PAPER TOY TAKEOVER!

Paper toys have been around since at least the 6th century, when the concept was imported to Japan from China and turned into the popular art of Origami. Paper dolls in particular have enjoyed popularity throughout the last two centuries, and in the 1960s and 70s were a ubiquitous merchandising tie-in to celebrity figures and cartoons (I still have Partridge Family and Patty Duke paper doll sets). But the designer toy fad has brought paper toys back into the limelight over the last few years, and below is a sampling of the many books available that allow kids and adults alike to revel in the modern art of paper toymaking.

WE ARE PAPER TOYS! (Louis Bou)

“Arranged by artists, “We Are Paper Toys!” is the most creative book of its kind available. From paper toy sketches and templates to final design layouts and finished products, each paper toy design features step-by-step instructions on how to create and personalize it. Toy designers and artists reveal why paper toys are so fun to create, how they have personalized their designs, and what suggestions they have for new toy makers. Best of all, design templates for each toy can be easily downloaded from the artists’ websites so readers can print, cut, and fold their paper toys together themselves.”

PAPER TOY MONSTERS (Brian Castleforte)

“A breakthrough paper-folding book for kids—paper airplanes meet Origami meets Pokemon. Papertoys, the Internet phenomenon that’s hot among graphic designers and illustrators around the world, now comes to kids in the coolest new book. Created and curated by Brian Castleforte, a graphic designer and papertoy pioneer who rounded up 25 of the hottest papertoy designers from around the world (Indonesia, Japan, Australia, Italy, Croatia, Chile, even Jackson, Tennessee), Papertoy Monsters offers 50 fiendishly original die-cut designs that are ready to pop out, fold, and glue. The book interleaves card stock with paper stock for a unique craft package; the graphics are colorful and hip, combining the edginess of anime with the goofy fun of Uglydolls and other collectibles. Plus each character comes with its own back-story.

And the results are delicious: meet Pharaoh Thoth Amon, who once ruled Egypt but is now a mummy who practices dark magic in his sarcophagus. Or Zumbie the Zombie, who loves nothing more than a nice plate of brains and yams. NotSoScary, a little monster so useless at frightening people that he has to wear a scary mask. Yucky Chuck, the lunchbox creature born in the deepest depths of your school bag. Plus Zeke, the monster under your bed, Nom Nom, eater of cities, and Grumpy Gramps, the hairy grandpa monster with his very own moustache collection.”

KARAKURI: HOW TO MAKE MECHANICAL PAPER MODELS THAT MOVE (Keisuke Saka)

“Originally published in Japan, Karakuri is an introduction to the simple mechanisms, such as gears, cranks, cams, and levers, used to bring to life these amazing moving paper models or automata. Included are pull-out pages for you to use to construct your own moving models of the different types of gears. These models serve as the basis for designing your own karakuri or may just be admired on their own.
Detailed explanations, accompanied by diagrams, explain the physics behind how karakuri move and operate, so you really learn about the properties of the different types of gears and cams. And to inspire you, also included are four fun, full-color karakuri models designed by the author, a well-known paper engineer. Printed on pull-out pages and easily assembled, the projects include a whimisical tea-serving robot, an amusing penguin perched on an iceberg and trying to fly, a delightful peek-a-boo-playing teddy bear, and a mesmerizing train that goes around on a track and through a tnunel!
With complete directions, fourteen full-size models, and the science behind the craft revealed, this book is a unique introduction to an ancient art.”

URBAN PAPER: 26 DESIGNER TOYS TO CUT OUT AND BUILD (Matt Hawkins)

“This is a collection of 26 of the coolest designer paper toys in existence, ready to be cut out and built. Each papertoy has step-by-step instructions, complete with easy-to-use diagrams, so even a novice will be able to make amazing papertoys with the help of a pair of scissors and a few dabs of glue.

Interviews with contributors such as Shin Tanaka, Ben the Illustrator, NiceBunny, Cubotoy and Kenn Munk are included. You?ll find out more about where their ideas came from?and they might even inspire you to create your own papertoy! In addition, there is a foreword by Andy Heng from www.toysrevil.net.

The DVD includes lots of bonus features, such as all 26 toy templates in PDF format (so you can build cities full of papertoys); basic shapes (so you can learn the building blocks of papertoys); blank templates (so you can create your own ‘skin’); longer, unabridged interviews with all the designers in the book; and 33 bonus templates.”

 

About the author:

Kier-La Janisse

Kier-La Janisse is a film programmer for Fantastic Fest and SF Indie, the founder of The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies and Owner/Editor-in-Chief of Spectacular Optical. She has been a programmer for the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Austin, Texas, co-founded Montreal microcinema Blue Sunshine, founded the CineMuerte Horror Film Festival in Vancouver (1999-2005) and was the subject of the documentary Celluloid Horror (2005). She has written for Filmmaker, Shindig!, Incite: Journal of Experimental Media, Rue Morgue and Fangoria magazines, has contributed to The Scarecrow Movie Guide (Sasquatch Books, 2004) and Destroy All Movies!! The Complete Guide to Punks on Film (Fantagraphics, 2011), and is the author of A Violent Professional: The Films of Luciano Rossi (FAB Press, 2007) and House of Psychotic Women: An Autobiographical Topography of Female Neurosis in Horror and Exploitation Films (FAB Press, 2012). She co-edited Spectacular Optical Book One: KID POWER! with Paul Corupe, and is currently writing A Song From the Heart Beats the Devil Every Time, an epic tome about children's programming in the counterculture era.

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