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Zippy the Pinhead tikis found near KC

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I had a blast recently in Kansas City as I followed up on a post from KCtiki about a carver who lives in Overland Park, KS. I discovered that the man's work was featured in a Zippy the Pinhead cartoon which ran Halloween of last year:


Todd Baker, owner of Sunshine Tree and Lawn Service, has populated his lawn with his own Moai-inspired carvings. Here, Baker poses with his personal favorite, "Ed the Head", which was in the third frame of the Zippy strip:

Here is the piece from the first frame:

This was in the second frame:

Three more pieces:

Baker has been selling his work for awhile and has sold a few to neighbors which has resulted in a spike in the Tiki population
near his home at the NW corner of 81st & Antioch in Overland Park. He said he'd like to do a large metal Moai and remarked that a huge Moai-shaped office building would be cool. Man, if only!


Bill Griffith and Zippy definitely deserve a mention here for promoting tiki and all sorts of Roadside America attractions. I have sent Bill Griffith photos from my own road-side travels, several of which he then used in his daily strips. At least once he has written my name in small print in the middle panel of the Zippy strip, his way of giving thanks to his fans.

I am currently re-reading some of the recent Zippy Annual books, and have been making notes on the strips that include tikis. Here are 3 Zippy / tiki strips that appear in the 2001 Annual.

  1. Zippy with a tiki mug used as a pen/tool holder

  2. Zippy outside of Java Lanes in Long Beach, saying 'I Want to Drink Mai-Tais'

  1. Zippy and tikis - in Color! The tikis are from outside the 'Enchanted Tiki House' in Orange County

Zippy .... We adore you, we adore you, one of us! One of us!

By the way, you can order black and white or hand colored autographed copies of all the above strips, and possible even the original artwork. Bill Griffith will also sign a personalized inscription to you if you order his books from the official Zippy website.


kctiki posted on Mon, Dec 1, 2003 4:01 AM

Tikijackalope, thanks for documenting a local carver's work.

I sat on Santa's lap and told him I want one of Todd's tiki's in my stocking this year.

Santa (aka Fred Mertz) replied, "Ho ho ho! Why don't I drag out the old chainsaw and carve you one myself?"

Sure. I'm still waiting - and saving my nickels for the real McCoy.

He was working on a smaller piece when I was there; you might ask the price:

And this is some cool stuff he has inside:

Btw, Fred Mertz? Gee, when I visualize Santa, its British progressive rocker Kate Bush in a fur-trimmed Yeoman Rand outfit.

kctiki posted on Tue, Dec 2, 2003 4:07 AM

Your version of Santa sounds a lot more fun. The jolly old elf who comes down the chimney at my house is a bit of a skinflint.

I complained of dishpan hands because I have no dishwasher, and I got a brand new shiny...pair of rubber gloves.

Perhaps Santa Fred could be persuaded the economy size tiki is a bargain. Or, maybe it could be my gift to him. Now there's a devious plan that just might work.


It's nice to know you can get Pisco in Kansas.

I wonder if that bottle is his model for all of his carvings?

Thats a bottle?! Must have one! I just googled it and the last dated mention is 1999; are they still available?

i got a bottle of pisco like that a year 1/2 ago in maryland. yummy. it got lost when i moved, wah... j$


The Pisco Capel in the 750ml moai bottle is available at for $19.99. I'm pretty sure they ship to KS/MO. Great bottle (available in both green and yellow), but I haven't heard raves about the contents.

There are a few threads about both the bottle and pisco around here somewhere...

Thanks for the info. I'll start checking liquor stores for the bottle; I'll probably give the contents away as I've disliked most alcoholic beverages I've tasted. I do want to try a Mai Tai sometime, but like a virgin who wants to loose it only after the perfect evening, I want my first tropical drink to be in the presence of tikis, under the nicotine-glazed eyes of glowing puffer fish, and out of a cool mug that I bring home for a long-term relationship.

kctiki posted on Fri, Dec 5, 2003 5:21 AM

On 2003-12-03 22:24, tikijackalope wrote:
I do want to try a Mai Tai sometime, but like a virgin who wants to loose it only after the perfect evening, I want my first tropical drink to be in the presence of tikis, under the nicotine-glazed eyes of glowing puffer fish, and out of a cool mug that I bring home for a long-term relationship.

That's an admirable action plan for a true tiki zealot. From this point forward I'll limit my alcohol intake to Rootbeer Schnaaps until I'm properly seated at the Mai Kai in Florida.

I'm now the proud owner of one of Todd's "Heads". Merry Kalikimaka to me! This calls for a proper toast - OJ with a splash of Pom Wonderful.

I'm in Joplin right now so I'll look North and toast your success from my favorite greasy spoon. I was going to suggest that, if your hubby is a trekie, you tell him that owning the tiki is the same as displaying a Horgon statue on Risa the pleasure planet.

Did you get the tiki pictured above or had he made a new one?

kctiki posted on Sat, Dec 6, 2003 1:49 PM

I got a different tiki than the one pictured above. He had 3 smaller ones when I got there & I knew which one was mine the minute I laid eyes on it. Just like picking out a puppy.

Fred didn't own a TV in the 60's, so the Star Trek reference would be lost on him. He prefers Probing the Frontiers of Inner Space. I told him spending hard earned $$ on a tiki is the equivilant of slogging thru mud for 10 hours to gaze upon a pristine cluster of selenite needles.

Speaking of outer space, I was mistaken when I said John's Space Age Donuts doesn't have an exterior sign. When will I learn to look UP? That's probably why I haven't snagged the Pearl of Wisdom from Goodwill yet.

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