Nice Paper Toys

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Please excuse me if this is post already somewhere, but I'm currently making my thesis on papercraft and I want to know where it all started. Im only beggining, so if anyone can help would be great (I dont know where to look in the library! :D ) Thanks in advance

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Sounds interesting Pablo! Great subject for a thesis. I don't know where the current papertoy movement started, but I guess you could go back hundreds of years into the history of Japanese origami, or back to the 40s, 50s and 60s when cut out paper toys were quite popular, cereal packets and all. Matt Hawkins might be your man for this, he's written the Urban Paper book due out next year, if he doesn't see this post in the forum, send him a message!
Thank you very much Ben! You're very kind. I went looking into the inescapable wikipedia and there's some interesting stuff, like the paper cuts were very popular during world war 2, due to the shortage of every otrher material. But of course I would need some serious source. And there is still the mistery of when exactly the urban papercut movement started to grow...he, but anyway, I think I'll try to reach Matt like you said. Thank you again ben and I hope if this all end up well I will show the result here :D
Pablo--I don't have the perfect answer, but I think Ben is generally right--origami going back quite a way, through more industrialized use of paper and cardboard when "toy building" resources were shifted more toward war efforts--why, there's even the "paper doll" that comes as a base figure you can add clothing to.

In more modern times, I think there has been a persistent, steady enthusiastic crowd that tries to duplicate real world items into miniature papercraft...tanks, planes, cars and the sort. The Urban Paper or Papertoy movement seems to have progressed more with the technology available to the common person. Some of the foundational tools we speak of on the site are scissors, blade knives, and glue--they've been in people's homes for a long time, but I'd suggest that the upswing in creating "personalized expressions in paper" came up with software tools that made it cheap enough and easy enough to build templates and art on home computers, as well as abundant printers to print this stuff on.

Personally, I grew up liking origami, and as an adult found papertoys appealing for many reasons--
1. small financial investment
2. small incremental time investment
3. somewhat disposable, low consequence if a project doesn't turn out well
4. My kids can do papertoys with me
5. More detail than origami
6. It's puzzle-like in some ways, a mental challenge
7. I initially was interested in Vinyl Toy figures, but Papertoys satisfy alot of that urge--in a more environmentally friendly way.
8. It can really be art.
9. The community of Papertoy artists and enthusiasts is generous and diverse.

I know I'm rambling, but if you dig through the discussions, you will see some good comments--including people's first papercraft memories, how beginners can get started, etc.

I think the history of Urban Papercraft is still early--and in all truth, I think Nice Paper Toys is one of the landmarks in it's small history. In addition to Matt Hawkins, you might consult Nice Bunny (Brian Castleforte), and Ben.

I'd imagine a lot of us here will cheer you on with your thesis!
This is a great idea, I hope we'll get to read the finished work!
A lot of papercraft must go back to China (argueably the place where paper was invented) and the japanese origami tradition.
I think you should have a look at the traditional paper theatres of Europe as well, this goes back to victorian age I belive.
Also free commercial giveaways on pakaging like cereal boxes (that's how I became interested, thank you Weetabix)
The first I know of Urban paper was designer Shin Tanaka (a very good source for your thesis) and his desire to own trainers that he couldn't afford! So he created a paper model.
I think a lot of paper engineering is about people connecting them selves to the things they like without spending loads of money.
Sorry to keep adding, but I've come across some interesting sites on older papertoys:

My thanks to both of these sites, for providing some unique papercrafts.

Incidentally, the Toys Are Evil site didn't start a papercraft category until 11.29/2005, and they're more focused on the Urban scene. PaperForest's 1st Urban related craft was Readymech 11/14/2005. Some of the earliest rumblings seemed to be Readymech, Sjors's Brickboy, Shin Tanaka, Mark James's Cardboy, and Kenn Munk's Antlor series 1 (April 2005).
Wow! those links are amazing! Thank you Dr Shazam! And thanks everybody really, you have been very helpful. I think is time I tell you a little more about the plan I've got: the name of the project is take away scenery and the idea is to make easy scenery for great plays (shakespeare for example). I want to make pdf files (ie Romeo & Juliet) with several sheets where you could find the different scenes and characters. I don´t pretend to make it SO 3d as som of the stuff i have seen, but more like a diorama. time is running low and I might not be able to finish on time for the presentation ...but if I could`n, I still will make them, :D
Well, thanks again! you people are not only talented (seriously) but also very kind :) doin' my 120 pages thesis for my B.ed TESL degree in my upcoming semester too, and after i have been into the papercraft scene, i am thinkin of doing a lesson plan based on papercraft... thanks dr.shazam for the info... at least i know what to put on my lesson plan

what is this thesis for anway (beside than getting marks, sorry if this sound a bit rude hehehe)? i mean what faculty are you from? and etc.. at least tell us some info about your background (educational background)... cus it might help haha...great topic!!
it's an interesting topic...
any chance you'll publish your thesis?


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