I'd heard of Japanese cardboard toys where the head became a storage box for the whole model. I tried to find one online, but failed. Or maybe I succeeded but couldn't read the Japanese script?
Anyhoo, I decided to make my own.
He's called Heed.
Step 1: The Plan, the Tools, the Materials
First you need plans - I have included a scan of the net I drew. Full-size, it's a single A4 sheet.
New for 2009! At no extra cost! I have re-drawn the template as a PDF file, including Mykhailo's suggestion for retaining the head. It is now attached to this step.
You can scale it up (or down!), photocopy it or draw a version yourself.
Heed can be made in paper, but will last longer if made of light card. I used the 160gsm that was already in the photocopier at school.
You will need a pair of scissors, plus a sharp knife to cut the slots that make the connections.
When using the knife, cut on either a proper cutting board or a pad of scrap paper to save your work bench.
Step 2: The Head
Cut out the head, cutting all solid lines.
You need to decorate the model before you build it, unless maybe you plan to paint his features. I've gone for a very minimalist approach, and given Heed a happy face.
Note where I have drawn the face.
Crease or score all the dotted lines.
Glue the tabs, but not the three tabs that surround the lid (bottom three tabs in the photo).
Fold and fix into the box shape.
Step 3: The Body
As for the head, cut along the solid lines. and crease along the dotted lines.
You then need to cut the slots in his bottom. These are where the legs will fit. Don't just cut along the lines, but cut them out - cut twice for each slot, once down each side of the line.
Note that the slots are slightly off-centre. They are nearer the back of the body for reasons of balance.
You also need to cut the V-shaped slots in the side, where the arms will hang later. You will also find it easier if you bend them outwards slightly.
Glue the tabs, again, don't glue the tabs of the lid.
Fix into a box shape.
Step 4: The Legs (feet Included).
Yet again, cut along the solid lines and crease the dotted.
As I type, I notice that I've missed two of the "crease" lines off one of the legs. I'm sure you can cope though.
Look at the photos to see how the feet are creased (short part outwards, long part underneath).
Glue the tab, and the underside of the short part of the foot. The tab is kind of obvious, but the foot isn't: the short bit sticks on top of the long bit. Ah, look at the photos, you'll get it.
Step 5: The Arms
Cut. Crease. You should have the hang of that bit by now.
Knife time - cut the two V-shapes (one on each arm). Don't forget to protewct your bench.
To make the arms nice and rigid (they tended to suffer damage in the earlier versions), I've used four large tabs. Glue three of them, and then fold down all four (make sure you fold the un-glued tab last).
Use the point of your blade, lift the points of the V-shapes out a little bit.
Step 6: Build Him
Start by slotting the legs into the body. If they're a bit loose, don't worry - just hold them in and stand him up - gravity will do the job.
Add the arms. The V-shaped tabs interlock by hooking the arm-tabs into the body tabs. They even allow a certain amount of posing of the arms.
Add the head. It just stands on top, so it can turned to look in a significant direction if you want.
Step 7: But, Why "Heed"?
In Scotland, an empty-headed idiot is a heed the ba' ("his head is like the ball" = full of air).
Since Heed's head is so empty it will hold the rest of his body, the name seemed obvious.
To box up Heed, dismantle him, then open his body. Lay his legs side-by-side, toes up, in the bottom of the body.
Lay the arms on top and close the body.
Open the head, put the body in, and close.
I realise there is quite a bit of space around things inside Heed's head, but I'll be using him with kids with poor scissor-skills. You could draw your own with less clearence, it's up to you.
(Maybe, when you make your own Heed, you could post pictures of him standing and boxed?)