Category Archives: Kevin Dilmore

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.

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: #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!

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.

Mission Chicago Announced, Mission New York Revisited

As part of the First Contact Day (April 5) festivities it was announced that in 2022 there will be a Star Trek: Mission Chicago event. This convention is the only officially licensed Star Trek event in the U.S. by CBS now that Star Trek Las Vegas has been replaced with The 55-Year Mission Tour in Las Vegas. ReedPop, who is putting on Mission Chicago, was behind events like New York Comic Con, MCM Comic Con London, Star Wars Celebration and Star Trek: Mission New York. It is expected that annual Missions in rotating cities will follow.

Newsfeed:
We invite you to Star Trek: Mission Chicago– the ultimate Star Trek fan experience for all ages! Boldly explore the past, present and future of the celebrated franchise while embracing the ideals of a diverse and inclusive future that remains at the center of one of the most iconic brands of all time. Enjoy three full days of interactive exhibits, major announcements, exclusive merchandise, celebrity guests, and more from the ever-evolving Star Trek universe.

Star Trek: Mission Chicago is coming to McCormick Place in Chicago IL, April 8th to April 10th 2022. 

In light of this announcement it seems only fitting to revisit 2016’s Star Trek: Mission New York which took place during Star Trek’s 50th Anniversary. To celebrate the anniversary, Hallmark displayed all 81 Star Trek ornaments that had been released up to that time (actually 80, “To Boldly Go” was still just a cardboard image).

Unfortunately, most of the photos of the Star Trek display were taken from a distance.

The gallery, in the form of a transporter chamber, stood beside Hallmark’s event booth. It was comprised of seven tall, vertical windows each holding a dozen or so ornaments.

Happily, one Star Trek fan posted a YouTube video of the ornaments which you can view at the bottom of this page. Below are the best screen caps I could get from IoMGeek’s September 3, 2016 video. Let me know if anyone has any photos of Hallmark’s ornament gallery they would like to share.

Window 1
Top: 1991 U.S.S. Enterprise, 1992 Shuttlecraft Galileo, 1993 U.S.S. Enterprise D, 1994 Klingon Bird-of-Prey
Middle: 1995 Captain Jean-Luc Picard, 1995 Captain James T. Kirk, 1995 The Ships of Star Trek, 1995 Romulan Warbird
Bottom: 1996 Enterprise & Galileo, 1996 Mr. Spock, 1996 Commander William T. Riker, 1996 U.S.S. Voyager

Window 2
Top: 1997 Commander Data, 1997 Dr. Leonard H. McCoy, 1997 U.S.S. Defiant,
1998 Captain Kathryn Janeway, 1998 U.S.S. Enterprise E
Middle: 1999 Worf, 1999 U.S.S. Enterprise – Glass, 1999 Runabout U.S.S. Rio Grande
Bottom: 1999 U.S.S. Enterprise – Stamp, 2000 Lt. Commander Worf – Glass, 2000 Seven of Nine, 2000 Borg Cube

Window 3
Top: 2001 Q – Glass, 2001 Space Station Deep Space Nine, 2001 Startfleet Legends
Middle: 2001 Captain Benjamin Sisko, 2002 Enterprise NX-01, 2002 The Doctor, 2002 Delta Flyer
Bottom: 2003 Sub-Commandr T’Pol, 2003 Captain Jonathan Archer, 2003 The Scorpion

Window 4
Top: 2004 “The City on the Edge of Forever”, 2004 Insignias, 2004 Vulcan Command Ship, 2004 Commander Trip Tucker
Bottom: 2005 Khan, 2005 U.S.S. Enterprise A

Window 4
Top: 2005 Locutus of Borg, 2006 U.S.S. Enterprise, 2006 The Transporter Chamber, 2007 Future U.S.S. Enterprise D
Bottom: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, 2007 Lt. Uhura – Red

Window 5
Top: 2008 Communicator, 2008 “The Trouble with Tribbles”, 2008 U.S.S. Reliant, 2009 Klingon Battle Cruiser
Middle: 2009 Lt. Uhura – Gold, 2009 Starfleet Phaser, 2009 “The Menagerie”
Bottom: 2009 Ilia Probe, 2010 U.S.S. Enterprise 2.0, 2010 “Amok Time”, 2010 Captain James T. Kirk

