Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)
Hallmark logo
PopMinded logo

Hallmark Cards, Inc. was founded in Kansas City, Missouri in 1910 and has been known primarily as an American greeting card and holiday decoratives company.

Since 1991, Hallmark has produced many licensed "Keepsake" Christmas ornaments based on characters, starships, props, artwork, and scenes from Star Trek film and television productions.

Starship ornaments from 1991 to 2020

The company has frequently used recorded music and clips of actors' voices taken from iconic Star Trek episodes and films. These clips are used for electronic audio features contained within their Christmas ornaments (or within their display stands) and greeting cards.

A number of actors from Star Trek productions have also appeared in print ads and television commercials for Hallmark's products.

These products are currently marketed under Hallmark's "PopMinded" pop culture collectibles brand, and are promoted by the company's Creative Director, Christine Taylor, and Senior Writer Kevin Dilmore, the author (or co-author) of a number of authorized Star Trek short stories, novels, greeting cards, and magazine articles.

Hallmark has also produced other Star Trek-related merchandise including lunchboxes, lenticular greeting cards, buttons, sticker sets, e-cards, party supplies, novelties, plush toys, and jigsaw puzzles. The puzzles were produced through their Springbok subsidiary until 2001, when the brand was sublicensed by Allied Products.

Star Trek Keepsake releases

1991 release

1992 release

1993 release

1994 release

1995 releases

1996 releases

1997 releases

1998 releases

1999 releases

Additional item

  • 1960's Star Trek Lunch Box – School Days Lunch Boxes collection; scaled metal replica

2000 releases

2001 releases

2002 releases

2003 releases

2004 releases

2005 releases

2006 releases

2007 releases

2008 releases

2009 releases

2010 releases

2011 releases

2012 releases

2013 releases

2014 releases

2015 releases

2016 releases

  • USS Enterprise Star Trek "Pilot Version" 50th Anniversary Gold Edition – painted gold and featuring an audio clip of William Shatner's monologue over the (second season) TOS theme
  • USS Enterprise Star Trek "Pilot Version" 50th Anniversary Edition – fully painted and featuring an audio clip of William Shatner's monologue over the (second season) TOS theme; "Event Exclusive" limited edition of 3,450 released at the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con, New York Comic Con, and the Star Trek: Mission New York convention
  • Ensign Pavel Chekov – with a tricorder; seventh in Star Trek Legends series; "limited quantity" ornament available at Hallmark stores
  • "The Man Trap" – The M-113 creature attacks a seated Kirk – featuring phaser sounds and voice clips of William Shatner as Kirk, Leonard Nimoy as Spock, and DeForest Kelley as McCoy
  • To Boldly Go – Kirk, Spock and McCoy on the bridge of the USS Enterprise; tabletop decoration featuring lights and voice clips of William Shatner as Kirk, Leonard Nimoy as Spock, and DeForest Kelley as McCoy
  • Star Trek Maxine Special Event Edition – repaint of 2016 "Crabby Road" Keepsake ornament; "Event Exclusive" released at the 2016 Star Trek: Mission New York and New York Comic Con conventions

Additional items

2017 releases

Additional items

2018 releases

Additional items

  • Itty Bittys Clippys Mr. Spock & Captain Kirk – plush figure set with clip
  • Quark PXL8 Pin – enamel pin commemorating DS9's 25th anniversary; pixelated 8-bit graphic-style artwork; "Event Exclusive" limited edition released at the 2018 Official Star Trek Convention
  • Itty Bittys Star Trek Collector Pin Set – set of four enamel pins featuring stylized illustrations of Spock, Kirk, Uhura, and McCoy
  • Itty Bittys Gorn – plush figure; "Event Exclusive" limited edition of 2,500 released at the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con, New York Comic Con, and the Official Star Trek Convention
  • Itty Bittys Captain Kirk "Mirror, Mirror" – plush figure; "limited edition" online exclusive
  • Itty Bittys Mr. Spock "Mirror, Mirror" – plush figure; "limited edition" online exclusive
  • Itty Bittys Kirk & Khan Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan – plush figure set

2019 releases

Additional items

2020 releases

  • USS Enterprise Tree Topper - Mirror, Mirror Collection – "Storytellers" tree topper featuring lights and rotating bussard collectors; plays the TOS opening and end title themes, William Shatner's opening monologue, dialogue, and sound effect clips from the episode; includes AC power supply and a USS Enterprise insignia-shaped remote control ‡
  • Captain James T. Kirk - Mirror, Mirror Collection – "Storytellers" ornament featuring lights and dialogue clips of William Shatner as Kirk ‡
  • Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu - Mirror, Mirror Collection – "Storytellers" ornament featuring lights and dialogue clips of George Takei as Sulu (mirror) ‡
  • Lieutenant Nyota Uhura - Mirror, Mirror Collection – "Storytellers" ornament featuring lights and dialogue clips of Nichelle Nichols as Uhura ‡
  • Tribble – plush fabric electronic ornament featuring sound and vibration when squeezed; variant of the 2019 ornament in a new color and fabric; "Event Exclusive" limited edition of 3,350 was slated for release at the 2020 Emerald City Comic Con, Planet Comic Con, San Diego Comic-Con, New York Comic Con, and the Official Star Trek Convention but instead debuted at the company's webshop during the SDCC@Home (virtual) con on 22 July 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic

