I can barely let people get out the whole questions when they call to ask, “What’s my Hummel figurine worth?” and if I am interested in buying them.
The answer to the first question is, “Usually, not very much.” The answer to the second question is usually “Absolutely not!”
Hummels used to be in big demand
Once upon a time, these figures were crazy hot collectibles. Hummels do have a very cool history. Berta Hummel, born in Germany in 1909, was a gifted artist who became a nun with the name of Sister Maria Innocentia. She lived in a monastery while creating the drawings, which eventually captured the attention of Franz Goebel. He developed the idea of turning her drawings into three-dimensional figurines — and the little buggers became a global phenomenon.
That’s all lovely and good. I’m glad the figures have brought joy to so many people. I hope they still do. I’m all for happiness and joy. If you collect them and love them, I mean no offense to you. I really do love connecting people with things they love.
Happy for Hummel lovers, but count me out
Just leave me out of it when it comes to most of the Hummels.
Hummels give me the heebie-jeebies. A lot of other people, too.
I should make a horror movie out of them — little girls with apple buckets climbing down off their fences and going on to kill everyone in town. Hummels are creepy little creatures who haunt the deep recesses of my brain. One of them is staring at me from across the room as I write this.
Oh God. I think she can read!
Hummels are not usually easy to sell today because there are, and I’m guesstimating here, about 18 quadzillionrillionbillion of them out there. And just not that many really old folks left who still want to buy them.
I’m grateful to everyone who buys our stuff — but the oldies who want the sled pullers and flute players are getting harder and harder to find. And I have to compete with the other 18 quadzillionrillionbillion of them out there.
The little monsters storm eBay and other sites. If eBay ever goes out of business, it will be because Hummel figurines attacked it and ate it.
Hummels require too much for too little profit
I used to be lucky to gross $10 to $15 by selling one in our eBay store — before the company took its fees and before I deducted the price I paid for it. That’s too much work for too little cash.
There are still some Hummels that are relatively rare and can command a few hundred dollars. A few can even fetch $3,000 to $4,000.
If someone gave me the chance to sell “Bulgarian Girl,” I might break my vow never to touch one again. I might do it for the complete Hummel Nativity Set, too. That can go for $1,000 to a few thousand dollars in mint condition with the original box. Autumn Time 2200 can fetch $1,500. There are some other four-figure figures out there.
It’s pretty hard to find the rare ones, of course.
For the most part, I take one look at them and get overwhelmed by an urge to smack the smiles off their absurdly innocent faces. Their faces, by the way, are often crazed — meaning that a network of lines is running across their surface. A lot of Hummel collectors used to tell me their collections were in mint condition, so I’d be dumb enough to drive over to take a look.
I’d promptly hold one up close to their eyes, giving them a magnifying glass if needed. Crazing everywhere. Worthless.
Why I don’t often even talk to Hummel sellers
I don’t often talk to Hummel collectors anymore.
Each call inflicts me with PHTSD — Post Hummel Traumatic Stress Disorder. I’m not a doctor but I’m pretty sure that’s a thing. And equally sure I’m not the only one who suffers from it. I’m triggered by memories of how much I used to pay for the dumb things, how much work I put into trying to sell them — and what a complete waste of time it was.
I could have generated higher profits by recycling aluminum cans.
Why are the cherubic-faced figures so happy anyway? No one in real life is that happy. I want to sit them down and teach them about every bad thing that happens in life, things they should know. Just turn on the news, for God’s sake!
That should get rid of those smirks.
Hummels as heroes?
And what’s with all the birds that perch right next to the Hummels, sitting right on them like they’re some big heroes?
I do all kinds of stuff for birds.
I replace most of my lawn with bird and pollinator-friendly habitats and refill my bird feeder multiple times every day. Multiple bird bathing salons also get refilled constantly. Won-ok and I make sure that birds get a piece of the action — worms — when I’m turning up soil for my vegetable gardens.
Not once has a bird ever flown down, sat on my shoulder, and spent the day with me.
Geese seem to love little Hummel girls and boys, too. But where’s the love for me?
I’ve spent massive amounts of time with Canada geese on Sligo Creek in Silver Spring, Maryland. I’ve documented their lives and begged them not to build nests in the floodplain. (For the record, they are called Canada geese, not Canadian geese, but I bet such a goose wouldn’t even care if a porcelain boy with an umbrella walked by and called it by the wrong name!)
I visited a medical doctor this morning who specializes in sleep disorders. I’ve got issues. She asked me what kinds of things keep me up at night.
I gave her quite the list.
But I forgot to add Hummel figurines.
I hope they don’t kill me in my bed tonight. The one still staring at me has angel wings and a halo. I’m pretty sure it’s a disguise.
She’s Satan, and she’s coming for me in my sleep!
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