021 Top 10 Hallmark Star Trek Ornaments: #6

#6: 2016 Enterprise “Pilot” Painted Event Edition

Retail: $30.00
2021 Secondary Market: $395.95
Size: 6” L x 2 1/2” W x 1 1/2” H
Code: QMP4099
Quantity: 3,450

#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.

Above: 2016 Enterprise Event Exclusive painted Star Trek pilot ornament.
Below: 11’ Enterprise model pictured on December 29, 1964.


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.

Top: First pilot (The Cage) Enterprise with plain rear nacelles.
Middle: Second pilot (Where No Man Has Gone Before) Enterprise with vent grating.
Bottom: The Star Trek series Enterprise with space matrix restoration coils.
Nacelles with vent grating on Hallmark’s 2016 repaint ornament.

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**. Source: cygnus-x1.net
**Okay, running a Hallmark Star Trek website constitutes me as a nerd. I get it!

The next time we drop in on the Top 10 it will be at #5.

2021 Top 10 Hallmark Star Trek Ornaments: #7

#7: 2004 “The City on the Edge of Forever”

Retail: $28.00
2021 Secondary Market: $59.95
Size: 3 5/8” H x 4 1/8” W x 2 3/4” D
Code: QXI4094

The City on the Edge of Forever is probably the best hour in all of of Star Trek television. We witness the tragic love story of Kirk and Edith Keeler in this time traveling episode. The Enterprise crew comes across the Guardian of Forever, a doorway to any time and place, where we see Kirk and Spock take that fateful leap into Earth’s past.

The ornament portal flickers to the booming voice of the Guardian which sets this apart from most other Hallmark ornaments with show dialogue.

Captain Kirk: What are you?
The Guardian: I am the Guardian of Forever.
Captain Kirk: Are you a machine or being?
The Guardian:  I am both and neither.  I am my own beginning, my own end.

Spock:  A time portal, Captain.  A gateway to other times and dimensions, if I am correct.
The Guardian:  Behold! A gateway to your own past, if you wish.

The Guardian:  Time has resumed its shape.  All is as it was before.  Many such journeys are possible.  Let me be your gateway.

Unfortunately, this ornament is notorious for failing. There is a capacitor that overheats and causes the sound to quit working. Not all is lost, you can find YouTube repair videos and eBay restoration services online to get your ornament back in working condition. This is an awesome ornament when it is working as intended and deservedly sits at #7 in the Top 10.

Location of capacitor known to overheat and fail.

The action pose of Spock and Kirk jumping through the portal is precise although the sculpt is inspired by their jump from the past and not to the past as the ornament depicts. The placement of the activation button is cleverly hidden in the front pillar and the light and sound is powered by a pigtail cord which plugs into an approved light strand. Hallmark would discontinue the pigtail design two years later.

Left: Episode still with Spock and Kirk retuning from the past.
Right: Hallmark’s The City on the Edge of Forever ornament.

2004’s The City on the Edge of Forever ornament was Hallmark’s first scene-centric diorama ornament. Ornaments capturing a famous scene in the Star Trek universe would go on to become an annual offering alongside the Star Trek ships and characters.

Check back next time as we warp speed to #6 in our Top 10 Hallmark Star Trek ornaments of all time.

2021 Top 10 Hallmark Star Trek Ornaments: #8

#8: 2006 The Transporter Chamber

Retail: $28.00
2021 Secondary Market: $83.95
Size: 4.25” H
Code: QXI6296

In 2006, Hallmark produced a Transporter Chamber ornament but just how do you reproduce the special effect of Kirk, Spock and Scotty dissolving into nothingness? Lights and sounds, powered from the ornament’s three AAA batteries, provided a psychobilly dance floor LED strobe effect and loud, cicada-like screeching.

The flickering of the lights gives a pretty decent recreation of the dematerializing effect and after going dark the sound and light show repeats as the trio transports back onto the pad. Seeing the ornament in action in a dark room is a delight and the reason the Transporter Chamber is #8 on our Top 10 list.

Sure, Kirk’s expression appears as an empty void that had been possessed by a soul-sucking specter and Spock resembles Mila Kunis fresh out of the makeup chair but the blinding strobes mask those issues. Whether hanging from a tree or sitting on a desk, the Transporter Chamber was a solid effort from Hallmark.

In 2019, Hallmark had a second try at the Transporter Chamber. It was way bigger. It was better done. It was more accurate. It was Kunis-free. It had dialogue from the show. But, at $99.95, it was missing the bang-for-your-buck charm that came with the 2006 Transporter Chamber.

We jump to #7 on our Top 10 next!

2021 Top 10 Hallmark Star Trek Ornaments: #9

#9: 2018 Lt. Arex & Lt. M’Ress

Retail: $40.00
2021 Secondary Market: $149.95
Size: 1.38″ W x 4.32″ H x 1.23″ D
Code: QMP4046
Quantity: 2,800

#9 on our Top 10 list has defeated all of the odds. The journey? A struggling sci-fi series of the sixties that only lasted three years spawning a two year animated series of the seventies which begat two of the least known character Keepsake ornaments nearly a half century later. These ornaments were made for the deepest of Star Trek fans and finally gave Star Trek: The Animated Series the recognition it deserves.

