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When you take a closer look, it isn’t hard to see how a seemingly unimportant item class like hallmark ornaments can grow into one of the most sought-after items by a large army of collectors across the country.

For many of us, the Christmas season brings back some of our fondest memories. With most families, this is one of the few instances where the entire family assembles from far and wide on a joyous note.

For children, it’s a fun time with unfettered snow play, all types of gifts, and colorful decorating, especially of the Christmas tree.

This fun part where we take our shot at playing Elsie de Wolfe is where Hallmark ornaments seared themselves into our minds.

Editor’s Note

First released in 1973 with a small portfolio that boasted twelve yarn figures and six glass balls, Hallmark ornaments have grown into a robust lineup with hundreds of unique pieces released each year and a current portfolio of over 8500 distinctive specimens. This massive ramp-up in production has been off the back of an exponentially growing demand for the products.

Each year, the company holds a premiere event in July where it announces (and releases) the new ornaments for the year, which may include remakes of older ornaments, ornaments that mirror characters from books and movies, and popular shoes, clothes, or cars, and lots more.

Hallmark ornaments are known for their intricate designs and pieces containing references to popular culture elements.

For many children growing up in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, their most preferred ornament on the Christmas tree was often a Hallmark one (a fact that is still true to some degree for younger generations.)

With us, the children of that era, now becoming adults, that episode of our lives has created an army of collectors over 35,000 strong. Plus, there is even an official Hallmark Keepsake Ornament Club with over 500 chapters in locations across Canada and the United States.

However, while most of this collecting was originally done for fun without much financial consequence, hikes in recent years of the value of some of the most sought-after Hallmark ornaments have transformed collecting them from a simple hobby into a serious business.

Are you wondering if any of the Hallmark ornaments in your collection are worth a bunch or looking to add some valuable pieces to yours? Here are the most expensive Hallmark ornaments on the market today.

Most Valuable Hallmark Ornaments

There is no science to pricing your Hallmark ornaments accurately. Like with most collectibles, the finalized prices can range incredibly and heavily depend on how low the seller is willing to go.

Hence, it is almost impossible to put a definite price on any one Hallmark ornament.

However, some specific units have consistently sold for higher prices either due to their extreme rarity, higher likability, or increased popularity from being featured in popular media. These high-ticket specimens can retail anywhere from a few hundred bucks to a couple thousand on the collectors market.

Here are the most valuable Hallmark ornaments you can buy today.

2011 USS Defiant

  • Addendum: from Star Trek
  • Price Estimate: $1200 – $2500
2011 USS Defiant
Source

This unique piece is arguably one of the most sought-after Hallmark ornaments in the country, and it is not hard to see why. The peculiar unit draws attention from a combination of two avid fanbases; Hallmark and Star Trek.

The 2011 USS Defiant Hallmark Keepsake ornament was a special limited edition version released by the brand in 2011 as a commemorative piece for the 45th Anniversary of the creation of the Star Trek franchise.

The Defiant is a spaceship that appears consistently in episodes of the Star Trek universe and is easily one of the most recognizable interplanetary vehicles for die-hard fans of the ecosystem. Hence, many would consider it an obvious choice for this commemorative role.

However, Hallmark shares a considerable amount of effort that made this ornamental piece an instant hit.

This Hallmark ornament comes fitted with a luminescent painted exterior that glows green in the dark. This feature created a piece that best mirrored the original ship from Star Trek and made the unit a must-have for many Star Trek superfans.

Since Hallmark only released 700 specimens in this limited release, it instantly became a perfect collector’s edition, as the demand greatly exceeded the available supply even on release day.

Currently, these 2011 USS Defiant from Star Trek units are reselling on the open market for between $1200 and $2000, representing around a 5000% increase from its original 2011 release price of $34.95.

The most recent recorded online sale of a unit was for this specimen which sold on 24th September 2022 for $1500.

