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4.8 out of 5 stars
Papertoy Monsters: 50 Cool Papertoys You Can Make Yourself!
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2010
I bought this for my 9-year-old nephew for Christmas, and it was a great success--except that I spent three days making papertoy monsters for him instead of watching him do it himself! The concepts are absolutely great. The monsters are so original--they are inspired by a combination of manga, skateboard culture, and mythology and folktales. Some, like Lil Vamp, are inspired by a folktale but brought up to the modern day, but others, like Polyphemus, are identical to their original source (in this case, The Odyssey). Others still are completely original creations. The stories about each monster are really good and super fun for kids to read aloud, and my nephew was thrilled to provide me with each step of the instructions to build each monsters.

However, when he tried to pop the paper pieces out himself, he couldn't help but rip the paper with his little hands, and it was too hard for him to apply glue very accurately to very small areas, pull the paper together, and hold it long enough for it to adhere. A 9-year-old with excellent motor skills and a very long attention span might be able to do the easiest of the easy patterns. I don't have kids myself so I may not be the best judge, but this 9-year-old would have gotten very frustrated and sad if he hadn't had his auntie around to make a bunch of monsters for him.

That said, as an adult I admit I was sort of glad that I got to make the monsters because it was so fun. The pattern pieces are clearly labeled, the instructions are excellent and very clear, and it was really easy to put them together with a very good quality glue stick. There's a great glossary at the front containing some basic hints for constructing the monsters, and there's a list of contributors at the back giving the name of the designer of each monster pattern (lots of different designers contributed), a bio, and a URL for their own websites. This is a great collaborative project. I think my favorite thing about it is that the monsters are really edgy but the written and illustrated content is totally acceptable for little kids and doesn't talk down to them.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
I love that Castleforte and others have created this book for there are but a few papertoy books out there. The idea of having each toy pre-printed was awesome (especially b/c of the toll printing papertoys can have on my printer ink). The creativity of these artists always amazes me and there are vast amounts (50) and kinds of toys for everyone (ie: don't let the name "monsters" scare away young girls - there is something in here for you too).

However, there are a few problems I had with the layout. Although the toys are pre-perforated, it is quite difficult just to punch them out - I had to use an x-acto knife (not an option for kids). I don't think kid-friendly scissors could be as exact as necessary in order to cut out some parts of the toys either, so any cutting would have to be done with parental supervision.

Also, the toys are printed on thinner paper (thinner than an average piece of cardstock). My craft glue tended to make the paper disintegrate, so I would suggest using double-sided tape or glue dots for construction. I also agree with another reviewer that this is not a book for younger kids - the toys are just too difficult for children to handle. I would suggest an age range of at least 10 years old (probably more like 12 and older). Also, remember that there is no CD-ROM included in this book, so any mistakes are permanent (no re-printing). Since the toys are double-sided, it is quite difficult to make practice copy, too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 1, 2014
Most of the monster designs are little too tedious for our 7 yr old but my husband & I are happy to help! Actually we have almost finished the book (in just 1 week) while my son sleeps or is away at school. We're very impressed with the design of some of these monsters & they all have a little backstory. Our son reads aloud while we work away so we all learn about the history/personality of the creature we're crafting. Each monster has a difficulty (easy, intermediate, advanced) on the top corner of the assembly instuction page, the backstory at the bottom half of the page & the following page has thicker, good quality card stock with the perforated template. A few basic folds & you'll see how the tabs come together & will need to be glued (connect tab 1 to gray area 1, match 2 to 2 & so on...). The tricky part can be the glue. Glue 1 tab at a time & you may be there all day. Glue too many & you'll end up with a sloppy monster. I use Elmer's glue applied with a small paint brush. My husband uses super glue (I personally don't recommend that... he's a little extreme). My kid could manage 1/2 of the monsters in the book with a glue stick (& a much greater supply of patience than the average 7 yr old boy) but he's happy to get us to do the "work" while he kicks back & watches us power through these pages!

