Thursday, May 21, 2015

Rigbee's Bargain Town Ad – May 21, 1964

Here's a vintage ad for Rigbee's Bargain Town that ran in the Lorain Journal on May 21, 1964 – 51 years ago today.

The ad caught my eye because of the 99 cent Beatle dolls. But more on that later in this post.

Rigbee's Bargain Town at 852 Broadway (across from the post office) was the successor  to Rigbee's Kiddieland at the same address. Both companies have their roots in the Rigbee Company, which was based in Elyria and run by the Evenchik family.

The company seemed to evolve over the years. In the 1925-26 Elyria City Directory, it was called Rig-Bee Supply Company and specialized in auto accessories. J. A. Evenchik was the manager. Through the years, the popular store at its longtime home in the 500 block on Broad Street eventually added electrical supplies, hardware and toys to its product selection.

By the early 1950s, the business had expanded into Lorain with Rigbee's Kiddieland, run by Harvey Evenchik. The store specialized in baby toys and furniture.

By 1964, the Lorain store had taken the Rigbee's Bargain Town name, and Harvey Evenchik was joined at the store by Isadore Baer, who was co-manager. Strangely enough, the store reverted back to its Kiddieland name around 1968. It also moved to 663 Broadway.

Rigbee's Kiddieland in Lorain made it into the 1970s with a new manager (Shirley A. Frey) before the company disappeared from the city directory in the 1971 edition. The Elyria store (which by that time was managed by Marvin Evenchik) had already closed in 1969.

Courtesy iGavel Auctions
Now back to those Beatle dolls in the ad.

The popular dolls were manufactured by Remco. Each Beatle was about 4 3/4 inches tall, and came with a plastic instrument with his name on it (which the doll's owner would usually lose).

My sister and two brothers and I each had one of those Beatle dolls. I had good old Ringo – whose cartoon likeness provided so much of the comic relief on those Beatles TV cartoons that we watched regularly on Saturday mornings.

Anyway, since my siblings and I each had a favorite Beatle, we were doomed to be associated with that particular Beatle in perpetuity. This resulted in lots of ribbing later in the 1960s, as the Beatles lost their clean cut image in favor of the hippie look, and certain members of the Fab Four began getting into trouble with the law for drug possession.
As time went on, my brothers and I eventually turned our fairly beat-up Beatle dolls over to our older sister so that she would have a complete set. She'd been the big Beatle fan anyway, owning and playing the albums that provided a sort of soundtrack for my early childhood years.

1 comment:

Wireless.Phil said...

Why don't I remember that store? In 64 I would have been 13 years old.