Handmade paper toys you squeeze, drop or tap for a fun surprise
Adding a mechanical touch to the ancient art of paper crafting, Japanese designer Haruki Nakamura brings his artwork to life. Inspired by kirigami—an origami-like technique that employs cuts in addition to folds—Haruki creates paper toys that move in unexpected and unusual ways.
Through his masterful understanding of engineering, he combines kirigami with the traditional karakuri, or mechanized puppets. Haruki constructs his whimsical creatures with a paper twist, and each figure’s movements are prompted by human touch; the simple act of tipping, poking, or dropping them on a table reveals the true selves of the paper toys.
Whether they’re shedding surprising disguises, showcasing amazing acrobatics, or retreating to the comfort of their protective shells, you won’t know how the paper toys will react until you play with them—which is all part of the fun.
Haruki is self-taught and his main goal is to entertain people with his work. For the past 19 years he’s been honing his craft, not long after he first picked up a book called Paper Craft Techniques Encyclopedia.
While the book helped him improve his work, he really began pursuing the field in earnest after he saw the joy that his paper toys brought people. He continues to keep this in mind today when building his more recent creations.