Category Archives: Articles

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.

Kevin Dilmore Tells the History of the Trek Storytellers

I would like to thank Kevin Dilmore who was kind enough to fill us in on the genesis of the Star Trek Storytellers series. Kevin has always been generous with his time and patient with my Trek ornament obsession.

I also want to urge everyone to get to their local Hallmark stores to complete (or begin) their Storytellers collection. Beginning this weekend the entire Trek Storytellers collection is available for the first time and in under just three months the Storytellers will be leaving stores forever.

I hope you enjoy this peek at what it took to bring these ornaments to your tree.

You mentioned that you would begin taking question on the Storytellers beginning Friday. Well, I’m getting in line. If you have the time I’d love to hear as much as you want to say on the subject. Thank you for your time and patience with me.

Kevin Dilmore: Happy to help! Thank YOU for everything you do to raise awareness of what we do.

How are you involved with ideas and decisions in the Hallmark Star Trek line?

Kevin Dilmore

KD: Here’s a quick timeline for background. I started as a writer in Hallmark’s internal marketing and advertising studio in October 2005. In January 2013, I moved to our Writing Studio in the creative division. My friends and managers in the marketing studio learned quickly that I was a big fan of Keepsakes and migrated me toward supporting that business as much as possible. I began writing flyers and emails targeting Keepsake Ornament Club (KOC) members as well as heavy Keepsake purchasers. I also wrote all supporting materials for KOC including membership flyers and content for For Keeps, the KOC quarterly publication, which included articles, artist interviews and all sorts of fun stuff. I assisted with the creation of the 2006 Dream Book, the annual catalog of Keepsake Ornaments, and became the lead writer for the Dream Book for the 2007 through 2013 editions.

With all that I was doing, I became known to Keepsake artists and staff at all levels, and to this day call many of them my friends. By the time I was writing the Dream Book, I had been writing for Star Trek for close to 10 years as a contributor to Star Trek Communicator magazine (the publication of the official Star Trek Fan Club) and later as a fiction writer for Pocket Books. I had been asked to give my opinion on Keepsakes staff’s ideas for Star Trek ornaments and then later was asked to submit my own ideas. Given that Keepsakes usually works two years ahead on ornaments, and the first memories I have of weighing in on the line was with a couple of 2009 ornaments, that likely was when my first influences went all the way to the tree.

I do know that I was asked in 2007 about ways to support the 2009 Star Trek feature film given that we had no photos or information from the production. I knew Captain Pike was going to appear in it, so I suggested The Menagerie ornament. I also recall having a discussion with the leader of Keepsakes at the time when we first were making plans for attending Comic-Con International in San Diego. He wondered whether I had any ideas for a quickly produced ornament for that event from recent ornaments because we did not have time to produce an original sculpt. I suggested the Uhura repaint and that became his decision.

FUN FACT: I wrote the box copy for that ornament and I’m the person who screwed it up! I knew off the top of my head that Uhura wore a gold uniform in “The Corbomite Maneuver” but completely forgot that she also was on screen for a few scenes in gold in “Mudd’s Women.” Dang it! I’m still aggravated by that.

So ALL that said, in June 2022, I accepted a proposed rotation into a full-time role in Keepsakes to support the group’s editorial team. I’ve had a hand in strategic planning and editorial with seven assortments in the 2024 line, which includes dozens of ornaments. My role in planning Star Trek ornaments for 2024 is the biggest I’ve yet played. I even helped for the first time to present the line to Paramount approvers. That was a lot of fun.

How many of the PopMinded brands have the benefit of a super-fan, like you, being involved with their respective lines?

KD: When it comes to the Hallmark products that are produced as event exclusives in PopMinded packaging, they are produced by the same teams that make all of our other Keepsake Ornaments and Hallmark gifts. Hallmark is filled with super fans of many, many licenses. I’m not the only person involved in creating Star Trek products who is a knowledgeable fan of the franchise—not by a long shot. I’m just the hardest to ignore haha.

Can you remember whose idea it was for the Star Trek Storytellers?

