This year, with the unveiling of the 2012 Hallmark ornaments continues a long-standing tradition — the Star Wars™ Hallmark ornaments series with collectible Star Wars™ Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments.
Hallmark® Cards, Inc. has an exclusive contract with Lucas Film, LTD for the production of Christmas ornaments depicting Star Wars™ characters and vehicles. They have been making Star Wars™ Hallmark ornaments beginning with the release of the 1996 Millennium Falcon, and some of their creations have become classics with Star Wars enthusiasts. Early favorites like the At-At, X-Wing Starfighter, and TIE Fighters from Star Wars™ are now rare and collectible, though they are still obtainable through ornament dealers, such as The Ornament Factory, in limited quantities.
Other iconic Star Wars™ vehicles and structures have appeared through the years, such as the 2002 Death Star, and the 2004 Star Destroyer – which were also made available together, on a smaller scale, with the release of the 2008 Death Star and Star Destroyer miniature ornament set. These will always be huge favorites and are still available today.
C-3PO and R2-D2 were issued as a set of miniature Hallmark ornaments in 1997. Full sized versions of these two iconic droids were released in later years, first with the release of the 2001 R2-D2 (which is #5 in the official Star Wars Hallmark ornament series), followed by the production of the 2003 C-3PO (#7 in the series). They are still available and continue to enjoy a position of prominence in the collection.
Hallmark didn’t just produce ornaments for the heroes of the Star Wars trilogy … they also made some extremely popular ornaments that features some of the “scum and villainy” from the Star Wars Universe. Of course, the first evil Star Wars character featured in a Hallmark Keepsake ornament was released in 1997, and was no other than Darth Vader. This ornament not only had Darth Vader standing on a lighted platform in the Carbon Freeze room of Cloud City with his light saber glowing in his hand, ready to face young Jedi, Luke Skywalker, but it also delivers this intimidating message “The force is with you, young Skywalker. But you are not a Jedi yet!” Darth Vader was followed the next year by the Bounty Hunter, Boba Fett, who has become a cult hero of many Star Wars fans. Other bad guys have popped up from time to time, such as Darth Maul and the Imperial Stormtrooper in 2000, Darth Vader in 2002, and a Clone Trooper Lieutenant in 2005. The 2000 Darth Maul ornament has the Sith apprentice depicted in a pose, wielding his red, double bladed lightsaber, from his battle with young Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn in the Threed hanger on planet Naboo. The 2002 Darth Vader ornament (#6 in the Star Wars Hallmark Ornament series) has the Dark Lord of the Sith with light saber drawn, prepared for his battle with Luke Skywalker. A big moment came in 2005, when Darth Vader made a second appearance. Press a button and he says the famous words, “Luke, I am your father!”
Oddly enough, Han Solo and Chewbacca were not some of the first Star Wars™ characters issued. This omission was corrected in 1999 with the introduction of the Han Solo and Chewbacca Christmas ornaments. These became immediate fan favorites. In fact, these two characters have been so popular with fans that there has been two additional Han Solo ornaments released since the original ornament was released in 1999 (2009 Han Solo in Imperial Stormtrooper armor, and 2012 Han Solo to the Rescue), and an additional Chewbacca ornament released in 2004 (2004 Chewbacca and C-3P0).
As the Star Wars™ saga went on, so did their ornament collection. Other notable favorites are the 1997 Yoda, 2004 Anakin Skywalker, and 2007 R2-D2 and Jawa. However, some of the most popular and collectible Star Wars Hallmark ornaments were only sold in limited quantity, such as the 2007 Tusken Raider, 2008 Emperor’s Royal Guard (you know, the guys wearing all red that protected the Emperor), and the 2009 Greedo ornament. Still, there were some even more difficult to find, and highly collectible Star Wars ornaments that were never even in a Hallmark Gold Crown store! These ornaments are released in extremely limited numbers, and are only available at special events, such as the San Diego Comic Convention (San Diego ComicCon, or SDCC), or at the Star Wars Celebration events. Some of these rare and valuable ornaments include the 2009 Shock Trooper and Shadow Trooper set, which sells for over $500 today, the 2010 K-3PO and R-3PO set, and the latest of these very popular ornament sets, the 2012 Obi Wan Kenobi and Ponda Baba set, which was exclusively available at the Star Wars Celebration VI event, which features the scene from Chalmun’s Cantina on Tatooine where Obi-Wan uses his lightsaber to cut off Ponda’s arm. The best part is – the severed arm is actually a third ornament in this set!
Of course, Hallmark has continued with this great tradition of producing numerous Star Wars ornaments this year. The 2012 Hallmark ornaments include a Darth Vader “Peekbuster” ornament, which has the Dark Lord wearing a Santa hat and speaking dire warnings to those who would peek at their Christmas presents. Momaw Nadon, who was last seen in the Cantina on Tatooine, was released as a limited quantity ornament. Sith Apprentice Darth Maul is ready for action this year, posed for battle with his unique lightsaber. The vehicle for 2012 is the TIE Interceptor – a variation of the TIE Fighter, as seen in Star Wars – Return of the Jedi. The evil General Grievous (#16 in the Hallmark Star Wars ornament series) finally makes an appearance, rounding out the ornament selection.
To secure your 2018 Hallmark Keepsake ornaments (or any other ornaments that you may have missed from prior years) for your Christmas tree this holiday season, be sure to go to The Ornament Factory or by calling The Ornament Factory at 1-888-740-6970. May the Force be with you – and Happy Collecting!