Tiki Mug Guide For Tiki Oasis
July 28 – August 1, 2021
Tiki Oasis is fast approaching, and with it comes the excitement and trepidation of multiple Tiki mug releases. That’s why The Search for Tiki has created this guide to help you obtain your mug successfully, while still enjoying your vacation. Unlike online mug releases, mug collectors will not be dependent on fast internet connections to score a mug. Still, it helps to be prepared if you have your heart set on a particular cocktail mug.
The official event mug for Tiki Oasis San Diego in 2021 is inspired by a 1962 Riki Tiki that used to sit on top of the Town and Country Resort’s hotel pavilion. It depicts a Tiki face with a multicolored lid and flame topper. The mug was sculpted by John Mulder and manufactured by Eekum Bookum. For those unfamiliar with John, his team has produced some of the most sought after and collectible Tiki mugs of all time.
Deluxe evening resort passholders will automatically receive the Tiki Oasis commemorative 2021 Tiki mug as part of their admission. Those passes have since sold out, but there is a chance additional mugs will be available for purchase in person at the event. The retail value of each mug is estimated to be around $150.
John Mulder will be present Saturday for mug signings. He will also be selling raffle tickets for a matching cocktail bowl, which we presume will be a very difficult to obtain 1/1 art piece based on the commemorative mug.
The Tiki Oasis Marketplace
Most mug releases will occur on resort grounds at the Tiki Oasis Marketplace. Dozens of venders will be gathered together to sell their tropical inspired wares, including aloha shirts, jewlery, and art prints. For the purpose of this guide, we’ll be focusing on the vendors offering ceramic cocktail mugs. The marketplace is open on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, but it is only open to the public on two of those dates.
Friday, July 30
3:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Weekend tickets are required.
Saturday, July 31
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Open to the public!
Sunday, August 1
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Open to the public!
The Marketplace is located in the Golden State Ballroom at the Town and Country Resort on 500 Hotel Cir N, San Diego, CA 92108. Parking is $10 per day per vehicle and there is no RV parking. Parking can get limited so plan in advance and consider taking the Trolley or other public transportation. Uber and Lyft have been short staffed lately, so it may take additional time to get to the resort.
While some mug vendors may have enough mugs to carry them throughout the weekend, chances are at least one of the mug vendors will sell out early. For the best possible selection, we recommend visiting your favorite artist first and early. A line will start forming outside of the marketplace before it officially opens. Here are some of the vendors (in alphabetical order) attending Tiki Oasis in 2021 and what they will likely have available at their booth:
AbiNormal Tikis is bringing a ton of new offerings to the Marketplace. From pampered cats dressed in aloha wear to one off versions of Tiki Bob interpreted as a diver, they will have unique mugs that cannot be found anywhere else. Crazy tentacles and bright glazes help differentiate AbiNormal Tiki mugs from the rest of the pack. They will even have mugs based on alien-like creatures referred to as “Spirits of the Forest”.
Although Biggs Tiki may be a newcomer to Tiki Oasis, he is no stranger to the Tiki community. Mike Biggs has a distinct style all his own. Biggs Tiki will have several mugs available for purchase, including the Swamp Creeper, which depicts the Creature from the Black Lagoon cruising around in a bumper car. Mugs featuring Moais, mummies, and even Medusa, will all make an appearance, along with new t-shirts, art prints, and mai tai glasses, oh my!
Ceramics By Carol
Some of the most detailed and authentic Tiki mugs will be at Carol’s booth (known as @minitikimeow on Instagram). She is debuting a brand new Tiki mug inspired by her great friend TikiRob, which depicts Rob in his outrageous Tiki costume. It is named Kamau. Carol will also have PNG Kundu drum mugs for sale with unique handles.
A limited number of Doug Horne’s newest mug design, the Desert Marquesan, will be available at the Marketplace, along with 2nd Edition Rum Cat mugs and Boozin’ Baboons! Doug is also well known for his original art prints that can be found inside Tiki bars across the United States and he’ll be vending directly next to Tiki favorite Fancy Fruits!
