Friday, December 16, 2005

RETRO TOY FLASHBACK 21: Hallmark Star Trek & Star Wars Christmas Ornaments

If you check this blog often, you've seen my extensive (and seemingly unending...) toy and collectible collection, and you know that I'm one lucky guy. Lucky, cuz I ain't actually rich, but I have a lot of folks in my life who love me and keep buying me these wonderful gifts.

I thought it would be appropriate this week, given the upcoming holidays, to focus on a school of collectible that I haven't spent a single dime on: Star Trek and Star Wars collectible Christmas Tree Ornaments! That's right, I own a vast collection of these items, but it's all landed in my home office through the auspices of my wonderful parents and in-laws. Every year, come hell or high water, I receive a new sci-fi ornament. Feels good to be loved, doesn't it?

My collection began in 1992, when my mother-in-law (who lives in Richmond) bought me the first Star Trek ornament (price tag: $20.00) I'd ever seen, a representation of NCC-1701, Captain Kirk's starship Enterprise (and still my favorite version of the classic heavy cruiser). This ornament was a hot-ticket item that holiday season (along with Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers toys) , and I didn't expect to get one. There was even a waiting list. But lo and behold, come Christmas morning...I owned a starship! My mother-in-law still threatens to take it back occasionally, especially when I say she coulda' been a Jersey Girl instead of a Southern Belle...

Last time I checked, these ornaments go for hundreds of dollars...not that I'm in the collecting biz' for the money. It's just nice to know that if I lose a lot of money on the horses, I can hock an ornament. Just kidding. I'm not a gambler...

Anyway, the next year, my sister, who lives in New Jersey, purchased me the follow-up Hallmark "keepsake" ornament from Star Trek (which sold for $24.00), The Galileo 7 shuttlecraft. This ornament is great not only because the front windows light up, but because if you press a button on the bottom, Mr. Spock wishes you a happy holiday season. How very illogical - but sweet - of the dour half-Vulcan!

This was 1993, I guess, and from there, my own mother was forever on the case of Star Trek and Star Wars ornaments, and I have not been left in need once since. Over the years, she and my Dad have given me Next Gen, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise, Phantom Menace, and classic Star Wars ornaments for Christmas. Often, they miraculously unveil ones I've never even seen before, like the Romulan fighter from Star Trek: Nemesis.

Last year, when my house was on the historic home tour in our town, I even put up a special Star Trek Christmas tree for all to behold, and it was quite amazing.

I also "beamed down" the Captain Kirk ornament into my wife's proudly displayed Nativity Scene. There Kirk was, right next to the Three Wise Men, sitting in his command chair. Sacrilegious? Naah! We all know that I worship William Shatner, right? Freedom of religion, and all...

This year, my mother-in-law sent me another great Hallmark ornament in the mail, the 2005 Star Trek edition. The model? Ricardo Montalban's Khan! I hadn't seen this anywhere, and didn't even realize that the Star Trek license is still viable.

But now I can add Khan Noonien Singh to the Nativity scene and have my Captain Kirk ornament shout "Khaaaaaan!"

"Better to rule in Hell than serve in Heaven," Khan can reply...

That's an odd Christmas thought, I suppose, but I just want to thank all my family members for, over the years, keeping me fully-stocked on these things. I appreciate the love, support, and the toys.

So what about you, do you collect any sci-fi ornaments for that special outer space Christmas tree?

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