KD: Keepsake Storytellers grew from the terrifically talented Keepsake Ornaments staff. One of the key triggers to Storytellers tripped when radio-frequency (RF) components dropped in price so substantially that they could be considered for affordable inclusion in a Keepsake Ornament (and other consumer products). I remember a conversation with Phu Dang on the Keepsakes engineering team about what would become Storytellers. He said he had devised a great capability for ornaments to interact but he doubted someone could come up with a story that would maximize that capability. I took that as a personal challenge and came up with the script for Star Wars Storytellers offered in 2017-19.

The first Star Wars Storytellers were in stores in July 2017 and within days I heard from my contacts at (now) Paramount asking when Hallmark would do the same for Star Trek. They knew darn well I would want a hand in that as soon as possible. Keepsakes staff did not want a Star Trek set to overlap with the first Star Wars set, so we aimed at a 2020 introduction and started working.

When did planning begin for the series and how does it compare with a typical ornament’s production?

KD: Mike Brush, then the editorial director for Keepsake Ornaments and a huge Star Trek fan, invited me to a brainstorm meeting for Star Trek Storytellers in July 2018. In this process, when I refer to “we,” most times that means me and Mike, and I will tell you that we would not have the set we have were it not for his leadership and story direction. I did NOT do this in a vacuum.

A Storytellers set is exponentially more complex to plan than a single ornament with a self-contained performance. Our intention with a Storytellers set is to create a compelling performance with any possible combination of participating ornaments. A set requires a separate script for each of those combinations, which can number into the hundreds.

What episodes were considered?

KD: We knew we wanted the set to include the primary seven characters as well as the U.S.S. Enterprise in tree-topper form. We knew we wanted a story in which each of the seven characters played a role that was important to the story. So, starting with the original 79 episodes, we cut to the 18 (by my count) that feature all seven characters. FUN FACT: Contributing to that number being low is Chekov’s absence from the entire first season and Sulu’s absence from many second-season episodes while George Takei was filming “The Green Berets” with John Wayne. Factor in scripts that have characters missing here and there means we’re dropping some favorites (“Space Seed” lacks Sulu and Chekov, “Devil in the Dark” misses Uhura, Sulu and Chekov; “Amok Time” has no Scotty).

Next, we needed to skip episodes with a lot of guest stars or even one strong guest star as we were not making an ornament for that character, and we also didn’t want to force the tree topper into standing in for the character with a lot of lines. Then we needed to look at episodes that drove action through dialogue more so than visuals; it’s just better for the experience. Then we trimmed back to the seven that we felt had the best representation from each of the primary characters.

The biggest internal challenge we faced was going to market with a Star Trek Storytellers set featuring characters wearing uniforms that were not their most familiar. We were able to convince everyone that fans would be able to sort that out.

How does one go about figuring out all the combinations of dialogue needed?

KD: Remember all those mathematics and algebra lessons in school? And how there always was some kid who would ask, “Are we gonna have to know this in real life?” Well, yes—if you’re going to write a Storytellers script. With eight participants, it wasn’t as simple as calculating 8! (That’s the factorial of 8, Star Trek fans, the product of all positive integers less than or equal to a given positive integer and denoted by that integer and an exclamation point.) With factorial eight, we’re talking 1 × 2 × 3 × 4 × 5 × 6 × 7 x 8 or 40,320.

No, I didn’t write that many performances because participants are not numbers. Consider a four-participant show. 4! suggests 24 performances but the 24 combinations of A, B, C, and D include redundant shows as the combo of A, B, and C is the same show as the combos of A, C, B; B, A, C; B, C, A; C, A, B; and C, B, A – follow me?

From the outside looking in, it seems as if you were tasked with writing dozens and dozens of independent stories that all had to stand on their own?

KD: Well, yeah. I wrote 295 unique performances for the permutations of Star Trek Storytellers. We had a pretty good feeling that if people were in for one that they would be in for all but we did it anyway. The greater concern I had was the possibility that an individual ornament might sell out. I didn’t want someone getting a jumbled mess because Spock wasn’t easy to find or something.

