A spokesperson for the company in northern Bavaria confirmed Wednesday that Goebel will be reducing production until the end of the year when they will stop making the stylized child figurines altogether.
Hummel collector, retailer, and head of the 25 German Hummel clubs, Wolfgang Seidl, told news agency DDP that the announcement has been devastating. "I love these figures, this calm, this peace," he said.
Head of the M.I. Hummel Club in Rödental, William Nelson, who also coordinates fan chapters around the world, said he'd already had interest in the next collection from fans. But now, "Many callers mourn this news exceedingly," he told DDP.
Despite marketing initiatives to increase sales, Goebel's spokesperson said demand for the famed figurines has dropped to one-third of expected sales and the company has sustained serious losses in recent months. Some 230 of the factory's 340 employees will lose their jobs and be put in a retraining programme.
Goebel has been producing the M.I. Hummel figurines based on the drawings of Bavarian nun Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel since 1935. The company, founded in 1871, also manufactures tableware, earthenware, and other porcelain figurines.