Karen Hellier is a freelance writer and eBay entrepreneur. She lives happily in the mountains of North Georgia with her husband and her dog.
As a teddy bear collector, I was very interested to read that the Boyds Bears line of teddy bears is no longer being made. I have collected teddy bears since I was in my early twenties. There's just something about them that makes me happy inside, especially the cute ones.
Enesco No Longer Produces Boyds Bears
About two years ago, a friend told me that Boyds Bears were no longer being made. I was shocked and saddened because I would say at least 50% of the bears in my collection happen to be Boyds Bears. I am an eBay seller with my own store. I do sell some of the Boyds Bears I come across, but only the ones that don't speak to me. Yes, that's correct; I collect only the bears that speak to me. That being said, a lot of bears must speak to me because my collection is rather large! The person who told me about Boyds Bears going out of business suggested I go to the website and see for myself, so I did.
Here's What I Learned
If you go to the Boyds Bears website, you will find, in large letters, a statement that tells you, "Please Read a Special Announcement from Your Friends at Boyds."
You click the link and then read the letter that tells you all about how in 2008, the Enesco Company purchased Boyds Bears. But then, as time went on, the cost of supplies and labor for producing Boyds Bears increased. So, as of December 31st, 2014, Boyds Bears went into "hibernation." The letter also raises the possibility that Boyds Bears production might resume in the future, but the company makes no promises about that. Since there are no current plans to do so, I am taking every opportunity I can to collect Boyds Bears.
I include in this article many pictures of the Boyds Bears I have collected over the years. There's just something about them that attracts me to them. They all seem to have their own personalities.
Why It's the Perfect Time to Start Collecting Boyds Bears
You might think that because Boyds Bears are no longer being produced, people are running out to grab up as many as they can to resell on eBay or add to their teddy bear collection. Well, good news for these teddy bear collectors, and any of you readers who like teddy bears: You can still purchase Boyds bears inexpensively, not only on eBay but at yard sales, thrift stores, and antique stores. Apparently, the word has not gotten out yet that Boyds Bears are no longer being made. If it had, I think that the price of these bears would have skyrocketed. No such luck yet. But I will continue collecting them and maybe by the time I die, and leave my teddy bear collection to my children in my will (haha, won't they just love that?!). Boyds Bears will be worth a lot of money and they will be so happy their mom started collecting teddy bears. Now I don't know if Boyds Bears will ever be worth as much as Steiff bears are currently going for in the teddy bear market, but hey, it's worth a shot. And I can't help but fall in love with these adorable teddy bears.
Where to Get Inexpensive Boyds Bears
Because there are so many Boyds Bears around, this is a perfect time to buy them. I see Boyds Bears all the time at:
- Goodwill Stores: In the stuffed animal bins one can often find Boyds Bears.
- Thrift Stores: I recently bought seven Boyds Bears at a local thrift store for 25 cents each!
- Antique stores: While they aren't antiques, some look old fashioned and look cute as props on antiques.
- Yard Sales: Many people get rid of clutter at their yard sales, and teddy bears often seem like clutter to the uninitiated teddy bear connoisseur.
- Estate Sales: An estate sale often happens when adult children have to clean out the homes of their parents, and teddy bears are often the first to go.
- Gift Shops: There are still some gift shops that sell Boyds Bears that they have had in stock for a while. These bears will be new more expensive than any of the other places above.
I have never paid more than $5 for a Boyds Bear I have bought from the first five places listed above. Thrift stores and Goodwill often have them in a stuffed animal bin for prices from 25 cents each up to $1.01. Antique store prices can range from $5 to $10, but I never pay over $5 personally. I don't buy them in gift shops but have received some cute ones as gifts from gift shops that are part of my collection.
Important Tip for Collectors:
If you are just starting to collect Boyds Bears, make sure to purchase the ones with tags still attached. These will ultimately be worth more because they will be more intact. Below is one of my favorite Boyds Bears. You can see her tag attached and her name is on the tag," Gwen Marie Bear." Since she is in red overalls with snowflakes, I use her to decorate the house at Christmas.
