Nintendo announces Labo: Switch compatible cardboard toys

As if just playing with your Nintendo Switch wasn't enough, you'll soon be able to build cardboard accessories to go along with your Joy-Con controllers. They're called ... wait for it ... Toy Cons.

Kids (and adults) will soon be able to invest in Switch compatible cardboard kits to make things like a piano, fishing pole, and motorcycle. The kits are designed to be used alongside your Switch and the Joy-Con controllers. For example, if you make the motorcycle, you'll be able to place the Switch screen in the center of the cardboard handlebars and then slide the Joy-Cons into the handlebar grips. You'll then be able to play a racing game from the driver's point-of-view.

There are two kits launching in April. The first is the $69.99 Variety Kit, which comes with the materials to make five different Toy Con toys, including 2 RC cars, a fishing pole, a house, a motorbike, and a piano. The kit includes the cardboard sheets, stickers, string, eyelets, sponge sheets, and rubber bands.

The second kit, the $79.99 Robo Kit, is a small human sized cardboard backpack with a headset and devices that attach to your hands and feet. Presumably, this will allow kids to move like a Transformer while battling it out in a special game. It comes with cardboard sheets, cardstock sheets, stickers, string, canvas straps, and eyelets.

Here's the official information from Nintendo:

Variety Kit ($69.99MSRP*)

Toy-Con RC Car: Insert the Left and Right Joy-Con into your newly built RC Car and control its movement using touch screen controls on the Nintendo Switch console. The HD Rumble feature in the Joy-Con controllers will cause vibrations that move the car in the direction you choose. Materials to construct two RC Cars are included.Toy-Con Fishing Rod: Construct the Fishing Rod with an active, rotating reel that is attached by string to a cradle holding the Nintendo Switch console. Catch one of many exotic fish shown swimming on the Nintendo Switch screen by casting your Fishing Rod and unwinding the reel to lower the hook. Once you feel a vibration from the Joy-Con inserted in the reel, you must tug the Fishing Rod upward and crank the reel quickly to try and complete the catch!Toy-Con House: By inserting various assembled blocks into openings in the sides and bottom of the House, you can interact with, play games with and feed a cute creature on the front-facing Nintendo Switch screen. Each differently shaped block is detected by the IR Motion Camera on the Right Joy-Con inserted on top of the House.Toy-Con Motorbike: Insert each Joy-Con into an assembled set of handlebars to drive a motorbike on the Nintendo Switch screen. Pressing the ignition button starts the engine, while twisting the right handle activates the throttle. Leaning your body or turning the handlebars left and right controls the motorbike.Toy-Con Piano: After assembling a beautifully crafted 13-key piano and inserting the Nintendo Switch console and Joy-Con, you can experiment with your own musical creations by pressing different keys. You can even insert different assembled knobs to create new sound effects and tones!

Robot Kit ($79.99MSRP*)

Toy-Con Robot: Create a wearable Robot suit, and insert the Left and Right Joy-Con into the designated slots on the backpack and visor to assume control of the robot, which is shown on the TV when the Nintendo Switch console is docked. Enjoy a variety of fun game-play experiences, including Robot mode, in which you can destroy in-game buildings and UFOs.

Both kits will be available in the U.S. starting April 27.

If you have kids between 6 and 12 years old and live near New York City, NY or San Francisco, CA you can register for a chance to attend a hands-on demonstration of the Toy-Con kits, which take place February 2 - 3 in New York and March 2 - 4 in California. There is very limited space for this three-hour demo, so Nintendo is asking parents to sign their kids up now.

The Toy-Con Kits are part of Nintendo's new Labo line. The company is marketing these cardboard toys as do-it-yourself customizable creations. In addition to the kits, which you can decorate any way you like, you'll also be able to get an official Customization Set, which includes stencil sheets with letters and numbers, sticker sheets, which have things like eyes and fun illustrations, and two rolls of Washi tape. The Customization Set costs $9.99 and will also launch on April 27.

Lory Gil

Lory is a renaissance woman, writing news, reviews, and how-to guides for iMore. She also fancies herself a bit of a rock star in her town and spends too much time reading comic books.  If she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can probably find her at Disneyland or watching Star Wars (or both).