The Bradford Exchange puts out a wide variety
of 'collectibles' based on a variety of licenses or artists. They have
recently started the Bradford Editions division to specialize in Christmas
Other companies have produced Simpsons based
ornaments, most notably Carlton Cards. The quality of past ornaments
has depended on the producer/retailer, and Carlton Cards has certainly
carried the nicest so far.
Bradford has started a new set of Simpsons
themed ornaments. They will be released in sets of three, at a price
of about $30 a set. You can sign up for them as a subscription, and
they'll be shipped to you about every other month.
The first set includes 'Cat-astrophe', 'Santas
Little Helper', and 'Ho Ho Homer'. They are based on the very first
episode of the Simpsons, 'Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire'. These
are called 'illuminated' ornaments, meaning they have a hole in the bottom
to place a small Christmas tree light, and it will illuminate the clear
lights on the tree on each ornament.
Packaging - *
They come in a box. A plain box. I'll give it a star since it is
well packed inside a Styrofoam insert.
Sculpting - **1/2
The sculpting on these is fairly good for an ornament, although looking at
these gives you some idea just how good a job Playmates really does.
Lisa is a problem, just like
always. Her mouth and face just don't seem to translate well from 2-D
to 3-D. Homer is probably the best sculpt on all three ornaments, but
the animals aren't bad either.
These are millions of times
better than the awful ornaments that came out last year at Wal-marts and
Paint - ***1/2
Many times, paint ops can ruin a wonderful sculpt. This time, I think
the paint ops actually improve a mediocre sculpt.
There are many good paint
details, and plenty of color. The colors are consistent and the lines
relatively clean, although there was a little slop around the base.
The nice paint work helps these
sculpts and improves the overall look of the ornament.
Quality - ***1/2
The ornaments are fairly sturdy, and it doesn't look like you'll break them
too easily, always a problem with this type of item.
The gold string is positioned
fairly well to hang them on the tree nicely, and the hole in the bottom for
the 'illuminating' feature has a rubber ring around it to hold the lamp
Design - **
Unfortunately, the designs aren't particularly exciting. I'm not sure
what would be, because the Simpsons and Christmas simply don't go together
as well as the Simpsons and Halloween, where there's all kinds of cool
Value - ***
At ten dollars each, they are certainly a better value than most of the
Hallmark or Carlton Cards ornaments, which can easily run $15-$20 each.
Overall - **1/2
These are a borderline ***, but the design just didn't do much for me.
The sculpting is decent, and the value is good, but I'm hoping we see
something more visually exciting in future releases.
Where to Buy -
Your best option is on-line:
Today has a subscription plan that will ensure you get every release on
a regular basis. Each set of ornaments is about $30 plus shipping.