The Good: Neat gimmick, Good sculpts, Generally good coloring
The Bad: Off-balance, Assembled look for Spider-Man, Simplistic coloring for Green Goblin
The Basics: The 2016 Slinging And Swinging Hallmark ornament is a really cool idea for a Spider-Man ornament, which is executed incredibly well!
I am not, traditionally, a Spider-Man fan. I know the story and most of the essential characters, but he's never been one of my favorites. Indeed, it took Andrew Garfield and Martin Sheen to make me bother with the latest cinematic incarnation of Spider-Man with any real enthusiasm. So, when I find a Spider-Man ornament that actually impresses me, it is based on the substance of the ornament, not because I am inherently biased toward the subject. That is why I was pretty psyched by the 2016 Slinging And Swinging Spider-Man ornament.
The 2016 Slinging And Swinging ornament is the most complex Marvel Comics-themed Hallmark ornament to be released in 2016 and it was, therefor, the most expensive. The ornament, which features a neat light gimmick to reveal a villain on a diorama ornament, is a cool ornament which features Spider-Man and the Green Goblin, set on what is essentially a shadowbox.
The Slinging And Swinging ornament recreates both Spider-Man and Green Goblin in solid plastic, framed by a window that makes it look like Spider-Man is leaping off a brick building. The ornament, released in 2016, is a decent recreation of the popular characters as they appears in the comic books, not the cinematic rendition of Spider-Man or the Green Goblin. That said, because the ornament features no fleshtones, the Slinging And Swinging ornament is colored very basically; the bricks that frame the window are colored as if for a comic book, not for realism like for a movie-based ornament.
The 2016 Slinging And Swinging ornament came with a $24.95 original issue price, which is reasonable for an ornament of this size with such an effective and cool gimmick. The Hallmark Slinging And Swinging ornament is made of a durable plastic and features Spider-Man in an action pose, with Spider-Man leaping forward, out of the window frame. The 2016 Slinging And Swinging ornament measures out at 4 1/2" tall, 2 3/4" wide and 4" deep. Both Spider-Man and the Green Goblin are molded to look entirely accurate and instantly recognizable. Unfortunately, Spider-Man has a very assembled look, with deep and noticeable seams to get the figure attached to the window frame.
On the coloring front, Spider-Man is absolutely immaculate. Each piece of webbing on the costume is crisp and clear, the colors are sharp and distinctly separated. Spider-Man on the Slinging And Swinging ornament looks great. Unfortunately, the Green Goblin is very simply colored and by comparison to the Spider-Man and brick frame, he looks cartoonish. Given the pose of the Green Goblin - about to launch a pumpkin bomb - Green Goblin looks a little more silly than he does menacing given the simplistic color-scheme.
As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, the 2016 Slinging And Swinging ornament features a very cool light function. The window out of which Spider-Man is leaping is a mirror. With the press of a button, the box behind the mirror lights up and that illuminates and reveals the Green Goblin inside, behind Spider-Man. The lights are strong enough to be clear in revealing Green Goblin and creating the illusion of a building inside the shadowbox. It's a clever idea and after a full season's use, the light effect in the Slinging And Swinging ornament did not noticeably fade.
As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake Slinging And Swinging ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate Marvel Universe Christmas Tree, a Slinging And Swinging ornament is a very cool addition. The ornament has a steel hook loop embedded in the top, center of the shadowbox frame. From that point, the Slinging And Swinging ornament hangs with a noticeable right bias. Given how Spider-Man is leaping out of the ornament on the front, right of the ornament, it is somewhat unsurprising that the ornament is so off-balance. The ornament is intended to hang level, so the right-heavy nature of the ornament is unfortunately noticeable.
Hallmark Keepsake began delving into the collectibles market in 1991 with Star Trek when it introduced the exceptionally limited edition original U.S.S. Enterprise ornament (click here for my review of that!). Since then, Hallmark has gotten into every major franchise from Disney to Twilight to the Marvel Comics universe. The Slinging And Swinging ornament was not at all limited, but it sold fairly well during the 2016 ornament season. It is one of the few Marvel Comics ornaments in recent years that appears to have appreciated fairly well in the secondary market.
The 2016 Slinging And Swinging ornament is a pretty cool idea with a neat, if imperfect, execution. It is enough to make Marvel Comics fans who are even neutral to Spider-Man want to add it to their collection!
For other Spider-Man-themed Hallmark ornaments, please check out my reviews of:
2016 Venom ornament
2014 Web-Slinging Wonder ornament
2012 Spider-Man The Amazing Spider-Man ornament
2011 Spider-Man ornament
For other ornament and toy reviews, please check out my Ornament Review Index Page for an organized listing!
© 2017 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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