Nintendo Labo poses as something completely unique in the entertainment world. It results from the combination of cardboard modeling, the Joy-Con technology and the Nintendo Switch screen interface. Together they create something new. But … is it the first time that Nintendo works on something similar? If we study the past of the Japanese company, we realize some curious details that could explain the origin of this line of products.
1. Cardboard modeling
Nintendo created, in 1972, a set of 39 sheets of cardboard (under the “Paper Model” stamp), each 50 centimeters long. Said sheets had to be cut, folded and glued to give shape to animals, vehicles and even buildings. It is said that they were quite fragile, nothing to do with the greater strength of Nintendo Labo’s cardboard. However, this illustrates the fact that Nintendo, as a toy manufacturer, had already experimented with the possibilities of paper and cardboard.
Nintendo gave rise to a lot of toys in a relatively short space of time. We have found some that share similarities with some of the Toy-Con presented to date. For example, Toy-Con House resembles in structure and dimensions the People House, a “dollhouse” of 1968, which was aimed at girls. Another example is Antenauta Toy-Con, which shares characteristics with the Lefty RX, designed by the mythical Gunpei Yokoi. It was the first radio control car of economic price, which had the limitation of turning only to the left (hence its name).
3. Shigeru Miyamoto
We will have to wait to know the details about the development process of Nintendo Labo. However, it is not unreasonable to think that Miyamoto was one of the minds behind the project. According to an interview in The New Yorker, as a child (in his native Kyoto), and because his parents did not have much money, he made his own toys, using various materials. We also know that Miyamoto initially entered Nintendo thinking about making toys. However, the company was in a transition to the videogame industry at that time (late seventies). By the way, do not you hear what you have seen about the Robot kit? It looks a lot like Project Giant Robot, a video game Miyamoto was working on, but it was finally canceled.