Welcome to the Tiki Central 2.0 Beta. Read the announcement
Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop

Tiki Central / General Tiki

So when did you buy your 1st tiki?

Pages: 1 27 replies

My first tiki (tiki mug) was purchased by myself in a thrift store when I was thirteen. I'll try to post a pic later.

And yours?...................

Yee-Haw & Aloha,
Tiki Kiliki

Yee-Haw & Aloha,

The World of Tiki Kiliki

[ Edited by: tiki_kiliki on 2003-08-08 06:59 ]

It was 1981 and my parents took me to see the Polynesian Dance show at the Mai-Kai. I think it was my birthday. Anyway, I went into the gift shop and bought a mug for around $3.95. I put it on the same shelf as my beer can collection (hmmm, it seems that my collections must have an alcoholic theme).

I no longer have the mug or the beer can collection, but it planted the seeds of my current obsession with collecting Polynesian Pop art.

[ Edited by: SoBeTiki on 2002-08-13 10:17 ]

ive always been suround by tiki's and such, growing up in hawaii, but I was never into them like now. I belive my first tiki item is my PIZZ print "the tiki bar". I got it at the Bahooka in rosemead ca. It was a relase Party for the PIZZ and Von Franco. The Pizz was my neighbor in Long Beach.

The first tiki I ever received was a cheap ass plastic Moai on a plastic tether you wore around your neck. It came from a basket of crap kids could pick from at a restaraunt in Kansas City, KS around 1968. I remember it because the family was preparing to move to Hawaii. The next tiki I received was from my Dad. It was a little Coco Joe tiki with jeweled eyes. Unfortunately, I no longer have the tikis. I didn't collect tiki items until I started shopping flea markets a few years ago and got the idea to collect vintage Hawaiiana stuff; especially as it relates to Florida. The first thing I bought was a metal tiki bottle opener.

[ Edited by: Kailuageoff on 2002-08-13 11:27 ]

[ Edited by: Kailuageoff on 2002-08-13 11:30 ]

my first tiki was the scuffed head of a air New Zealand plastic souvineer tiki that i found on some randon street in amsterdam. which i carried for ages as it eminated this strange atraction at me, I thought of it as a strange plastic tribal head, but later found that that tiki design is known as "mana" which wierdly is my family nickname. The tiki gods called and found my way to them...

(for the tikispotters the little plastic tiki i found the head off is shown in "hula dancers and tiki gods" by chris pfouts page 181 top left hand corner)

My family had this green mug up in a cupboard. It was sort of a Moai/fishing god hybrid. It came with us on the move from Naples when I was a baby, so it is from the late 60s, at least. My mother does not remember where it originally came from.

My most recent was a statue, a birthday gift from my beloved. It is black, wood, and carved in a nontraditional sort of style, entirely angular.

So I did not buy either of those. They are my only tikis, so far. I am sort of new. I do have a lot of albums from junks shops, though.

OOPS Edit: My most recent purchase was a bunch of those cups from Big Lots. Also, a guy that I know sells various unusual items and he got in a bunch of necklaces with tiki charms. I will be picking up some of those when he gets back to town.

[ Edited by: KahunaMilu on 2002-08-13 18:55 ]


I'm a newbie here. I found my first tiki a couple of months ago -- nothing special, just a Harvey's Sneaky Tiki -- but it holds sentimental value already (the condo we rented in Hawaii for our honeymoon had some Harvey's mugs in use and I wanted to have a different kind of souvenir to remember our trip) -- now I'm hooked and learning all I can about tiki and slowly building a collection...

I think about 1995. It was (is) a small porcelain piece with a purple exterior/white interior (anybody know this piece?). I didn't grow up tiki - the closest I got was my dad being a Viking (nordic Tiki?) up at Skandia in LA? Anybody remember Skandia?

It's so nice to hear all of these stories!

I don't know if anyone else experiences this but I have a tiki radar! Whenever it goes off inside of me I know a tiki is just around the corner. It may take the next hour to find it but I usually do.

Oh, yeah. My mom thought the tiki was evil so of course I loved it!

