YuleLog Home
How to Register on the Bulletin Board
Buy YuleLog Software

 

Who's Online
2 registered (susano, 1 invisible), 128 Guests and 1 Spider online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Shout Box

Forum Stats
1571 Members
15 Forums
27139 Topics
333406 Posts

Max Online: 557 @ 01/14/20 02:55 PM
Google Ads
Please Help to Support the YuleLog Bulletin Boards
Web Hosting is a big expense. If you find the YuleLog Bulletin Boards helpful, amusing or profitable, and would like to make a donation to help support them, it would be appreciated!

Feel free to donate as often as you like!

Thank you for Visiting!
Topic Options
#342257 - 11/26/22 02:49 PM History of Hallmark Magic Ornaments and My Thoughts
VinceL Offline
Elf Engineer - Toy Design

Registered: 06/19/16
Posts: 282
Loc: North Carolina
Warning: This is a very long post. If you are not interested in details about Hallmark Magic Ornaments, you might want to skip this post.

The vast majority of Hallmark Ornaments that we buy are magic ornaments. The USS Enterprise magic ornament in 1991 is what got us started buying Hallmark ornaments.

History of Hallmark Magic Ornaments
The initial Hallmark magic ornaments were designed to plug into a light string. Remove the bulb from a miniature light string, plug in the magic ornament, and after Christmas hope that you remember where you put that bulb. smile

Hallmark then began offering magic ornaments with batteries (typically LR44 or for smaller ornaments LR41). And, Hallmark was nice enough to include these batteries with the ornaments. Some of the more recent larger battery-powered ornaments require 3 AAA batteries (which Hallmark does not provide). Hallmark continues to offer battery powered ornaments.

I believe it was 2009 when Hallmark introduced the Legacy Cord. With fewer Christmas light strings being offered with incandescent bulbs, the Legacy Cord accepted the plug-in ornaments made up through 2009. The Legacy Cord could only accommodate 4 ornaments. And, there were some plug-in ornaments that were not compatible with the Legacy Cord. The Legacy Cord was discontinued by Hallmark at the end of 2020.

In 2010 Hallmark offered Wonder and Light ornaments that connected to a Magic Cord. This cord allowed you to plug up to 7 ornaments in to the cord. Magic Cords can be connected to allow more ornaments on a "single" cord. 3 Magic cords can be plugged together. The Wonder and Light name has faded from use and they are just called Magic Cord ornaments. These ornaments offer lights, sound and motion. Magic Cord ornaments offer a basic level of synchronization between ornaments. The last Magic Cord ornaments were offered in 2020.

The Keepsake Power Cord was introduced in 2017. It has connections for 7 ornaments. Unlike the Magic Cord, you cannot connect Keepsake Power Cords to each other. The Keepsake Power Cord allows for complete synchronization and communication between ornaments. Many Keepsake Power Cord ornaments communicate with one another wirelessly. They do not need to be connected to the same Keepsake Power Cord to synchronize or communicate. The various Storyteller ornaments demonstrate this capability.

My Thoughts and Comments about Hallmark Magic Ornaments
The plug-in ornaments were a bit of a pain as it was sometimes very difficult to remove the miniature bulbs. You had to make sure the bulb voltage was within a range that would power but not damage the ornament. The cords on the ornaments were thick and stiff and sometimes too short. But, they gave us the opportunity to have our ornaments light up and have sound and motion. Hallmark recommended no more than 3 ornaments on a single light string. Some of the later plug-in ornaments came with an adapter because some light strings had sockets that wouldn't accept the plugs on the plug-in ornaments.

Battery-powered ornaments are frustrating to me. Each year I get out the ornament, remove the battery cover, install the batteries, close the battery cover and then hang it on the tree. While on the tree they only light up or make a sound if you push a button. They do not offer continuous light. After Christmas you have to remove the batteries before storing the ornament. I enjoy these ornaments, but I think Hallmark could improve them. See my comments later.

The Legacy Cord allowed the use of the plug-in ornaments without having to remove a light bulb. The Legacy Cord could only accommodate 4 ornaments, and the AC adapter that came with the Legacy Cord was the heaviest AC adapter I have ever encountered. frown The demand for Legacy Cords is very high (check prices on ebay). Hopefully, Hallmark will reintroduce this product.

I feel that the Magic Cord was a huge step forward. It allows a low level of synchronization between ornaments. And, by connecting 3 Magic Cords together you can have 17 ornaments connected to each other.

