It first, I thought it means toys that have designs like what DMC does. Those with hip hop or fashionable designs. But after seeing the toys from the Urban paper, I totally don't understand the word 'Urban' anymore.
I think what it means is the difference between papercraft and papertoy, paperkrafts are hugley complex and can take years to make, papertoys take an howr or so the make and others can edit the design.
I think Urban is a reference to the hip hop aesthetic which for me is to take simple popular media and create outsider art that is as creatively valid as the classical forms. Reflecting its early days in deprived inner cities.
You have music that is made out of remixing other music or altering musical equipment
rhythmical/poetical chanting (rap) to the level of great music
graffiti- paintings with utilitarian paint technology (spray cans, stencils)
For me a common element is remixing- taking themes and undercurrents and using them in innovative ways.
Even so the Urban tag is not really big enough for the subject- maybe it covers paper trainers and cartoon characters etc but Indonesian Gods? And such an international community.
Brian's 'Nice Paper Toys' is a good catch all for the theme or I like to think of them as Paper Glyphs- like a three dimensional hieroglyphic. A new language!
I'm rollin' with Mystery on this one. Remixin', samplin', mash-ups. Take from the past, unusual not the obvious and create somethin' fresh and exitin'. And it's gotta be Funky. Even Indonesian Gods. =)