There are two things Nintendo is well known for; always doing their own thing and owning the collector aftermarket. Just about every product they make becomes a collectible over time. The die hard fans pretty much are also hard core collectors. Walk into any used video game store and you will see the price of Nintendo products always hold their value. Whenever a new product gets released and supply doesn’t meet demand, scalpers are quick to snatch them up and prey on collectors who have to have the new Nintendo toy right away. However, what about these new cardboard toys? If Nintendo is selling them with patterns gamers can use to make their own replacements. Well, then how is that going to affect the collector market?
What happens ten years from now when a collector is trying to finish up their Switch complete collection but nobody was able to save these things in mint condition because 1, cardboard doesn’t last forever, or 2, well how can you spot an authentic Nintendo manufactured Labo kit and one someone made themselves? On that same topic, how are you going to value the customized kits? Nintendo showed in the video these are going to be plain cardboard, you, the user, will have to color or decorate them yourself. How is that going to affect the collector market? Are you going to see these being sold aftermarket for high price points because collectors will see them as art? I can’t think of anything Nintendo has ever done (since getting into video games) that is as odd as this.
Picture working in a used video game store. How do you take these in for trade ins? How do you tell the authentic ones from the ones people make? Do you give more in credit for the creative art or do you devalue the ones that aren’t ‘mint’? I have no idea how this is going to play out. Ultimately I imagine the games themselves will likely live on but the actual cardboard stuff will probably be a footnote in the grand scheme of things.
If the Wii got a lot of flack for all the little plastic accessories, I am curious to see how gamers react to these new cardboard kits. At the very least they do look like they are taking advantage of all the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controllers features, so there is that.