Yee-Haw & Aloha,
Tiki Kiliki

I never "owned" a tiki till about 10 years ago when I made my own. But, I grew up in tiki so it was like normal to me. In a couple of weeks, I'll try to post some pics of my past. Probably from a different computer. It might be under a dif. thread like, Has anyone seen these tikis before? And if so where? or Eli's tikis, help mefind em'. My Grandfather Eil Headley did major amounts from the 40's to the late 70's. He was the un-known player in the tiki scene back then. I got lucky out of 12 cousins and got Eli for my middle name and some say, a little of his talent too.


After being curious about polynesian pop for a few months, I decided one day that I was going to collect tiki mugs, and for some reason I thought it would be super easy to find them.

So that day I went to the local Value Village (or the V.V. Boutique as we like to call it), and there on the shelf for a buck each were 2 'Leilani' mugs. Also, there was a Disney Polynesian mug for 6 bucks, but I pooh-poohed it, thinking 'well, if they're this easy to find, I'll just get another for a quarrter somewhere!'

Of course, I have never found tiki mugs in a Toronto thrift store since, and I've been looking diligently for 3 years.

Weird, huh?

My first few Tiki finds were all little wooden Maori carvings from New Zealand found in local charity shops. I found about three or four in a couple of months, but haven't found any since!

My first actual mug could well have been a Leilani because I can hardly bear the sight of it now. It's the only one I actively dislike. The runt of the litter, so to speak.

Trader Woody


When I was 10 or 12 my buddy Todd Parker, gave me one. His mother was a Kiwi and he spent some time in New Zealand every couple of years or so. He brought one back from his travels and gave it to me. I still have it. It is that cool maori style with shell eyes. Still one of my favorite tikis.



That is a beautiful tiki :D

samoa posted on Thu, Aug 15, 2002 4:52 PM

I am in need of a tiki, I don't have one. :( Anyone know where they have good beginner ones? Ever since i was a little girl i have been fasinated with easter island. someone had given me a book that had a chapter on it. What is it about easter island?


You seem like a good kid, so I'll give you the straight story. Tikis are no damn good. One Tiki is to many, and a million Tikis aint enough. Look at me, You don't want to end up like I did. My stories no different from a thousand other Joes. I started with thrift stores and garage sales, then came Hula shows and Tiki Bars. Pretty soon it was Hilo Hatties. Then came the bottom of the barrel, Tiki Central. Sure it's too late for me, but, it's not too late for you. Go distribute Amway or get into synchronized swimming. Good Luck Kid

[ Edited by: Alnshely on 2002-10-23 20:32 ]

samoa posted on Thu, Aug 15, 2002 7:06 PM

thanks for the advice al, but alas I believe it is too late. I have been wanting to have a tiki bar for some time now. Is that a classic symptom? (by the way, beautiful tiki collection..i'm envious)

[ Edited by: samoa on 2002-08-15 19:07 ]

Alnshely, my first tiki was almost identical to yours -- a Maori one that my parents brought back from the London Ideal Home Show back in 72 or 3. I had it for many years until it unfortunately went astray in a recent move. My partner, Not Particularly Tiki Lawrence, has just started to carve them (as tikichris knows to his cost), so I hope to have more soon. I have never, never seen them for sale in the UK -- but no doubt I just wasn't looking hard enough.


My first Tiki was only a few months ago. Munktiki's Evil Bastard. As i said in a previous post, Shag started the whole thing. I bought one print, then another, then another, then another etc. In April (thanks to tax money), I was able to finally afford the Krypton Tiki Bar. They gave me 2 Tiki Farm mugs. Then I bought some more. I put up 2 shelves. Then 4. Then 6. Then looking a CC,Bosko,Mai Tiki, Kreepy Tiki and Bula Bula Tiki, I decided to try and carve my own pole (almost done). Now beside the shirts, mugs, books, prints and paintings, I have logs,sawdust and scraps all over my back deck. We are planning a party in a few weeks for the "grand opening" of the Tacky Techie Tiki Bar, I've got the strange feeling my wife is planning an intervention.

Must stop now! Cannnnnnnnnnn't.


