Life with Action Figures
    Category: Forbes Life By : Sonya Angraini Read : 1610 Date : Sunday, January 12, 2014 - 06:16:15


    Ahmad Zamroni / Forbes Indonesia

    From the outside, the Droids Coffee n' Grill looks like another ordinary café in the trendy Kemang area of Jakarta. Its menu is also fairly standard, such as burgers and fries. What's special lines the walls of the café, with rows of toy action figures in a glass cabinet on one wall. Next to the cashier is a framed picture of Iron Man signed by the actor himself, Robert Downey Jr. A narrow set of stairs in the back leads to the second floor store Toyzone, which sells more action figures, but mostly it is a display of hundreds of not-for-sale toys and action figures assembled by Droids café owner Riza Satyagraha. The figures range from small to large, including a life-sized Darth Maul and Transformer robot. It also has a large diorama showing a Star Wars-inspired battle between the Jedi and the Sith. The characters sold at the Toyzone shop are largely from Star Wars, but it also sells figures based on other franchises, such as the Predator movies. 

    One may think the toys were collected to decorate the café, but the history is reversed. The café arose out of a need for Riza to find a place to store and display his growing personal collection. As the size of his collection grew, Riza decided to open a place where people can gather and hang out while looking at a display of action figures. So in 2009, he opened the Droids Coffee n' Grill. Droids, a short name for androids, is one of the major categories of villains in the Star Wars franchise. Around 90% of his entire collection of about 1,000 items is displayed at the shop. The display in the café, Riza says, is changed periodically to renew interest in the venue. He also adds to the display as other collectors are allowed to show off items from their collections in the café for free for a limited time.

    Riza started collecting action figures as a kid, mostly as toys. His collections at that time were Star Wars characters. His love for Star Wars started when he watched the movie for the first time while he was in elementary school. However, he lost most of them when he moved houses. Riza didn't think about collecting again until he came across hobby stores selling Star Wars and other action figures in Melbourne in 2000, when he was taking his master degree.

    This discovery was enough to rekindle his love for Star Wars figures and to start collecting again. “This time is more serious. It's not merely for toys but also for long-term investment,”



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