Nintendo has lifted the lid on its amazing looking cardboard Nintendo Labo - games that come with make-it-yourself controllers - and while reactions have been mixed, it's incredibly innovative idea. There are two main Nintendo Labo kits for pre-order, along with a Customisation Set full of stencils, stickers and tape to colour things up. But there are also nine other toys in the trailer that aren’t a part of the two announced kits. Given the first Toy-Con 01 Variety Pack contains five things, that suggests potentially at least another two kits on the way. Let’s work though it all.
Toy-Con 01 Variety Kit ($69.99/£59.99)
- RC car
- Fishing Rod
- Nintendo Labo Variety Kit software
This is the one that really shows off what Labo can do. Five kits of varying complexity, each with a mini-game or app to make use of them. Aside from the software, this is what will fall out of the box:
Lot’s of precisely cut cardboard, rubber bands and bits to turn into toys (it’s worth noting that most of the cost is the software and Nintendo is planning to sell stand alone kits to replace anything that gets broken / trodden on / attacked by the cat).
The beginner toy is the RC Car, which is the little vibrating bug thing:
Once you attach two Joy-Cons to it you can use the Switch’s touchscreen to steer it around. The haptic vibration is precise enough to actually direct it. I KNOW.
There’s also a fishing rod and game with a working reel that you use to hook and catch things you detect with vibrations in the handle:
Both of those are pretty self explanatory in terms of gameplay, as is the motorbike set that lets you steer, accelerate and brake using cardboard handlebars:
Although that seems to feature two additional bits according to some marketing pics. One’s clearly a bike; the other? A speed camera? Hair dryer? No idea.
So far everything thing is easy to grasp. Then there’s the house, which seems to be some sort of ‘my first home invasion’ playset as you plug things into a building to terrorise a tiny creature’s living room:
Although the press release talks about “inserting various assembled blocks into openings in the sides and bottom of the House [to] interact, feed and play games with a cute creature.”
That just leaves the big finish for this set: a working, 13 key piano. That uses the IR camera on the Joy-Con to read reflective tape on the keys so you can play actual music:
As you can see from this shot it also includes additional knobs to control sounds and tones, along with what I’m assuming is a conductor's baton.
Toy-Con 2 Robot kit ($79.99/£69.99)
- ‘Robot suit’
- Nintendo Labo Robot Kit software
Literally the big one. This turns you into a stomping, building smashing robot via a one-man-band style backpack full of strings and levers, as well as a movable visor.
And, yes, the game does look a little like a repurposed version of the Project Giant Robot title originally announced for Wii U in 2014 and then never really seen again.
While there’s only technically one thing in this box there’s quite a lot to unpack. Literally:
- Cardboard sheet x 19
- Cardstock sheets x 4
- Reflective sticker sheet x 1
- Orange string x 2
- Blue string x 2
- Gray canvas straps (large) x 1
- Gray canvas straps (medium) x 1
- Gray canvas straps (small) x 2
- Eyelet set (gray) x 10
- Eyelet set (orange) x 2
The presence of a massive, single use, one idea Labo pack on top of the Variety Kit suggests this could be the two ends of the spectrum for the range - big event toys and little fun collections.
Customisation set ($9.99/£8.99)
This one speaks for itself: a bunch of stencils, stickers and tape for decoration and personalisation. Although the tape could be as much for repair as anything else.
That’s only what Nintendo has announced so far, officially. In the trailer there’s a load of other things not mentioned in any of the press releases, suggesting there’s plenty more to come. That includes...
This car wheel:
Which appears to have a gear shift and key ignition.
There’s what also looks like another RC toy:
That one might need some work. Although it might also be an example of a custom creation, as you’ll be able to use Labo apps to create your own toys. With practice.
There’s also whatever the hell this is for:
I’m guessing that’s a Switch screen in the bird’s… back end, so some sort of flying simulator?
Easier to understand is the camera:
What looks for all the world like a Ninty Pump action shotgun:
Seriously, any ideas on that, drop it in the comments.
And, to round things off, what looks like some sort of control arm, bass drum pedal (presumably with Joy-Cons as drum sticks?) and a flight stick:
Whatever’s on the way, these first Labo kits show just how much potential there is for the idea. The first sets arrive April 27 and it’ll be interesting to see how they go down with the general public, and where it goes over the next year.