2017 YAH (so far)

Christmas 2016 was just crazy with all the ornaments released.  So many collectors were looking forward to a bit of a breather until the next holiday releases.  But then YAH happened…again.  At first, rumors were swirling around that every city, state or country that had a full-size YAH mugs were going to be released.  That may happen over time, but thankfully that rumor was false for now…at once.  Then we heard all of China was to come out.  Again, thankfully not true.  But what did come out (so far) has been significant nonetheless, and as it was from various parts of the world, took a bit of time to gather.

Canada had the first releases of Calgary, Canada, Toronto, and Vancouver.

Thailand had a single release, which by itself seems odd, but late in 2016 Hong Kong, Macau and a number of Vietnam ornaments released.

And then more cities in the USA were released.  And again, a few notable were re-released (marked with ‘*’) with no significant changes.  The ornaments are Charlotte, Denver, Hawaii*, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Oregon, San Diego, Waikiki, and Washington.

April 2017 and on has been quiet again, finally the much desired break.  But we are talking about Starbucks, or as many collectors say, Starbroke.  So a flood of YAH could come at any time.

To view all the YAH, go the gallery.

YAH Not Same Size

A fellow collector noted that the Asia versions of the You Are Here (YAH) are not the same size as their USA and Europe counterparts.  That set me off on a bit of scientific observation and I am sharing the results.  They in fact are not the same size.

Here are the measurements

USA-Europe  / Asia

  • 4mm / 3mm at mouth edge
  • 6mm / 6mm at thickest
  • 60mm / 58mm diameter
  • 50mm / 48mm tall
  •      46mm / 45mm full side
  •       4mm / 3mm stand
  • 6mm / 5mm handle thickness
  • 36.5mm / 36.5 handle height
  • 24mm / 23mm handle protrusion
  • 116g / 124g weight
  • 3oz / 2.5oz volume

 

 

Clearly the Asia version is indeed smaller.  The one exception to being smaller was in terms of the weight.  Oddly the Asia version weighs 8g more.

Here is where the science falls a part.  I only tested one USA and one Asia, the California and the Hong Kong.  I am sure there are variations in all to some degree.  But for purposes of the collector community, this is enough to state one version is smaller than the other.

One Piece or Two Piece

As the ornaments arrived this year it became clear that some of the Asian versions of the To Go Cup ornaments had a slightly different shape.  They were thinner and taller.  Upon investigation I discovered a number of differences and this is not the first time Starbucks has done this.  It seems the key factor for the size difference is whether it is a one piece or two piece construction.

When ceramic is made the liquid clay, slip, is poured into plaster molds.  After a short while the internal portion must be drained as the pottery can’t be solid.  Click for a tutorial on ceramics.  If you look at most of the ornaments, there is a hole on the bottom from which the slip was poured.  These are a one piece construction. However, the new Asian ornaments are solid bottoms.  As you look closely though there is a seam where the lid, made separately, has been attached.  Thus two piece construction.

It seems that the two piece construction is taller, 2 5/8″ and narrower at the base, 1 1/2″.  The one piece construction is 2 1/2″ tall and 1 3/8″ at the base. There are two exceptions to this where the two piece construction was done, but the standard size was used (see list below).

This led me to look at previous years, and sure enough, I discovered this was done before.

Two Piece Construction Ornaments (tall and narrow)

  • 2015 Red Crystal
  • 2015 White Crystal
  • 2016 White Crystal
  • 2016 White Sweater Asia
  • 2016 Red To Go Cup Asia
  • 2016 Red Plaid To Go Cup Asia
  • 2016 To Go Cup Fox-Penguin-Bear Asia

Two Piece Construction (standard size)

  • 2013 Create Your Own
  • 2014 Crystal

I can not speculate why this was done, only sharing that it was done.

