Monday, October 19, 2015

A Look at Hallmark's Predator Ornament




As part of this year's annual release of Christmas ornaments, Hallmark has included an ornament based on the titular monster from the 1987 creature feature Predator. I just picked up one for my own holiday season geek tree, and here are some thoughts I have about Hallmark's attempt at turning an interplanetary big game hunter into a Yuletide decoration. Read on ...

For its size, the ornament is a decent sculpt of the creature. Hallmark chose the unmasked version of the Predator in a pose that he normally assumes when issuing a victory or challenge roar. The sculpt provides a good representation of the Predator's mandibles, which are probably the most challenging aspects of any Predator replica. The mandibles sculpt isn't as impressive as those on NECA's Predator figures, but they're much better than the sculpts for Kenner's line of Predator action figures back in the '90s. This Predator also doesn't come with any trophies--no skulls, spines, or skinned bodies--so you'll have to add those yourself if you want them. (Maybe a reindeer skull with a glowing red nose or a skinned St. Nick?)




It would've been nice if Hallmark had released an electronic version of the Predator, perhaps with sound effects and a light-up plasma caster and wrist guantlet. Yet at a price tag that comes in less than $20, this non-electronic version is good enough for any fan who has been waiting since 1987 to add this monster to his/her Christmas tree.




The biggest problem with this ornament is that it is very top-heavy. The weight in this figure is concentrated in its large head and plasma caster shoulder mount, so it topples over whenever it's placed on its feet. That isn't an issue as a tree-hanging ornament but if you want to display it as part of a collection when it's not on a Christmas tree, you'll have to prop it up somehow. Note the camera case behind the ornament in the pictures that I took--that was the only way I could get it to remain standing.




Another oddity is that the ornament is slightly larger than the Alien ornament that Hallmark released last year. I was hoping that Hallmark would keep both in close scale to each other so that fans like me could have an "Alien vs. Predator" battle on their tree. I suppose that with the Alien ornament in a crouched position, fans can place it on a Christmas tree branch above the Predator, as if the Alien is waiting to pounce on the Predator while he is celebrating a short-lived victory.




It's worth noting that Hallmark has lately been adding an impressive selection of movie monsters to its Christmas ornament line. In 2014, it released ornaments based on the monsters from Alien, Jaws, Universal's original version of Frankenstein and last year's remake of Godzilla. This year's line includes the Predator, and next year's line will include the Alien Queen from Aliens. I'm hoping that Hallmark will keep releasing classic movie monsters as ornaments for years to come, but I guess we'll have to wait and see if it does.





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