'It was awesome': Vancouverites step up to help U.S. tiki mug collector

Jeff Summers has a collection of around 1,500 tiki mugs.

His most recent addition is from Vancouver's Shameful Tiki Room — thanks to a little help from some Canadian strangers.

Summers lives in Tucson, Ariz. He started collecting tiki mugs on family vacations as a teen, but says he "got serious" about 10 years ago.

Earlier this month, the collector heard that the tiki-themed bar on Main Street was selling one-of-a-kind mugs in honour of its fourth anniversary. Summers wanted one, but wasn't able to make the trip north and the bar was only selling the mugs in-house.

Enter Reddit.

Summers reached out to Vancouverites through the online forum, saying he'd wire someone money if they went and bought a mug on his behalf and shipped it south.

Within a few hours, dozens of people had offered to help.

"They totally pulled through," Summers said. "People were like, 'We really gotta help this guy get his mug.'

"It was awesome."

Some replies were from people stepping up to make the purchase, but most were from people gawking at the size of Summers' collection.

"I literally just gasped out loud," one comment read. Summers said that's the most common reaction to his collection.

"It's more than anybody should ever have."

The collector said the tiki-mug community is a big one. Summers has gone to conventions, participated in forums and made some money trading his mugs with people from all over the globe.

His most expensive mug cost him $500.

"It's a neat community. [At conventions,] it's a good spirit. Everyone has similar interests and is really friendly. People just walk around drinking out of their tiki mugs," Summers said.

"I've met amazing people from all over the world, just from having this unique obsession."

Summers said he had total faith in the Canadians that helped him out.

"I've never met one I didn't like,"