The Nintendo LABO is a construction-based toy platform that requires the use of a Nintendo Switch in order to bring the cardboard creations to life. The LABO will arrive in stores on April 20th in two different packages: the Variety Kit and the Robo Kit. The Variety Kit features 5 different “Toy-Con”, including the R.C. Car, the Fishing Pole, the House, the Motorbike, and the Piano. The Robo Kit includes the components to construct a mech suit, complete with a working visor that allows the user to storm through a virtual world displayed on the TV screen. We had the opportunity to try all of the Toy-Con at the preview event but unfortunately, we ran out of time and were unable to test the Robo Kit.
The preview event highlighted all three phases of the Nintendo LABO platform including the Make, Play, and Discover. We were first given the opportunity to assemble the R.C. Car, which is the most basic of the Toy-Con included in the Variety Kit. After spending about 5-10 minutes with the R.C. Car we moved on to the Fishing Rod, which took us about an hour to complete. The building process was impressively intuitive, as all the instructions are displayed on the Switch’s screen allowing creators to progress at their desired pace. While the Fishing Rod contained 5-6 sheets of cardboard and at first seemed overwhelming, the building process was simple and most importantly, fun. My son and I took turns controlling the on-screen instructions, and actually folding and shaping the cardboard into the required components. The suggested age requirement for the Nintendo LABO is 6+ with the supervision of an adult and my son had no problem navigating the software and assembling the Toy-Con. Building times range from about 10 minutes for the R.C. Car up to 2 hours for the most elaborate Toy-Con, the Piano.