Teddy Bear Poll
Since originally writing this article I have received quite a few questions about where to sell Boyd's bears. I wrote this article about collecting Boyd's Bears, not selling them. Boyd's Bears right now are not worth a lot of money. I don't think people understand that they are no longer being created.
Please do not ask me any questions about where to sell your Boyd's bears. I am not an expert on selling teddy bears but have sold a few teddy bears on eBay. At this point, that is the only recommendation I will make but don't expect to make a lot of money on them because they are collectible for possible future profit only.
I hope you enjoy my photos of the Boyds Bears in my collection, and maybe this article will encourage you to start a collection of Boyds Bears of your own. With the amount of second-hand Boyds Bears out there, you could easily start one without spending a lot of money!
Boyds Bears Poll
Questions & Answers
Question: I would like to sell some of my Boyds bears and some of my Boyds figurines. I don't want to sell on eBay any longer. Do you have any suggestions on how I could go about selling them?
Answer: You should ask someone to help you sell your collection through your town's Facebook yard sale page, assuming that your town has one. It might be best to sell them in groups of five or ten to get any substantial amount of money for them. I suggest you get someone to help you with it because although it is safer than Craigslist, you shouldn't meet someone on your own to make the sale.
© 2016 Karen Hellier
Steve Alexandres on April 27, 2020:
My wife and a friend owned a fine gift store here in Mason City, IA called Tussies Ltd back in the late 1990's. They both retired and sold the store in 2005. My wife has took home about 5 stuffed Boyd's Bears and 50 resin bears that are all still in their original boxes, never been out of the box either. She passed away five years ago and I would like to sell these bears as I don't collect them. I have made a list of them on an Excel spreadsheet if anyone is interested.
fran on April 20, 2020:
Enjoyed your article on Boyds . In 1978 I started Fran Lewis' Bear in Mind and sold it in the year 2000. I knew Gary who startedd Boyds Bears , Peter Bull, the father of the Teddy Bear Movement in the seventies with the publication of
the Teddy Bear Book, and many other "bearsonalities" . Thank you for your article.
Fondly yours in Bear Collecting. Fran Lewis
Mary Witt on April 11, 2020:
I have the opportunity to buy a pile of small, medium and large Boyds bears, new, tags on for $50. There’s at least 20 or more bears. Is that a good price?
Jenny on April 07, 2020:
I have a beautiful little 15” beige Boyds Bear and I’ve lost his tag. Can anyone identify him and tell me his name if I provide a photo?
P.Salvador on April 04, 2020:
I HAVE A BOYDS.IT IS NOT A BEAR BUT A CAT .the name of sooty! Is this different from the norm.
Dan McMahon on January 22, 2020:
I have collected both stuff bears, Mooses and resins. I even have some signed by Garry the head bear. I get them out and set them up once in a while. Just had 6 Christmoose out for Christmas.
Nancy on January 21, 2020:
I’m a huge collector of these bears! I love them and it’s true I only buy the ones that speak to me and also I look at the names too! Love them and can’t part with any of them! They all have a special meaning to me
Nikki Danyelle on January 06, 2020:
While I was growing up, my grandmother and I would buy my mom Boyd's bears for almost every special occasion. She had quite a collection! I wonder if she still has them?!
Carolyn on December 28, 2019:
Hi Karen! I have a huge I mean huge Boyd's bear....literally three feet high! That hubby gifted me for 275 years ago. Sadly we are divorced and the bear holds no sentimental value for me I was wondering if you knew of a collector yourself who would be interested in purchasing this fine bear. I do not want to give it away I would rather sell it and split the money and give it to my kids any advice or assistance you might offer me would be greatly appreciated Thank you so much!
Ron on December 10, 2019:
I used to be a seller of these bears. Now I have 15 large containers full of them, some of which, are still in original ,unopened, packaging.
