Christmas is my favorite holiday. Figment is my favorite Disney character. For me, putting the two together is like combining bacon and cupcake, but more awesome. (Seriously.) Even as I’ve downsized my Figment collection that I shared in a post a couple of months ago, my Figment ornament collection has grown.
I acquired my first Figment ornament in college, either when my parents gave me a box of ornaments that were mine growing up (in which case it was mine all along) or via eBay. I don’t really remember at this point. As I was learning photography in 2008, I spent a lot of time photographing our Christmas tree, and I posted this photo of the ornament to Flickr, along with a caption stating that “there are a few other Figment ornaments of which I know, and someday, I would like to track down them all.”
Fast forward 7 years, and I’ve now tracked down almost all of the other Figment ornaments of which I know, and have a collection with more than “a few” ornaments. It took me years of watching eBay just to learn some even existed, and I’m sure there are still a few I’ve never seen.
There are still a couple on my radar that I do know exist and don’t yet own, but I finally own the rarest ones, so I think this 7-year work-in-progress post is ready to go…
Collecting the ornaments was a fun challenge. When I started my Figment collection with a completionist eye, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I didn’t realize there were so many Figment items, many of which weren’t things I’d display or use, but which I purchased for the sake of having. That plus the sheer number of things made collecting feel insurmountable.
I didn’t have the same issue with Figment Christmas ornaments. As I stated above, I love Christmas and Figment, so I’d use every ornament, and there were only so many of them, so a complete collection didn’t feel like an impossible goal. The more difficult challenge was cost. As I saw some ornaments sell for $100+, I quickly realized I wasn’t the only person collecting Figment ornaments.
Since I started collecting while in college (which was basically the epitome of “cool” for a student…or something like that), I didn’t have the funds for those bidding wars. Do you know how many packets of ramen noodles you can buy for $100? Literally hundreds.
It took a while at first, but I watched eBay like a hawk, got lucky with low Buy-It-Now listings, ornament lots (so I actually have “backups” for some of these ornaments), and slowly put together my collection. Here are the Figment ornaments that now grace our Christmas tree…
1982 – EPCOT Center First Christmas
What’s most interesting to me about this one is that Journey into Imagination hadn’t even opened yet when this ornament was sold. Figment & Dreamfinder had already appeared in marketing materials, such as books and video, but I hadn’t realized Figment was already the de facto mascot of EPCOT Center even before his attraction had opened. Clearly Disney knew the attraction was going to be a hit even before the public saw it. (There’s one of these listed on eBay right now.)
1983 – Season’s Greetings EPCOT Center
This is one of my favorites in terms of design, and it’s actually rarer than the 1982 ornament. Figment has had some subtle variations over the years in how he is illustrated, and I think this is the best “version” of the character. On the reverse of the ornament is a bell with the EPCOT Center logo.
1986 – EPCOT Center
Being a figment and all, Figment’s size, weight, and appearance fluctuated over the years as different artists have imagined him. In this rare ornament, he is Santa Mickey’s only reindeer-ment as the fly past Spaceship Earth.
1987 – EPCOT Center Season’s Greetings
The following year, Mickey once again piloted a sleigh, but this time as Uncle Sam-Mickey, and this year, Figment has been promoted (and downsized?) to riding atop the horse pulling the sleigh. For whatever reason (recovery from the Inra-Contra affair?) this design is particularly patriotic, with Mickey’s costume and the American Adventure pavilion both in the scene.
1988 – EPCOT Center “Joy to the World” Christmas
Mickey once again reprises his Uncle Sam outfit, but this time is accompanied by other characters in “traditional” attire representative of the World Showcase countries. A few years later, some of the exact designs would be used for McDonald’s Happy Meal toys.
1989 – EPCOT Center Christmas
This is my favorite design of the bunch. Not only is it the only ornament on which Figment is depicted as a piece of merchandise instead of a character, but there are tons of Figment plushes being exchanged among the Fab Five (clearly Figment was the hot toy that year!) in front of the brand new, snow-capped Wonders of Life pavilion.
1991 – Epcot Center Merry Christmas, Happy New Year
Interestingly, this ornament has a very Candlelight Processional vibe despite it predating the move of that from Magic Kingdom to Epcot. If I had to choose a least favorite, this would be it. I like the design with various characters, including some rarer ones, but Figment isn’t exactly prominent, and his character design is weak. To my knowledge, this is the last year (for a while) that Figment appeared on the annual Walt Disney World/EPCOT Center Christmas ornament.
1996 – Epcot “Peace” Happy Holidays
Disney got a lot of mileage out of this design in 1996, as it was featured on a collector’s plate (remember those?!), plus those ornament and a ball ornament. I wouldn’t be surprised if it appeared on a long sleeve t-shirt, too.
2002 – “Figment’s Back” Glass Ornaments
I am not entirely sure, but I believe these were one of numerous pieces of merchandise created for the “Figment’s Back” campaign in 2002 when Figment was returned to the Journey into Imagination ride. Most of this merchandise pretty quickly ended up in outlets at drastically slashed prices. Ironically, due to the short time they were available in the parks, these now sell for a lot on the secondary market.
As I mentioned at the beginning, there are still a few ornaments I’m trying to track down. This Santa Figment is currently my “white whale” and the ornament I want most. This Candy Cane Figment is thin plastic, but I’d still like to have it if I could find an inexpensive listing. Then there are the new ones, like this Santa Figment (there are also a high heel Figment and Food & Wine Figment), that I probably should buy now so I don’t have to pay more for in a couple of years.
What I would really love to see is a new ornament design featuring Figment and Santa Dreamfinder (who is notably absent from all of these designs) on a Christmas-fied version of the Dreamcatcher flying machine. Actually, I’d love to see that on a shirt, too. If anyone from the Disney Design Group is reading, please make that happen! 🙂