The Keepsake Power Cord was another huge step forward. The cord itself is very lightweight and flexible. And, it does not require each ornament have a cord dangling from the back. The Keepsake Power Cord is like an octopus with fairly long wires that have connectors that plug into the ornament. Along with the Keepsake Power Cord, Hallmark has introduced Storyteller ornaments. These ornaments plug into the Keepsake Power Cord for power, but they communicate wirelessly with each. In a series (say the Peanuts Storytellers), they communicate with each other, they light up when they speak, and they are aware of which other Peanuts Storyteller ornaments are present. There are other ornaments that use the Keepsake Power Cord strictly as a power source.

I would really like to see Hallmark discontinue battery-powered ornaments and have those ornaments connect to the Keepsake Power Cord. This change would eliminate the need to install and uninstall batteries. The ornaments could light up continuously and look nicer on the tree. Hallmark could avoid the need to supply batteries with ornaments.

3 of our trees only have battery-powered magic ornaments, but across the other 6 trees, we use 10 Legacy Cords, 10 Magic Cords, and 12 Keepsake Power Cords. Using these cords does require some planning on how/where to install them.

If you have read this far, thanks for sticking with me.

I would appreciate your comments.

Top
#342258 - 11/26/22 07:20 PM Re: History of Hallmark Magic Ornaments and My Thoughts [Re: VinceL]
beaglebabes Offline
YuleLoggers Club Co-coordinator
Santa's Helper

Registered: 03/19/14
Posts: 3148
Loc: WI
Thanks for the information. I wish they just had one cord for everything.

Top
#342259 - 11/26/22 10:37 PM Re: History of Hallmark Magic Ornaments and My Thoughts [Re: VinceL]
Dr. Redbird Offline
Elf Engineer - Toy Design

Registered: 01/27/17
Posts: 141
Thanks for putting together this information. I love light and magic ornaments.

Top
#342260 - 11/27/22 01:19 AM Re: History of Hallmark Magic Ornaments and My Thoughts [Re: VinceL]
JAS51 Offline
Elf Manager

Registered: 08/14/11
Posts: 797
Iím not fond of battery ornaments.

Top
#342262 - 11/27/22 05:24 PM Re: History of Hallmark Magic Ornaments and My Thoughts [Re: VinceL]
JerseyVike Offline
Santa's Helper

Registered: 02/14/01
Posts: 9438
Loc: Jersey Shore
Wow !!! Great Job !!!
_________________________
Stan

Top
#342271 - 11/30/22 11:40 AM Re: History of Hallmark Magic Ornaments and My Thoughts [Re: JerseyVike]
Qwackertoo Offline
Santa's Helper

Registered: 04/13/99
Posts: 11871
Loc: Rocket City, U.S.A.
Excellent~! 35+ years of Magic Ornaments.

I also have in addition to those described above:

A special light cord that was discussed here probably 15-20 years ago or so. Made by LN or L&N Electronics at the time located in NJ I think. It retailed for 40.00 which back then was sorta kinda expensive and the demand/cost proved to be too much for them to continue. I bought 1 with plans to buy another 1 or 2 but they stopped selling them. It was powered by a gold snowflake shaped heat sink transformer which was rather heavy but could be positioned to rest upon a sturdier branch. It had 25 white / clear lights in the string and could power up to 10 L&M ornaments upon removing the bulbs from up to 10 of the light sockets. The 1 or 2 years I used it, for 10 ornaments, that had a variety of motion and sound, not just light, there was no loss in power or function of those like what the Legacy Cord produced by Hallmark had reported.

The other cord I have was a Hallmark Retail Store cord that I believe powered up to 25 Magic Ornaments and was used behind the cardboard back when Hallmark grouped ornaments differently on "the wall" in their stores. I purchased this from someone on this board, I think her name was Ellen and she was from Murfreesboro TN which is a coincidence now that my youngest is living there, very close to Nashville which has really expanded out, a location he has been interested in for 15 years since he was just a little boy of 10 yrs old. LOL Small World.

One of these years I plan to have my husband test all my Magic Ornaments and sell them & these cords. I haven't used them in at least 20 years, all stored in climate controlled conditioned, so stay tuned~! There are some oldies but goodies, I just don't have the time to display them properly.
_________________________

Top
#343015 - 03/18/23 03:09 AM Re: History of Hallmark Magic Ornaments and My Thoughts [Re: VinceL]
Nancy C. in Shawnee, KS Offline
Santa's Helper

Registered: 05/15/99
Posts: 8633
Loc: Shawnee, KS USA
I've been away from the board for a while, but I'm getting caught up.

I thought I'd share some comments that others might find interesting.

One reason Hallmark doesn't include batteries in ornaments that require AA or AAA batteries is based on two things (and I'm sure you'll be glad they don't when you understand why). The first reason is that the tariff on AA and AAA batteries is different and higher than it is for LR41 and LR44 batteries. Higher tariff would mean a higher price. The other reason is that the weight of AA and AAA batteries is more than it is for the LR41 and LR44, so the price to import them would be higher. And once again we know who would be covering that...

