Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Hummel has a new, sole distributor


I had to share this story I found on the distribution of Hummel Figurines.  Very interesting and inspiring for Collectors.

Famed Hummel figurines regain U.S. presence with new offices in Bordentown City


Hummel.JPG
A file photo of when the eight-foot-tall M.I. Hummel "Merry Wanderer" was unveiled in front of the new home of the M.I. Hummel Club and M.I. Hummel Company on Quakerbridge Road in Hamilton in June 2010. (Martin Griff | Times of Trenton) (Martin Griff / The Times)
Cristina Rojas | Times of Trenton By Cristina Rojas | Times of Trenton The Times, Trenton
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on October 04, 2014 at 8:47 AM, updated October 04, 2014 at 8:48
                                                  

BORDENTOWN CITY -- When the U.S. operations of M.I. Hummel Co. were liquidated, an air of uncertainty swept the collectors' world about what lay ahead for the German porcelain figurines.
Everything at the Quakerbridge Road offices in Hamilton that could be sold was sold – from pens to the 8-foot-tall "Merry Wanderer" figurine that stood outside the entrance.
But now the company has a fresh start under its new owner, Newboden Brands.
After Newboden finalized the sale with the new German owner, Hummel Manufaktur, it moved into office space in a building on Third Street in Bordentown City that was once part of the Bordentown Military Institute, Managing Director Karen DeBow said.
After months of radio silence, she said collectors have welcomed the company's return.
"They would call the number, but it was disconnected," DeBow said. "For a long time, people didn't know what happened to the company. When we sent out our mailings, it was the first they heard of anything."
The sale went through June 2, making Newboden the sole distributor of Hummel figurines in North America.
Newboden also brought back the M.I. Hummel Club, the official collectors' organization, prompting hundreds of phone calls and huge stacks of mail from people renewing their membership.
"We've been so busy since we've acquired the company," DeBow said.
Hummel.jpgHummel figurines on display (Courtesy of Newboden Brands) 
Popular with collectors, Hummel figurines are inspired by the drawings of Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel, a Franciscan nun who died in 1946. Starting in 1935, the Goebel factory in Germany transformed her images into three-dimensional figures.
In 2009, amid bankruptcy, the Hummel factory was sold to Manufaktur Rodental. In 2013, that company then filed for insolvency and a bankruptcy trustee liquidated the assets of the U.S. company, effectively shutting it down in October, DeBow said.
"There was no North American entity whatsoever," she said. "They continued to liquidate until there was nothing left, not even a pen."
Newboden's managing partners, who have decades-long experience in the Hummel world, hope to restore confidence and trust in a brand plagued by financial troubles.
The company is hoping the club's resurrection and next year's significance – the 80th anniversary of Hummel figurines and a Hummel convention in Philadelphia – will do just that.
The M.I. Hummel Club, the largest and oldest collectables club in the U.S., is 40,000 members strong, DeBow said.
Some collectors have amassed hundreds of figurines, some of which can cost thousands of dollars, she said. Everything is handcrafted and handpainted – from the multiple casting molds to the painted-on faces.
The employees, some of whom worked at the Hamilton office, are busy at work in the new digs fielding calls.
"We're back and we're excited," DeBow said.



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