 

The 2016 Holiday Ornament Collection Is Here

2016-holiday-collection-banner

This week Starbucks completed their world-wide release of the 2016 Holiday Ornament Collection when they came out in in the USA stores nation-wide.  The Asian and Canadian stores released on November 1.  I am not sure why the US stores wait until a week or two into November, but that is how it has been for years.  In any case they are here, and for the most part, they are wonderful!

Among the 85, yes that’s right 85, ornaments released, many of them take us back to the charm of the early years.  The copper french press pot, the red bag of Christmas blend coffee, the ceramic delivery truck, and the set of nesting white cups are special and unique.  The To Go Cups from Japan are uniques and special as well with one of them turning the red dot on the Japanese flag into the reindeer nose.  Asia and Europe also received a clear glass cold cup that is simple and elegant and quite literally one of my favorites.  And then the 50 USA State Collection.  Read my earlier post, Just Because You Can, to see how I really feel about that. Other disappointments in this year’s release is the Swarovski Crystal (same as last year’s with only date updated) and the re-release of the white cups and the dome cold cup.

Photo by Melody Overton

Photo by Melody Overton

A wonderful surprise this year is the release of three ornaments for the Starbucks Roastery in Seattle.  The Roastery is a high-end experience that is unlike anything you would expect from Starbucks.  It is just a beautifully appointed building with a high-end store filled with special items, a live roasting experience of many of the reserve beans, and a food and tasting bar.  If you get the chance to go, take advantage.  They released three very special ornaments, a storefront replica, the siren and a canvas and leather apron.  Unlike the green apron worn at regular Starbucks, the Roastery baristas wear incredible canvas and leather ones.  The miniature version of it as an ornament is really nice.

The entire collection has been uploaded to the catalog and photos will be added as soon as my collection arrives.

Here is the entire list:

USA and CANADA
Logo Set of 4 To Go Cups
Delivery Truck
White To Go Cup
Dome Cold Cup
Coffee Press
Nesting Cups
Red 2016 To Go Cup
Red Plaid To Go Cup
White Sweater To Go Cup
Stainless Steel Cold Cup Red
Coffee Bag
To Go Cup Fox (Licensed Stores/Online Only)
To Go Cup Polar Bear (Licensed Stores/Online Only)
To Go Cup Penguin (Licensed Stores/Online Only)
White To Go Cup Swarovski (Online Only)

USA ONLY
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection Alabama
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection Alaska
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection Arizona
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection Arkansas
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection California
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection Colorado
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection Connecticut
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection Delaware
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection Florida
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection Georgia
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection Hawaii
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection Idaho
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection Illinois
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection Indiana
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection Iowa
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection Kansas
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection Kentucky
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection Louisiana
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection Maine
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection Maryland
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection Massachusetts
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection Michigan
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection Minnesota
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection Mississippi
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection Missouri
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection Montana
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection Nebraska
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection Nevada
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection New Hampshire
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection New Jersey
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection New Mexico
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection New York
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection North Carolina
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection North Dakota
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection Ohio
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection Oklahoma
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection Oregon
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection Pennsylvania
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection Rhode Island
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection South Carolina
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection South Dakota
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection Tennessee
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection Texas
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection Utah
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection Vermont
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection Virginia
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection Washington
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection West Virginia
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection Wisconsin
Red To Go Cup 50 States Collection Wyoming

DisneyWorld Hollywood Studios YAH v2
Siren, Seattle Roastery
Storefront, Seattle Roastery
Leather Apron, , Seattle Roastery

EUROPE
You Are Here Berlin
You Are Here London
You Are Here Paris
You Are Here Prague
Red 2016 To Go Cup (not the same as Asia)
Cold Cup Glass (not the same as Japan)

CHINA
Gold Iron Ball Candy Tin
Clear Ball Candy Container

JAPAN
Red To Go Cup Reindeer
Red To Go Cup Gift Box
Cold Cup Glass (not the same as Europe)

KOREA
Red 2016 To Go Cup (not the same as Europe)
To Go Cup Fox/Penguin/Polar Bear