Did it feel like a writing project?

KD: Yeah, it did. A LONG one!

How much of what was originally envisioned was seen in the final product?

KD: We toyed with the idea (and for a long time) that there would be eight episodes represented in the set with each character as well as the tree topper participating in a very abbreviated version of each episode. Imagine going up to the tree and pressing each ornament’s switch and hearing:

Enterprise leads “The Enterprise Incident”
Kirk leads “The Ultimate Computer”
Spock leads “The Tholian Web”
McCoy leads “Spock’s Brain”
Scott leads “Friday’s Child”
Uhura leads “Who Mourns for Adonais?”
Sulu leads “Mirror, Mirror”
Chekov leads “The Deadly Years”

Well, I wrote them all. Ultimately, we discarded that because of sound-chip cost and because of the barriers we knew there would be in explaining how the heck that all would work to customers in the store. It came down to selecting ONE episode and we chose “Mirror, Mirror” because it’s a terrific story and frequently named as a favorite by fans.

The only scene I wanted in our “Mirror, Mirror” performance that didn’t make it to the final cut was Kirk and Spock walking past Chekov’s session in the agony booth. Not only would it have given the Chekov ornament more to do, it’s a great moment for our Kirk to show his humanity and the mirror Spock to get a critical piece to the puzzle of what’s actually happening. But, yeah, okay, Chekov howling in agonizing pain isn’t exactly a Christmas kind of moment. 😉

Was the Enterprise tree topper a part of the Storytellers series from the beginning?

KD: Unquestionably. Even before Storytellers was a gleam in anyone’s eye, a U.S.S. Enterprise tree topper has been our most-requested product from fans.

Has the series been considered a success by Hallmark?

KD: I’m told it is considered successful, yes, which makes me very proud.

Could the series have ended prematurely had sales been poor?

KD: Not once did I hear plans that included a contingency for pulling the set before releasing every piece of it should sales not meet expectations. For this to work, three years of work needed to be completed before the first ornament hit stores; every performance was pre-programmed into each ornament. In for a penny, in for a pound, as they say.

Is it possible Hallmark would revisit Star Trek and another Storyteller series in the future?

KD: I’m confident that Star Trek’s decades of episodes and feature films provides a wide base of inspiration for future Storytellers collections. We have two separate Storytellers collections from the same Star Wars movie, right?

What did I forget to ask?

KD: That I can’t answer! But should additional Star Trek Storytellers questions end up in the comments, I’ll do my best to answer them.

As of this writing there is no word of a secret hack to unlock Chekov howling in agonizing pain. Will update as new details emerge. 😉

Enterprise Ornament Article From Tampa Bay Times (1991)

‘Star Trek’ ship a hot collectible

It was introduced in July and became a $20 collector’s item. With Gene Roddenberry’s death, it can only get hotter. Hallmark Cards’ “Starship Enterprise” Christmas ornament commemorates Star Trek’s 25th anniversary. About 6 inches long, with headlights that blink, the mini-ship has sold at warp speed.

“We don’t always know how ornaments are going to sell,” said Rachel Bolton, a Hallmark spokeswoman in Kansas City. “But this one is probably our most popular one. And now with the death of the Star Trek author, I’m sure it’ll continue to be a favorite.

“Local Hallmark shops have long waiting lists.

”We sold out the first batch in a couple weeks, and we haven’t been able to reorder any more,” says Diane Wildman of Lynn’s Hallmark Cards in Countyside Mall in Clearwater. “I hear Hallmark is out of them, too.”

Tampa Bay Times, 1991

Enterprise Ornament Article From Baltimore Evening Sun (1991)

Tree ornament from ‘Star Trek’ is a sellout


NEW YORK — Two hundred people a day are calling the consumer affairs office of Hallmark Cards Inc. in Kansas City screaming for a $20 replica of the Starship Enterprise from “Star Trek” with blinking red and green lights. It is Hallmark’s most successful Christmas ornament since it launched the Hallmark Keepsake Magic Christmas Ornaments line in 1973.

