They were imported by Gibson and were advertised as being of laminate construction. The Nouveau line included guitars as well as mandos. It's possible that the tops were solid but I don't know for sure. The fact that they were introduced as economy models would hardly justify that price IMO. Even American made Gibson Melody Maker guitars are priced less than other models of the same vintage as they were econo guitars. It should all be relative.
Cabin Fever String Band, Bill Gorby and the Musical Mercenaries, Black Slaney