2020 Scarlett O’Hara

  • Addendum: from Gone with the Wind
  • Price Estimate: $800 – $2500
2020 Scarlett O'Hara
Source

Even people who have not heard of or seen the movie will appreciate the beauty of this piece.

Like her or not, we can all agree that Scarlett O’Hara knew how to look the best possible while garbed in the traditional upscale Southern style.

While—in the movie’s plot—she struggled mentally with playing her role as the dainty Southern bell wife, few would argue that she did not impress with her aesthetics every single time.

This release from Hallmark pays homage to this intriguing character and her sense of style, showing her dressed up in an elaborate pink and black gown, complete with a matching hat.

Fans of the iconic movie Gone with the Wind do not need any excuses to snap this up for their Christmas tree. Plus, even those who have not seen Gone with the Wind can not argue the status of this piece as one of the cutest hallmark ornaments ever. However, getting your hands on one is not so easy.

During the production year of this piece, Hallmark Cards, Inc was forced—after succumbing to cancel mobs protesting the movie for its portrayal of slavery—to recall the ornament shortly after they began production and before the 2020 Hallmark Ornament Premiere Event.

Consequently, only a few units that leaked out into the public sphere are available on the open market.

With this extreme rarity level combined with the demand for the character, it is no surprise that the 2020 Scarlett O’Hara ranks as one of the most expensive Hallmark ornaments you can buy today.

The average price for this unit today sits in the $800 – $2500 range.

2011 IG-88 and Dengar

  • Addendum: Star Wars, Released at SDCC
  • Price Estimate: $750 – $2000
2011 IG-88 and Dengar
Source

Not to be outdone by the 2011 USS Defiant from the Star Trek universe, Star Wars has its own entry at the top of the list of the most valuable Hallmark Ornaments you can buy.

This duo is a set of special edition ornaments modeled after two important characters in The Empire Strikes Back, the 2nd installment in the Star Wars Trilogy. For many, this is the best film in the Star Wars series and is arguably one of the greatest movies ever made. Hence, it is no surprise that the characters who make it here are from that flick.

Both characters, 2011 IG-88 and Dengar, combine to form a team of bounty hunters, one of the many mercenaries Darth Vader summons and set on the task of capturing the elusive Millennium Falcon and bringing back its passengers as captives.

With this pack featuring two of the most ruthless and capable hunters from the Star Wars Universe, it is no surprise that this release was an instant hit for its target audience.

Furthermore, Hallmark also produced only a thousand units for this issue, all of which were released exclusively at the 2011 edition of the San Diego Comic-Con.

Consequently, this specimen is up there as one of the rarest Hallmark ornaments. When you add the considerable demand for it, what you get is one of the most valuable Hallmark pieces available today.

Unopened units of the 2011 IG-88 and Dengar Hallmark ornaments combo currently retail for $750 – $2000 on eBay, with listings appearing few and far between. The last recorded sale of this item saw a specimen sell for $1700, a tremendous jump from its 2011 release price of $35.

2009 Shock Trooper and Shadow Trooper

  • Addendum: Star Wars, Released at SDCC
  • Price Estimate: $700 – $1300
2009 Shock Trooper and Shadow Trooper
Source

For anyone who knows the Star Wars fanbase, it would not be surprising that more than one Star Wars theme item makes it onto this list. To most passionate Star Wars devotees, themed merchandise is a must-have, especially when they feature some of the more popular characters.

One of the Hallmark releases that best fit this bill is this special edition pair that features a shock trooper and a shadow trooper.

Every Star Wars aficionado will already agree that stormtroopers are some of the most iconic characters (at least for their looks) in the series. This Hallmark pack takes things a step further, pairing two special stormtrooper types that are arguably the most aesthetic of the lot.

Shock troopers and shadow troopers are both specialized troopers created for the Republic’s Clone Army during the heat of the Clone Wars. While shock troopers (with their red markings) were enforcers who were markedly more violent than regular storm troopers, the blacked-out shadow troopers specialized in easy disguises and intelligence gathering.

