Finally! I've been meaning to get around to making a post for months, but my work life is so hectic I never take the time for the things I want to do. Without further wait, I present Baron Van Eekhoorn - my rendition of the E440 template created by Ringo Krumbiegel of The Netherlands.
I first saw this paper toy (and was introduced to the concept of paper toys) when I thumbed through a copy of Urban Paper. Totally hit me as a must have book so I bought it immediately. I contacted Ringo and held a contest at the school I work out for graphic design students. Never took the time to do one myself until months later.
Ringo based his design on a squirrel because he was inspired by a massacre that occurred at a German airport where-in an outbreak of rabies in the local squirrel population lead the government to euthanizing them. Believe it or not they through them into a wood chipper! There were 440 squirrels - so Ringo aptly called this toy the Eekhoorn (dutch for squirrel) 440, or E440 for short. His hope was to get 440 versions of these little guys to represent those killed (sort of like setting loose their spirits, so to speak).
Well... I've got a dark sense of humor, so this creation is probably a little off collar for some - but considering the massacre and it being in Germany I was reminded of WWII. My version of the E440 is a character named Baron Van Eekhoorn. I imagined him to be a young squirrel tormented by his peers that turned against his own kind and sabotaged them by making the government believe they all had rabies. Of course, it backfired on him, that's why he's a toy now.
To make this squirrel I referenced German WWII officer uniforms and created a custom tri-point hat with brim to replicate it as best as I could.
This was the first toy I ever designed on, and the first time using Illustrator as extensively as I did. It took me 3 days from concept to completion including the hat template and multiple builds for color accuracy.