Nice Paper Toys

The Papertoy Network!

Hi

I just wanted to open a discussion on the idea of selling paper toys, I'd love to know what people think about it. One of the beautiful things about what we all do is that we're offering people pieces of art/design/toys, for free, via the internet.

But! Has anyone successfully sold paper toys, has anyone used their paper toys to bring in some cash and support their online projects, does anyone agree or disagree with selling paper toys? I just got an email from a cool paper toy designer who is considering something along these lines, and thought it would be interesting to get some views from you all.

My wife and I have been running the Speakerdog Paper Toys project for almost two years now, we've given weeks or months of our time to bring it all together, we've had hundreds of thousands of downloads, we've worked with over 100 artists on different designs, we've exhibited all over the place, yet we've never taken a penny from the paper toys, and because of that it will always be no more than a 'sideline' to the commissioned illustration work and Speakerdog posters and art prints that we produce, since that's what pays the rent, that's our proper job and the main focus.

I know one awesome paper toy designer who sells his models, but the flat templates he sells are all A3, so that's a little bit more than you can offer for free via the net (since 99% of people would only have an A4 printer).

So, the discussion is open, what does anyone think?

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sorry shin, I have to disagree with your statement, and apoligize for thinking you have sold them as your site tells us on certain templates "SOLD OUT", but anyways....not really curious about what other people do with time and money, but I have to say the same way children ask mommy and daddy for a piece of candy is just as simple as asking "i want that paper toy", this is from experience(ExperiBreed) being I go through this everyday with my children and I don't have a problem with it.
no credit card you say?...well, we have paypal, and money orders to pursue our happiness as well.
this is 2008...you say: Just an art?...wow, you must be a machine.
you stated that paper toys are a medium between people and us?...we are all people, and I feel the art is more of the medium here itself, and thats what justifies us as people and individuals who want!....we all want, but sometimes we can not get what we want...right shin?
when you have 4 mouths to feed, then let me know what should we charge for something so priceless as art...only God and my family have witnessed me giving art away for free, but that can't buy my kids a lunch card or pay the gas bills...you see when your passion gets involved there's nothing you can do about it, so we give it away, but when the truth of reality sets in, well...you can't run away from it because it appears to be hiding on you in every corner you look in.
so, if you charge for a vinyl, t-shirt, pants, sneakers, why not art itself, this defeats the whole purpose of being an artist.
sneakers cost less then $5.00, so why are we paying $100-$250 for one pair?..art my friend.......art.
Wow I just so happen to check that blog from time to time hehe

Well since no one is knocking down my door to do a vinyl toy, a paper toy makes perfect since. I did a pretty cool little skummie guy and it didn't cost me dime one. Other then the time it takes to draw all four sides of everything it wasn't to big of a hassle. I'm more then happy to let people build my paper toy for FREE, in fact I'm stoked when someone takes the time to build my design!
Ahhh Bandwidth. I killed my very quickly. I had to come up with a way to host them for free so my Free toys wouldn't end up costing me! That's why a lot of us use sites like mediafire. I'd like to however move them back to my site (mediafire is a pain to use) and selling a few special editions might be a way to at least break even.
I've already said my piece here but I would like to add one thing. Just because I don't charge for my downloads doesn't mean I don't take my art or myself seriously, quite the contrary.
Great to see that this community is really living! But that is beside the point.

Whatever you make, whether it be toys, drawings, music, car parts or canned poo, you are allowed to charge for it. You put time and effort in it, so you deserve some compensation.
My Brickboys have been given away for free and I got respect and recognition for that. But being able to live from what I do, is my absolute goal (still far, far away) so I did the Badgers. The buttons and the model were printed at a higher quality then your home printer can. Nice packaging, the works. By making a deal with a shop, I got my money back and made a small profit. I am working on a new model for a show and plan to sell them as well. Does that mean I don't make free stuff anymore? No, I still do but if you can make money with paper toys, do it.

