Nintendo Labo is a brand new groundbreaking set of physical toys (in the form of DIY cardboard pieces), partnered with software/games. This new line of interactive make, play and discover experiences are designed to educate while entertaining the children with fun activities/games. They also improve children’s knowledge and understanding of a wide range of topics like STEM. By assembling sheets of cardboard into a variety of shapes called Toy-Con, and combining them with the Nintendo Switch console you can bring them to life!
We were so excited when we first saw the sneak previews on The Gadget Show program and also on the Nintendo YouTube channel. Now the wait is finally over. Nintendo Labo has launched last month April and we have the Nintendo Labo Toy-Con 01: Variety Kit in-hand for review! Both of my children were super excited, not only can they build, they can also play games with it!
Now you must be wondering, what is exactly inside this Nintendo Labo Toy-Con 01: Variety Kit? Check this video to see what is inside the box!
This kit comes with everything you need to build and then use to play different games or perform different functions. For example, children can build a cardboard piano, insert the Switch controller and then press the keys to make music. Other creations include a remote-control car/elephant/digger, fishing rod, motorbike and house.
The cardboard is reminiscent of pizza box quality. It’s quite thick and durable but you do have to be quite careful pressing it out the frame and building it.
What I love about this kit is that it also allows children to decorate them any way they want, with additions like stickers and paint. This personalised touch makes the cardboard toy even more unique than ever. Nintendo even encourages this decoration with a separately sold customisation set, filled with stickers, stencils and colourful tape. Check out this RC car designed and personalised by Mr K. He is loving it!
As there are five different toys to make out of this kit, we have decided to make one toy a week to get the best value out of the game and prolong the lifespan of this kit! It is also another great way to spend quality family time together by making, playing and discovering!
My advice for this kit is to start with the simplest item before moving on to the bigger items. Children tend to want to make the most complicated constructions first and suddenly lose interest because of the lengthy steps. Mr K is probably the right age to have the required patience and concentration to go through each step by watching the video, while Ms C is perhaps a little too young.
It only takes 10 minutes to make the RC car. Mr K was happy to spend more time making it his own, personalising it and putting his own stamp on it.
The Fishing Rod which will take 90 -150 minutes to make, whilst the House is about 120 -180 minutes; Motorbike is about 90 – 150 minutes; Piano is about 150 – 210 minutes. We have also made a house. This game is redolent of Tamagotchi. You get to feed and play with him. Put him on the spinning wheels to make him do exercise and many more. Ms C loves this game! We are now looking forward to building more toys this coming half term!
Nintendo Labo also released the Robot Kit which is a kit entirely robot themed and targeted more at its accompanying robot game. If you like robots, then this is definitely for you!
Aside from the novelty of building their own toys, what else does Nintendo Labo have to offer for your children? Well, Labo can be used as an educational tool and it comes packaged with lots of software and information. The Discover part of the software explains exactly how it all works, covering everything from the moving parts of the cardboard to the infrared on the controllers.
Once your child has dug around the Discover section and started to understand how it works, they can even program their own uses for their cardboard constructions with the simple Toy-Con Garage software. This will really let them run wild with their imagination while also developing a valuable understanding of how to use programming and engineering. Once your child has got to grips with this, there is almost no end to what they can build and do with the software and their own custom parts. That all sounds pretty good to me!
I would definitely recommend this to anyone who has a Nintendo Switch. It is such a unique way to have fun and play! For more information, please visit https://store.nintendo.co.uk/nintendo-labo.list
Disclosure: We are part of the Nintendo Family Blogger Network. We received the sample for the purposes of writing this review, however, all thoughts and opinions remain our own. Contains Amazon affiliate links.