Beary Love on November 19, 2019:
I have a Francesca LaFlame. 912026 problem she has purple flower not white I cant find another one any where to compare
John allan on October 19, 2019:
Are all boydes bear products not being produced i have 200 bears with tags and 30 figurines with original boxes also boyde's blanket
Lesley Easter on February 18, 2019:
I ran on to this site today. I was on a journey in my head to start weeding down my collection I started 22 years ago. I have a big collection and it is a wide range from plush to some wooden toys, pillows to dinnerware and tea sets. I got to go the Boyd's Bear Store in Pennsylvania with my husband in 2003. Now I'm not sure if I should hold on to my collection now for a while longer.
Heather O. on January 29, 2019:
I have quite a collection of Boyd's Bears. Some are pre-1991, the rest from 1991 through 2005. I have two value guides from Boyds, and I have also use the Boyds bear store website to find their value and if they're retired, Limited edition, hard-to-find, etc. One of my bears has a tag and a name, but I cannot locate him anywhere. Are there any certain sites or publications and that will help me find the true identity of this bear?
irene santos on January 05, 2019:
what happened to gary loenthall (sic) who used to be on qvc with these bears thats where i got most of mine
Lori T. on December 30, 2018:
I have accumulated quite a few Boyds bears and cats. I have a white poseable Sparklefrost bear. She's wearing a Victorian style aqua velveteen dress and coat trimmed in white fur. I recently saw a notice online that this bear can expose you to cancer causing chemicals and now I am wondering if I should keep her and if not, what should I do with her? Any comments or opinions?
B Casson on October 07, 2018:
I found this article when I was looking online about how to clean
my stuffed bears. They have been sitting out for a long time and are dusty. I didn't know Boyd's was not being made anymore. Sad! A nice bear with a sad face should be produced to say goodbye! Every Christmas I used to visit
Corydon, IN.....eat at their downtown restaurant and go to
the Boyd's Bears shop down the street and buy a bear.
Then drive to Starlight IN to Huber Winery for wine to take
home. An enjoyable journey.
Patricia Greske on October 04, 2018:
It’s 2:00 am and I’ve been reading your article and looking at your bears . I have been collecting Boyd’s for years and seem to love every one . Especially the ones with beans . They feel so good to hold . And each one has a personality , I think . They bring happiness just to look at them . I was sorry to learn they are no longer being made ! I didn’t know . Just wanted to say hello , from Florida , to a fellow Boyd’s lover .
Judy Howarth on September 03, 2018:
I had a large collection of bears but now that full retirement is closing in I am down-sizing to just Boyd's Bears. Most were purchased from QVC years ago and some through travels. I have 24 at this time. Love their personalities.
Kimberly Peters on December 05, 2016:
My mother-n-law was a collector of them. She sadly passed away about 3 years ago and I have quite a few of them that are packed away. I think they are adorable but feel if someone who really loves them would like to add them to there collection, I would be happy to share what ones she has. I think there are some resin ones as well.
Karen Hellier (author) from Georgia on August 08, 2016:
Yes Boyd's Bears are quite adorable, but right now they don't seem to be worth that much online. I think as time goes by and people realize they are no longer being made, their value will rise. One can only hope!
Dianna Mendez on August 01, 2016:
I have a few around my home and I will now see what their value is online. I used to collect bears, I will hang onto a few; but I will most likely sell or give most away over time. They are so adorable.
Karen Hellier (author) from Georgia on July 22, 2016:
Yes billybuc, they used to be very popular and were at all of the gift shops. Now there is a limited supply to go around. I don't think the word has gotten out yet in terms of being good for collectors. That's one of the reasons I wanted to write about it. And until the word DOES get out, I will be buying up as many Boyds Bears as I can find, LOL!
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on July 22, 2016:
I've never heard of them, Karen, but once I looked at the pictures, I realized I've seen them for a very long time. I hate it when a tradition falls by the wayside....but I guess it's good for collectors. :)