Actually I bought both of Matt's figures and the beauty of them gave me the same feeling as any vinyl figure gives me. Try it :D
If there are other models that I like, I'd buy them.
Ben, go for it!
I think when I set up a website for my works that I am going to give the base stuff for free but put a contribution button and ask they give me like $1 if they want to download my work. If they don't that's ok, its just free money anyways. If they want custom stuff then that paid works. But but more my stuff gets out there the more better it is that people will give me something it would be nice
Free Paper Toys.
It's a truly awesome and rare experience.

I thank you all.
I sell my paper puppets- but only because- I print, color proof and package them myself
I don't think I would sell a .pdf ...but that is just me.

this person does really well:
http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=38732&section_id=5262978
i agree, what u done is appreciate by all people in the world (cool), i hope i could join with you:P..
but why... your paper toy didn't produce money...
why...?
i think, there's people in the world want to spend their money for their hobby, a lot i think..
why, your paper toy won't produce money... its not a a hobby, it just fun... and fun is only in short time...

now... how paper toy become a hobby? that survive in longer time...

salute for you..
Hi all
I help run a gallery shop attached to a surreal sculpture exhibition. I would love to offer paper toy kits in our shop as an afordable and fun souvenir. Although we are a commercial gallery, we do not have the the funds to offer giveaways. The best solution would be to offer brilliantly designed and very reasonbly priced paper products which pay tribute to Dali.
I would love to hear from any uk based designers/papertoy sellers who would be interested in producing a Salvador Dali style design which we can sell in our shop. We would also be interested in down loadable images for our website which currently has nothing to offer children ( young artists) school parties and families.
I just saw your post and i'm really thankful for it, Marshall!
(Now i'm based in Croatia)
Sarah Jane: Any reason as to why you are looking for UK based designers? This is the age of the internet, you know... :-)
i find it interesting that the main thing that seems to be coming out of this discussion is the view that paper toys should be free. it seems this argument is based solely on the precedence of free downloads available on the internet, these views are not based on artistic merit nor does it take into account the art career of the creator.

i think that it really depends on your desired outcome for the project. ie. if you are doing this as a hobby it is fine to put all your work up for free download. however, on the other side of the spectrum you have artists who do this not only because they enjoy it but also as a means to further their art career. for example im an installation artist who works predominately in paper. my next exhibition will be featuring large scale paper cut out style work and i will be releasing my first range of paper curios. although i will probably be releasing some of my paper cut outs for free download, the majority will be small number limited prints avail at exhibition and later at design stores. my reason for choosing to sell? because its a good way to get my art out there to people who are interested in design but wouldnt necessarily normally download paper cutouts and also to make my art career more financially viable (exhibitions are expensive and time consuming and i dont plan on working in a call center all my life).

so to sum up i think that while making things avail for free download is an honorable pass time, for those wishing to make a name for themselves in the art/design community its ok and probably necessary to sell work, especially as it can take an immense amount of time to construct detailed patterns.
Hello all. I'm a new member of the site, and I thought I would contribute my piece.

I think paper toys occupy a special (and new) place in media distribution. For the first time it is possible to transmit model designs without incuring the production cost. This will only grow in the future. It would be interesting to consider what will happen when the currently in development 3D printers become widely distributed. (have you seen the chocolate printer some guy made out of lego?)

The first low resolution pictures transmitted over the net did not make much money but were enormous fun for those involved. I think the art form is at this stage, you will never get rich from selling one sheet designs, they are too open to plagerism. As soon as someone with a decent spacial imagination has seen the design they will probably be able to 'create' thier own version. But some people, like those guys who made the working model of a V12 engine out of paper (obsession anyone?) will be able to sell patterns.

I understand that creating these designs is time consuming and belive the creators should be credited and paid. Having said that,I love this community that has sprung up, distributing blanks for free, effectively collaborating with artists all around the world.

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