Most helpful positive review
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful, edgy, child-friendly concepts, but difficult for little hands...
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.