One of the special interests in the M.I. Hummel figurines are the larger dolls. The earlier versions were either made completely out of rubber or with a body of soft stuffed material and a rubber head. The rubber used for the heads of the very first dolls was “hard rubber” that was mistaken for the papier-mâché or even the porcelain. Later on, the “soft rubber” was used and then in the early 1960s, Goebel manufactured the dolls in the more durable vinyl.
This page was updated on 12 March 2021.
The very first M.I. Hummel dolls were manufactured in 1950 and were produced in two different sizes. These were:
- Series 500 and 1500 at 42 cm (16.5 inches)
- Series 1600 at the smaller 28 cm (11.0 inches)
The Series 500 were jointed dolls with soft-stuffed body and rubber heads. The soft-stuffed dolls with rubber heads were made for only two years by another company, Hermann Steiner in Neustadt hei Coburg. These were completed at the Goebel factory with the clothing for the dolls developed and sewn by experienced designers and seamstresses in Goebel’s studio.
Hum 1 “Sister”
Hum 2 “Brother”
Hum 3 “Little Shopper”
Hum 4 “Little Hiker”
Hum 5 “Happy Pastime”
Hum 6 “Our Hero”
Hum 7 “Merry Wanderer”
The Series 1500 and 1600 were then started in 1952 as jointed dolls made of rubber with modelled hair and moveable head, arms and legs.
The following information may help you determine which Series you have, click on the link below to expand the table:
Model number 1961 was created from 1958 through 1959, had sewn-in hair, glass eyes and was available with several different dress designs. Model 2961 is the same as 1961 but with “sleeping eyes” and was created in 1964.
The M.I. Hummel Baby
In 1953, the M.I. Hummel baby was born. The baby came in two different model numbers, 1101 at 33cm/13 inches long and 1102 was 26cm/10.2 inches long. Several garments were available for it and in the beginning, the eyes were hand painted. From 1960, the babies were then made with glass eyes and then beginning in 1964 they had the “sleeping eyes”.
The Porcelain Dolls
The toy production ceased in 1975 with the exception of some doll models that were made of vinyl. In 1983/4, the vinyl dolls were replaced with a series of M.I. Hummel porcelain dolls. Goebel produced the following dolls exclusively between 1988 and 1994 for the Danbury Mint in the United States. The dolls Carnival, Little Scholar and Valentine Girl were created at a later date.
On the back or the back of the neck of each Hummel doll should be the M.I. Hummel signature, trademark and the series numbers that had to be engraved. The exact age of each doll cannot be determined as the trademark was engraved in the metal chill mold and the molds could not be immediately changed at the time when the trademark was updated.
For the rubber dolls, the only way to prolong degradation is to keep them in a dark cool place away from sunlight. This rubber does degrade with age and later on, the PVC material (vinyl) was used and does not have the problems of deterioration that the rubber versions have. There are times when you may wish to fill the dolls body and head with stiff non-printed paper or cotton wool. The head and body can be gently rubbed periodically with Vaseline or other rich oil-based cream. An excellent source of information on the Hummel dolls may be found with the book The fascinating world of M.I. Hummel figurines by the company Goebel.
W.-Goebel-Porzellanfabrik (Rödental). (2000). Die zauberhafte Welt der M.-I.-Hummel-Figuren: Katalog für Sammler ; M.I. Hummel = The fascinating world of M.I. Hummel figurines. Rödental: Goebel.