Combined, this pair packs some of the best aesthetics from the Star Wars universe, making it a no-brainer for both Hallmark and the Star Wars franchise fans.

However, getting your hands on one of these bad boys is no easy feat. For the original release, which happened at the 2009 edition of San Diego Comic-Con, Hallmark put out only 700 units, making this piece a very limited special edition.

With current owners reluctant to sell, the prices of 2009 Shock Trooper and Shadow Trooper have increased over the years and currently sit in an estimated $700 – $1200 range. There are currently no offerings listed on eBay, and the last completed one sold for $1100.

2011 R2-Q5 and R2-A3

  • Addendum: Star Wars, Released at NYCC
  • Price Estimate: $700 – $1300
2011 R2-Q5 and R2-A3
Source

If you are beginning to feel like ornaments of characters from the Star Wars universe will dominate this list, your hunch is dead on. Star Wars is not the fifth-highest-grossing media franchise of all time without a reason.

Star Wars fans are so passionate about their characters that wherever they appear—as long as the products are of a good enough quality—there is an abundance of loyalists available to bid them up to the top spots.

This next Star Wars entry is for R2-Q5 and R2-A3, two of the most famous astromech droids in the series. Both droids who appeared in the original trilogy are fans’ favorites everywhere, so it’s no wonder the demand side heavily outweighed the measly 800 sets Hallmark released for this drop.

Plus, even for people not entrenched in the Star Wars mania, the sleek aesthetics of this pair is enough to put them on your wishlist.

The stealthy black frame of R2-Q5 combined with bronze highlights makes it arguably the best-looking droid from the series, while R2-A3 red and white trim add some contrast to create the perfect ornamental pieces for your Christmas tree.

However, like with many of the other limited edition releases from Hallmark, getting your hands on this duo is no easy feat.

We couldn’t find any listings of this pack online and could only find one completed sale on eBay, which sold for $1250, indicating how unlikely current owners are to part with them.

2013 Wrath of Rancor

  • Addendum: Star Wars, Released at SDCC
  • Price Estimate: $700 – $1300
2013 Wrath of Rancor
Source

Yet another entry from the Star Wars Universe, but this time, one showing some action in progress.

This one-of-a-kind Hallmark ornament depicts one of the more engaging scenes from the Star Wars: Galaxy of Adventures series. It captures Luke Skywalker’s hazardous battle with a massive rancor, where he had to give everything to survive.

When Luke Skywalker goes to Jabba’s court to demand the release of Captain Han Solo and the Wookiee Chewbacca, Jabba opts instead to let a rancor lose on them, and a fight for survival ensues.

This special limited edition piece was released exclusively at the 2013 comic con events in New York and San Diego, with only 200 units available for purchase on each day of the event. By the end of the occasion, only 1800 of these ornaments were sold to the public, ranking it amongst the rarer Hallmark ornaments.

Unsurprisingly, the price reflects this extreme rarity, as it currently ranges between $700 – $1300.

2010 K-3PO and R-3PO

  • Addendum: Star Wars, Released at SDCC
  • Price Estimate: $700 – $1300
2010 K-3PO and R-3PO
Source

Droids are the unsung heroes of the Star Wars universe.

These loyal metallic task-handling experts form the basis that enabled living infrastructure on all planets and powered armies on all sides of the various wars raging across the galaxy. Plus, the droids from Star Wars typically pack serious aesthetics that translate into some of the most awesome-looking merchandise. This pair is no exception to that rule.

This pack contains two high-profile humanoid droids; the all-white K-3PO, which served the base command center, managing operations and providing advice, and the red-toned R-3PO, which was a worker droid assigned to droid pools that handled more mechanical, heavy-duty tasks.

With only 1000 units in the series, this is yet another exclusive Star-Wars-themed Hallmark ornament released only at a comic con event.