I just bought a paper airplane paper craft book (for $17!) because it was the only one at the bookstore similar to this one. Bad idea for a few reasons... Paper airplanes just work great by folding paper, not delicately crafted from punched out parts. It's kinda like trying to reinvent the mouse trap. Anyway. The book was pale & bland in comparison so I'm off to search for another book that can keep us all entertained & amused for days before we finish these last few monsters! It will be tough for a book to follow this one! I'm expecting a few more wompers like the airplane paper crafts. We've got a 5 yr old boy & 4 yr old girl as well so any recommendations are welcome!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 2, 2014
My son loves Lego, and other 3D construction toys. He is not very inclined to write, draw, or color, and his Pre-K teacher has been concerned about developing his fine motor skills for learning to write. But all he wants to do is Lego Lego Lego. He is also very motivated by stories, especially anything with a "scary" edge. His dad used to make the Transformers his parents couldn't buy for him out of paper, and he and son had been messing around trying to do some of that. I saw this book, and thought it would be great, even if he couldn't do the more advanced projects. He got it for Christmas, and in 2 months, has worked his way through almost all of them, and knows their names and stories by heart. He'll be 5 1/2 this next month. I don't understand older kids not being able to make these monsters, and sure, he had a learning curve, and we had to help quite a lot at first. He's learned to use a glue stick, tape them back together if he tears them, and fold according to both directions and intuition. Now we've started printing off free papertoys off the internet, and practicing cutting. He's really improving on that, as his motivation to make one after another is strong. His comic book loving dad, and sculptor / artist mom are super happy he's found an outlet to play with "making" - other than plastic bricks! I intend to buy this book again, and maybe even a third or more time, so we can enjoy them all over, as I think the appeal will last, and as his skills advance, he can build cleaner, better versions than his first attempts. Can't wait till we can start designing our own papertoys to share! What a great inroad to paper engineering and advanced 3D construction skills. Highly recommended for a wide range of ages.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 7, 2013
This is a fantastic book. Monsters are fun and really varied, and the descriptions are great. I love that they are rated beginner, intermediate and advanced. My 7 and 11 year old sons are steadily working their way through this book, and friends have come over and enjoyed this too. Both of them need some help here and there, although now that they have done a bunch they are pretty independent. It does take some patience, and I HIGHLY recommend either small double stick tape dots (like used in scrapbooking), or quick dry adhesive (scotch makes some), which is like white glue that dries really fast. Otherwise expect them to either come apart easily, or to spend a lot of time holding the pieces together waiting for them to dry.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 6, 2012
I bought several of these books for my "cedar chest" of things I get into when the grandchildren are with me. These paper monsters have been a hit with every age and gender I have introduced them to - from 5 to myself (65). They are comical monsters, beautifully drawn. Each monster comes with a story of their origin that are hillarious; imaginations run wild! The pieces are printed on cardstock; are well perforated so they punch out very easily and cleanly; they glue or tape together easily - depending on how much time you want to spend. I tend to glue them carefully like I was making a model car, my 6 year old granddaughter tapes them quickly because she can't wait to see the character come alive. Either way they are wayy cool. There are three levels of difficulty: easy, medium and difficult. If you put them together with plastic tape rather than glue as the book suggests, all the characters can be easy to make. Each character takes less than 30 minutes to glue together; much faster if you use tape. Since there are 50 monsters in the book it takes several sessions to get them all done. They are pretty resiliant so the kids (or adults) can play with them without worry about breakage. This is my go-to gift for just about everyone, including adults (adults like to play too if they get a chance). I am looking forward for Castleforte to put together more books like this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 2012
I feel compelled after reading some of the other reviews to write a review of my own. This book was a gift to my oldest 2 sons, age 10 and 6. My 6 year old and his buddies are completely "into" the monster craze. I thought my 10 YO would not enjoy this activity, thinking he was too old for it. Instead, he and his brother had so much fun, it was wonderful to see them working together. My 10 YO had no difficulty whatsoever in popping out the paper shapes and gluing them. My 6 year old had some difficulty being patient for the glue to dry in between some of the gluing steps, but no problems other than that. We simply reminded him from time to time that it was advantagious to give the glue a chance to set up, then continue on. Our 4 year old son was even involved in popping out some of the monsters and he was quite successful! This IS appropriate for younger kids, not just 14 years and up! A couple of the designs are not well thought out and do not stand up very well. On the whole, the monsters are very creative and well designed. Additionally, it is awesome that the paper is pre-perforated and scissors are not required. My son just received another paper monster set that required painful detailed cutting - ugh!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 3, 2011
I bought this for my almost four year old thinking the picture would make him laugh or inspire his drawing. I never thought we would have a 40+ monster collection going that battle, raid, and have epic battles with rainbow, playmobil knights, and play dough cans.

Truly, I never ever want to see the words "insert tab 478" again. I never thought I would agree to one-monster-a-day as a limit for each fully functional adult in our household. The instructions are clear, the colors vivid, the craft is entertaining, and he has loved, loved, loved this book. Finally, this is really quite accessible and portable. All you need is a glue stick (we used elmer school glue stick) and some time. No printing, etc, and the paper is ridged for easy folds. Very well designed.

We are a pretty gentle family (no media, no scary stuff) and although some of the monsters are kind of scary, it hasn't scared him.

I don't think I've ever spent so little for some much ongoing entertainment value.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon January 28, 2011
PaperToy Monsters is a book full of punch out paper monsters that can be assembled with nothing but glue. There are four sections of monsters: Monster Legends, Earth Ocean and Space Monsters, Mutant Food and Thing Monsters, and Human Monsters. There is also a nice paragraph describing each monster's story and a set of templates in the back of the book so you can design your own monster. The PaperToys come in Intermediate, Easy and Advanced difficulty and I was able to complete both an intermediate and an easy monster without much trouble and I'm one of the least crafty people ever. It was a lot of fun.

Appropriateness:
I would recommend this book for kids ages ten and up (although younger kids will be able to help and play with the monsters). Any younger and the parent will end up doing most of the work. How to books are great for kids to work on reading carefully and following directions.
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