At a time when it seems like nothing is selling, there doesn’t seem to be a store anywhere where the Starship hasn’t sold out.”

This is the most demand we have ever had for a single ornament,” said Betsy Helgager, spokeswoman for Hallmark cards. “There are waiting lists in some stores of as many as 300 hundred people.

“The 5-inch-long ornament was designed to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the “Star Trek” television show. It also coincided with the pre-Christmas premiere of “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.” The death of the show’s creator Gene Roddenberry apparently has also boosted interest in the already popular Star Trek paraphernalia.

Hallmark will not release production statistics, but Helgager said there are 11,000 stores in the United States that could have ordered the ornament.


Star Trek Communicator Article, 1998

1998, Deep Space Nine and Voyager were on the air and Star Trek: Insurrection was in theaters. Hallmark had only released its 16th and 17th Star Trek ornaments and Kevin Dilmore interviewed longtime Hallmark Star Trek artists Anita Marra Rogers and Lynn Norton for Star Trek Communicator magazine. The magazine, a bimonthly publication of the Official Star Trek Fan Club, folded in 2005.

A big ‘thank you’ to the wonderful reader who sent me this article.

Star Trek Communicator, Issue 119 (October November 1998)

“It is Paramount’s criteria that the characters do not have a hook in any part of their bodies. Therefore, we have to incorporate a part of their environment with them as a vehicle to place the ornament hook.”

Anita Marra Rogers

Within two years Seven of Nine would have a hook driven into her cranium, a practice that continues with character ornaments to this day.

Top Left: An example of the “environment” that was required to avoid skewering a character’s body.
Top Right: In the early days, Hallmark would sometimes implement a ‘fish hook’ design which swept a hook over a character’s head.
Bottom Left: Seven of Nine’s head wound in 2000.
Bottom Right: Picard’s unfortunate hook placement in 2017 resembled some sort of torture device. “THERE ARE FOUR LIGHTS!”

1991 Newspaper Article Reports High Demand for Enterprise Ornament

Article text:
Twenty-five years after embarking on its mission to “boldly go where no man has gone before” the USS Enterprise has crossed another frontier – onto Christmas trees across the country.
And even the stoical Mr. Spock would no doubt be tickled at its success.
Hallmark Cards has turned the famous starship into its newest Christmas ornament. The tiny model – about 5 inches long – features blinking red and green lights! Authentic markings and sells for $20.
The ornament immediately caught the fancy of Trekkies when it arrived in stores in July. Retailers now can’t get enough of the item to satisfy demand. Fans who want the Federation starship on their tree the Christmas are advised to get their names on a waiting list right away.
Dallasan Hallmark in Casa Linda Plaza has sold out of its stock three times, plus the display ornament, and is waiting for more.
That is, except for one ornament, whispch is tucked away out of sight of customers.
“I’m a Trekkie,” says cashier Josef Caldwell. “It’s for me.”
“It’s the biggest demand we’ve ever had for a single ornament,” said Betsy Helgager, spokeswoman for Hallmark in Kansas City, Mo. “We’ve heard about the waiting lists and all that. We expected it to do well, but… (Mitchell Diggs, Scripps Howard News Service)

Click on link in comments.

1991 Hallmark Article from Washington Post


Star Trek Ornament Hits the Stars: A replica of the Starship Enterprise is this year’s hottest Christmas tree bauble


WASHINGTON — Pick one: This year’s fastest-selling Christmas ornament is (a) a porcelain angel, (b) a Merry Olde Santa, (c) a replica of the Starship Enterprise from “Star Trek” complete with tiny red and green blinking lights on the spaceship’s bridge.

Answer: Beam me up, Santa.

The good news, for the clever shoppers who snapped up the $20 Hallmark Keepsake Magic ornament when it came out this summer, is that it’s the bauble to have. The bad news, for all of us who missed yet another hot trend, is that it’s completely sold out.

