The David Ortiz 2,000 hits limited edition—an example of how Oyo attacks hot markets


Hot teams often drive sales for companies in the licensed marketplace. That has certainly been the case for Oyo Sportstoys. In just its third year in business, Oyo has made a name for itself with collectors and kids, thanks to its line of minifigures, which are compatible with most brick building brands. On the eve of theSports Licensing and Tailgate Show, PJ Antonik talked to us about Oyo’s rise to one of the industry’s new feel-good stories.

LOGO: The collectibles market is obviously a focus for Oyo. How is it performing?
PJ Antonik: The collector market is performing well, and we are already seeing a bit of activity outside of conventional retail on the collector side. We hope to have a detailed, interactive collectors site live in 2014, where a consumer can see all of the Oyos we have made, as well as log in to show their collection.

LOGO: Does the collectibles market dovetail with any other categories?
PJ Antonik: We’ve found that Oyo appeals to both the collector and kid’s toy markets. The great thing about Oyo is that every player we make comes with an individual DNA number. We also label the generation and series of each player we produce. This makes every Oyo a collectable, and we are finding that the consumer is recognizing that.

LOGO: Licensed product is also clearly important to what you do. Are “hot teams” a part of your strategy when it comes to licensing?
PJ Antonik: Hot teams are absolutely part of our strategy. We have had great success reacting to hot markets. For example, we pre-booked “if win” product prior to the World Series and were shipping product the day after Game 6. We even had a David Ortiz MVP minifigure approved and shipping the day after.  We feel this is what really sets us apart in the hard goods business—the ability for our team to react to hot markets quickly and effectively. This allows great collector interest while driving incremental retail sales!

LOGO: You’ve also found success with players who don’t usually occupy the spotlight, right?
PJ Antonik: Yes, the beauty of Oyo is that we produce players that normally never see the light of day in the licensing world. Because of this, we carry a huge amount of players. Fan engagement is one of our core initiatives. Oyo stands by the mantra that “we are your favorite player.”

Things are building quickly for us, and we are appreciative of the growth. As a start-up, every day is a learning opportunity. We are focused on making the right decisions, not the quick ones.

What We Do:

Oyo was founded three years ago, and started with the MLB license. Since then, the company has added the NFL and the NHL. Oyo minifigures are compatible with most every building toy. The company boasts a diverse selection, working closely with the players association from each league to develop product. Oyo also makes buildable field sets to encourage family friendly activity.