Boyds(TM) Takes Home Plush Company of the Year Honors

Boyds(TM) Takes Home Plush Company of the Year Honors

GETTYSBURG, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 26, 2005--Last year was already a very special year for The Boyds Collection Ltd.® (NYSE: FOB - News), and it became even more special on July 22 as the creator of plush, giftware, decor and collectibles was bestowed with one of the highest honors in the gift and collectible industry; The National Association of Gift and Collectible Retailers' (NALED) Plush Company of the Year Award for 2004. The award was presented at NALED's 26th Annual Achievement Awards Banquet in Chicago. Source: The Boyds Collection Ltd.

Celebrated by Boyds as 25 Years of Making Friends, 2004 marked the company's silver anniversary as a creator of high quality, whimsical and affordable plush teddy bears and other friends, gifts, decorations and collectables. Throughout 2004, Boyds held celebrations of its twenty-fifth anniversary through its large network of retailers around the country and around the globe with the release of special edition plush bears and resin figurines.

However, 2004 was not just about looking back at Boyds. The year also marked the launch of the company's officially-licensed Boyds Racing Family featuring some of the most popular drivers in NASCAR®, the opening of its second Boyds Bear Country(TM) family-fun, dining and retail destination in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, and of course the creation of its world famous collections of plush bears and friends, figurines and smile-inspiring gifts; popular not only with its broad collector base, but also with consumers in the market for fun, affordable, keepsake quality gifts.

NALED is recognized as the nation's largest trade organization for the gift and collectible industry. Composed primarily of retailers of gifts and collectibles, as well as others in the industry such as manufacturers and artists, NALED's members are known as the world's most reliable and trusted. The NALED Achievement Awards are among the most prestigious in the gift and collectible industry; for the past 26 years, companies and individuals in the industry vie for a finalist spot in, and hope to take home one of, the association's 18 awards.

While Boyds has been honored with NALED awards for specific pieces over the years, taking home its first Plush Company of the Year Award is extra special because the nominees for it are chosen by the retailers as representing the best in the business.

"The folks here at Boyds are absolutely touched and honored that our friends, the members of NALED, have chosen to name us Plush Company of the Year" said Jan Murley, Boyds C.E.O. "Each and every year Boyds strives to create plush products as well as other giftware, decor pieces and collectibles that keep moving in step with society while not forgetting that it's our ability to make people laugh and sigh that got us where we are," Murley added, continuing, "2004 was a huge year for Boyds as we took bold steps in that very direction. Those steps proved to be successful, and now in 2005, we are continuing to move in directions that provide consumers and retailers with even more to be excited about."

One of the directions in which Boyds has continued to move in 2005 is that of building its portfolio of licensing partnerships, adding powerful, fun brands like M&M'S®, Coca-Cola® and Crayola® to it's lineup already made strong by the launch of the NASCAR® partnership in 2004. Coupling such brands with the strength of the Boyds own brand identity and the continued progress of its always popular lines of plush and resin gifts, decor and collectibles allows Boyds and it's network of retailers the ability to bring smiles to more folks than ever.