Figure Kingdom is looking to capture the moments that elicit an emotion or positive memory from the larger than life characters within the world of professional wrestling. And he certainly captured one of those moments between Bobby “The Brain” Heenan in the “weasel suit” and the Ultimate Warrior.
Manuel Viramontes, a Los Banos, California-based figure photographer, is the man behind the Figure Kingdom account, and he is a lifelong wrestling fan.
“Wrestling has always been a part of my life in some way growing up,” he told Wrestling Figure News. “My favorite era has to be the Golden Era. Those are my superheroes that have shaped the way I am now as an adult.”
In the last year, Viramontes has gone all out to make his shots stand out, including adding a smoke machine. Take a look at his recent photos of the Ringside Collectibles exclusive Edgeheads figures, or new NXT Champion Finn Balor.
“In my mind, if I see it on TV, I want to do it,” he said. “I always saw smoke in many entrances, so in my mind I thought SMOKE MACHINE! It is a bit crazy and makes a big mess and a lot of time to set up, but adds another layer of realism to the photography. It is the best purchase of 2020! So much fun!”
Recently, Viramontes has also added some color to his shots, featuring blood and guts wrestling.
Viramontes said he first became interested in wrestling figure photography after seeing photos taken by “Ring Skirts” posted to the Wfigs forum around 2010.
“Since then it has become a big passion of mine,” he said. “ I don’t have the most talent when it comes to this, but I made up for it with work ethic and trying new things and being open to improve my skills.”
That work ethic is evident in both the frequency of posts as well as the final product.
Viramontes said one of his biggest goals is to one day land a job with a top company.
“Figure photography is a modern day form of advertisement,” he said. “I would love to get my foot in the door to any toy company. I eventually want to branch out on video content, and help others along the way.”
Until then, Viramontes has a list of more than 100 ideas that he plans to share on his page.
“I have a lifetime of ideas floating on my head,” he said. “Lasers, fire torches, new sets and gimmick matches, video content, new genres such as MMA, Lucha Libre. Perhaps dipping my toes in TMNT and Power Rangers figure photography,”