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Click meSpacerLando's 2005 Pop Culture Christmas Tree
By Lando Da Pimp

Each December, the Mrs. and I decorate the house for Christmas with two Christmas trees. The large tree in the living room is the "nicely decorated" tree, while the small tree is my annually decorated pop-culture tree.

Every year Hallmark sends a collection of the Christmas pop culture ornaments to feature. This years' collection is exceptional with the usual Star Wars and Disney ornaments along with a few surprises.

Click meDarth Vader (Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back)
I always look forward to which Hallmark Star Wars ornaments are released each year. The best of the lot is Darth Vader from the lightsaber duel with Luke in The Empire Strikes Back. The scene where he informs Luke that he is his father is recreated along with a voice chip that speaks the infamous phrase. The ornament is rather large with a great representation of the Dark Lord.
Vader Ornament on Hallmark's site

Click meSlave Girl Princess Leia
Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi
The costume that made Star Wars fans realize that Princess Leia was no longer a girl, but a woman, is now sculpted into an ornament and hanging on my Christmas tree. Possibly the sexiest ornament ever made recreates the scene of Princess Leia fighting off Jabba's goons.
Slave Leia on Hallmark's site

Click meGandalf The Grey from The Lord of the Rings
Gandalf is the second ornament from The Lord of the Rings, last year's being Frodo. As you can see when you compare Gandalf to Frodo, Hallmark kept the scale pretty accurate. Gandalf also comes with his pipe making him the first ornament to have a smoking problem. This is a very great sculpt of Ian McKellan as the old wizard and the best likeness this year.
Gandalf on Hallmark's site

Click meKermit the Frog
While Gandalf the Grey is my favorite likeness this year, my favorite ornament is Kermit the Frog. Kermit is a lot different than any of the other ornaments. This ornament is not hung by a hook, but by a clasp on the bottom which holds him on the edge of a tree branch. This gives him the appearance of just sitting on the tree.
Kermit on Hallmark's site

Click meLeonardo of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
The leader / swordsman (or swords-turtle) of the pizza-eating foursome is produced. Missing however are the other three turtles making it difficult to put them all together.
Leonardo on Hallmark's site

Click meMickey Mouse as The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Most of the interactive ornaments that I own from Hallmark are only interactive with voice chips. You press a button and the ornament plays a sound clip. This year the Sorcerer's Apprentice Mickey Mouse from the film Fantasia is animated. While this is nothing entirely new, the coolest feature is that it constantly moves when the tree lights are on. The walking brooms sticks move up and down similar to the film.
Sorcerer's Apprentice on Hallmark's site

Click meShrek
Shrek, Fiona, and Donkey are all immortalized in this static ornament. The ornaments sculpt is nice, a relief sculpt is not as exciting as the three dimensional ornaments.
Shrek on Hallmark's site

Click meG.I. JOE
This is my second G.I. JOE ornament and I love the fact that they are all based on the original JOE figures. This one is based on the scuba diving JOE.
SCUBA Joe on Hallmark's site

While this is not all of the ornaments Hallmark has available, these are some of the best ones. One ornament that I still intend on acquiring is the ornament of Star Trek First Contact with Locutus of Borg and the Borg Queen. This ornament also contains a voice chip that recites a line from First Contact.
First Contact ornament on Hallmark's site.

Click meAt the bottom of the tree I like to put a display of some sorts. Last year I put my LEGO train around the tree. This year I decided to put my Lionel O-Gauge train up. This model is called the New Englander set number 8007. This train was a Christmas present from my dad when I was 5 years old. I also put some O-gauge housing up as well as the movable skating rink that uses magnets to move the skaters.

Not all Christmas decorations are boring. Hallmark's collections of pop culture ornaments have become an important part of my Christmas holiday as well as a display under the tree.

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All characters and likenesses are copyright their respective owners. All images and article are ©2005

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