I don't usually collect holiday ornaments, though I do own a select few (my "Naughty or Nice?" Jessica Rabbit ornament from Disneyland hangs year 'round in my home office, plus I have a couple of hilarious ornaments from A Christmas Story). Otherwise, holiday ornaments just aren't my thing. But wait, what's that? Hallmark has released a Twilight Zone ornament to commemorate the show's 50th anniversary? Well, of course I'll buy it. In fact, I'll take two. They were just released this week, and I picked mine up today (I'd preordered them from Penny's, a Hallmark store near where I work in Oregon City).
I already knew it lit up. I already knew it played the theme music. I already knew that it played bursts of faux static, simulating an old TV. I knew all of this because Hallmark posted a really cool video of the ornament in action a few months ago on their website (click here, then click on the "video" button to see it for yourself). In short, I knew it was gonna be cool. But as I opened one up, put in the batteries, and experienced it live for the first time... well, "cool" doesn't quite cover it.
Folks, this thing ROCKS. The TV cabinet looks (and kinda feels) like real wood (and just look at the texture on that speaker!). The screen is sharply detailed and easy to see even when it's not lit up. The little knobs and dials are just awesome. The theme music is nice and clear. If I could change one thing, I'd add Serling's narration to the music.
Here's the text from the back of the box...
So yeah, I bought two. One will go on the Christmas tree this year (and the next year, and the year after that, and the year after that... *), and the other will be permanently displayed in my office. Here's hoping this thing sells like hotcakes, and Hallmark graces us with further TZ ornaments in the future. One of Rod Serling himself would be most welcome (with a sound chip of his voice, naturally, and maybe even a cigarette with a red glowing tip). Or hey, how about a set of mini-ornaments from the season 4/5 opening sequence (door, eyeball, clock, mannequin, etc)? And hell, who wouldn't want a Kanamit hanging from their Christmas tree? I know I would.
Recommending this ornament is easy, both as a functioning tree ornament and as a display piece. If you're at all a Twilight Zone fan (and if you aren't, why the hell are you reading this blog?), you NEED this. Go. Run. Seriously, stop reading and head straight to your nearest Hallmark store. At $16.50, it's a steal. I'm thinking I might need to pick up a third one, just to have a spare. You never know.
(* Name the episode, if you can.)