Awesome cardboard Darth Vader costume lets you become an eco-friendly Jedi villain【Video】

May the Box be with you.

When Japanese stationery company Showa Note introduced its line of wearable cardboard costumes, their cool-looking samurai armor promised endless fun for kids and adults alike.

But ever since the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi on the epic space opera’s 40th anniversary, the company has received numerous requests from fans to expand the existing cardboard series. And with Solo: A Star Wars Story releasing soon in Japan on June 29, Showa Note responded by adding the jet black armor of Darth Vader to its cardboard costume lineup.

▼ Make your very own Jedi villain costume and wield the Force with impunity.

Like all wearable cardboard costume kits created by the company, the Darth Vader getup can be easily assembled straight out of the box without the need for extra tools.

Whether it’s the easy-to-pop-out perforated cardboard parts or the imprinted numbers indicating which things go where, everything about the kit is child-friendly. Even the wave-like edges of the parts cushion impact against skin, reducing the likelihood of children cutting themselves.

Since the Darth Vader costume comes pre-painted, aspiring Jedi Masters can direct all their attention on creating their garb instead of cleaning up messy paint spills. Made from more than 90 percent recycled corrugated cardboard, the armor is both light and easy to handle.

▼ Eco-friendly Darth Vader, ready to go.

Although a Chewbacca cardboard costume seems unlikely for now, C-3PO and his trusty buddy R2-D2 would make awesome additions, not to mention feared bounty hunter Boba Fett.

The Darth Vader cardboard getup costs 3,980 yen (US$36.12) and is scheduled to be released in fall this year, making it a great gift for kids or a fantastic cosplay option when Halloween comes around.

Source: Showa Note, YouTube/Oyakotori via Value Press
Top image: YouTube/Oyakotori
Insert image: Showa Note

Nintendo Labo: Mad genius sets to build your own Switch controllers out of cardboard【Video】

Some would say Nintendo’s video games killed the conventional kids’ toy market, but now they might be bringing it back.

When Nintendo told gamers it would reveal “a new way to play with the Nintendo Switch” on January 18 (Japan time), I naturally assumed the company was finally going to unveil its platform for digitally purchasing classic Nintendo games on the console. After all, the Switch already has an NES emulator buried in its internals.

But nope. The ever-innovative Nintendo pulled off something incredible in the modern era of loose lips and slow-drip teaser videos, and instead announced something completely unexpected with Nintendo Labo: a brand-new line of Switch peripherals made out of cardboard.

Seriously. The newest add-ons for Nintendo’s high-tech gaming gear are wildly imaginative controllers made of thick paper, string, rubber bands, and sponges, and you assemble them yourself, following tutorials displayed on your Switch screen.

▼ Nintendo calls the items “Toy-Cons,” a play on words with the Switch’s Joy-Con controllers.

Because of the Switch’s modular nature, the screen/processor and two controllers can all be docked in separate parts of the Toy-Con, which allows for a huge variety of designs. In addition to the 13-key piano (which is playable), some of the highlights from the announcement video include a motorcycle, fishing rod, robot suit/backpack (complete with head-mounted display), and even a remote controlled car that you control with the touchscreen and moves by utilizing the vibration functions of the Joy-Cons.

The Nintendo Labo’s retail debut is coming on April 20, with two sets being offered initially. The Variety Kit comes with enough materials to make two RC cars, the fishing rod, the house, the motorbike, and the piano.

The Robot Kit, meanwhile, is a stand-alone package specifically for those looking to build the robot suit.

If some of the designs look pretty complex, that’s partially the point, Nintendo is almost billing Nintendo Labo as an educational product, with a tagline of “Make. Play. Discover.” Nintendo is asserting that understanding how the Toy-Cons work is a major component of the fun, and the video even encourages users to dream up their own ways to use their cardboard creations.

Neat as the idea may be, Nintendo Labo sets aren’t going to be cheap. The Variety Kit has a suggested retail price of US$69.99 in North America, and the Robot Kit is even pricier at $79.99 (pricing in Japan is roughly the same). At those prices, you might be wondering what’s stopping people who’re goods at arts and crafts from reverse engineering the sets and sharing blueprints online, but at least part of Nintendo’s asking price is justified by the fact that Nintendo Labo kits come bundled with games designed to be played with the assembled Toy-Cons.