Home Aloha Company will have fifteen Guardian Idol mugs on hand at the Tiki Oasis Marketplace, with a mix of green and yellow interior glazes. Guardian Idol features a waterproof “fish float” style green LED light. They are hand glazed by Jim Moore of Moore Monsters. The Home Aloha Company has multiple booth spaces at Tiki Oasis, so we imagine the Guardian Idol mugs are just the tip of the iceberg for them.
Johnnie Velour Ceramics
Most Tiki mugs these days are made using a ceramic process known as slipcasting, in which plaster molds are made and multiple mugs are produced from a single design. Johnnie Velour on the other hand makes cocktail mugs using an old fashioned pottery wheel. He creates beautiful and unique 1/1 art pieces. No two mugs are alike. He will also have bottles, coasters, and swizzle sticks at his booth.
Ken Ruzic will have a plethora of hand painted mugs and bowls with him at Tiki Oasis. He’s been painting and exhibiting since 1990 and is a frequent collaborator with Southern California based artists Doug Horne and BigToe for the Gargantuas Art Collective. A new Nightmarchers ceramic bowl is in the works, but it may or may not be completed in time for Tiki Oasis San Diego. Only time will tell!
Kon-Tigo Tiki Bar
Kon-Tigo Tiki Bar has a new Hawaiian Village Tapa Punch mug sculpted and produced by Outl1n3 Island that will debut at Tiki Oasis. Attendees at their sumposium will have first access to the limited edition mug, but if mugs are still available after the symposium then they will go on sale Sunday at the Kon-Tigo Trading Post booth in the Tiki Oasis Marketplace. The mug is a tribute to Harry Yee and The Hawaiian Village Tapa Bar.
The work of Jim Moore/Moore Monsters is beloved by monster movie fans. They make mugs depicting creatures such as The Creature from the Black Lagoon, Alien, Cyclops, and the Zuni Fetish Warrior. In addition to mugs, Moore Monsters will also have for sale a Martian table lamp inspired by Mars Attacks!
Although Oakwash has become a well known name within the Tiki community, Tiki Oasis will be Omar and Tristan’s first time vending at a large scale Tiki event. They are packing dozens of handmade mugs from Louisiana into their booth, including several super limited editions of their most popular mugs. The Skullcano will have a new lava variant, the turtle shell will come in a classic Les Paul guitar glaze, and the Liki Tiki has a new glaze that practically glows.
Odd Rodney offers some of the cleanest ceramic wares at any event. His love and dedication to the craft is apparent in all of his pieces. For Tiki Oasis, Rodney will debut an all new cylindrical Tiki mug in addition to new glazes on some of his most popular designs. He is sharing a booth with Ceramics by Carol. His popular Mod Bob design was a collaboration with Carol, and it will be available in Mid Century Modern inspired blue and green colors.
David Outl1n3 has been sculpting for over a decade and started vending Tiki events in 2013. In addition to working on a mug for Kon-Tigo Tiki Bar, David will be vending his own wares at the Tiki Oasis Marketplace. He has prepared dozens of mugs for the event in multiple different designs. Tiki mugs, pufferfish mugs, and mugs with masks will all be available in rustic, matte glazes that give the appearance of weathered wood.
Tiki Farm is the world’s largest manufacturer of Tiki mugs! They will likely have a wide selection of affordable cocktail mugs, but for us the highlight of their 2021 booth will be the new Other mug designed by artist BigToe, also known as Tom Laura. It depicts the bust of Frankenstein’s Monster dressed to impress with Maori style face tattoos and it has a matte green glaze with a black wipe. It was on display at Tiki Oasis in Arizona, but it has not yet been available for purchase… until now, that is!
Tikiland Trading Co.
Tikiland Trading Co. will have at least two limited edition mugs available at their Tiki Oasis booth. The first mug, named “Captain at the Helm”, is a continuation of THOR’s pirate mug series. The second mug, Floral Tiki Goddess, was designed by Critterosity and it depicts a beautiful wahine with flowers in her hair. We imagine Tiki tOny, THOR, and Jeff Granito will have plenty of other surprises as well!
