This spring, Nintendo will release Nintendo Labo, its crazy, inventive new cardboard accessories for the Nintendo Switch.
The Nintendo Switch is a games console designed to work both at home and when out and about. The main unit can be inserted onto a docking station to connect to a TV, and it can also be removed and used like a tablet or handheld console. It also comes with two detachable Joy-Con controllers, which can do so much more than conventional gamepads, as Nintendo Labo proves.
It includes Toy-Con cardboard accessories that, combined with downloadable games, transform the Switch’s Joy-Cons into all manner of different items, including a fishing rod and piano. They can also be customised for other uses too.
Here then is everything you need to know about Nintendo Labo, including how those wonderful cardboard Toy-Cons work.
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What is Nintendo Labo?
- Nintendo Labo is a new line of Switch accessories
- Consists of cardboard sheets, stickers and mini-games
- You end up with DIY kits, dubbed Toy-Cons
Nintendo Labo works exclusively with the Nintendo Switch console. It transforms the Switch display and Joy-Con controllers into other objects through the use of cardboard attachments and downloadable games. You can buy different kits that build different Nintendo Labo form factors.
This whole thing is being marketed toward kids but, in our experience, adults get just as much fun out of building and playing with the accessories.
There are two kits available to begin with, which can build different Labo Toy-Cons, including a remote-controlled car, piano and robot. However, you can also customise the software that comes with them to give Toy-Cons your own instructions - using basic coding tools.
How do the Nintendo Labo cardboard Toy-Cons work?
- Toy-Cons come in a variety of shapes and sizes
- Each one is unique and works with a downloadable game for the Switch
- You can also customise your Toy-Cons with colouring pens, stickers and more
According to Nintendo, each Toy-Con comes to life when combined with the Nintendo Switch in different ways. For example, you can assemble a fully-functional 13-key piano that uses the Nintendo Switch console and its right Joy-Con controller. As you play, the IR Motion Camera in the right Joy-Con detects which keys are pressed.
It'll play each note through the console’s built-in speakers. There's also a kit that lets you make a motorbike, then insert a Joy-Con controller into each handlebar, and slot the Nintendo Switch console into the middle cradle. Then, hit the ignition button, turn the handle to engage the accelerator, and start racing via the Switch's screen.
Each Toy-Con cardboard accessory is unique. Plus, once built, you can customise your Toy-Con with colouring pens, stickers and paint. Nintendo is also launching a special "Customisation Set" that includes fun stencils, stickers, and coloured tape.
Does Nintendo Labo require Nintendo Switch?
Yes. And the Nintendo Switch costs £280.
What types of Nintendo Labo Toy-Cons are available?
- Two kits (Variety Kit and Robot Kit) will initially be available
- They'll come with all the materials and cartridges needed
- The Robot Kit comes with just the one Toy-Con accessory/game, the Variety Kit several
At launch, Nintendo Labo will offer two kits for sale: the Nintendo Labo Toy-Con 01: Variety Kit and the Nintendo Labo Toy-Con 02: Robot Kit. Both kits include everything you need to bring your Toy-Cons to life, including the building materials and relevant Nintendo Switch game downloads.
What you get in the Nintendo Labo Toy-Con 01: Variety Kit
- Toy-Con RC Car: With this Toy-Con, you insert the left and right Joy-Con controllers into an RC Car (that looks a bit like a giant Hexbug) and control its movement using the touchscreen on the Nintendo Switch.
- Toy-Con Fishing Rod: With this Toy-Con, you construct a fishing rod with a rotating reel that is attached by string to a cradle holding the Nintendo Switch. You can then catch fish shown on the Nintendo Switch's screen by casting your rod and unwinding the reel to lower the hook.
- Toy-Con House: With this Toy-Con, you can insert various blocks into openings in the sides and bottom of the house and then interact, feed, and play games with an adorable creature via the Nintendo Switch's screen.
- Toy-Con Motorbike: With this Toy-Con, you insert each Joy-Con controller into the handlebars of a motorbike. You can then press an ignition button, twist the handlebars, and lean your body to control the motorbike as you race and watch the action unfold on your Nintendo Switch's screen.
- Toy-Con Piano: With this Toy-Con, you assemble a 13-key piano and insert the Nintendo Switch console and Joy-Con controllers in order to create your own music by pressing different keys.
What you get in the Nintendo Labo Toy-Con 02: Robot Kit
- Toy-Con Robot: With this Toy-Con, you create a full-on wearable robot suit. You need to insert the left and right Joy-Con controllers into the backpack and visor to assume control of the robot, which is shown on the TV when the Nintendo Switch console is docked.
How much does Nintendo Labo cost?
- UK pricing: Nintendo Labo Toy-Con 01: Variety Kit is £59.99; Robot Kit is £69.99
- US pricing: Nintendo Labo Toy-Con 02: Variety Kit is $69.99; Robot Kit is $79.99
There is also a Customisation Set that includes fun stencils, stickers, and coloured tape. It costs £8.99 in the UK.
What is the Nintendo Labo release date?
- UK release date: 27 April 2018
- US release date: 20 April 2018
Nintendo Labo will launch from 27 April 2018 across Europe. In the US, it'll be available from 20 April 2018. Pre-orders are now open and you can find out more here: Nintendo Labo pre-orders now open.
Where can you buy Nintendo Labo Toy-Cons?
You can pre-order them now on Amazon in the US and UK:
- Pre-order Nintendo Labo Toy-Con 01: Variety Kit: Amazon (UK) and Amazon (US)
- Pre-order Nintendo Labo Toy-Con 02: Robot Kit: Amazon (UK) and Amazon (US)
- Pre-order Nintendo Labo Customisation Set: Amazon (UK)
Want to know more?
Check out the Nintendo Labo site.