Written by | Deep Dive, Featured


With the start of a new year comes the start of a brand new Community Deep Dive series here at Exclu Magazine and last week we kicked things off by taking a closer look at the works of Jared Middleton and Ruben Martin Milan and this week we talk to Brian Rungkat who is more widely known via his handle @akirajo9. Brian takes it from here :

Part 1: Collecting

What does your collection comprise mainly of (Character / Brand / Manufacturer etc.)?

A bit all over the place. I have some that I rarely take pictures of but basically stuff that I grew up with…stuff such as Kamen Rider, Ultraman and those super robots along with Marvel and D are stuffs that I grew up watching and reading.


When did you really start to get into collecting? Were you surrounded by figures from a young age or has something more recent triggered it?

I have always loved action figures ever since I was a kid and had quite a collection before I stopped during university. So, when I am able to buy my own figure, I kinda rekindle my love for action figures.

What are your Top 3 favourite items in your collection?

That would be hard to answer, but SHMonsterarts Godzilla’95 would be one of them. Sometimes, I just look at it and it inspires me to do more Kaiju shots.

At times, its hard for me to put down Mezco Sovereign Batman as I’ve always loved the bats and thought Mezco did a real good job with this one.


Lastly, would actually be Mezco Punisher – Always inspired just by playing with it. In fact I have so many version of it (customised) and so many different heads, so many possibilities, I love it.


What is that one Grail pieces that continues to elude you?

That would be the Mezco TDKR Batman and Mutant Leader set. That battle damaged batman is a sight to behold but the prices are a bit crazy at the moment.

Which 3 items do you hope to add to your collection over the next year?

I cant wait for Sentinel’s Flame Toys Optimus Prime, 1000Toys’ Devil May Cry (both Dante and Nero) are the other two I am real excited about.


Flame Toys Optimus Prime

Part 2: Toy Photography 

How long have you actively been sharing your Toy Photography online?

I think I started around 2016, so roughly 3 years


Our community is always growing – what advice would you give to those who always worry about having to be original in every shot?

Originality is important but I think every artist has their own style and no two pictures are the same anyway. Don’t worry too much, someone probably already took the shot that you wanted to take but in that case, do not worry just come up with ur own interpretation.


Do you like to use digital editing techniques or do you prefer to keep to practical methods?

With no knowledge of digital editing techniques, it gives me no option but to keep my methods practical.

However, I completely love the idea of practical methods as it keeps me thinking outside the box and keeps me motivated to create scenes using whatever I have available.

What is your go to figure / line that you find yourself shooting above anything else in your collection?

That would have to be SHMonsterarts. Sometimes I just feel like shooting kaiju’s wreaking havoc, its fun and when done right can be quite satisfying. In addition, not many are doing kaiju pics these days.

What is your favourite thing about being an active member of the Social Media Toy Community?

Looking at other’s work and being inspired by it. Theres so many talented photographers out there and there is bound to be something new that I can learn from.

Part 02b. Toy Photography – Exclusive Image


I created this image as a tribute to Luke Skywalker and I was also inspired from my excitement for The Rise of Skywalker, so I wanted to recreate some scenery that resembles that of the Jedi Island. So I used my old man Luke from SHFiguarts and used some 1/6th base diorama pieces  (I can not remember where its from) and grabbed a couple of Porgs from the Black Series line.

I took this shot using my Sony A7 with FE 90mm f2.8 Macro G OSS lens. SS 4 sec as f/3.2, ISO 64.   

I put some Porgs on the base of a broken statue accessory and everything is posed to be as natural as possible and placed strategically to make the picture contained. I also added polyester fill across the lens and a few of my customized “fog” effects to make it more like the fogs you’d see in comics. Using my tv as my background and set the light to resemble the background and making it all blend.

A huge thank you to Brian for chatting to us in another Deep Dive feature. Be sure to keep up-to date on all of his work via his Instagram page @akirajo9 and keep it locked to Exclu for more Community Deep Dive’s alongside the latest news and previews.

Last modified: January 17, 2020

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