Balance and Friends: Kristo aka @talesofwhatever!

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To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.
-Elliott Erwitt

If there’s one thing that toy photography has done, it would be how it’s changed my perspective on everything around me. Suddenly everything that seemed so normal has transformed into something interesting. My front lawn is suddenly a plateau, the (terribly messy) garage is now a grungy alley, and a puddle is a lake.

It’s these things that most of the other toy photographers that I follow have used to their advantage to create captivating pictures. Tales of Whatever here is another one of the Toy Photographers that I admire and I also asked him for an interview!


Like many other recent toy photographers, he’s become one that I’ve really come to admire due to their creative methods on capturing their figures. Kristo is also located in Indonesia. This is something that I’ve noticed as I began to chat amongst other toy photographers… a lot of them seem to either be from Indonesia, Singapore, or the Philippines! Anyway, let’s get started with how Kristo came up with his username!

Milla Maxwell

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Is there a story behind the @talesofwhatever username that you chose? It used to be different in the past, right?

Because I love Tales Series games, which all the titles started with “Tales Of”. I added “whatever” because I like all of them. They’re never boring. Even Zestiria, which is… ugh… still fun to play. It is my nick name on this toyphoto acc so it has never been different. Before I had another IG acc @kristo_81 to post pics of vinyl records collections, but I stopped buying records. Their prices is going crazy. And all money goes to figures haha.

(Ah, that might explain why I thought it was different before ahaha… perhaps I was thinking of another toy photographer!)

Harakiri 💀💀💀

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How did you start collecting figures?

Got hooked up in collecting figures because I decided to buy the Katsura Hinagiku nendoroid. I love the nendo as I really love her character as well. After that, I just cannot stop buying nendoroids. And then I started collecting figma and scales. At that time, I also stopped buying gaming consoles and games. And so I have spare money from my salaries.

Touma: oh nooo my save data files is corrupted. Miku: sux to be you ;p Touma: Fukoudaaaa!!

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How long have you been collecting them?

Started collecting figure not that long ago, around year 2011. In my younger days I did not collect them; but play with them. I bought McFarlane Metal Gear Solid figure on early 00′ without knowing it was collectible figure. Played with them until it broke hah..


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Which style of figures you prefer (nendoroid, scaled figure, figma, etc)?

That’s a hard question… But probably scale figs. The reason is because of the details of the fig, paint job and the finishing is most of the time more superior compared to figmas and nendos. And without any joints it made them looks even better. They look really good on my display shelf too! And those details also looks very good in the photo. And I am not very good in posing figures. It is really hard to make the poses looks natural. The downside is that it obviously limits flexibility in toyphotograpy. So I need to be more creative in set-up and lighting.

Which figure manufacturer do you like the most?

Hard question again.. maybe… Alter. Their scale figure’s quality is superb and they quite often release the scale figure of characters that I like . Kotobukiya is more often to release the characters that I like but do not match to Alter’s quality. Though I have more Koto figs than Alter because they release more characters that I like. But they both don’t release nendoroid which I also love haha.

Different shot angle from the previous post 😅✌️ #KillLaKill #ryukomatoi

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Where do you normally go to purchase your figures?

Pre-order at local stores. It’s cheaper. But if I want some fig that already has been released, I buy at Ami Ami, Mandarake, Jungle, etc. Because of the more wide range of selections.

How do you decide whether or not you want a certain figure?

Most of the time is because it’s the characters I like. And the quality must at least be tolerable. Some game prize figs are good enough in my opinion. But older game prize fig releases are so terrible, even I like the character, it does not tempt me. Sometimes I buy some figs because I like the design, the nendo have faceplate and accesories that I like, the quality’s very good, etc… but not often because less attachment to the charterers.

Lol luckily se did not get electrocuted 😓 hahahas 😅😅

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Which figure do you treasure the most?

GSC’s Tenshi scale fig (the Ascii Media Works ones) because it’s beautiful fig and I love the character very much. I love Kuudere characters.


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Any figures you’re looking forward to at the moment?

Alter’s Tales of Zestiria Edna 1/8

A character from the video game Tales of Zestiria. Tales of Zestiria  marked the 20th anniversary title for the Tales series. So much hype for this game. But after playing it, the gameplay, the battle system was, in my opinion, mediocre at best. So much disappointment. But Edna saved the game haha.

Everybody loves popping bubble wraps 😅

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When did you start taking pictures of your figures and why?

Not long after I bought my first nendo and then I saw people taking pic of figs on Instagram. It was around late 2011. I decided to do that and it was fun. I use iPhone 4 at that time.

The b-side shot of Shinobu pic I uploaded few days ago. #bakemonogatari #shinobuoshino #kyuuketsuki

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Do you have a plan before taking a picture of your figures?

Most of the time it was spontaneous. So unlike other great figure photographers who thought the concept and making the set-ups before taking the pic. But sometimes I did think of how I will take pic of the figure when I decided  pre-order it, though not often.

Hiei of Kongou class battleship #hiei #yuyuhakusho

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Have you taken any classes for photography?

Nope. But my brother taught me some very basic knowledge. But still I don’t know much bout theories bout photography.

Is there anyone in the toy photography community you look up to?

Animaster, Nikki, AllgroassaiVince, Kixkillradio, lovepinkcheeks, Anime_fusion, _ant_Valiant_, NYOtakuSystem Error, Koko, Eyeland, Avanaut, The One Cam, Hinagiku and many more….

BUURRRNNNN #killLaKill #ryuukomatoi

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Do you feel that you have something you need to improve on? If so, what is it and how do you plan to overcome that obstacle?

Building diorama, finding good spots, outdoor and indoor lightnings, more knowledge bout photography, photo concept. I almost gave up in building dioramas so I mostly buy commissioned ones lol

Also finding good spots. I have to force myself to go out. I work full time and my only time to find the spots is during weekend, but I prefer watching anime and playing video games during that time lmao.

Outdoor and indoor lightnings and more knowledge bout photography I most of the time ask someone who is more knowledgeable such as @valiant_ And I should read more photo concept. Well since my habit is to not think much bout concept first and do it spontaneously, it would probably hard to change that. But yeah I probably should try take more time to think of the themes, read and search more references, etc.

Stylistic Hitagi 😆✌️✌️

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What’s your favorite game/movie/anime of all time? Does it affect your decision making towards purchasing figures as well?

  • Game: Tales series.
  • Movie: Reservoir Dogs
  • Anime: Angel Beats!

And yup definitely affecting in making decisions in purchasing figs. But Reservoir Dogs figs mostly sells in US, which means the shipping cost usually will be more expensive than the fig and hard to find in Asia…

“Help Im drowning! I Cant swim!” Happy monday to everybody on the east 😅 #watamote #tomoko

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So… that’s that. Thank you for those of you who read up until till here. And, of course, thank you very much for the interview.

Indeed, that certainly is it! Thank you ever so much Kristo for participating in my interview~ Like all the other photographers I’ve interviewed, I look forward to seeing more of your works!

Be sure to check out @Talesofwhatever’s Instagram, My Figure Collection profile, and Flickr accounts! (It would also be nice if you followed/added him!)

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