UNIQUELY OURS A series about consumer products engineered in Northeast Ohio
Sixth of 10 parts ABOUT
MANUFACTURING Product: Quikoin rubberize coin bag Price: Sold through distributors at a cost of about 75 cents each for a minimum order of 250 ; 51 cents each for 5,000. Claim to fame: It ‘s the original patent condom mint purse, imprinted with caller logo or messages. More information: quikey.com Mike Burns will make you a bet : If you ‘re over 40, you credibly had one of his products a long, long time ago. And thinking about it will probably give you a bite of a quick bleary. Burns is the third generation to lead production of the Quikoin coin bag, which was created in Akron in 1951. For the adjacent three decades, the palm-size rubber mint carriers were all the fury — 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 company appoint or some memorable message. Listen as Mike Burns discusses his company. See the full number of products profiled in this series Read all of the stories Burns loves his company ‘s locate 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 deal group.
He knows tens of millions of people had one of the flat mint holders, or they remember their grandfather or dad toting one round. “ When you hand it to a child baby boomer, they ‘ll smile and rub it, or open it and smell it, ” Burns said. “ then they ‘ll tell you a fib, like how their uncle Jim had one stuffed with quarters and would bridge player them out to the kids. “ People relive these moments when they see a Quikoin. It ‘s an moment time-travel spinal column. ”
Burns beams with pride that Frank Sinatra constantly carried a Quikoin so variety did n’t jingle in his air pocket when he was on stage. But precisely as typewriters have been made about disused by computers, the popularity of Quikoins has subsided slightly. We live in a pay-with-plastic society where even some peddle machines accept credit cards. Coins, schmoins. Who needs them ? Plus, the Quikoin has n’t changed with ostentation. The condom, 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 buying power, 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 last two to three years, Burns said. The merchandise, which is sold wholly through distributors and is not available in stores, is possibly the most acknowledge product made by Quikey Manufacturing Co. But it ‘s fair a small separate of Quikey ‘s business. The 250-employee company, still in Akron, makes a batch of humble doodads, including rubber 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 contribution because the coin doodad bid up honest-to-god memories. “ It ‘s a nostalgia item, ” Burns said. The coin purses routinely sell among collectors for way more than their actual measure. They cost about 70 cents each to buy in majority. last workweek, respective were sold on eBay for $ 5 to $ 7 each, plus ship. Quikoins are besides bouncing back in popularity because people are using them in newfangled ways. The caller routinely hears stories about people who love using them to store earrings, guitar picks or condoms. The attraction of the Quikoin — or any of Quikey ‘s early 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 merchandise 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 primitively created a rubber character to hold the two keys that many vehicles required ( one for the doorway and one for the ignition ). The company was taken over by Burns ‘ uncle and then passed to Burns and his brother and cousin. The apparent on the Quikoin ran out years ago, but competitors have n’t quite been able to duplicate the engineering, Burns said. In fact, the company is therefore close within the walls of its minor, rather blue 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 ship’s company manufactures a 3 -inch-by-2 -inch arctic recognition wag holder. But many people do calm use the Quikoin for coins, he said. If the United States always goes to a wholly cashless society, “ that ‘s probably the ultimate death knell of this kind of product, ” he said .