MALAYSIA
Red 2016 To Go Cup (not the same as Europe)
Red Plaid To Go Cup (not the same as USA/CA)
To Go Cup Fox/Penguin/Polar Bear
White Sweater To Go Cup (not the same as USA/CA)

PHILIPPINES
Red 2016 To Go Cup (not the same as Europe)
White Sweater To Go Cup (not the same as USA/CA)
To Go Cup Fox/Penguin/Polar Bear

SINGAPORE
Red 2016 To Go Cup (not the same as Europe)
Red Plaid To Go Cup (not the same as USA/CA)
To Go Cup Fox/Penguin/Polar Bear

TAIWAN
Candy Jar

THAILAND
Red 2016 To Go Cup (not the same as Europe)
Red Plaid To Go Cup (not the same as USA/CA)
To Go Cup Fox/Penguin/Polar Bear
White Sweater To Go Cup (not the same as USA/CA)

(a note about ornaments in Asia. The ornaments that are in multiple countries of the region [SG, MY, KR, PH, TH] are the same design. To date the only unique ornaments to one of the specific countries is Japan, Taiwan, and the sweater in PH)

Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should

This 2016 Holiday ornament release is bringing back to North America some whimsy with a French Press pot, Coffee Bag, and quaint penguin, polar bear, and fox to go cups.  But amidst the charm is also a release of the Starbucks 50 states red cup ornaments which reminds us of the adage, “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should”.  The red cup is the iconic symbol of Starbucks’ holiday and the little red cup ornaments have been a favorite for years.  But to make a plain one with just a logo on one side and a shape of each state with their two-letter abbreviation on the other sucks the creative life out of us all.

Collage created by Greg Hilary

Collage created by Greg Hilary

I have yet to hear of any collector who is getting them because they like them.  Most are passing on them altogether or only getting their own state or perhaps some to which they have traveled.  But all I have heard from have panned them as ugly.

In addition to being ugly, its excessive.  In recent years, Starbucks has flooded us with quantities (perhaps over quality) of various products…99 cards one year, 48 the next, the huge dot collection of tumblers and more.

The holidays are expensive enough without adding huge collection purchases.  Now to be fair, I doubt Starbucks expects people to get all them and are just offering options.  And collectors are responsible for their own choices of how far they go with investing in their passion (or OCD).  But if the quantity of states also exhibited some creativity, there would be no complaints here.  (well, maybe some at the check out).

Perhaps I shouldn’t give them ideas as I don’t want another 50 next year.  But even if they remained on the boring side as white cups with the state and name, but also had each state’s flower or bird or something like that, it would be better.  At least some creativity would be expressed.

Again, many of the other ornaments are wonderful and I applaud the nod to earlier years.  Whether you get any or all, I hope your love for Starbucks ornaments continues.

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

All retail outlets generally go out of their way to ‘look a lot like Christmas’ during the holidays.  Starbucks has done this as well and in my opinion it has been done with a charming and beautiful feel.  Particularly in the earlier years of the 2000’s.  It still is quite wonderful and festive, but to save some money I am sure they have scaled back on specially produced items for printed signage materials more these days.

As I collect only ornaments, the various In-Store Marketing (ISM) displays have not been items I search out.  But I have over the years appreciated them greatly and even was tempted from time to time to ask if I might have some of them when the season was over.  I sadly never did, but to me, one who decorates the entire house for Christmas, the displays were often so creative and of such quality, they would have been welcome in my home.

Recently, however, I learned a few years featured ornaments as the decoration and so that entered into my collectible field of view. I discovered a display tree that is from the early 2000’s.  I know little about it and as I do more research, will update this post with details.  The tree itself is nearly 6′ tall and is really impressive.

Later in 2009 for the “Wishes” theme, Starbucks employed a “paper cut” design pattern creating numerous items in felt, paper and more.  Some had beautiful filigree designs and cost out words such as wish, joy, hope, love.   There was a wide array of product matching this theme.

