Nintendo Labo: Meet the kooky new DIY cardboard controllers for Nintendo Switch

Nintendo has taken the wraps off a series of cardboard toys that will augment and interact with the Nintendo Switch. It’s part of a program called Nintendo Labo and it’s here to help kids both young and old make, play and discover a whole new universe of experiences.

Shown first during a teaser video that aired on YouTube, Nintendo Labo is a kooky, DIY series of cardboard toys that interlink with the Nintendo Switch to transform the console into everything from a miniature piano to a giant fighting robot; i.e. it’s Nintendo at its weirdest and most fun-loving, doing what only Nintendo can do. 

The trailer shows a number of different uses for the toys. There’s the piano, of course, but also fishing poles, motorcycle handles, foot pedals and bird houses. 

Each cardboard toy seems to sync with an interactive experience that appears on the Nintendo Switch: the fishing pole syncs up to a fishing game, naturally, and the robot backpack seems to work with a giant robot fighting game. However, it’s unclear whether the toys and experiences are sold separately, or if the experiences are packaged with each cardboard sheet. 

What makes it DIY is that the video shows each device being meticulously constructed by hand. Nintendo, it seems, will provide a cardboard sheet with perforated edges, and it’s then up to you to cut out and assemble the final product. 

Nintendo Labo will be out on April 20 in the US and Australia, and April 27 in the UK, the company said, and you’ll be able to buy two different sets – the Variety Kit for $70 / £59.99 / AU$100, or the Robot Kit for $80 / £69.99/ AU$120.

Nick Pino

Nick Pino is Managing Editor, TV and AV for TechRadar's sister site, Tom's Guide. Previously, he was the Senior Editor of Home Entertainment at TechRadar, covering TVs, headphones, speakers, video games, VR and streaming devices. He's also written for GamesRadar+, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade, and he has a degree in computer science he's not using if anyone wants it.