I've long had an on-again, off-again interest in papercrafts. When I was a kid, I had a couple of really cool pop-up books that I played with like they were "regular" toys and shortly after Star Wars came out, my folks got me an activity book that had several Star Wars-related models that could be punched out and folded together. I built my very own lightsaber when I was seven years old!
My father's slight interest in origami led to several books on the subject floating around the house, which I dutifully "borrowed" to make my own penguins and elephants.
Then, in college, we had a few classes that dealt in three-dimensional design and our models were often built out of paper. Plus, my internship at Kenner lead me to work with the guys who developed the cardboard inserts that kept the larger toys from rattling around inside their boxes.
And so, when I stumbled across a innocuous figure from one of Cory Doctorow's books, I had a half-hour's amusement as I printed, cut out and assembled it for my desk. But that lead me to look at what else is out on the 'net and, much to my surprise, there's a wealth of papercraft models based on comic books and superheroes! Some are more detailed standees, like the Iron Man above, some are more stylized and cartoony. Some are straight figure representations, some are recreations of artifacts from within the mythos. All available online for free.
Oddly, I spent a fair amount of time looking at some of what's currently before I remembered that I created one of my own HERBIE the robot almost a decade ago! But little did I know how active other papercrafters have been in promoting their favorite comics! Here's a quick sampling...
- Green Lantern power ring
- Hellboy bust
- Stylized Jimmy Corrigan figure
- Wall-clinging Spider-Man figure
- Batmobile circa 1966
- The Mask's mask
- Stylized Sam & Max figures
- Sylized Minami-ke Haruka figures
I just find it fascinating that so many people have taken the time to develop sometimes incredibly complex, but still buildable, models using paper alone and are willing/able to share them with the world. What's more: in this particularly harsh, backsliding economy, being able to create toys and models for the price of a few sheets of paper and a little time is simply incredible (many vehicles are available, as well, which could easily be re-scaled for whatever action figure line/s you might also collect!) and, if you can no longer afford the high-quality busts and statuettes that are available at your LCS, a little handiness with an Xacto blade can go a long way! I know I'm going to spend some time over the coming weeks putting together some additional models for my action figure cities (yes, I know... "cities" plural -- call it my geek cred) and as handsome, but cheap, desk accessories.