An offspring of The Little Tikes Company, The Step2 Company manufactures and markets a variety of plastic toys for children, as well as products for the home and garden. The company also produces educational toys under the Thinkativity brand, and its Infantino subsidiary makes baby products. Step2 operates a retail store in Ohio and also sells its offerings through mass merchandisers and specialty retailers (such as Lowe's, Target, Toys "R" Us, and Wal-Mart) in the US, Canada, and more than 70 other countries. Step2 was established in 1991 by Thomas Murdough, founder and former Little Tikes president. The company is owned by New York-based private equity firm Liberty Partners.
Facing tough economic conditions, Step2 shuttered its Georgia factory in early 2010. The company, which has been focusing on lean manufacturing processes, shifted the leftover production to its two plants in Ohio. The closure affected about 100 employees, roughly 10% of Step2's total workforce.
Shortly after the factory shutdown in early 2010, the company named Jack Vresics as CEO. Vresics replaced Scott Levin, who left after three years with Step2. Vresics has logged time as an executive for a variety of consumer products companies, ultimately becoming general manager of Infantino (which was acquired by Step2 in 2007) and then a member of Step2's board. With Vresics in charge, Step2 plans to invest in newer rotomolding technology to make production processes more efficient and to design more versatile toys that can be used by children as they grow older.