Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Playing with Paper Dolls

Yeah, sure. I'm brave enough to admit that my only video-free hobby involves paper, scissors and a glue stick. Yes, I like to sing a song about ponies and unicorns while I do it. It takes a manly man to admit that.

Fortunately, others share my passion, and they've had the sense to dress up the practice as "paper toys" or "urban paper." It's the new free art form, and there are some brilliant minds out there designing and sharing models. It's an international affair, artists putting aside their differences to face our common enemy: trees.

If you're like me, you work at a computer all day, and your desk is your little domain. I can't work at a featureless desk, so I've littered it with all sorts of eccentric crap. I suppose it helps keep me sane, and the more it puzzles my co-workers the better. Here are some of my favorite paper toys and links to their creators:

The witch doctor paper-toy joins the mojo ring with my Chilean moai, Peter Brady's bad luck Hawaiian tiki and Big Boy.  Courtesy of Dutch artist Maarten Janssens. Download his devilishly clever designs here.

Shin Tanaka's devilishly clever and easily assembled Hoophy model with a skin designed by the French duo Superdeux. Balances quite nicely on those wee feet. Style and engineering. Shin is the paper toy king: Shin Tanaka's Hoophy Models.

French paper-toy artist Jerom's boxy take on John Kovalic's My Little Cthulhu. Put a little Lovecraft in your day--make your own adorably arcane Great Old One.
Available in three eldritch colors. Download the PDFs 
Check out 
Jerom's blog for more brilliant design.

A tribute to Monty Python's Mr. Gumby. Say it with me: "My.. brain... hurts!" There. Wasn't that fun? I designed this little guy based on Marko Zubak's versatile "shirty" model. Because everyone needs a desktop Gumby. You can download the Gumby PDF here. Check out Marko's great models here.


  1. these are great! thanks for sharing.

    hope you'll have more sometime.

  2. Not only does he sing songs about ponies and unicorns when he does this, he sometimes giggles to himself. I used to worry about this, but now I just think it's cute!

  3. But seriously, I'm glad you're posting again!