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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

4015. Hugs To You Bear

Copyright 1998 2005 The Boyds Collection

Boyds Bears is a line of collectible resin and stuffed teddy bears produced by Enesco.

Boyds Bears was founded by Gary M. Lowenthal and his wife, Justina Unger. They were owners of an antique shop, which although profitable, found difficulty maintaining an inventory of well priced antiques. They then turned to making and selling antique reproductions. Some of their more profitable reproductions included duck decoys. In 1984 they began sculpting with resin, at first making a line of miniature houses called "The Gnomes Homes". The first bear was a stuffed bear made for the couple's newborn son, Matthew. They began making and selling stuffed bears, and the bears became known as "Boyds Bears" for the town of Boyds, Maryland, where they lived and operated their business. The line of plush bears and rabbits was a hugely popular success, and in 1993 Boyds introduced the first resin bears. Today the Boyds company has several product lines, but the bears remain the most successful. Enesco acquired the company in 2008.

The Boyds Bears official fan club is called the "Loyal Order of Friends of Boyds!" It was founded in 1996. Membership costs US$29.99 for the 2007 kit, which included an exclusive denim tote, a 10" plush bear, bearstone and bearware member pin (all items are of coordinating colors). Newly designed kits are available annually. Benefits include exclusive members-only collectors items, an online newsletter and access to a members-only website.

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