Window 6
Top: 2011 “Mirror, Mirror”, 2011 Romulan Bird-of-Prey, 2011 U.S.S. Defiant
Bottom: 2011 Spock, 2012 Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy

Window 6
Top: 2012 “An Extraordinary Meeting”, 2012 U.S.S. Enterprise D, 2013 U.S.S. Kelvin
Bottom: 2013 Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott, 2013 “Arena”, 2013 U.S.S. Kelvin – Damaged

Window 7
Top: 2014 U.S.S. Vengeance, 2014 “The Devil in the Dark”
Bottom: 2014 Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu, 2014 Vina, 2015 U.S.S. Enterprise C

Window 7
Top: 2015 “The Needs of the Many”, 2015 Lieutenant Nyota Uhura, 2016 Enterprise “Pilot” Gold
Bottom: 2016 “The Man Trap”, 2016 Ensign Pavel Chekov, 2016 Enterprise “Pilot” Painted

Window 7
Above: 2016 “To Boldly Go” (stand-in)

Hallmark Booth Display Case
Above: 2016 Maxine Cosplay, 2016 Enterprise “Pilot” Painted

Below is the video where these screen caps were taken from. The Hallmark booth footage begins at 1:26.

It’s 1992 and You’re Hosting a Hallmark Event…What Are the Five Star Trek Terms You MUST Know?

In 1992, Hallmark put on a Galileo Landing Party event at stores across the country. The Galileo was the follow up ornament to the bestselling Enterprise the year before. Hallmark decided to educate their sales associates with five key STAR TREK terms in preparation of the party. Take a look below at what they considered crucial information.

If you have access to a STAR TREK costume, wear it during your Landing Party event. It will add to the festivities!

During your Party, it might be helpful if you are familiar with STAR TREK lingo. Here are some terms to know:

Shuttlecraft Galileo – Small spaceship that transfers up to 8 passengers and 2 operators to the starship U.S.S. Enterprise.
U.S.S. Enterprise – The starship that transports the STAR TREK crew on its missions.
STAR TREK Mission – “To seek out new worlds and new civilizations…to boldly go where no man has gone before.”
Klingons – Once-enemies, now allies of the Federation.
Federation – League of planets throughout all galaxies that are allied for peace.

You Are The Key
To The Success Of This Event.
Live Long And Prosper!

PopMinded Artwork by Marceli Colato

If you have picked up any Star Trek event exclusive ornaments since 2018 you may have noticed the new black box design. It is an all black design that stands out against the white boxes Hallmark has used since 2006. With this change, on the sides of the box, is a gloss black doodle-inspired artwork on a flat black background that can go unnoticed unless the light catches it just right.

This artwork was created by Marceli Colato who also made drawings for Star Wars, Marvel, Disney, DC Comics and Harry Potter. “I was able to create cohesive branding that would be used in a variety of spaces, including visual merchandising, print/digital marketing, packaging designs, and unique gift product” says Colato.

Below is the complete piece of artwork Colato created for the Star Trek PopMinded by Hallmark line. Can you “spot” all the references?

Visit marcelicolato.com to see more of her artwork.

More Star Trek “Surprises” Coming In 2021

The Spock and Chekov ornaments have now been revealed as the latest two entries into the Mirror Mirror Storytellers series and with that Kevin Dilmore has promised some future Star Trek surprises later this year. Dilmore, if you are unaware, is the nexus where Hallmark and Star Trek collide. He is a Senior Writer at Hallmark Cards and author/coauthor of Sci-fi novels that include Star Trek adventures.

2022 will bring us the final two Star Trek Storytellers, McCoy and Scotty. So what will we see later this year? A third Tribble? Lower Decks stuff? The Enterprise B ornament is a huge long shot but now that we have the Enterprise tree topper I can’t think of a more discussed ornament.

Still Waiting on 2021 Hallmark Star Trek Ornament Previews

We sit here in December and still have no official announcement of the 2021 Hallmark Star Trek ornaments.  The ornament previews usually are presented at the fan conventions beginning in July but COVID-19 has barreled its way into everyone’s lives disrupting everything.  

The current plan is to have all of the Star Trek Storytellers releases from 2020 and 2021 to be available through 2022 until the complete line has been released.