Nintendo Labo combines Switch and cardboard for DIY toys


Playing with power? Now we’re playing with cardboard!

Leave it to Nintendo to drop a little teaser and get the internet out-of-control stoked.

That kid-friendly “new interactive experience” is Nintendo Labo, “a new line of interactive build-and-play experiences that combine DIY creations with the magic of Nintendo Switch.” Just… watch:

Nintendo Labo will be available April 20, 2018 with the Toy-Con 01 Variety Kit and the Toy-Con 02 Robot Kit. I’m genuinely not sure what to make of all this yet, but Nintendo’s name game is on point.

Breaking it down further, the Variety Kit will cost $70 and include five “projects”: two RC cars, one fishing rod, one house, one motorbike, and one piano. The Robot Kit is a little steeper at $80 and comes with a full-on cardboard getup you can strap yourself into. Both kits include software, too.

Variety Kit

  • Toy-Con RC Car: Insert the Left and Right Joy-Con into your newly built RC Car and control its movement using touch screen controls on the Nintendo Switch console. The HD Rumble feature in the Joy-Con controllers will cause vibrations that move the car in the direction you choose. Materials to construct two RC Cars are included.
  • Toy-Con Fishing Rod: Construct the Fishing Rod with an active, rotating reel that is attached by string to a cradle holding the Nintendo Switch console. Catch one of many exotic fish shown swimming on the Nintendo Switch screen by casting your Fishing Rod and unwinding the reel to lower the hook. Once you feel a vibration from the Joy-Con inserted in the reel, you must tug the Fishing Rod upward and crank the reel quickly to try and complete the catch!
  • Toy-Con House: By inserting various assembled blocks into openings in the sides and bottom of the House, you can interact with, play games with and feed a cute creature on the front-facing Nintendo Switch screen. Each differently shaped block is detected by the IR Motion Camera on the Right Joy-Con inserted on top of the House.
  • Toy-Con Motorbike: Insert each Joy-Con into an assembled set of handlebars to drive a motorbike on the Nintendo Switch screen. Pressing the ignition button starts the engine, while twisting the right handle activates the throttle. Leaning your body or turning the handlebars left and right controls the motorbike.
  • Toy-Con Piano: After assembling a beautifully crafted 13-key piano and inserting the Nintendo Switch console and Joy-Con, you can experiment with your own musical creations by pressing different keys. You can even insert different assembled knobs to create new sound effects and tones!

Robot Kit

  • Toy-Con Robot: Create a wearable Robot suit, and insert the Left and Right Joy-Con into the designated slots on the backpack and visor to assume control of the robot, which is shown on the TV when the Nintendo Switch console is docked. Enjoy a variety of fun game-play experiences, including Robot mode, in which you can destroy in-game buildings and UFOs.

There will also be a separate Customization Set with stencils, stickers, and colored tape for $10.

Speaking to TIME, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aimé said the Toy-Con concept could “certainly” be used for “other forms of gameplay” down the road. For now, though, the plan is to “communicate the power of the idea with Nintendo Labo [and] really enable players to make their creations, personalize them, and enjoy the [inherent] gameplay experiences … We think that’s going to be a great way to start and then progress down the path.”

This initiative feels like Nintendo going back to its roots. I just hope that cardboard is sturdy!