A Phygure® Story

What is Phygure®

Phygure® is an online magazine that focuses on toy & figure photography. It was originally a personal project of mine and kind of serves as my “project playground” in teaching myself new stuff both in programming and design. I did a lot of design stuff in the past ranging from motion graphics, the web, and print, but I never really had the chance to design a magazine – until now.

Phygure® Development

Phygure® Maiden Issue ready to be compiled. This is way back November of 2015.

I love toy photography and I regularly take pictures of my collection and share them online. The idea of having my work presented in a cool-looking magazine format makes me excited and motivated to shoot even more pictures. I’m sure we all agree that toy photography is more awesome to look at if it was presented with “style” compared to just viewing it on Facebook or Instagram, not to mention these social media outlets compresses and downscales your images sucking every bit of life out of it (yuck).

That is the moment when I have decided that instead of creating my own personal magazine and using my own boring content (lol), why not use my skills and create an online magazine! Which is for the community, by the community.This will highlight the already popular local toy and figure photography scene even more since we get a chance to compile some of the best work of our fellow hobbyists and assemble them into a nicely presented magazine that everyone can keep, collect, and be proud of.

Developing Phygure®

Birdseye view of all the submissions for Phygure® No.4 Issue 02.

One of my main goals of Phygure® is to feature everyone who contributes content. This will give everyone the opportunity to not only showcase their work, but to also promote their own brand or identity in their blog, Facebook, or Instagram. And yep, no one’s going to be left behind. That doesn’t mean that we will include virtually everything that is being submitted. We will still need to “screen” each submission just to make sure it adheres to common rules like excessive nudity, etc.

Another goal is to be the “first” digital magazine to showcase our local toy and figure photography community. Of course, we’re not limiting the content submissions locally, but we welcome international submissions as well! I’m not sure if this idea was already done before, but I just wanted it to be the “first” to actually reach a wide variety of audiences with a similar passion for toy photography.

Why Digital?

Digital publications are very common these days (Amazon, Zinio) and most people are now using their mobile devices in consuming digital content. Making Phygure® digital cuts off publishing costs and makes everything easier from design, development up to distribution since everything is online. What’s great about Phygure® is the majority of its content will be coming from the community so the possibilities are endless. Of course, I’m still open to the idea (just in case someone shows interest) in making this an “actual” magazine that you can hold in your hand. 😛

Phygure® is available on Apple iBooks and Kobo Bookstore. You can read it on any iOS, Android, and Windows 8 Mobile devices.

Phygure® is available on Apple iBooks and Kobo Bookstore. You can read it on any iOS, Android, and Windows 8 Mobile devices.


Phygure® is available on Apple iBooks and Kobo Bookstore. You can read it on any iOS, Android, and Windows 8 Mobile devices.

Community Driven

Phygure® is designed to be “community driven” just like what I’ve mentioned earlier. There are no deadlines or ETAs, which makes everything easier to manage. The only time we are going to release an issue is if we reached the “content quota” needed for that “specific” issue. The way this is setup right now is that we have a public content repository with the help of Google Drive that is accessible to anyone. That public repository remains “public” until we reach the actual content quota needed to publish an issue. Once we’ve reached that quota, we lock the public repository so that no one is allowed to submit anymore and will be reopened once the issue has been released.

Why Phygure®?

Phygure® (pronounced as [fĭg’yər]) is actually a combination of the words “Photography” and “Figure”. It took me a while to come up with this name since I’m also trying to brainstorm ideas for the logo at the same time. There are a LOT of weird and funny names I tried before settling with this one. I played with names like “Letratoys” (“letrato” is a Filipino term for “picture” + toys), “Toyphy” (pronounced as “toy-fi” like sci-fi), and bland uninspired names like “Figuremag” (lol). I do hope my decision to go with Phygure® is the right one since this is the only name I can come up with that has all the name/brand requirements I’m looking for. What do you guys think?