My first tiki was a Coco Joe's lava keychain that I bought in Waikiki when I was like 13 years old. I just recently found it in a box of junk and now it guards my VW, hanging on my rear-view mirror.


tiki_kiliki wrote

I don't know if anyone else experiences this but I have a tiki radar! Whenever it goes off inside of me I know a tiki is just around the corner. It may take the next hour to find it but I usually do.

I know exactly what you mean, I dream of tiki's as strange as it sounds when i have a dream featuring a tiki i know when i get up if i go charity shopping they'll be a tiki or tiki mug or at the worst a hard rock hurricane glass. last friday i dreamt of a tiki bar with a king tut head in it, went shopping with my wife and saw a king tut, i knew imediatly to check out some carity shops after only two shops i found a hawaiian inn tiki mug.
it must be this inner tiki-sense that has inabled me to find 12 mugs and 4 tiki's since i found my first in april. Maybe I've been bitten by a radioactive tiki


My late Father started it all for me Tiki-wise. He was a combat veteran, USMC. Just as Sven relates in BOT, he was one of the returning vets that formed the 50-60's craze.

When he died I had a HUGE garage sale. One item was his Mr Bali Hai mug. It went for $5 really fast to a dealer. A few months later I started collecting my mugs. Had to get a replacement Mr Bali Hai, ha ha.

My sister lives in the house now, I went back through an old box of his lp's. Of course, a pristine copy of Denny's "Quiet Village" was right there.

Dad would make this "Artillery Punch", dry ice, paramedics' phone number neaby...the cocktail age, when bridge games were formed to give a respectable edge to a drink-fest.


I got my first Tiki in Honolulu on or about Memorial Day 2000.It is a Ku Tiki-God of Strength made of simulated lava. Whoopee!

First of all, I think a good majority of us are envious of Al & Shelys collection.

I can't remember NOT having something...a Kahiki mug, ashtray, matches, napkins & necklace. A New Zealand Air key chain brougt back from my aunt when I was 4. All treasured items.

And then there was the music...(you'll laugh). Lawrence Welk with Buddy Merrill and the LP was called "Sounds of the Islands".

I always wanted to live in a paradise that I had only read about.

Still have all of my stuff...except the Kahiki ashtray - can't find it, think it got broken my my brother and my folks just havent told me yet. They keep saying "It'll turn up...it's still around here...blah, blah, blah."
Yeah, right.

Good topic.

Got a great wooden wall hanging profile of a moai at a yard sale in Culver City for $1! In my book anything over a foot long for a $1 is a bargin!


First Tiki? This past Sunday, yard sale, Bridgenorth, ON, 50 cents. I think it's just a homemade tiki mug or something cheesy like that (no maker marks). But it's tiki nonetheless. I had to have it.

Where did it start? I'm a Canadian addicted to universal health care and I hate the cold. So I gotta have a little tiki paradise in my basement to keep me from going beachbum and moving south.

Maybe it was the south seas themes at disney World when I was ten. Maybe it was the constant craving for a fruity drink all this summer. Maybe it was the memories that almost appear fabricated of a cartoon on TV that was based on tiki's. Maybe its because I was obsessed with Easter Island and Thor Heyerdal (sp.?) when I was in grade 5. Perhaps it's because I'm also a wrestling fan and was amazed by the Samoan's and Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka. Or maybe it's because my other obsession demands that I build a castle from stone by hand and learn to joust and swordfight.

But I think it's ultimately because I look so darn good in a hawaiian shirt that I might as well have the surroundings to wear it in.


I found my first TIKI when I was about 8 at Big Corona (Corona del Mar State Beach). I remember I was body-surfing and I stepped on something. I grabbed it with my toes and pulled up a cool looking Pink and Blue TIKI on a chain. Nobody told me, but I always new it was good luck! I have carried it around all these years in my jewelery box. I just remembered it about a month ago and dusted it off and have been wearing it ever since.

I got my first tiki last year, a Munktiki mug - Goateeki. Thought it was the coolest thing on the planet. Of course he became lonesome up there on the shelf, so now he has about 2 dozen other tiki mug friends to party with while I'm out. (They do that, you know.)

It just occured to me that one anagram of "Tiki Lounge" is "I go nut-like". Hmmm.

[ Edited by: TikiMikey on 2002-09-06 00:25 ]

Pages: 1 27 replies