Freshman “plays” with fame and fortune

Jenny Dwoskin

Some kids play with toys; other kids – like freshman Meghan Murphy – invent them. At the age of 13, while her classmates were out perusing the shelves of Toys ‘R’ Us, Murphy was perusing entrepreneurial fairs, learning how to be a producer: schmoozing with international toy vendors and introducing her product, Boinks! Buddies, to both the United States and Canada.

Ambition, creativity and connections seem to be the ingredients for business success, but it requires a certain sparkle – a certain attitude, a certain character, that scholarship boards and Villanova University found so intriguing about Murphy. In fact, Murphy was born blind, though she never let her condition impede her dreams. She was driven to plow down any and every obstacle that stood in her way. And, in 2003, she won the Future Entrepreneur Scholarship Award, awarded by the National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE), as well as another scholarship granted by Ford Motors.

What exactly is a Boinks? Well, it’s more than just onomatopoeia; the original Boinks! preceded Murphy’s complementary invention of the Buddies.

Before 1999, when Boinks! Buddies bounced onto the market, the Murphy family of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., was already nurturing a budding toy engineer: Meghan’s older sister, Colleen. Just 12 years earlier, Colleen (12 at the time) created Boinks!, a woven plastic “pocket rocket” that received worldwide recognition.

Meghan’s Boinks! Buddies are the miniature, “little sister” version of Colleen’s invention – only with a twist. Each Boinks! Buddy is topped with a foam character, whether it’s an electric-hued blow fish, dinosaur, or fuzzy “jazzy guy.”

So what propelled Murphy into the toy industry? “I have always looked up to my sister, Colleen,” Murphy said. “She is my mentor, and I have always tried to follow in her footsteps so that my parents would be as proud of me as they were of her.”

The Murphy family regularly attended conventions such as the International Toy Fair in New York City allowing Meghan to put her imagination into motion. “Growing up and going to toy shows, it was always a dream of mine to have my own toy one day that I could promote,” explains Murphy. “My mom had already been through the same thing with an 11-year-old. With the help of my parents, everything got accomplished, because they knew the people that they had to talk to.”

With such an impressive list of accolades, why Villanova, of all business schools? Murphy figures, if she’s going to follow one family tradition, why break another (a philosophy that obviously hasn’t steered her wrong)? “For one, both of my siblings, Colleen and Kevin, attended Villanova,” says Murphy. “But, I also chose it because of its academic excellence and great business school. I feel very comfortable here! And, while at Villanova, I want to get more experience in the business world, so I hope to get involved in as many internships as possible, beginning with the Ford Motor Company, which I will be doing during the next few summers because of the scholarship that I received.”

So, good news for all the Commerce and Finance students: not only are your teachers professionally accredited, but a fellow classmates, as well. Here is her advice to potential businessmen and businesswomen: “Getting involved in as much as possible is the best thing, maybe with an Entrepreneurial Society or something of that nature, so that you can learn more about becoming an entrepreneur. Also, it’ll allow you to learn how to network and meet more people who are interested in the same things as you.”

On campus, Murphy is a member of the sports marketing association, Villanova ambassadors, Special Olympics committee and the entrepreneurial society.

For more information about Boinks!Buddies, visit