Tiki Rob will most likely have the longest line of any mug vendor at Tiki Oasis. If you want to score one of his mugs, you will need to arrive early. Rob is very well known for his ceramic mugs made on the island of Maui. His mugs are authentic, hand painted, and highly sought after. This year he will have several 1/1 PNG mask mugs inspired by art found in Disney’s Adventureland. TikiRob’s kids will also be selling unique Pufferfish mugs from Rob’s booth on Saturday, July 31.
Tiki Tiki Monster
Tiki Tiki Monster is a dynamic duo from SoCal inspired by Tiki culture, mugs, and drinks! They will have several original designs on hand, including a complete turtle bowl and a Moai head that has a scenic palm tree mural on its back side. Tiki Tiki Monster also created a 2nd Edition Sunken Explosivo Keg mug for Tahiti Gil Trading, which is inspired by Pirates of the Caribbean and is available for preorder through Tahiti Gil’s website with pick-up in San Diego.
Towanda Tikis, designed and sculpted by Denise Saffren, will have four custom painted “Queens” at her booth. One of the mugs may be raffled. Each Queen is fired and glazed black inside, so that they can still be used for cocktail consumption. The exterior of each mug is painted using acrylic paints with a clear acrylic top coat. The mugs were manufactured by Tiki Bauer in California. Towanda Tikis may also have some Tiki pendants available for purchase!
Woody Milley (@woodyworld on Instagram) is a California based artist inspired by the carvings, rituals, and aesthetics of Pacific Island artwork and patterns. He will have numerous mugs for sale at Tiki Oasis, including lava dripped Moai heads and purple cephalopods. Many of his mugs are 1/1 pieces with unique glazes and barnacles.
Mugs Outside Of Tiki Oasis
While most of the action this weekend will occur at Tiki Oasis, there are some significant mug releases happening elsewhere. False Idol has some mugs dropping to coincide with the event, SHAG is splitting his time between two different Tiki events, and the release of Disney’s Jungle Cruise movie is sure to cause some waves. Here’s what to know:
Releasing ahead of Tiki Oasis this year is a new cocktail mug from Stowaway Tiki designed by artist BigToe, also known as Tom Laura. It depicts a cheeky monkey crushing waves on a surboard. The mug will be released in person at the bar on Tuesday, July 27, around 5:00pm PDT. Tom will be in attendance at the release to sign mugs.
False Idol in San Diego has two mug releases planned that coincide with Tiki Oasis this year. On Thursday, July 29, a Fifth Anniversary Mug by MP Ceramics will be released. Only the first 100 mugs (with a total edition of 200) will be sold with a limit of one mug per customer. On Friday, July 30th, False Idol will release a limited edition glaze of Bosko’s Maori mug. Reservations for both dates have sold out.
The artist SHAG will be splitting his time this weekend between Tiki Oasis (Thursday and Sunday) and the Big Kahuna Bash (Friday and Saturday). He designed an exclusive mug for Grumpy’s Big Kahuna Bash in Minneapolis that will be available in two color-ways and sold to in-person attendees first. Any leftover mugs will be sold online after the event.
Rumor is that Trader Sam’s will join Club 33 in celebrating the release of Disney’s Jungle Cruise film this week with some new Tiki mugs. The film’s official release date is Friday, July 30. Although an official release date has not yet been announced for a new Jungle Cruise mug at Trader Sam’s, it seems likely that a mug could drop on Friday.
While there will be plenty of mugs to go around, the chances of everyone getting exactly what they want are pretty slim. Please be kind and remember that many of the 1/1 mugs available for purchase took artists hours to create. They have spent months working long hours to produce as many mugs as they can. While it can be disappointing to miss out on a mug, The Search for Tiki wouldn’t be nearly as fun if obtaining art was always easy.
We are looking forward to seeing everyone at Tiki Oasis San Diego and we will continue to update this guide as more mugs and artists are announced!