Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The history of GUND

Teddies by Gund

The leading stuffed toy manufacturer in U.S.A. is also the oldest one. Adolph Gund founded the company in 1898. It was based in Norwalk, Connecticut. Gund was one of the first companies to construct and produce teddy bear toys in the early 1900’s. In 1907, a rather young Russian immigrant named Jacob Swedlin took a modest job at Gund Company. When Adolph Gunde retired 18 years later, Swedlin bought the business from him. The main demand Adolph Gund had when he was selling his business was that Swedlin is never to shange GUND name of the company. Swedling agreed to this and began his role in Gund teddy bear history. Most notable thing to mention is that he introduced the concept of industry licensing with cartoon characters like “Felix the Cat”, “Mickey Mouse”, “Donald Duck”, “Popeye”, and many others.


In 1969 after good 62 years in teddy business Jacob passed the company on to his daughter Rita Raiffe and her husband Herbert. The Raiffes wowed to and continued producing high quality, plush teddy bear toys. It was under their direction that the company began using its under-stuffing technique which is the heart of today’s world’s most huggable plush toy. In 1977, Bruce, the son of Herbert and Rita Raiffe, joined Gund Company. Bruce became President in 1993 and Chairman and Chief CEO in 2004. The first non-founding GUND member by the name of Jim Madison became President in 2004.

As the leading manufacturer Gund comp. has taken on many duties on themselves. So for example they have been responsible for the beginning of many innovations, raising safety standards and production processes in the toy industry. They were also the first to manufacture a musical toy that was reasonably priced. Gund has always been dedicated to product safety and set an important industry standard by devising a way to attach eyes securely to stuffed animals. It was important to prevent them from being pulled out and swallowed by small youngsters.

You remember the glorious “GOTTA GETTA GUND” advertising campaign in the earl 80’s. You can safely say that this campaign made the Gund recognized as a leading consumer brand. Nowadays, the company produces an extensive collection of hand made characters and licensed soft toys under the “Gund” and “Baby Gund” brands.


Snuffles One of the most successful Gund teddy bears is definitely Snuffles. Two years ago Gund produced their 25th Anniversary snuffles. Snuffles has always been a part of the Gund collection of stuffed toys. They came in different sizes and colors. The 25th Anniversary edition however was created in a soft, pale blush, fabric with a white semi-circular moon on his chest. A faux leather tag with the words “Celebrate Love With Snuffles” declared that he is a 25th Anniversary edition and thus a special gift to give or to receive. In addition to Snuffles 25 Anniversary version, this cuddly stuffed teddy is also available in a traditional color of white with a brown embroidered nose and warm deep brown button eyes in four angelic sizes: 6 ½ inch, 8 inch, 10 inch and 13 ½ inch.

Today Gund can be seen on teddy bears everywhere. Gund is the most popular name when it comes to soft, stuffed toy bears. They have some very exclusive and interesting teddies you will find anywhere. Although you are unable to order teddies directly from the factory, their website will direct you to the nearest store, or web site, offering GUND teddy bears for sale.

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