Today, the price for this rare pack on the open resellers market can range between $700 and $1200.

1980 Frosty Friends: A Cool Yule #1

  • Addendum: First Edition of the Frosty Friend Series
  • Price Estimate: $150 – $400
1980 Frosty Friends: A Cool Yule #1
Source

Nothing says Christmas like a Hallmark ornament from the Frosty Friends series.

The longest-running series in the Hallmark lineup, Frosty Friends, has garnered a sizable fan base over the years, making it arguably the most important group of Hallmark ornaments. For many loyal fans of the Hallmark brand, no year’s decoration is complete without grabbing at least one of these Christmas ornament staples.

For collectors, the Frosty Friends series is a must-have, as massive demand for each release and the sturdy fanbase it has built up over the years ensures that there are always buyers willing to pick them up either for the aesthetics, the nostalgia or for completing a collection.

However, as with most forms of collecting, the newer items are easier to obtain, typically cost significantly less, and are far less likely to blow up in price anytime soon. Older items are preferred for these buyer types, and what better pick is there than the original first edition?

Frosty Friends #1 is the pick that started it all, and a complete set of Frost Friends releases from across the years that also contains this one is considered the holy grail by most avid Hallmark ornament collectors.

Nevertheless, while Frosty Friends #1s are quite hard to find, they are rarely ever highly-priced compared to the other items on this list. Good condition specimens typically retail for between $150 and $400 when they do go on sale.

This ornament which started it all, depicts a white bear and an Eskimo, both sitting on top of an ice cube and holding Christmas carol songbooks, set to sing some melodious tunes. Engraved in the ice cube is a caption that reads, “Merry Christmas 1980.”

2014 Wampa

  • Addendum: Star Wars, Released at SDCC
  • Price Estimate: $300 – $600
2014 Wampa
Source

Star Wars knows how to make catchy villains that stick on to become popular pop culture references.

Whether you chalk this effect up to the franchise’s size, the plot lines’ catchiness, or the sublime aesthetics of the characters of this universe, it somehow seems to work every time. Even minor characters like the Wampa from the third episode of Star Wars: Galaxy of Adventures benefit from this impact.

In this episode, the Wampa holds Luke Skywalker captive before losing its right arm in the battle ensuing as the Jedi knight frees himself and breaks from the icy cave.

In their 2014 comic con appearance, Hallmark released a limited rendition of this white-haired beast, complete with one of his arms missing. The brand sold only 1800 of these ornaments, placing it firmly in the very rare Hallmark ornaments category.

Today, 2014 retails on the collector’s market in the low hundreds, with the last four sales on eBay going for $350, $400, $550, and $510.

2009 Cousin Eddie’s RV

  • Addendum: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
  • Price Estimate: $300 – $500
2009 Cousin Eddie's RV
Source

For many people accustomed to the brand, this small bus ornament is their favorite Hallmark piece of all time, and it’s not hard to see why.

If you don’t already get it, then you should add the movie National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation to your holiday watchlist ASAP. Christmas Vacation is one of those timeless classics that you can rewatch multiple times without it ever getting less fun, especially during the yuletide season.

Clark Griswold, the protagonist, is a devoted family man that loves the Christmas season and dedicates his time to his project of creating a “good-old-fashioned family Christmas.”

However, the first step in the series of unfortunate events that attack this plan is the arrival of his freeloading Cousin Eddie, complete with his family, sometimes unsettling wittiness, and his dilapidated but memorable RV. From here, everything that could go wrong did.

This highly sought-after Hallmark ornament is a recreation of that iconic bus that is sure to impress. The battery-powered piece also comes with a button that you can press to play any of a selection of  Cousin Eddie’s most memorable lines.

The unique piece was released in a limited run in 2009; it sold out almost immediately and is now a highly demanded item on the collector’s market.

Currently, specimens in perfect condition typically retail for $300 – $500.

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