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We Are Paper Toys: Print-Cut-Fold-Glue-Fun

Paper robots, gorillas and zombies in a new book about origami's younger sibling

by Maggie York-Worth in Design on 15 June 2010

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Seizing on the DIY phenomenon of recent years, "We Are Paper Toys: Print-Cut-Fold-Glue-Fun" takes an investigative look at 32 masters of paper toy design and their intricate creations. Editor Louis Bou details their personal techniques, while the included CD demonstrates how you can create your own with printable PDF designs.

In addition to cover star Shin Tanaka, highlights include Faisal Azad's "Reog Ponogoro"—a man/lion/peacock named for the famous Indonesian dance—and Tetsuya Watabe's inventive and impressively delicate "Kelomet" and "Bear Maru" toys, which show off the texture of paper.

Other designs have a more comedic approach. Matthew Hawkins of Custom Paper Toys created the "Obama Action Playset," reconfiguring the White House into an anthropomorphic transformer with Jailbreak's Obama action figure at the helm. He says of the medium, "paper offered me a great way to make the toys I wanted to make, and an amazing way of distributing them to those who like them."

Designer Angelo Marcello Garcia Bassi approaches his figurines with agility and playfulness. "Apple Pop," a Cubotoy creation, is a street kid with purple-tinted pink hair, bright jacket and hightop sneakers, while the aptly named androgynous "Pat" sports a fanypack and fringed hair with his cap askew.

Available from Amazon, "We Are Paper Toys!" shares each designer's approach and inspiration, providing a window into this new toy medium. See more images in the gallery below.

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