April 3, 2017
Emerging Manufacturer Award

Oyo Sportstoys grows by responding to demand

Oyo prints players designs on to already produced blank parts, allowing them to respond quickly to changes in demand.

The idea for Oyo Sportstoys Inc. came to CEO and Founder Tom Skripps at a 2010 baseball game.

"When I was at a baseball game, and I promised my son a toy, I went down the the shop, and there were no toys. My son was big into Lego, so I put two and two together," Skripps said.

Skripps designed a toy figure similar to those made by Lego but with bendable arms and legs designed to look like major league baseball players.

Founded in 2011, Oyo raised $14 million in its five years, said Meredith Harris, executive director of the Marlborough Economic Development Corp. Initially, the company did MLB figures but expanded to NFL, NHL, NBA and MLS. The designs are created by an in-house team and include a player's facial features and jersey.

In 2015, Oyo received a 10-year, tax-increment-financing agreement with estimated savings of $223,995 from Marlborough to spend $8 million improving its facility. In exchange, the company committed to bring 195 jobs to the city over the next decade.

Changing with the times, quickly

The company imports blank parts in bulk, which allows them to respond to quick changes in demand, said Skripps.

"The turnaround time is just unbelieveable," Harris said. "Whatever team wins, Oyo Sportstoys is up and ready to roll out product the next morning."

Each production line is manned by only three employees who must be able to perform many different tasks.

"We have been to other factories where each assembly line has 20 people each doing a specific task. We can't do that," said Skripps.

New opportunities for growth

The company develops new product lines, launching OYOme in March.

"It is pretty simple, your face with your favorite team," said Michael Stoico, Oyo director of consumer revenue.

The new line allows customers to create a customized figure of their likeness wearing their favorite teams jersey.

"Kids can incorporate themselves into the play, which is a big selling point, or the figure can be more of a display piece, a good conversation starter," said Stoico.

Read about the other 2017 Manufacturing Excellence Award winners

Manufacturing Excellence Award, small company

Manufacturing Excellence Award, midsize company

Manufacturing Excellence Award, large company

Product Design & Innovation Award

Green Manufacturing Award

Workforce Development & Productivity Award

Collaboration in Manufacturing Award


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