2021 releases

* "Value" ornaments sold at mass-market retailers; not branded as a "Keepsake".
Walmart-exclusive "Value" ornament; not branded as a "Keepsake".
"Storytellers" function independently and can also electronically interact in concert with each other, utilizing synchronized dialogue clips (with more than 250 combined phrases from "Mirror, Mirror"), sound effects, music, and light features; excluding the tree topper, a separately-purchased Keepsake Power Cord (that can power up to seven ornaments) is required; the rest of the series (McCoy and Scott) are slated for release in 2022 and all previously released ornaments from the series will be available for the duration. [1]

Background information

Ornament appearances in Star Trek episodes

To create the battle sequences between the Federation and Klingon fleets in Deep Space Nine's "The Way of the Warrior", the effects department used Playmates toys, Ertl model kits and Hallmark Bird-of-Prey Christmas ornaments in the background in an effort to keep production costs down. When these ships were required to explode, special effects manager Gary Monak filled them with explosives and party glitter. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (pp. 263-265))

Set decorator James Mees used colorfully repainted Hallmark USS Voyager and Klingon Bird-of-Prey ornaments for Miral Paris' baby crib mobile in "Prophecy". The mobile's Klingon D7-class battle cruiser was a small plastic AMT model that had been repainted.

An "unfinished" ship-in-a-bottle of the USS Voyager purported to have been built by Joe Carey and seen in "Friendship One" was actually a 1996 Hallmark Keepsake ornament which had been modified for the show by production staff.

While unsuccessfully evading Q, Quinn reduced the starship USS Voyager to the size of a Christmas ornament and tethered it to a Christmas tree in "Death Wish". Perhaps not entirely coincidentally, Hallmark's USS Voyager ornament was released a few months after the episode debuted.

Product promotion involving Star Trek actors

Commercial for the 1992 Galileo shuttlecraft ornament

Leonard Nimoy recorded a special holiday message from Spock for use within Hallmark's 1992 Shuttlecraft Galileo ornament. He also appeared as himself in a television commercial for the ornament and gave the Vulcan salute. [2]

In 1993, Hallmark aired a television commercial featuring Patti Yasutake in the role of Nurse Alyssa Ogawa, who was seen questioning the shipboard computer and then replicating a USS Enterprise-D Keepsake ornament. Majel Barrett-Roddenberry provided the voice of the computer. [3]

Hallmark's television commercial for the 1994 Klingon Bird-of-Prey ornament featured Robert O'Reilly in the role of Gowron, commanding the bridge of a Klingon ship. His raucous Klingon language pitch was subtitled in English. [4]

Martha Hackett appeared as a Romulan officer aboard the IRW Khazara in Hallmark's 1995 Romulan Warbird ornament television commercial. [5] Hackett appeared in a similar costume to the one she wore in the role of Sub-Commander T'Rul in "The Search, Part I" and "Part II".

William Shatner and Christopher Lloyd appeared in a 2015 Hallmark Hall of Fame television production called Just in Time for Christmas. To promote the holiday movie, Shatner autographed a Star Trek Keepsake ornament for a contest. [6]

On 21 July 2018, Doug Jones autographed one hundred USS Discovery starship ornaments for fans at Hallmark's PopMinded San Diego Comic-Con convention booth. [7] Jones also signed one hundred Saru and Michael Burnham ornaments for fans at the New York Comic Con on 2 October 2019.

Additional background information

Lynn Norton's USS Bellwether from the Star Trek: 50 Artists 50 Years exhibition in 2016

  • Lynn A. Norton sculpted almost all of Hallmark's Star Trek starship ornaments for over twenty-five years. The Galileo shuttlecraft was sculpted by Dill Rhodus and the 1996 Enterprise ornament was designed by Norton and Rhodus. The Scorpion ornament was sculpted by Norton while the Data and Picard figures within were sculpted by Anita Marra Rogers. Rogers has sculpted a number of Star Trek figure ornaments.
  • Hallmark's initial concepts for the 1991 USS Enterprise, the first in the series, were quite varied. "People suggested that we trim the saucer with garland, show Santa in the ship or even depict an elf-like Santa with pointy ears, reminiscent of Mr. Spock!", reported Tina Hacker, the company's senior editor at the time, but the "side" (including Norton) "supporting authenticity won out." As a compromise to alleviate concerns that it "didn't say 'Christmas' strongly enough", the company added a year date and "Christmas red and green" running lights to the ship. A year date became a regular feature on most of Hallmark's subsequent Trek ornaments. [8]

In-store promotional materials

  • "Magic" sound and light features are commonly activated by pressing a button, although many older ornaments stay constantly illuminated when plugged into a powered Christmas light strand. Since 2005, all "Magic" Star Trek ornaments (not including "Storytellers" and large tabletop ornaments) have been battery-powered and generally function for less than thirty seconds after the "on" button is pushed.
  • Limited quantities of most "Event Exclusive" ornaments are also made available to Hallmark Keepsake Ornament Club members.

See also

External links

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