Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Christmas In July

It's July, so you know what that means— it's time for the Hallmark Company to reveal their upcoming line of Christmas ornaments! Because it's only natural to start thinking about the Yuletide holiday when the outside temperature is 97º with 300% humidity.

Actually, the way Christmas Creep has progressed the past few years, I'm surprised Hallmark was able to restrain themselves and hold off until July.

Anyway, let's waste some precious bandwidth and take a look at a few of this year's offerings, shall we?

First up is the Xenomorph Queen from James Cameron's 1986 scifil action masterpiece ALIENS. Overall it looks pretty well done, with lots of fiddly little details that are sure to snap off when you box it up and store it in the closet.

It's always amused me that the Alien Queen's feet are designed to look like she's wearing high heels.

Sadly there's no companion piece of Ellen Ripley in her power loader, screaming, "Get away from her, you BITCH!" to hang on your festive Yule tree.

Suggested retail price: $19.95.

Next up is an ornament of The Man Everyone Loves To Hate, J.R. Ewing of Dallas fame. Because nothing says "Christmas" like a greedy, unscrupulous oil baron, cooling himself with a fan made of cash.

If you look closely, you'll see the bills he's holding actually have his face printed on them, which would no doubt considered legal tender in Texas.

Suggested retail price: $17.95.

As always, there are several Star Trek-themed ornaments this year. First up is a small slice of the Enterprise bridge, featuring the Holy Triumvirate of Kirk, Spock and McCoy.

At least I think that's who it's supposed to be, as the likenesses are pretty subpar. Spock doesn't look so bad, but with his Moe haircut, arched eyebrows and pointed ears, it's usually pretty easy to capture him. 

Kirk and McCoy are both pretty terrible though, unless Hallmark's going for a "Claymation Christmas Special" look.

This is actually a table-top ornament, as it's too big to try and hang from a tree (unless you've got one with some very sturdy limbs). It also features sound, but I can't seem to find any sample clips online.

Suggested retail price: A whopping $74.95! Hey, Star Trek those licensing fees costs money!

There's also this "Kirk Vs The Salt Vampire" ornament from the Season 1 episode The Man Trap. Because what better way to get into the Christmas spirit than with an ornament depicting an alien creature painfully killing a man by sucking the sodium chloride from his body.

This one also features sound, including William Shatner's infamous blood curdling scream as his body's drained of all its delicious sodium chloride.

Hopefully the actual ornament's legs won't be crudely Photoshopped like they are in this catalog image.

Suggested retail price: $29.95.

There's also a Rick Grimes figure from AMC's hit series The Walking Dead. Or maybe it's the Brawny Paper Towel Man, it's honestly hard to tell. It looks about as much like Andrew Lincoln as I do. 

Unfortunately, the necessary hanging hardware in the top of the ornament looks for all the world like one of the cast members thought poor Rick had turned into a walker and stabbed in the head with a piece of rebar.

Rick looks positively naked without his trademark coating of zombie blood, so feel free to add your own splatters, for an extra festive touch.

Suggested retail price: $17.95.

Here we have an ornament of beloved Winnie-The-Poo character Eyore, attempting something that all men wish they could do, but precious few can actually accomplish. Happy Holidays, everyone!

Suggested retail price: $19.95.

If you're into nearly naked musclebound dudes hanging from your Christmas tree, then you can't go wrong with this He-Man Masters Of The Universe ornament.

Of course He-Man hails from the land of Eternia, where I'm betting they worship a whole pantheon of non-Christian gods, so he might be an odd choice for a Christmas ornament.

Sidenote: Is it a good idea to tightly grasp a sword like that?

Suggested retail price: $15.95.

Up next is the Armored Batman ornament from DC's crap fest Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice. If you're lucky, all your other ornaments will have mothers named "Martha," so he can become best friends with them!

This is supposedly a Comic-Con exclusive (well, lah-de DAH!), so the price is unknown. Rest assured it'll be two to three times what it ought to be.

Ah, the holiday season. The time for peace on Earth, and good will toward all men. Why not commemorate that lovely sentiment than with these Captain America: Civil War ornaments, featuring the title character beating the living crap out of his pal Iron Man?

I really hope we've got all the "good guy against good guy" movies out of our system, so we can get back to fun superhero movies again.

Suggested retail price: $15.95 each.

This ornament is called "Little Cup Of Happy Mini Coconut Santa Mug."

I can think of no better way to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior than with an ornament depicting a colorful parrot picking brain matter out of the hollowed-out skull of a curiously non-gray haired Santa. More eggnog, anyone?

Suggested retail price: A very reasonable $7.95. See how much of your hard-earned ornament dollar goes toward licensing fees?

It's the Wagon Queen Family Truckster from the classic 1983 comedy Vacation

What's that you say? There was a Vacation remake that came out last year? I have no idea what you're talking about. There've only been two Vacation movies— the original and Christmas Vacation.

I really like the "deliberately bad" design of the car in the film, so it's a pity that they covered up half of it with the road barrier debris. 

Suggested retail price: $19.95.

This festive menorah ornament invites visitors who gaze at your Christmas tree to play a spirited game of "What's Wrong With This Picture?"

Suggested retail price: $17.95.

Here's a lovely Star Wars ornament, featuring the menacing villain Darth Vader trying to get his daughter to participate in a hilarious game of "pull my finger." Don't fall for that one, Leia!

Suggested retail price: $29.95.

There's also a Han Solo ornament this year. But not just any Han— this is AARP Han from last year's Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Think of the fun you can have with this ornament, as you make Han check the mailbox for his pension check, frequent the Early Bird Buffet at his favorite restaurant, and topple off the tree after being killed by his ungrateful, long-haired hippie of a son. Whoops! Spoiler alert!

Suggested retail price: $15.95.

Lastly there's this massive Death Star Tree Topper ornament.

Why top your tree with a boring old everyday star, when you can make it a Death Star? The ornament features extensive lights and sounds, which I assume is why it costs so damned much. But think of the looks on your guests' faces when they gaze up in wonder at your tree topper and gasp, "That's no ornament, that's a space station!"

Suggested retail price: $99.95.

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