UNIQUELY OURS A series about consumer products engineered in Northeast Ohio
Sixth of 10 parts ABOUT
MANUFACTURING Product: Quikoin rubber coin purse Price: Sold through distributors at a cost of about 75 cents each for a minimal order of 250 ; 51 cents each for 5,000. Claim to fame: It ‘s the original patent rubber mint purse, imprinted with company logo or messages. More information: quikey.com Mike Burns will make you a bet : If you ‘re over 40, you probably had one of his products a long, long time ago. And thinking about it will credibly give you a bite of a warm bleary. Burns is the third base coevals to lead production of the Quikoin mint bag, which was created in Akron in 1951. For the following three decades, the palm-size rubber mint carriers were all the ramp — produced by the tens of millions. And they were typically handed out as freebies by restaurants, banks and other businesses that had the coin carriers manufactured bearing their caller name or some memorable message. Listen as Mike Burns discusses his ship’s company. See the wax tilt of products profiled in this series Read all of the stories Burns loves his company ‘s place in history. The Quikoin was named as one of the top five promotional products of the twentieth hundred by Promotional Products Association International, the industry trade group.
He knows tens of millions of people had one of the categoric mint holders, or they remember their grandfather or dad toting one about. “ When you hand it to a baby baby boomer, they ‘ll smile and rub it, or open it and smell it, ” Burns said. “ then they ‘ll tell you a narrative, like how their uncle Jim had one stuffed with quarters and would hand them out to the kids. “ People relive these moments when they see a Quikoin. It ‘s an instant time-travel back. ”
Burns beams with pride that Frank Sinatra always carried a Quikoin so change did n’t doggerel in his pocket when he was on stage. But barely as typewriters have been made virtually disused by computers, the popularity of Quikoins has subsided reasonably. We live in a pay-with-plastic society where even some vending machines accept accredit cards. Coins, schmoins. Who needs them ? Plus, the Quikoin has n’t changed with inflation. The arctic, egg-shaped doodad holds about $ 3 in quarters and dimes comfortably. That was a bunch of money in the 1950s. today, you ‘d need $ 24.28 to have the lapp buy might, but the Quikoin hush holds alone about $ 3. ( Who ‘d want to carry around $ 24 in coins, anyhow ? ) Despite that, the Quikoin has persevered and has made a revival the final two to three years, Burns said. The product, which is sold wholly through distributors and is not available in stores, is possibly the most acknowledge merchandise made by Quikey Manufacturing Co. But it ‘s just a humble depart of Quikey ‘s business. The 250-employee company, still in Akron, makes a skid of small doodads, including rubber eraser key chains, magnets, ID holders and baggage tags. The Quikoin, however, is coming back in vogue, with 2 million nowadays sold each year. It ‘s flourishing in part because the coin appliance raise up old memories. “ It ‘s a nostalgia item, ” Burns said. The coin purses routinely sell among collectors for means more than their actual measure. They cost about 70 cents each to buy in majority. last week, respective were sold on eBay for $ 5 to $ 7 each, plus shipping. Quikoins are besides bouncing spinal column in popularity because people are using them in new ways. The company routinely hears stories about people who love using them to store earrings, guitar picks or condoms. The drawing card of the Quikoin — or any of Quikey ‘s other promotional tchotchkes — is that the logo of a company, or whatever message it buys, never, ever rubs off. You ca n’t scratch it off. It lives everlastingly. The company logo is actually manufactured into the product with color rubber. The logo is n’t added after production ; it ‘s part of production. “ What can I buy for 70 cents that can get that many ad impressions ? ” Burns said. The Quikoin was conceived by Burns ‘ grandfather, Ben Stiller, who in the first place created a arctic case to hold the two keys that many vehicles required ( one for the door and one for the ignition ). The company was taken over by Burns ‘ uncle and then passed to Burns and his brother and cousin. The patent on the Quikoin ran out years ago, but competitors have n’t quite been able to duplicate the technology, Burns said. In fact, the ship’s company is so close within the walls of its small, preferably olive drab old factory that it wo n’t allow photograph of the production line.
Burns recognizes the Quikoin may be past its prime, which is why the company manufactures a 3 -inch-by-2 -inch arctic citation card holder. But many people do still use the Quikoin for coins, he said. If the United States always goes to a wholly cashless company, “ that ‘s probably the ultimate death ring of this kind of product, ” he said .