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Surf Monkey, aka Chango, aka Tijuana Surf Icon

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Surfboards13 of 18Vintage  Russell Surf Boardcruzan rum
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Posted 5 years ago


(1 item)

The Tijuana SURF MONKEY.
An irregularly painted, plaster-of-paris bank, 12 inches tall, 15 inches long, 9 inches wide.
Aka Chango. Decades ago he roamed the borderlands of Tijuana in great numbers. Today he is an endangered species.
I have been researching his origins for years now, and have turned up little. He has a following on the web and in the surf community.

Unsolved Mystery

Help us close this case. Add your knowledge below.


  1. SurfMonkeyFan, 5 years ago
    Does anyone know the origin of the Tijuana Surf Monkey? From the research I've done, I've learned he originated back in the late 1960's, and he was part of a series of other monkeys (Golf Monkey, Motorcycle Monkey, etc.). There are probably five to 20 "factories" in Tijuana that made him, and each has its own mold, and they all stole it from each other, and no one know who made it first.
    I heard there was a company called Progressive Arts that used to make a monkey collection back in the 1960s & 70s, but I don't know anything about who they are/were.
    Any clues?
  2. Dan121156 Dan121156, 5 years ago
    I have no idea about the monkey... But that look on his face is priceless! I just love it... Don't we all have days we feel like that? :-)
  3. rocker-sd rocker-sd, 5 years ago
    Hi, and welcome to collectors weekly show and tell site. Back in the sixties and seventies Baja was a popular surf distination. Some one probably decided to cash in on the crowd. I would say it would be hard to attribute to any one maker because there were hundreds of small mom and pop casting shops making plaster novelties like these and selling to the gringo tourist. Anything vintage surf is collectible today, including this monkey.

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