Not only did we get our first representation of Star Trek: The Animated Series in the Hallmark Keepsake line but we were treated to two ornaments in the same box! 2018’s two ornament package was an exclusive run of 2,800 pieces, and in a rare decision by Hallmark, the year’s event exclusive ornament was not a repainted mold of a past ornament. Repainting an older ornament has been the norm for limited ornaments since it is less expensive to produce. Hallmark’s all new sculpts of Lt. Arex and Lt. M’Ress were fantastic three dimensional likenesses of their two dimensional cartoon counterparts.

Lt. Arex, voiced by James Doohan, was a three armed, three legged Endosian Starfleet navigator. His his third leg was thoughtfully placed behind him but his third arm was horrifying. Arex’s extra upper appendage originated in the center of his chest in the most unnatural and disturbing way.

He appeared in fourteen episodes, “One of Our Planets Is Missing”, “The Lorelei Signal”, “The Infinite Vulcan”, “Once Upon a Planet”, “Mudd’s Passion”, “The Terratin Incident”, “The Ambergris Element”, “The Eye of the Beholder”, “The Pirates of Orion”, “Bem”, “The Practical Joker”, “Albatross”, “How Sharper Than a Serpent’s Tooth” and “The Counter-Clock Incident”. Although he appeared in fourteen episodes, no background information about Arex was revealed in the animated series, and he was never given a first name.

Curt Danhauser’s Guide to the Animated Star Trek

Lt. M’Ress, voiced by Majel Barrett, was a lion-like Caitian Starfleet communications officer. Her appearance wasn’t quite as disconcerting as Arex’s. In fact, her purring accent was the audial antidote to the visually jarring Arex.

M’Ress’s first appearance was in “The Survivor.” She only appeared in six episodes: “The Survivor”, “Once Upon a Planet”, “Mudd’s Passion”, “The Eye of the Beholder”, “Bem” and “Practical Joker.” (Her name is pronounced: Mmm-ress, not Em-ress). No background information about M’Ress was revealed in the animated series particularly since she only appeared in six shows, and she was never given a first name.

Curt Danhauser’s Guide to the Animated Star Trek

Kudos to Hallmark for giving fans these lesser known peripheral Star Trek characters the ornament treatment. Star Trek: The Animated Series will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2023 and it is doubtful we will see another ST: TAS ornament. But if Hallmark needs an idea, an old television console with the animated series playing on it would be welcomed. We wouldn’t even need a new sculpt, they could do a repaint of the 2009 Twilight Zone ornament or maybe even the 2020 Kanine Krunchies Keepsake…dogs like Trek too.

Promotional Art of Lt. Arex & Lt. M’Ress from Roddenberry Vault 366 Project

We pad out the Top 10 next time with #8 on the list!

2021 Top 10 Hallmark Star Trek Ornaments: #10

#10: 1991 U.S.S. Enterprise

Retail: $24.00
2021 Secondary Market: $124.95
Size: 5.25” L x 2.5” W x 1.75” H
Code: QLX7199

The 1991 U.S.S. Enterprise was not only the first in the Star Trek line of ornaments but helped blaze the way for Hallmark’s entry into pop culture ornaments, so it is fitting that we begin our countdown of the Top 10 Star Trek Keepsakes with this ornament.

Released to celebrate Star Trek’s 25th anniversary, the ornament is a fairly detailed reproduction of the Enterprise. The ornament had a pigtail that plugged into a light strand that provided power for its light features. In the early days Hallmark was hesitant to stray too far from the holiday theme so simple red and green blinking lights were added to the hull’s edge to give it a Christmas feel. In addition to the holiday lights, the bridge dome and primary phaser array dome on the underside would light up white. Unfortunately, the Enterprise’s nacelles did not light up and there was no audio function for the ornament.

The Enterprise was sculpted by long-time Hallmark artist, Lynn Norton, who explained the early design days of the Enterprise,

“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. Our commitment to high quality fit right into the Hallmark ideals for product. 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. I’m very aware of the changes to that first ornament. Because it had big, thick circuitry inside for lights, the ornament had heat dissipation problems. We had to build a big cavity into it so the circuit board would not melt the plastic. Also, the ornament had to fit into a ‘printer’s box’ store display with a limited space, and I had to shorten the nacelles for it to fit.”

startrek.com

The Enterprise ornament proved to be hugely popular upon release. Kevin Stevens reported on it’s popularity:

“The Starship Enterprise ornament was unveiled in July 1991. By August, Hallmark found that demand for this particular ornament was overwhelming; it appealed to collectors of Keepsake Ornaments as well as Star Trek fans and collectors. The Enterprise proved to be the most popular ornament made by Hallmark since the Keepsake line was introduced in 1973. By October 1991, Hallmark made the unprecedented decision to go back into production with the Enterprise ornament. Still, by December these supplies of ornaments were also depleted. It immediately began climbing in value on the secondary market.”

Strange New Worlds

The 1991 Starship Enterprise has held its own after thirty years and, no question, deserves a spot in our Top 10 list of Hallmark Star Trek Hallmark ornaments.

Check out the Top 10 and stay tooned for #9 next week!