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.