The ornament tree is not included in our catalog as part of the collection, but I have included the three felt ornaments in the “Dual-Purpose” category.  They serve as ornaments AND marketing decorations.  But the decorations were just ornaments.  So the case could be made to just call them ornaments outright.  As they were not sold to the general public was the deciding factor that led to this decision.

I am not certain of the ‘official’ Starbucks policy of what is to be done with these displays after their use, but I suspect in most cases they were to be destroyed and disposed of.  I am so pleased these survived to find their way into my collection and I hope you enjoy them as well.

 

 

Rwanda Charms Bring Good Thoughts to Our Trees

In 2008 Starbucks, being the globally aware company that it is, brought to market some handcrafted charms.  There are two styles of these Rwanda charms, the Beehive and the Spiral.  As the packaging states,

This unique charm was handcrafted by men and women from Rwanda to celebrate and share their culture.  Your purchase connects you to a community of artisans who are working to create a better life for themselves and their families.  

The spiral pattern symbolizes the path of the life marked by the obstacles we face.

Uses: Attach where ever good thoughts are welcome.

(STARBUCKS) RED Holiday Charm

 

While technically not intended to be ornaments as we know them, they are able to be hung on trees as such.  But to confuse the last statement a bit, in 2010 to celebrate World AIDS day, Starbucks released the (STARBUCKS) RED Holiday Charm and described it as an ornament.  It was a co-mingling of the holiday items.

 

 

The original charms seem to have come in brown and black in both styles and are the only ornaments Starbucks has released not made in China or Thailand.

2008 Starbucks Charms Black and Brown Sets

2008 Starbucks Charms Inside

Do Starbucks Ornaments Expire?

Starbucks OrnamentsMy slogan, ‘it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that string’ might tell us what qualifies to be an ornament, but just because it has a string doesn’t mean it is one.  It seems that if you put a string on something during the holidays many people buy it and adorn their trees.  But if it expires leaving only disposable packaging, can it really be an ornament. 😉

The pictured Hot Cocoa packages, VIA, and the chocolate bar are great marketing ideas.  But for the ornament collector in me who tries to get them all, this may be going a bit too far.  (And yet, I do own them).

The burst pattern packages of Hot Chocolate (middle) were released in 2014 using the similar styling of other holiday items that year.  In 2015, Starbucks simplified everything, receiving great criticism for doing so. (See CNN Money’s article explaining).  The two Hot Cocoa packets on the far right are from the same year, and despite being adorned with ornaments, they still share a more simplified scheme.

So, ornaments or not?

Determination: Great holiday marketing, but not one of the official collectible ornaments featured in our catalog.  Other ornaments that served a dual purpose of being a container for candy left us a fully functioning non-disposable collectible when the food was consumed.

But don’t let me tell you what is or is not an ornament.  Vote in our poll let me know what you think.


Starbucks Promotion Ornaments

Starbucks OrnamentsIn 2009 China Starbucks had a very special promotion that gave away 5 miniature ornaments and an acrylic tree on which to hang them.  The ornaments are plastic miniatures of full size mugs and cups.  The promotion was buy two drinks and collect one ornament.  Once you collected all five you were able to get the tree as well.  The ornaments are the Black Bone China Mug, the Red Bone China Mug, the Jungle Animals Mug, the White Old Logo Mug, and the Frappuccino Cold Cup.  To view the images of each ornament go to the Ornament Catalog page and filter the ornaments to ‘2009’ and ‘plastic’.

Other promotional gift items from previous years are the felt trees of 2006 in the USA.  The four-sided tree came with a mug and the small flat tree was included in a coffee and cookies gift pack.

2006-felt-flat-tree-ornamentStarbucks Ornaments

 

 

 

 

Starbucks OrnamentsIn Japan the set of six embroidered ornaments of 2012 were released, also, gift with drink purchase.

Another promotional in Japan was the Ink Stamp set of 2012.  Four styles were released and when your purchased them a fifth was offered.