I don't expect Hallmark to ever produce more legacy cords. I applaud them for making them in the first place since they weren't producing anything that used them, so they would only make money off the sales of the cords and not ornaments that use them. At least they were selling Magic Cords and ornaments that used them at the same time.

I've wondered why they continue to produce battery-powered ornaments since they have the power cord technology. I don't know if there's a space issue or configuration issue with the power cord that keeps them from using it and going with the battery powered, or if maybe the power cord doesn't generate enough power to match what the batteries can do. Maybe an artist like Tom Best can tell us sometime.

Top
#343021 - 03/18/23 10:02 AM Re: History of Hallmark Magic Ornaments and My Thoughts [Re: VinceL]
JerseyVike Offline
Santa's Helper

Registered: 02/14/01
Posts: 9438
Loc: Jersey Shore
I think LR41 batteries should be outlawed. Too hard for my aging fingers to deal with.

I'd like to see more Power Cord ornament and less that use batteries. Make ornaments that move/light always.
_________________________
Stan

Top
#343022 - 03/18/23 10:47 AM Re: History of Hallmark Magic Ornaments and My Thoughts [Re: VinceL]
VinceL Offline
Elf Engineer - Toy Design

Registered: 06/19/16
Posts: 282
Loc: North Carolina
My guess is that any ornament that uses LR41 or LR44 batteries would not draw too much current for the Power Cord. The ornaments that require AAA batteries most likely would draw too much current. In that case I could see (hope smile ) Hallmark offering an upgraded Power Cord that can handle these ornaments (but still works with existing Power Cord ornaments). That would add yet another cord to many of our trees. crazy

I agree with you JerseyVike about the LR41 batteries...they are nearly impossible to deal with (inserting and removing). The ornaments that use them have so little space that I don't see how they could use LR44 batteries. Maybe they could squeeze the circuitry for using a Power Cord.

Top
#343024 - 03/19/23 10:25 AM Re: History of Hallmark Magic Ornaments and My Thoughts [Re: VinceL]
JerseyVike Offline
Santa's Helper

Registered: 02/14/01
Posts: 9438
Loc: Jersey Shore
I can see why they need to use the LR41's in the guitar ornaments, but some of the larger ornaments could have used LR44's.

Already use several cords on our trees, but would rather them then small batteries.

Hoping for some new wireless battery technolgy in the near future.
_________________________
Stan

Top
#343031 - 03/21/23 01:53 PM Re: History of Hallmark Magic Ornaments and My Thoughts [Re: VinceL]
JAS51 Offline
Elf Manager

Registered: 08/14/11
Posts: 797
I prefer ornaments without batteries or power cords.

Top
#343032 - 03/22/23 09:39 AM Re: History of Hallmark Magic Ornaments and My Thoughts [Re: JerseyVike]
oteboy Offline
Elf

Registered: 07/15/19
Posts: 67
Originally Posted By: JerseyVike
I think LR41 batteries should be outlawed. Too hard for my aging fingers to deal with.

I'd like to see more Power Cord ornament and less that use batteries. Make ornaments that move/light always.

Amen to both of these. Getting LR41s in and out of the Star Wars X-wings and speeder bikes is damn near impossible. I think last year might be the last time I put batteries in all my ornaments. I want them lit all the time, because I've found that the only 2 times I push the buttons anymore is when I hang them and take them down.


Edited by oteboy (03/22/23 09:39 AM)
_________________________
Mike

Top
#343033 - 03/22/23 01:30 PM Re: History of Hallmark Magic Ornaments and My Thoughts [Re: oteboy]
VinceL Offline
Elf Engineer - Toy Design

Registered: 06/19/16
Posts: 282
Loc: North Carolina
Originally Posted By: oteboy
Amen to both of these. Getting LR41s in and out of the Star Wars X-wings and speeder bikes is damn near impossible. I think last year might be the last time I put batteries in all my ornaments. I want them lit all the time, because I've found that the only 2 times I push the buttons anymore is when I hang them and take them down.


For the past couple of years I have only installed batteries in some of the ornaments we put on the trees. Like oteboy says, the buttons only get pushed a couple of times.

Come on Hallmark please stop the battery powered ornaments and go with power cords. We want our ornaments to light up and move all the time. cool

Top
#343034 - 03/22/23 03:40 PM Re: History of Hallmark Magic Ornaments and My Thoughts [Re: VinceL]
JerseyVike Offline
Santa's Helper

Registered: 02/14/01
Posts: 9438
Loc: Jersey Shore
Definitely would like to see more ornaments that have light and motion all the time instead of ornaments you have to press a button to activate.

I too do not put batteries is some of the ornaments.
_________________________
Stan

Top


Moderator:  Moderator