Saturday, October 23, 2010

Collectible Christmas Ornaments Fit for Halloween Display



As any good geek worth his/her salt should know, the holiday season is the perfect time to buy and display highly-detailed ornaments of your favorite franchise(s). It's like having your own seasonally-mandated display case of your favorite geek obsessions. Unfortunately, the season in question is Christmas and not Halloween, and the franchises that are most likely to have ornaments made of their characters, vehicles and scenes are the sci-fi and fantasy varieties (Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter, DC and Marvel superheroes, etc.) thus leaving horror franchises out in the cold.

I think that having ornamental Halloween trees is a great idea, particularly if you own a fake tree. Besides, the shopping seasons of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas have become so mixed together that having a tree up from October to December wouldn't be too out of place anyway. Yet finding ornaments for a Halloween tree isn't easy, so here's my list of horror-oriented ornaments that were originally marketed for Christmas but are far better suited for Halloween. Read on ...

Dracula: In the area of collectible Christmas ornaments, Hallmark appears to rule the figurative roost. Yet if you're willing to dig a little deeper, you'll find other holiday-oriented companies picking up licenses that Hallmark hasn't gobbled up yet. Case in point: Carlton Cards' 2009 Dracula ornament. This isn't just any Dracula knick knack--this is a highly detailed sculpt of Bela Lugosi's portrayal of Dracula, complete with Dracula audio clips that play with the push of a button:


Even though this ornament was released as recently as 2009, it's very hard to find. Sadly, this is also the only ornament with this level of detail that I've seen released for a classic Universal Monster, so don't expect to find anything for Frankenstein's Monster, The Wolf Man, The Mummy, or The Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Terminator: I originally thought that there were only two Terminator ornaments ever made, the two highly detailed ornaments that were produced by Gentle Giant after the release of Terminator 3 in 2003. The ornaments were a mini-bust of a battle-damaged T-850, with part of its endoskeleton exposed, and a chrome plated T-X endoskeleton skull. Sadly, neither of these ornaments light up, even though they'd look even cooler with their respective red and blue glows.


Not to be left out, Carlton Cards released a third Terminator ornament of their own last year (one I just discovered, actually), a complete Terminator 2 endoskeleton with light-up eyes and T2 logo:


Now all someone needs to do is add a few more ornaments of other endoskeleton types (such as the T-600 and T-888) and some HK units to make your holiday season a season of human extermination.

King Kong: As of this year, Hallmark owns the rights to the King Kong license and you can currently by their official King Kong ornament, which has the big guy standing on top of the Empire State Building:


Before Hallmark, Carlton Cards produced a series of impressive Kong ornaments that you can still purchase online. While I think that Carlton's Kong ornaments were meant to capitalize on the most recent Kong remake, they are nevertheless impressive examples of classic monster collectible memorabilia.


Godzilla: Yep, it's Carlton Cards again, with their line of Japan's King of the Monsters. It appears that Carlton still has the Godzilla license, so expect this line to continue for some time to come. Each of these are very detailed, they light up, and they make iconic Godzilla noises, thus making them great display-worthy pieces of Godzilla merchandise. This year's Godzilla ornament is a "Burning Godzilla" from Godzilla vs. Destroyah. Some of the previous ornaments in the series are still available online, including the one from 2008 which features Godzilla holding the head of his decapitated foe, Mechagodzilla.


Jaws: OK, so there's never been any officially licensed Jaws tree ornament released by any company (so far). However, because this monster is a Great White Shark, you can use a non-Jaws licensed Great White ornament as a stand-in until the real thing is produced. I picked up a pretty nice shark ornament in Delaware a few years ago, and it looks great on the tree. All it would need is a matching scale-sized shark cage with a tiny Richard Dreyfuss inside of it to make this a complete Jaws ornament set.


If I had my way, there would at least be a Jaws 2 ornament, which would be an ornament-sized monster shark with a burned face and a mouth you could clamp around the cord for your Christmas lights. This ornament would feature a button that when you press it, the shark's body would twitch and tiny LED lights behind the shark's semi-translucent teeth would start flashing as if the shark is being electrocuted--just like in the movie!

Glass Halloween Ornaments: Of course, what would our free market society be if there weren't at least some Halloween tree ornaments already on the store shelves? If you look hard enough, you can find them; I once saw a Grim Reaper tree ornament while shopping at a local supermarket, and to this day I regret not buying it. However, if you're happy with Halloween ornaments that aren't heavy on precise detail but great on design, then you might be interested in selections offered by Traditions, a year-round holiday store. Of particular note are some of the ornaments made by Slavic Treasures, Inge Glass, and Old World Christmas, some examples of which can be seen below.







I have four of "Evil Eyes" (two of which were made by Old World Christmas) so my tree can see everything!




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