The Measure of a Man’s Love: Interview with Giant Waifu creator Tobyn Jacobs

The Measure of a Man’s Love: Interview with Giant Waifu creator Tobyn Jacobs

There is no wrong way to love your waifu. Whether you draw art or write fan fiction, cosplay, collect their merchandise, or simply state your love to the world, there are many ways to show that affection. There is one such waifu fan however, who is exploring new heights in his efforts to share his devotion. Enter Tobyn Jacobs: a paper-craft artist from San Diego, CA who specializes in making “giant waifus”. Through a technique called tiled printing, Tobyn is able to create larger than life cutouts of his favorite characters, featuring beloved characters such as Rem from Re:Zero, Sam the “Samsung Girl”, and his OTW (one true waifu), Sayaka Maizono from the Danganronpa series. I found his work through a video a friend retweeted on Twitter and I was starstruck by his dedication to say the least. I immediately reached out to Tobyn to learn more about him and his giant waifu series.

fuck I wish that were me

Tobyn’s first foray into paper-craft was around 2019 when he was trying to figure out how to make a quick Halloween costume. He ultimately decided on creating a giant image of Dorian Nakamoto, the creator of bitcoin, with a few prominent crypto personalities’ faces surrounding it. The success of this DIY spurred Tobyn to continue working with this tiled printing method, moving on to create cardboard cutouts of a few anime characters he liked. Those successes in turn inspired him to test his skills, making larger characters like an eight foot tall Sonia Nevermind, then a twelve foot tall Sayaka Maizono. Each challenge he surmounted drove him to think of bigger projects, leading to his first giant waifu project: the 41 foot Sayaka Maizono.

Armed with his HP printer and a dream, Tobyn manually divided an image of Sayaka in 460 individual rectangles so he could create the pieces needed to put her together. In a few Youtube videos he documents parts of the process, showing her both deconstructed and all together in his driveway. She was actually displayed by Tobyn at Anime Expo 2019.

After that project, Tobyn began to dream even bigger, which is a lot to say after a 41 foot tall project. Since that Sayaka project he has completed an 18 foot tall image of Azami Kurotani from Junji Ito’s Uzumaki, a 100 foot tall Zero Two and a 39 foot tall Rem (his favorite to date), life-sized Lady Dimitrescu, and a 70 foot tall cutout of the infamous Samsung Sam, all documented on his YouTube as well. He makes many life sized cutouts as well, with characters such as Coco Kiryu formerly of HololiveEN, and Utaha Kasumigaoka from Saekano: How to Raise A Boring Girlfriend. He started a project to make a 180+ foot tall image of Misato Katsuragi from Neon Genesis Evangelion, but had put it off to the side for now as he is currently working towards upgrading his equipment so the image can be made in vinyl and therefore waterproof. Another project in the works is a 350 foot image of Speedwagon from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, a project decided by vote on his Youtube channel. This project would usurp the current tallest cutout in the world, a 216 foot tall cutout of Yash, a popular Bollywood actor who was commemorated with the display for his birthday in 2020. Tobyn plans to try and submit Speedwagon to the Guinness World Records if he can complete the project.

Other projects in the works include an 18 foot Iron Golem from Minecraft, his ever growing “Rem Army” comprised of God knows how many cutouts of Kiyotaka Ishimaru with his arm band changed blue for her, a giant Astolfo from the Fate series, and a revision of his original Zero Two project as it got ruined in the wind while trying to get drone shots of her. His giant Sayaka is also a project he wants to redo, as unbeknownst to him the image he used was actually of Tsumugi Shirogane, another Danganronpa character, cosplaying Sayaka. He is also interested in creating stop motion work with his cutouts. Ever the go-getter, Tobyn is planning a few big projects such as a 1000 foot tall character as well as an IRL Minecraft village. If money and time were no issue, his ultimate dream project would actually be to create a Minecraft theme park with working animatronic mobs, as well as a fleet of “waifu airships” that could travel the world. He is also open to being commissioned by companies to create giant waifus, “I would frankly love it if a company like Spike Chunsoft asked me to make like a giant 200 ft Junko, or anything else that’s comparable.”

just guys bein’ dudes

With no formal engineering background, Tobyn learned how to create all of his works by trial and error. His process has become streamlined considerably since his first projects by upgrading from one HP printer to 10 EcoTank photo printers that can print 11×17 inch images. The new printing arsenal and the use of tiling programs like Rasterbator that generate the tiles in seconds have made his workload a lot easier and faster. He has also changed how he creates the backing of his cutouts, going from meshed together bits of cardboard from deliveries and popsicle sticks to giant sheets of cardboard and barbecue skewers. The way he displays his projects outside has also changed with the amount of pieces he has to lay out. His Rem cutout was his hardest project to lay out as he had to fight the wind as well as stake down each of the 50 individual pieces she was composed of. He even ended up getting heat stroke from being out in the sun for so long. When he made his Samsung Sam cutout, he created her in only five pieces and used gorilla tape to secure them, making the process a whole lot easier. Since many people have asked, Tobyn is planning to create his own ultimate tutorial for tiled printing with all the tricks and tips he has learned over the years.

A visual reference to how tall Zero Two was

All in all, Tobyn wants to create and share fun content, “I thought it would be interesting for people to watch and I wanted to create something which people would like to pass around from the sure insanity and weirdness…A lot of the reasons I do this is just because I find it funny.” 

He has made other cutouts unrelated to anime, bodyguards to protect his waifus and home, featuring such great characters as Miniature Mini, Leroi, and many, many armed Tree Man Jones. Many of his cutouts are stored throughout his house (one recent video features his Rem army casually chilling in his living room), but has had to recycle a few projects after they got destroyed. He has also given away some smaller projects as gifts. Unfortunately, none of his projects have shown up on Google Earth yet, but he has gotten attention from strangers and neighbors when displaying them outside, “When I was making the base for the Shingeki No Maizono project, I heard my neighbor say “[What the hell] is that?” to which I presume his wife said “I have no idea”. Because the base was taller than my house it looked like I was building a catapult or something.”

i trust these men with my life

Tobyn shares the progress of his projects on a few different social media, including his Discord, TikTok, Twitter, and Youtube. I am really looking forward to seeing what projects he completes in the future. I love seeing people use unconventional methods of art for their passions, and honestly I have to give it to him for being so fucking innovative in his dedication to his waifus. It makes me want to make a huge Sakura for myself! If you like Tobyn’s work too definitely drop by one of his socials to give him a follow and some words of encouragement.

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