Ornament-a-Day 2019: The Storyteller Ornaments

In 2017, I started collecting Hallmark’s “Storyteller” Star Wars ornaments. These ornaments are powered by a proprietary networking and power cable and combine to recreate scenes from Star Wars – Episode IV: A New Hope.

After years of battery-powered ornaments, the “Storyteller” line represents Hallmark’s return to externally-powered ornaments. While I’m not usually a fan of proprietary connectors, in this case, using Hallmark’s cord means I don’t have to fuss around with removing, storing, and re-inserting lightbulbs.

The ornaments themselves (which collectively represent today’s Ornament-a-Day entry) are a mix of new versions of ornaments I already own (Darth Vader’s TIE Fighter, regular TIE Fighter, X-Wing) and wholly new ornaments (the original Death Star, the Millennium Falcon). Rather than go with a traditional, static illumination, the ornaments feature cycling LED lights. For the starships, this usually means its the glowing cockpits that are shifting through the spectrum, but the Death Star’s entire form lights up, and as do the Falcon’s engines and top gun turret.

The thing that really makes the ornaments stand out is their storytelling. Each ornament has its own lines of dialogue and corresponding visual effects. Because the ornaments are network, the audio and lighting effects bounce around the Geek Tree. It’s a great effect that’s only gotten better as I’ve added more ornaments – now I’ve got and X-Wing streaking around the tree, pursued by TIE Fighters and Darth Vader, culminating with the destruction of the Death Star. If I have a complaint, it’s that they overdid it on the TIE engine noises – this is not a sequence to listen to if you have a headache – but thankfully you choose when to start the sequence. Unlike other ornaments on the tree, it doesn’t begin every time you power up the tree (which likely would have caused my family to banish the tree to my third-floor game room/office).

There are two new ornaments I’m hoping to get this year: the Imperial Star Destroyer with blockade runner and the Y-Wing. As with the other ornaments, I have versions of these already, but I’m looking forward to hearing (and seeing) how they add to the expanding story.

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