In a small deviation from our usual Craft Saturday posts, today let’s focus on the Nintendo Labo. If you haven’t seen the trailer, here you go:
Seriously amazing, right? For any of you who have an engineer, a maker, a crafter, a builder, an artist, a tinkerer, a musician, a kid with a wild imagination – you likely got the same goosebumps I did thinking of all the ways our kids will love this. The reason this works, is because Nintendo is taking what our kids already do, and marrying it with technology so they can see their creations come to life.
Both of my kids want Labo. Both of my kids have been thinking of peripherals and sets they would like to see and make. The amount of time the kids have already spent coming up with ideas for what kinds of things they want to play with and how they would incorporate the Joy-Cons to make them function with the Switch has already made the Labo worth it. The Youngest is hoping to be able to make a sword and shield with Labo. As I sit here typing those words, he’s thought up three more ideas. And decided to get out his sketch book and draw everything up. This is what we want: Technology that activates our kids to think and create.
What’s Available Right Now
So far there are two sets available for preorder: the Variety Kit and the Robot Kit. The Variety Kit has six Toy-Cons: 2 Remote control cars, a Fishing Rod, a Motorbike, a House, and a 13 Key Piano. The Robot kit will gear your kid up with a robot suit.
Nintendo also has a customization kit coming out that will include stencils, stickers, and tape. Plus there are several Toy-Cons we can see in the trailer that do not have a set yet. Looks like we can expect a Drum Kit, a Flight Simulator, a Camera, a Race Car, a Bird, and possibly a Bow and Arrow, Guitar, and Conductor’s Baton. Nintendo’s product description states that you can invent your own Toy-Con, though the parameters for that are currently unknown. But maybe that means that there can be sword Toy-Cons in the Youngest’s future.
Now the nitty-gritty for the parents. The Toy-Cons are made of cardboard. Nintendo is aware that cardboard can break from use, get stepped on, and so forth. They are going to have replacement part kits and also offer the template designs online for free. Which is good news for those kids who want to make it all from scratch. So go ahead and start hoarding that cardboard from Ikea, Amazon, and maybe even cereal boxes. For anyone who can’t stand the scratch of cardboard I highly recommend Washi Tape. It masks the sound perfectly. Plus it comes in loads of colors and designs to suit your kid’s individual style.
As all of the experienced makers out there get their hands on Labo, we can expect to see some high quality materials used to make the cardboard parts. Really looking forward to that part. The Eldest is old enough to follow some of the tutorials that will come out for materials like foam, PVC, and 3D printed parts.
Nintendo Labo comes out on April 20th. I fully expect these to fly off the shelf, so if you can preorder, go ahead and do so. And I hope to see all of your kid’s wild and colorful creations!
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