You may already be aware of the paper toy craze sweeping the Web. But for all those who aren't, consider this an introduction. Thousands of designers and artists are creating amazing paper toy templates, which they then share for free on their own Web sites and blogs. Fans d/l these and using a few basic tools: paper (duh), printer, scissors, glue, and then assemble the toys.

The _flossiest part of it all is watching a sheet of paper transform into a 3D object that you can actually play with. And, of course, the cost to make them sits well with people in a depressed economy.

Creators of paper toys come from the world of graphic design, graffiti and illustration. Let's start with the good folk over at CustomPaperToys, who give away a new, free toy every month. Here's one I particularly loved, that you can d/l right over here.

There are many awesome toys to d/l over at Tougui. Check 'em out here.

When you go to your art supply store to pick up the tools, be sure to tell them you want glue for paper toys. My son and I have found that the best is a high-end glue stick. The below come from the very playful Saladaz.com. Check them out here.

At the top of this post, you see a typical toy before its folded and glued. It's one of our favorites from
Rommy.kamimodel.com and can be found right over here.

Marshall Alexander, from the Netherlands, offers myriad, awesome paper toys on his site for free. One of our favorites is that neat gorilla you see in the middle of the grid. Go d/l some of them here.

One of the best paper toy sites out there also has one of the best names: creaturekebab! You can find the below over here.

BTW, I discovered all the artists and toys found in this post in a wonderfully _flossy, new book hitting stores later this week called we are paper toys! It also comes with a CD full of more than 30 designs you can print, cut, fold, glue and play with! So pick up a copy if you wish this post were 200 pages longer!

You can keep up-to-date with all my posts by following me on Twitter: @resila. And you can follow all the awesomeness @mental_floss.