Boxed kit with 64-page book
Tuttle Publishing ISBN: 9780804849241

This is an 8.5” square box, containing a 6×8” booklet with instructions for 14 projects, 48 double-sided sheets of 15cm origami paper and over 185 stickers with which to decorate your models. The title describes the theme very aptly, you get a variety of rockets & planes, a space shuttle, a space probe, a space pod and others. The stickers are small but cheerful & bright and perfect for decoration.

The paper is a little thin for my taste and you need to look at the graphic contents page to figure out which sheet goes with which model. I’m a little dubious about this, since it in effect removes the choice from the folder, unless of course they decide to fold a model with the “wrong” paper. I’d suggest a 50/50 split of themed and more general paper would be ideal.

The author, John Szinger, is described as “an origami artist, engineer, designer, software developer and musician”. From his website he’s clearly  an active designer and origami academic – he is seeking funding for “Foldinator” – a software application for “visualising objects made by the sequential folding of flat sheet materials”. You can check him out at www.zingman.com. The diagrams are clear and whilst the steps are necessarily small due to the format of the book, I can still read them without glasses (currently my test for the scale!)

The models are, in my estimation, perhaps a little too complicated for the beginners market that the packaging indicates as the target, with swivels and reverse-folds galore, but I’m aware there are many teenagers who can fold me under the table these days. There will also be plenty of origami adults who have a lot of fun with this book. Still, I feel the opening model (or two) should be simple and here, the first model has 6 reverse folds on each of 4 flaps.

I hate to moan further, but a UK retail price of £13 seems slightly high for what you get, Tuttle’s own “Complete Origami Kit” contains 2 Books, 96 Papers, 30 Projects and only costs a tenner. But they know their price points better than I do.

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