YouTuber DanCreator has us wondering what fun Switch accessories we’d be enjoying had Nintendo not seemingly abandoned its Labo cardboard building kits. As fun as the cardboard fishing rod was, we’d eagerly swap it for a full-on cardboard Mario Kart Arcade cabinet, complete with a working steering wheel and gas pedal.
If you don’t remember Labo—which is understandable given 2018 now feels like a decade ago—it was sort of like Nintendo meets Ikea, but instead of furniture made from particle board, players assembled gaming accessories like VR goggles from pre-cut cardboard sheets or built interactive toys like a fully playable piano, which were all powered by the Nintendo Switch and its Joy-Con controllers. When Labo was first revealed, it left a lot of Nintendo fans scratching their heads, but it was a clever way to expand the Switch’s capabilities and introduce new approaches to gameplay, without resulting in a pile of abandoned gaming accessories after a game was completed. (Think Guitar Hero.) When you got bored of Labo, you could just toss all the parts in the recycling bin.
After launching a handful of initial kits, Nintendo hasn’t updated Labo in a few years now. But what if the company had stuck with it, and introduced more and more elaborate ways to enjoy games on the Switch? We can’t help but feel that DanCreator peered into an alternate dimension where Labo was still going strong, and based on what they saw, was inspired to build a cardboard recreation of the incredibly fun Mario Kart Arcade cabinet.
DanCreator’s creation is a variation on the official arcade cabinet, given the Mario Kart Arcade software isn’t actually available for any of Nintendo’s consoles, and presumably never will be. Instead, hidden inside its cardboard frame is a Nintendo Switch connected to a TV running Mario Kart 8 Deluxe: a suitable alternative. There are some other electronics powering this creation, including speakers and LED accent lights, but otherwise the cabinet is entirely made from cardboard, including the steering wheel and gas pedal which both contain a motion-sensing Joy-Con, and an adjustable seat which looks not uncomfortable.
This creation probably wouldn’t last a day in a real arcade—cardboard does not mix well with spilled drinks—but for home use it’s an infinitely cheaper way to bring this game home. Sure, there’s probably a few hundred dollars worth of electronic parts and cardboard stock needed to build it, but that’s a far cry from the real Mario Kart Arcade cabinet’s $11,500 price tag.