Issues of Room Services:


Rizky Syahputra

It has been over a decade since I met Rizky Syahputra. I witnessed him buying half a rack of Blu-ray discs in the course of half an hour at our local shop back when we were living in Chatswood, Sydney, Australia. I have also heard the story of him "emptying" a wall of a comic store. I was under the impression that he was just a hardcore movies and comics lover; I was wrong, well, half wrong.

He is actually much more than just a movie lover; he is a comic book purist and an aficionado of toys, discs, football jerseys, and video games. After over a decade of friendship with Rizky, I recently learned that he possesses extensive knowledge in pop culture, ranging from Marvel, Star Wars, Power Rangers, to Mortal Kombat, just to name a few.

During this opportunity, Detlef Schrempf was taken on a tour of two different places and had an incredible time capturing Rizky's extraordinary collections. We hope you will enjoy this episode of ROOMSERVICE!

Words, Interview & Photography by Detlef Schrempf (2023)

Room Service

How did you get 'trapped' in this world of collecting? There must be something that captivated you and led you into this rather 'addictive' realm. Could you share a bit of your story/background?

I got trapped in this world of collecting, thanks to my parents. When I was a kid in the early to mid-'90s, my dad and my late mom used to buy me things like GI Joe, Turtles, Police Academy, MOTU, Marvel, and Captain Planet, among others. There might have been a gap between 1996/1997 and 2000 when I stopped buying toys since my parents considered that I should stop collecting them, but early 2000s stuff like Pokemon trading cards and toys pulled me back in. Since 2003, I have been fully immersed in this poisonous but wonderful world of collecting.

It was always a challenge to find good collectibles when you were growing up in the '90s and '00s, especially before we had all the fancy online marketplaces we have today. Could you share what it felt like to collect in that era?

Yes, it might have been more difficult to get toys back in the '90s or early '00s since there were no fancy online marketplaces like there are right now. But I just realized that's the fun part of hunting. My most favorite places in the '90s were Hoya and Petra Toys, and if I was lucky and on holiday, some toy shops abroad as well. Every time I bought toys, I always kept the packaging to serve as a checklist of the figures that I was about to hunt for on my next trip to that store or another place, and also to note which toys were almost impossible to find in the stores that I visited.

Seeing your massive collection of action figures, I can only imagine how you can remember each and every single one of them. I learned that you have a story behind posing your action figures. Could you share how you normally do the posing?

Yes, that's correct! Actually, most of the lines of figures that I collect now are my efforts to rebuild the collection that I had when I was a kid. Unfortunately, I lost most of it. Even though it's now in its modern form, I'm glad that I can still have Marvel, GI Joes, Power Rangers, Star Wars, and MOTU items around me, but I still need to start on the Police Academy collection - that's what I'm eyeing up next, lol.

For pose inspiration, it's mostly based on the material I read or watch about the characters I'm posing. For example, since I've been reading Marvel comics and collecting them in physical form since 2002, I think their battle poses or even vanilla poses come up naturally in my mind and influence how I pose them on the shelf.

I am sure it's a tough job to come up with just only four, but please help me list four of your most favorite items in your collection and tell us the stories behind them.

1. Dragon Man (ToyBiz, 2006). This figure is one of my favorites because when I decided to complete my Marvel Legends collection in 2011, Dragon Man was the last one I needed to finish it. I love the detailed sculpt of this beast. Many forums stated that this is also the rarest Marvel Legends made for retail, as it was produced when Hasbro had already taken over the Marvel Legends license from ToyBiz, resulting in a very limited production.

I used to collect only X-Men figures and Marvel movie figures in Legends form from 2004 up until 2011. Everything changed when I studied abroad with Mr. Detlef himself and visited the Parramatta Collectables Fair in 2011. The rest is history. (Images below)

2. Cyclops (Hasbro, 2014). This figure represents the coolest moment of Cyclops in Marvel comics history. He was imprisoned for a crime he committed, but from my point of view, what he did was because of his loyalty to the X-Men and mutant kind in general, unlike Wolverine, who became a traitor in the Avengers vs X-Men comics back in 2012. The X-mark costume was worn by Cyclops after he was freed from prison by Magneto and his loyalists, and this, for me, is the most badass form of Cyclops in terms of costume, attitude, and the ideology he stands for. (Image below)

Spider-Man Tobey Maguire & Andrew Garfield (Hasbro, 2023). This is actually my son's choice, but I know why he chose it. Released in 2023, this modern figure from the No Way Home line was a significant upgrade from the Tobey Spidey figures I got back in 2004 and the Andrew Spidey figures I acquired in 2014. The pinless body, along with the intricate detailing and fun articulations, makes these two possibly among the best Marvel Legends released in 2023. (Image below)

Professor X (Hasbro, 2019). This is also my son's choice, and it has been his favorite since he got it at the time of its release back in 2019. He loves the ease with which we can assemble and disassemble the hover chair, and this version represents the definitive and most iconic look of him. This Professor X is also my favorite as it reflects the one we knew from the animated series in the early '90s, which I consider the best era for the X-Men, with all those flashy Jim Lee designs that were immortalized not just in the comics but also in the thriving animated series and merchandise around the world at that time. (Image below)

It was an absolute delight for me to have the opportunity to visit Rizky's place and witness his comprehensive collection. From an impressive array of action figures to a library of comic books, his passion for collecting was evident in every corner of his home. The shelves were adorned with meticulously arranged toys, while the cabinet proudly housed an assortment of football jerseys, alongside rows of neatly organized Blu-ray discs and CDs. It was a true testament to his commitment and love for the various forms of entertainment that have shaped his life.

Walking through the meticulously curated rooms, I couldn't help but appreciate the dedication and enthusiasm reflected in Rizky's collection. Each item seemed to hold a story, a memory, or a piece of his heart. It was a journey through not just a display of objects but a visual narrative of his life experiences and the things that had brought him joy and inspiration. The blend of nostalgia and contemporary treasures painted a vivid picture of his diverse interests in pop-culture and served as a reflection of his vibrant knowledge about what he collects.

Room Service is always about featuring people with a deep passion for their collections, which often hold more value than mere monetary worth due to the stories behind them. In my opinion, Rizky is one of those rare collectors who comprehends the background tales of his collections. It is safe to say that he is a pure geek and a true pop culture enthusiast. I enjoyed every minute of preparing this article. Once again, thank you to Rizky Syahputra and his family, Melissa and Rashya, for their hospitality.

Detlef Schrempf keep searching for spaces / rooms like this; and if you got any recommendations please let us know: @detlef.scrempf