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Tiki Central Forums Collecting Tiki Mug/Dinnerware Manufacturer's Catalogs
Mug/Dinnerware Manufacturer's Catalogs
LOL Tiki
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Joined: Sep 06, 2007
Posts: 932
From: San Diegoish
Posted: 2007-12-20 12:08 pm   Permalink

It occurs to me that once-upon-a-time when Tiki Restaurateurs needed to order or reorder mugs, glass-ware, s&p shakers, dinner-ware, etc. they probably had catalogs from Otagiri, Orchids, Daga, etc. from which to select the needed items. If this were the case, some of these catalogs must be floating around in collectors circles. Has anyone every seen something like this?
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Bay Park Buzzy
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Joined: Apr 07, 2006
Posts: 2828
From: West Bay Park, San Diego, CA
Posted: 2007-12-20 2:33 pm   Permalink

Yes, there were such things available out there:







Buzzy Out!
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LOL Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 06, 2007
Posts: 932
From: San Diegoish
Posted: 2007-12-20 9:53 pm   Permalink

Cool! Pick those up at the swap-meet?

 
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Bay Park Buzzy
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Joined: Apr 07, 2006
Posts: 2828
From: West Bay Park, San Diego, CA
Posted: 2007-12-21 01:19 am   Permalink

No, borrowed it from someone who had it and started doing some high quality scans of it. Never did all of both. Here's a few more pages I managed to do:











Buzzy Out!
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TabooDan
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Joined: Jul 18, 2004
Posts: 641
From: BC, Canada
Posted: 2007-12-21 08:15 am   Permalink

Hey, Thanks alot for posting the pictures of the Orchid of Hawaii catalog!! Great to see all the designs and also the addition of the fiberglass masks and carvings!

Now we gotta see an Otagiri (OMC) Catalog!! Someone's gotta have one!! Or what about a Westwood, Napcoware or Fred Roberts!!
Thanks again for the pic's!! TabooDan


 
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sneakyjack
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 25, 2004
Posts: 1028
From: NYC Area
Posted: 2007-12-21 09:38 am   Permalink

this link had the same idea
http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=25217&forum=10&hilite=orchids%20of%20hawaii
but I think the link to blog is down - I printed it out (before it went down) good times - it had good recipes along with pricing on mugs shirts wall stuff...


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bigbrotiki
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Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11088
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2007-12-21 11:25 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-12-21 01:19, Bay Park Buzzy wrote:





Arrgh, ouch, take it away! These pages could be from the text book of TIKI DEVOLUTION, the way these Tikis have been cheesily painted, badly designed, and generally misunderstood...not even good "bad", just bad "bad".

I am not knocking you posting them, Buzzy, historically they are interesting, but they are definite examples of Tiki culture on its way out.
"Half the cost of originals!" "Your customers will love them!"


 
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Bay Park Buzzy
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Joined: Apr 07, 2006
Posts: 2828
From: West Bay Park, San Diego, CA
Posted: 2007-12-21 1:01 pm   Permalink

More catalog pages:







Here's a 1997 flyer/catalog addressed to the Bali Hai. Extra provenance!


Buzzy out!

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LOL Tiki
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Joined: Sep 06, 2007
Posts: 932
From: San Diegoish
Posted: 2007-12-21 3:45 pm   Permalink

It's interesting to see how many other items beyond mugs and glassware were offered by Orchids.
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bigbrotiki
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Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11088
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2007-12-29 4:07 pm   Permalink

Actually, that is not even half of the Orchids catalog. Tiki mugs just made up a tiny percentage of their offerings. More than anything they were a Chinese restaurant supplies importer with endless pages filled with stuff like this:



That is the reason why many of the 70s/80s Fu-joints on the East coast display all the same fiberglass Tikis and boxy bamboo lamps, ...not much of an individual creative effort.

I believe that before Orchids moved to their last location in the Bronx in the 80s, they might not have had fully bound catalogs, but ORDERING SHEETS like this one from the late 60s:



The ephemeral nature of these thermal paper sheets which had color photos of the mugs merely stapled onto them might be the very reason WHY it has been so hard to find any catalogs from Tiki mug companies. It seems that during the heyday of the Tiki restaurant wave, full fledged dinner ware catalogs were not customary, they seemed to have come into use LATER. This to me seems like the most logical reason why after over a decade and a half of mug research almost no leads as to the existence of OTAGIRI MERCANTILE have surfaced.

I have arrived at this conclusion through a recent find. BEHOLD the first example (to my eyes) of the inexplicably elusive, esoteric, exotic and rare OTAGIRI CATALOG:



This one is dated from the tail end of the Tiki craze, 1968



In its cover pages, we do find some hints as to the distribution system of the company.



As we excitedly open its pages...



...elation is quickly replaced by disappointment: Pages of fine Japanese pottery, lots of Ikebana vases, Sake bottles and cups, (and boring white restaurant China)...



... whimsical modernist animal sculptures .....but where are the Tiki mugs?

Not one page shows even a hint of Polynesian decor, but lots of "mod" import wares:



...how gay!



Finally, there appeared two inserts of Tiki mugs, from 1968 and '69. Very few mugs, and all generic.



This shows that also for Otagiri, Tiki mugs were merely a small percentage of their imported Japanese goods, and makes it likely that all mug business transactions, including the designing and ordering of logo Tiki mugs, must have been made on loose paper, the kind of stuff that gets thrown away first when a business closes. The throw away nature of mug sheets is the reason why, I conclude, the quest for Otagiri material has been so unfruitful for such a long time.



This might not be a full blown sensational discovery, as a complete compendium of Tiki mug pottery might have never existed.....but it brings some closure to the enduring mystery of OTAGIRI !

Happy New Year from your big brother



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