October 11-12th, Hallmark stores are celebrating their annual "Ornament Debut" weekend with in-store parties. Star Trek fans have reason to join the festivities because one of the best Star Trek ornaments ever is now available, the TOS Communicator. Trekmovie.com continues coverage of the Hallmark line with a detailed look at the new ornament, and news of next year’s line.
Communicate with Santa
The Communicator represents the 49th Star Trek Christmas ornament from Hallmark. The item is an excellent miniaturized version of the communicator from the days of Captain Kirk. Especially impressive are the frenetic display of the three lights (appropriately energetic, these lights will look great on a tree) and the number of phrases from the show featured when the two buttons are pressed. While the miniaturized size takes some getting used to (it is about 1/2 the size of the real communicator), it is good that Hallmark didn’t scale their ornament 1:1 because an opened communicator of full size would have been ungainly on a tree. As a bonus, this ornament is a fun toy, perfect for display and play during the entire year.
In addition to the opening and closing sound, there are fifteen additional voice effects, more than any other Hallmark ornament ever. Pushing the two buttons accesses Original Series phrases from Captain Kirk, Spock, Scotty, and Uhura. See and hear the communicator ornament in action in the video below.
Priced at $18.50 (the usual price for electronic ornaments from Hallmark), the communicator is available starting today (although some stores were selling early for lucky fans). The Communicator joins the already available 2008 ornaments of the USS Reliant and the Trouble with Tribbles (see TrekMovie review of those items).
A look into Christmas future
For 2009 Hallmark is planning on moving up to four ornaments, which they haven’t done since 2004. TrekMovie previously provided a sneak peek from Comic Con of one of the ornaments, a scene from "The Menagerie" featuring Captain Pike, Kirk, and Spock. We now know what the other three ornaments planned for 2009 are. The second ornament will be based on a TOS phaser, to go along with this year’s communicator ornament. There will also be two movie related ornaments, but not the movie you might be thinking of. Fans might be assuming there will be ornaments related to JJ Abrams new Star Trek movie, but actually Hallmark ornaments based on the Trek films have always come out the year after the film due to the time needed to make the ornaments. 2009 may be the year of JJ Abram’s revitalization of Star Trek, but it is also the 30th Anniversary of the release of the original "revitalization" feature film, Star Trek: The Motion Picture. In honor of that film Hallmark will release a K’t’inga Class Klingon Battlecruiser featured in the film. Kevin Dilmore, who in addition to being a Star Trek novelist also works for Hallmark, promises the Klingon ship will be "complete with incredible detail of the hull plating and glowing torpedo launchers". The second TMP Hallmark item planned for 2009 is a limited edition Ilia Probe ornament. So far the only picture available for 2009 is for the "Menagerie" scene, shown at Comic Con. The 2009 ornaments should be available in the Summer and Fall of 2009.