In order to evaluate whether to purchase a certain Hummel figurine in the thrift store or not, I needed to know if there was a great demand for the item. One way to determine this is from the resale price. Using the tools available on the Internet for seeing what the “experts” determine the value is comparing to the suggested retail price is a good measure as to the demand the collectors have made on each piece.
The following are some great tools I have been able to use in helping determine whether or not to pick up a Hummel for resale or to keep it in my collection. Either way, thrift store prices are generally much lower than the “going” price. Prices on the secondary market for most of the less favorable items have fallen off in recent years but the price for a new figurine has held steady. This is a good time to research some of these for future demand later on.
There are six things that I try to consider when evaluating a Hummel figurine or plate for its value:
- Trademark – Also known as the Hummel TMK. The very first trademark, beginning in 1935, was the crown which was either stamped or incised. Since then, there have been quite a number of variations in the Hummel V and bee combinations with each representing a period of time when the Hummel was produced. You may be lucky to find a transition piece with two different TMKs, one before and one after painting the figurine.
- Condition – Check for chips, crazing or loss of paint. A small amount of crazing is considered quite acceptable on some of the older items but if there are chips or flakes of paint missing, you can expect that this will lower the value of the figurine or plate. There are professionals who can repair these but the cost may be a bit steep. Notice the chip in the hat in this photograph.
- Mold Numbers – The number imprinted into the bottom of the figurine identifies the Hummel as to which character it represents. These numbers are typically given to a new model in chronological order as it was created. The mold number may also have another letter or number following it to designate the size.
- Size – The same figurine may appear in different size ranges. These are usually designated by an additional letter or number after the mold number. A Roman numeral suffix indicates a larger size than the standard, such as 195/II that represents two sizes larger. A suffix with a regular number such as 195 2/0 represents two sizes smaller than the standard 195. Sometimes you may see a suffix of just the 0 (zero) which designates the standard size on the older Hummels. The larger size is typically more expensive but not always. A smaller size may be more rare, making it more sought after and thus more valuable.
- Age – The older, the more expensive – typically. This is not always the case but in general terms, you can expect that a TMK-1 in good condition to be worth more than the same figurine as a TMK-7. There are always exceptions to this .
Tip: for more information on the trademarks (TMK), visit the TMKs page. These are also known as the back stamp.
- Box – Does the figurine have the original box that it came in from the factory? If so, then you can expect to pay a bit more.
A very good article on helping you to determine the value of your Hummel figurine(s) may be found with a similar topic name at the Deutches Haus.
As an example on how to use this page, I recently purchased the 7″ Merry Wanderer HUM7/I TMK3 (1960-1972) in great shape with no chips or crazing for a fantastic price of $22.50. I didn’t realize what a good deal this was until I checked using the tools below the
- 1965 Goebel Retail Price shows the retail price at around $10.50
- 1980 Goebel Collectors’ Club list and found it listed new for $185
- 2016 Hummel Goebel Catalogue and found the suggested new price was then listed for $459
- 2017 Antique HQ suggested the value of this figurine at $650.
Not a bad investment for my $22.50.
Two rare types to watch for are the International figurines as well as those marked with a “red line” around the base. According to the Luckey’s Hummel Figurines and Plates, there were very few Internationally dressed figurines and the price reflects this. Notice the Hungarian figurine in the yellow pants. The suggested price for this little figurine with a TMK 1 is $3,4995.95. The red line versions were “used by the factory to denote a figurine that is used as a sample model for the factory artists”. In other words, a “perfect” sample. The example here is the HUM 317 Not for You with a suggested price of $2,995. Notice the red line around the base. Keep your eyes open for either type as they will be worth your investigation if the price is right!
Retail Price Lists and Catalogs
Now, on to the main reason for the publication of this page; good sources of information. I was able to scan a few of the Goebel Collectors’ Club Suggested Retail Price Lists and catalogs and make it searchable in the Acrobat (pdf) format. Also, included is a link to the current source of where you can find new examples from the factory itself; Hummel Gifts. I hope you will find these to be a good reference for your research and enjoyment. For historical reference, the documents are shown in reverse chronological order below. Have fun!
These Adobe Acrobat files were created to be searchable for your convenience. Several price lists have been added recently reflecting the costs for the years of 1955, 1965, 1986, 1988, 1991, 2008 (English & German), 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. The price list/catalog for 1961, and 1975 will be added as time allows. Have fun.