I love arts and crafts. I’m always making something new, whether that be transforming some boring piece of clothing into my next cosplay or making Star Wars felt pins, I love the idea of making stuff. So the idea of turning sheets of paper into different machines, excites me quite a bit. That’s where Colossal Paper Machines come in. This new book features paper crafts like no other. They looks almost life size and actually move. Ahhhh.


What a big idea! And what big fun: A whopping oversize book of interactive paper models to appeal to every kid who loves big machines—which pretty much covers all of them.

These are the coolest big machines that kids love—each re-created in an oversize paper model that, once built, really moves. The book has everything the reader needs to pop out, fold, and create a full-color model of ten big machines: a dump truck, space shuttle, excavator, ladder truck, front loader, concrete mixer, steam locomotive, steamboat, dirigible, Chinook helicopter. Created by Phil Conigliaro, a gifted paper engineer and artist, the models are printed on sturdy card stock; perforated to pop out and fold; require only gluing (no tape or pins); and come with complete, easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions. And, worth repeating, each one moves: Wheels roll and the mixer turns, helicopter blades spin, and the excavator’s boom and bucket raises and lowers.

Additionally there’s the story of each machine—how it works, who invented it, what it’s used for. Kids will learn the history of the steam shovel—the smoking, hissing monster that dug the Panama Canal, the largest engineering feat of the 20th century; how astronauts in a space shuttle could withstand the 3,000 degrees of heat created when it returned to Earth; how the world’s largest dump truck can haul a million pounds. It’s big stuff!

First and foremost, the Colossal Paper Machines book is big. I didn’t realize this book was as big as a coffee table book, until it arrived but because of its size, it features some massive machines. I’m used to paper crafts books, but this is on another level. It features 10 machines to choose from. Everything from a dirigible to a ladder truck to a concrete mixer is included in this assortment. Each machine takes up about 2-8 pages, depending on how big the machines are and also how complex the machines are to build. Easy to follow instructions are included, but as the machines get bigger, they do take more time and effort. Also at the beginning of the book, there is a few pages dedicated to all the machines featured in the book, giving readers a back history as to where they came from.

Oh, and all the machines also move. Yep. This isn’t your ordinary craft session of paper crafts. It’s also very simple to build. You pick your machine, punch out the pieces from the card-stock templates, piece together and glue! The fact that this set requires you to glue them together may seem like a hassle, but it’s actually way better than try to stick each piece of paper inside each piece of paper. (Did that make any sense? I hope so.) Building each machine can be difficult at first, but after playing with it for a while, it gets a lot easier. It’s a fun way to pass the time. Pro tip: I recommend listening to the Mad Max: Fury Road OST while crafting.

9780761176404You can pick up your own copy of Colossal Paper Machines here.

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The Author

Travis Grimm

Travis Grimm

Travis has been a self-proclaimed geek ever since being introduced to Star Wars before he could speak. He spends most of his free time reading comics, watching TV, collecting toys, blogging, and traveling the US to attend all sorts of conventions. He also likes coffee quite a bit.