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Thursday, November 3, 2011

OG Cylon Ornament Review

What says "Merry Christmas" better than the instrument of mankind's destruction?

Hallmark stores have Cylon Centurion ornaments on their shelves so you can now have the shiny menace from 1978 aim its rifle at you from the branches of your own tree.

Designed by longtime Hallmark ornament artist Nello Williams, the Centurion is well-sculpted even if it isn't finely detailed.  The appropriate bits are painted to be shiny and chrome-like, while black and gray make up the rest of the color scheme.  The base is a glossy black oval with the original Battlestar Galactica logo on the front.  The button for the sound is by its right foot.

Yes, sound.

It has four phrases: "By your command" (natch), "Colonial Viper squadrons approaching in large numbers," "Our Raiders are still engaged against the Galactica," and "These humanoids are not well constructed; they damage easily."  The sound is very clear and it's awesome to hear that vocoder again.


For me, this was a big "but."  I'm standing in the Hallmark store looking at dozens of ornaments.  There's a Peanuts oranment that makes sound and lights up.  There's the Nautilus from Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and it lights up.  There's a Romulan Bird of Prey from Star Trek that lights up, even though the ship didn't on the show.

Why doesn't the Cylon have a lighted eye?

That eye is what most people remember about those characters.  Instead, there's a little red rectangle painted in the eye slot.  An LED would have done wonders for this figure.  For me, it wouldn't even have to move -- maybe just a slow fade up and fade down.  (Given some of the wizardry I've seen on other ornaments, I'm sure they could come up with a way to make it move ... or appear to.)  They could have also put the droning noise from the show in the sound files.

Don't get me wrong.  It looks nice and sounds great.  And I am grateful that our show was given this honor.  But if it were hanging from my tree, I would only be able to look at it and wish they had gone the extra mile.

It is sold in Hallmark stores only, not online, for $19.99.  (If it had the light, I would have paid $29.99 happily.)

The official Hallmark page for the ornament is HERE.

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