“If we had 1,000 of them, I’m sure we could have sold them all,” says Bonnie Dunnells, manager of Elm Tree Hallmark in Herndon, Va. “It’s the Cabbage Patch doll of ornaments.”

Demand for the Starship is the greatest that Hallmark has ever had for any ornament, says spokeswoman Betsy Helgager. The company will not release production figures but the Enterprise, which premiered this summer at about 11,000 retailers, was quickly reissued this fall when Hallmark realized it had a phenomenon on its branches. Each store got about 50.

Who knew? There was a spaceship last year, another one of the Keepsake Magic ornaments (“Lights! Music! Motion!”), but it wasn’t a big seller. This year Hallmark was banking on the $20 “It’s a Wonderful Life” with blinking lights, the $40 “Santa Special” train with talking Santa, and the $25 “Kringle’s Bumper Cars” with lights and motion.

But it’s the limited-edition Star Trek ornament, five inches long, which plugs into a miniature-bulb socket on the tree, that’s causing calls from desperate customers across the country. Hallmark attributes the demand to the show’s 25th anniversary, the recently released “Star Trek VI” movie and the death of the series’s creator, Gene Roddenberry.

Ornament collector Kay Layton of Germantown, Md., has 17 cartons of Christmas decorations. Usually she waits until the day after Christmas to buy, when everything goes on sale. But she snapped up an Enterprise in September. “I’m not a Trekkie but something told me to grab it.”

Since the ornament went on display in August, stores have been inundated with requests. Most started waiting lists; after a while, they stopped taking names. On Oct. 1, when retailers were allowed to reorder the spaceship, Hallmark received more than $1 million in orders, said one representative. Most shipments were sold out the day they arrived. People are still calling, even offering extra money.

The display ornament at Tysons Hallmark Corner was stolen in August. One woman threw a tantrum when she discovered customers were limited to one ornament each.

Even Hallmark employees have had to scramble. One wanted three ornaments for family members, so she called relatives in three different states and asked them to buy it for her. Dunnells–to be fair about it–put her own name on the waiting list in September and finally got her little Enterprise last week.

“I really have no feeling for it at all,” she said. “It’s just that I’m sure it’s going to be worth a lot of money someday.”

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. 

Starloggers’ “The Greatest Star Trek Hallmark Ornaments”


José Soto of Starloggers recently posted his ten best Star Trek ship ornaments and the ten best character/diorama ornaments.

“When it comes to ornaments, Star Wars may be the big thing given the abundance of Hallmark ornaments that are all over the stores now. However, Star Trek fans know all too well that their beloved franchise started the Hallmark ornament craze back in 1991 with the release of the original Enterprise ornament.” (more)


Be sure to check out Starloggers and see which ornament tops the list.

1993 Hallmark Article from Strange New Worlds


Strange New Worlds was a science fiction collectors magazine published from 1992 through 1994, providing original articles, interviews, and news for science fiction collectors. This is a reprint of an article from Strange New Worlds Issue 10 – Oct/Nov 1993.

The Star Fleet of Hallmark
by Kevin Stevens

In 1991 Hallmark Cards produced the first in a series of Star Trek Keepsake Ornaments in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the television series. The Starship Enterprise ornament was unveiled in July 1991. The finely detailed ornament blinking red and green lights on the saucer section was a beautiful recreation of the classic starship.

By August, Hallmark found that demand for this particular ornament was overwhelming; it appealed both 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 Ornament 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. By June 1992 collectible dealers were advertising the $20 ornament for anywhere from $50 to as high as $125. Prices would climb higher still.

In 1992, Hallmark, wishing to repeat its success with the Starship Enterprise, produced a second Keepsake Ornament: the Shuttlecraft Galileo. This lighted ornament included a voice chip featuring the voice of Mr. Spock. By pushing a button, collectors could hear Spock wishing all a happy holiday. 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. A year later, collectors can find the Shuttlecraft Galileo ornament for between $35 and $40.

