Bradford Editions Simpsons Christmas Ornaments

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 Ornaments.

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 Walgreen's.

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 tight.

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 possibilities.

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:

- Collectibles 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.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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