Gund was founded in 1898 by Adolph Gund, a German born immigrant, in Norwalk, Connecticut. Gund had a simple formula for his success: Use the best materials, find the best craftsman and stuff everything with a lotta love. Gund was one of the first manufacturers of Teddy Bears in the early 1900's.
When Gund retired in 1925 he sold the business to a seasoned employee of 18 years, Jacob Swedlin, with the promise that Swedlin would keep the company name as Gund.
In 1969, Swedlin retired and passed down the company to his daughter Rita and her husband Herbert Raiffe. They began using what is now known as Gund's trademark under-stuffing technique to make each bear more huggable, which in turn blossomed the company. Bruce Raiffe, son of Herbert and Rita and third generation to run the company joined Gund in 1977. In 1993, Bruce became president, then in 2004, he became Executive Officer of Gund. Also in 2004, the first non-family member became president of Gund, Jim Madonna.
Gund created many of the industry standards today including safety standards and manufacturing processes for the toy industry. Sweldin founded the concept of industry licensing for well-known cartoon characters such as Mikey Mouse, Donald Duck and many more. Gund also created a way to securely attach eyes to plush animals making them less harmful to children.
In the early 1980's, Gund came out with the famous slogan: Gotta Getta Gund, which made the company one of the highest leading consumer brands. Gund today is still known for their top quality, huggable soft plush toys and is one of the 50 most recognized brands in the US.
Gund distributes throughout the US and Canada as well as Europe, Australia, South America & Japan.
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