Crazy Aaron’s Founder Named Executive Chairman of the Toy Association
Aaron Muderick, the founder of Norristown-based toymaker Crazy Aaron’s, has been elected executive chairman of the Toy Association’s board of directors.
The non-profit trade association represents all companies that design, produce, license and deliver toys and entertainment products for young people. Since 2021, Muderick was vice-president of the association.
He is the founder of Crazy Aaron’s and the inventor of Thinking Putty, a stress relief toy sold in over 50 countries worldwide.
“My story is a journey from scratch. I started as a software engineer with an idea of how the putty we all played with as kids could be better. Crazy Aaron’s has grown since 1998 to become a medium-sized company with over 100 employees,” he said in an email response to questions.
Before he could develop the final product, Muderick said he had to learn chemistry by borrowing textbooks from friends. Within a month of having the idea, he was making think putty, and about three months later he was pitching it to co-workers and “selling it in bags under my desk,” he said. to MediaNews Group in October 2021.
He said he was excited to use his industry experience in his new role.
“The toy industry is changing rapidly and innovating. Any wacky idea can become the next hot toy,” he said. “I hope to continue the positive culture that nurtures inventors and works to create a marketplace where these great ideas can be shown and sold to smiling children around the world.”
In his role as the Toy Association’s Executive Chairman, Muderick will lead the association’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors to determine the Toy Association’s priorities in several areas.
“We host Toy Fair, which brings together toy manufacturers and toy buyers. We also work to promote safe toys and safe and healthy play,” he said in the response. “We do this through consumer education as well as coordinating with federal and state governments to ensure the toys available for sale meet strict safety standards.”
Muderick said he is interested in the “voices and opinions” of all member companies of the association – “whether it’s a giant like LEGO or a lone inventor with an idea”.
As he begins his new role, Muderick said member companies are having some issues.
“The pandemic has created a huge demand for healthy toys and games in recent years,” he said in the response. “At the same time, the toy industry couldn’t meet in person. We have hands-on products that are difficult to demonstrate via Zoom. »
The Toy Association’s annual event, Toy Fair, has been canceled due to the omicron wave. As a result, Muderick said the association would work to reconnect the toy industry.
Muderick said that immediately after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, there was what he called a “huge outpouring of support for Ukrainian children who are going through untold trauma and suffering.” He said there had been immediate cash contributions to aid organizations totaling “tens of millions of dollars” from member companies through the association.
Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of the Toy Association, said Muderick was an “inspired” choice to lead the governance of the Toy Association.
“Aaron has truly done everything from advocating for the needs of the specialty toy retail industry to testifying before the U.S. Senate about the safety risks of illicit counterfeit toys sold in online marketplaces,” Pasierb said. in a press release. “At a time of unprecedented disruption to global supply chains and rapidly changing consumer behavior, Aaron’s commitment to serving others and providing solutions is sure to be a great benefit.”
Narberth resident Muderick moved production of Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty to its location at 700 E. Main St. in Norristown in March 2018, after overtaking its Phoenixville location. Muderick said he looked at several other areas but ultimately opted to buy the Norristown building, which dates back to 1898 when it was a knitting factory.
In addition to the production operation, the site also houses the company’s retail store, which also opened in 2018.
Muderick recently retired from Narberth Borough Council after serving for 12 years – spending six years as vice-chairman and the remaining six as chairman of the council. He was also a volunteer firefighter with the Narberth Fire Co, for almost 15 years.
“I love the hands-on work, the endless learning of new skills, and the positive impact on the community that fire services provide,” he said.