The Nintendo Switch era has been quite good for Nintendo. The console has performed incredibly well for the company, providing gamers with massive hits like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, and Splatoon 2. Not every release from the company has been as well-received, however. Nintendo's Labo construction sets have proven to be a unique idea that can be found fairly easily on the discount rack. Nevertheless, Nintendo has continued to support the cardboard concept, and has announced an interesting tie-in for Japan. According to Japanese Nintendo, the March 2020 issue of the magazine Yochien will include papercraft Pokemon designs meant to be used with the Nintendo Labo Variety Kit!
The papercrafts are based on three of the franchise's most popular Pokemon: Pikachu, Eevee, and Bulbasaur. Casual fans might find their appearance to be a little bit off, but that's because the papercraft are based on the free-to-play game Pokemon Quest. Owners of the Labo Variety Kit can make RC cars of the three Pokemon, and control them using the Joy-Con remotes. Readers of the magazine that don't own the Variety Kit can still enjoy the papercraft on their own, or use them as part of an included game! The game involves racing each papercraft down an included ramp.
Released in 2018, Pokemon Quest has appeared on both Nintendo Switch as well as iOS and Android devices. In the game, players control pixelated versions of Pikachu and pals on an island known as Tumblecube. The goal is to defend a base using a team of Pokemon and expel wild Pokemon from the island. The game has been downloaded by millions of players, and has received its own merchandise inspired by the game's unique character designs.
All in all, this is a pretty neat concept for a crossover! The Labo kits are predominantly aimed at younger audiences, and the designs of the characters from Pokemon Quest lend themselves incredibly well to the boxy Labo aesthetic. As of this writing, it seems that this crossover will likely remain exclusive to Japan, but Nintendo has been known to offer downloadable replacement parts for the Labo construction kits, which players can print out and layer over cardboard. Perhaps Nintendo of America will make these available in a similar fashion!