However, because many more fans obtained the second ornament in the series, the demand grew to complete the set by finding the Enterprise ornament. Fans were now hungry for it. Prices for the Starship Enterprise ornament climbed to $175, eventually topping out at about $250. One dealer at a Los Angeles area Star Trek convention had priced the ornament at $400. Prices for this piece have since stabilized at about $200.

Although the Galileo ornament never achieved the collectibility status of the first ornament, a counter display promoting the ornament has become collectible. The display featured a plastic globe recreating a moon with the Galileo ornament orbiting above it. A button at the base of the display allowed shoppers to hear the greeting from Mr. Spock. This display, which included a cardboard back with advertising information about the ornament, has gone on to the secondary marketplace, with prices from $75 to $150.

For 1993, Hallmark has released the third in the series of Star Trek ornaments: the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701D from Star Trek: The Next Generation. As with the first Enterprise ornament, this keepsake piece features blinking lights. No voice chip is included.

Hallmark announced that it would scale back production for the 1993 ornament, making the newest ornament a more promising collectible than the Galileo. Early reports from Hallmark Gold Crown Stores (retailers for the ornaments) bear this out. Stores that began receiving the ornaments in August have been sent only half their anticipated orders, making demand high from collectors. Even those who pre-ordered have had to wait for back orders to be received.

It remains to be seen how production numbers for the new ornament will stack up as the holiday season approaches. During the holiday season, collectors should anticipate increased prices for the earlier ornaments. If the pattern established in 1992 holds true, prices may spike again, but should stabilize in the new year.

Regardless of the fluctuating prices and collector frenzy, these ornaments remain among the most beautiful, and highly collectible, Star Trek items produced in recent years.

Kevin Stevens is editor of Trek Collector, a bimonthly newsletter for Star Trek fans and collectors. He has been a Star Trek collector since 1972. His collection was featured recently on Los Angeles’ Fox TV news station KTTV. 

Back issues of Strange New Worlds available here.

1992 Hallmark Article from Strange New Worlds


Strange New Worlds was a science fiction collectors magazine published from 1992 through 1994, providing original articles, interviews, and news for science fiction collectors. This is a reprint of an article from Strange New Worlds Issue 4 – Oct/Nov 1992.

Hallmark Ornament Update –
1992 Shuttlecraft Galileo Keepsake Ornament

 by Jo Davidsmeyer

Hallmark officially kicked-off its promotion of the new Shuttlecraft Galileo Keepsake ornament on August 29 [1992], though ornaments were available for sale in select stores the first week in August. This lighted ornament is based on the shuttlecraft design from the classic Star Trek TV series. It features a holiday message from Mr. Spock (voice provided by Leonard Nimoy).

As with all Hallmark Keepsake ornaments, it is unknown how many of these ornaments will be produced. This is proprietary information that Hallmark closely guards. However, it is assumed that based upon the phenomenally successful sales of last year’s Enterprise ornament, that Hallmark will be producing enough of these to meet the demand. The Leonard Nimoy commercial for the Galileo encourages buying multiples of the ornament.

At the 50th World SF Convention, dealers were already asking $50.00 for this ornament that is still available elsewhere for the original retail price of $24.00. Stocks of the Galileo ornament were quickly depleted by eager collectors and dealers in many stores. Before paying inflated dealer prices, first check with your local Hallmark store.

You might also see in your local shop the charming Galileo counter display. It features a large three-dimensional cardboard asteroid (replete with meteor crates) with the Galileo suspended in “orbit” above it. A button clearly marked “press here” is at the base of the display and allows the customer to hear Spock’s holiday message.

As reported in Issue #2 of Strange New Worlds [“Hallmark’s Voyage of the Starship Enterprise”], Hallmark had more demand for last year’s Enterprise ornament than for any other item made by Hallmark since Keepsake Ornaments were first begun in 1973. It is still too early to judge if this latest addition to Hallmark’s Starfleet will enjoy equal attention. Hallmark collectors currently list the value of the 1991 Enterprise (original retail value of $20.00) at $175.00.

Back issues of Strange New Worlds available here.