Papertoy Glowbots: A (Crafty) Review

Papertoy Glowbots (with bots!)Papertoy Glowbots by Brian Castleforte (and 14 Papertoy Designers from around the world)

Papertoy Glowbots is part book and part craft activity. This second creation from Castleforte (following Papertoy Monsters) features 46 paper robots readers can make themselves. I have made some bots myself as gifts and desk decorations at work and also trotted this book out for teen programs at the library where I work to great success.

The book starts with pictures of the bots on the interior endpapers before getting to a table of contents before an introduction to the book and some basic instructions for making each robot. You will need glue. I tried glue stick and white glue. Although the glue stick takes longer to adhere and involves holding more pieces in place for longer, it works better.

Then we get to the main event in the book: robots! Each robot is introduced with a large full color photo, a small description, a difficulty rating, and assembly instructions. (This page also lists the designer who “discovered” the bot and directs readers to the template for the robot found in the back of the book.)

Here’s the spread for one of my favorite bots, Traxx:

Traxx spread with botHere’s an example of the templates for some other bots because I already made Traxx (you can see they are two-sided and perforated for each piece):

bots templatesEach robot template tears out of the book completely so you can flip to the instructions and have them ready while you work with the template. Regardless of difficulty rating (which usually relates more to number of pieces than increased assembly challenges) I have found that the robots take about an hour to build because of drying time needed to get certain pieces to adhere. Once each robot is built it’s ready to be displayed as is. OR if you are not afraid of the dark (like I am) you can add included glow in the dark stickers to make your robot glow at night.

After field testing the bots myself, I decided to target the bots to teens. This decision was partly because I’m trying to revamp craft programs for teens at my library and partly because I wouldn’t be able to work with them each closely for an entire program and they were less likely to lose small pieces during assembly or have accidental tears, etc. For home use or one-on-one building I do think Papertoy Glowbots is perfect for younger kids and tweens.

The bots were a huge hit! My coworkers have been intrigued by my new desk decorations (and requested access to the book to make some of their own). Teens were drawn in the minute I said we’d be making paper robots. I jerry-rigged the book to make it more consumable for multiple users by copying instruction pages as needed. Even without closely following directions, the bots were easy to assemble and teens left with immense pride for their new paper creations.

If you can’t tell yet. I really love Papertoy Glowbots. As soon as I heard about the book from Estelle (publicist extraordinaire for this title), I immediately volunteered to take part in the #papertoyglowbots promotion for Papertoy Glowbots Day on October 1 and to use it in my programs at the library. Papertoy Glowbots is a great creativity and imagination booster. Highly recommended for robot enthusiasts, paper toy aficionados, and anyone looking make a new friend or two!