ACTON, MASS. — OYO Sportstoys Inc., which does business as OYO Sports, is gearing up to produce and sell more plastic mini-figures, gaining $11 million in equity financing from a group led by sports media and production company Mandalay Sports Media LLC.
OYO makes plastic mini-figures of athletes from professional teams including the National Football League, Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League, Major League Soccer and many U.S. colleges and universities.
“We are thrilled now to partner with MSM as their strategic investment will provide the capital and expertise to ensure our continued ambitious growth. This investment will also provide us the opportunity to expand beyond traditional sales and user experiences by creating new ways for our fans of all ages to interact and engage with our products in the actual and virtual worlds,” said Tom Skripps, OYO Sports founder and CEO, in a news release.
OYO said that the money will be used to enhance its manufacturing structure, develop its e-commerce platform, expand its product lines, and extend into the digital, media and gaming spaces.
Mike Ewing, OYO's chief marketing officer, said in an email that as the company expands, it will look at what it needs in physical space, equipment and automation. He said that no specific plans are set, but that this will enable it to grow more aggressively.
The company moved much of its production back to the U.S. recently to build a fast turnaround model to capitalize on time sensitive events and “hot market” teams and players.
Ewing said that the company has added Zambonis for all of its NHL teams, and is getting ready to launch a NHL Goalies series. It is also getting ready for the World Series, which starts Oct. 21.
OYO continues to focus on special editions, such as New England Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady surpassing the 50,000 career yards passing milestone.
Mandalay is joined in the financing by Atlas Venture and Boston Seed Capital. Both groups have invested in the company previously.
MSM becomes the largest shareholder in OYO Sports. MSM CEO Rich Battista and MSM board member and investor, Jeff Patterson of Columbia Capital, have joined the OYO board.
“As OYO continues to build out its global fan engagement platform, we believe the company has limitless potential as a sports consumer lifestyle brand for the youth, fan and collector markets,” said Battista, in a statement.