But there’s a bit of a potential problem there as well. There’s no arguing that Nintendo gets high marks for creativity for Nintendo Labo, but the company has shown that it can sometimes think a little too far outside the box. Consider the company’s Virtual Boy, which started with a novel idea (immersive 3-D graphics through a dedicated single-person monitor), but one that severely limited gameplay options and resulted in a limited library of shallow games.

Yes, some of the Toy-Cons shown in the video look like they’d make great substitutes for the buttons, thumbsticks, and D-pads of conventional video game experiences. But when the footage shows a Toy-Con that’s a house with a faucet on its side, used to play a game in which a bunch of jelly beans are bouncing around a living room, it’s all too easy to flash back to Nintendo’s gimmicky and underwhelming 1-2-Switch, which was released alongside the system and failed to parlay its motion controls into a sufficiently enjoyable party game.

▼ And if you can figure out a way to make a game with a bird-shaped controller that’s fun for more than five minutes, you’re a much more imaginative person than I am.

While Nintendo Labo is sure to attract adults as well, Nintendo seems to be heavily pushing it as something for kids (upcoming hands-on demonstrations in San Francisco and New York are exclusively for kids ages 6 to 12 and their parents), which is going to make the cost a definite issue. 70 dollars is a bit on the pricy side for a new video game release, and it’s definitely a lot for a cardboard toy, which might be what parents primarily see Nintendo Labo as. And if parents see it as an arts-and-craft project, that sticker shock is going to be all the more severe.

At the same time, there’s no denying the appeal of the novelty factor, which might get people to open their wallets for an unprecedented entertainment option, and it’s possible that Nintendo has found a deep and lasting consumer desire. And even if Nintendo Labo releases and up being few and/or far-between, the fact that Nintendo Labo also requires a Nintendo Switch seems like a subtle strategy to boost the system’s already impressive sales, and so even if Nintendo ends up not putting out a steady stream of Nintendo Labo sets for years to come, the allure of building Toy-Cons could put its hardware into more homes, and in turn boost the potential audience for its conventional video games.

Source: Nintendo
Featured image: YouTube/Nintendo
Top image: Nintendo
Insert Images: YouTube/Nintendo, Nintendo (1, 2, 3)

Japanese cat gets the ultimate playhouse: a giant cardboard robot hand-made by its owners【Pics】

We wish there was space for us inside too.

As we’ve seen before, there are few things cats love more than a nice cardboard box to claim as their domain. And though any box will do, if you really love your pet you might be tempted to spruce up its cardboard abode with one that’s shaped like a fancy bathtub or Shinto shrine.

But what if your aesthetics run less toward the luxurious or cultural, and more towards the just-plain-awesome? Then we’d recommend following the example of Japanese Twitter user @kyoryu_kuramo and building a giant robot (giant compared to a cat, anyway) for your kitty to play and relax in.

After amassing a number of empty boxes (that previously held cat food), @kyoryu_kuramo, who’s also a toy designer, sketched a design for the robot. From there, his wife, a trained welder, took over and made her husband’s vision a reality.

▼ The rear hatch/ramp allows for easy access to the cockpit.

Upon completion, kitty mecha jock Sei Shonagon happily climbed in with no coaxing necessary, taking the sort of bold initiative anime protagonists often lack when ordered to get into robots built by their fathers. To sweeten the deal, the human couple added a literal creature comfort by putting a soft pad to sit on inside the cockpit.

However, while @kyoryu_kuramo’s home has only one cardboard robot, it has multiple cats.

In response to this lack of mecha infrastructure, @kyoryu_kuramo has already started work designing a second cardboard robot, although it’s unclear whether this is because he’s a loving pet owner or simply drunk on his own power as a mad scientist.

Oh, and if you love the idea of cats in cardboard robots so much that you’d like to wear it proudly on your chest…

…there’s already a T-shirt commemorating the first unit, available online here for 2,800 yen (US$25).

Just don’t let your pets see you wearing it if you’re not planning to build them a robot yourself, unless you want to drive them mad with jealousy.

Source: IT Media
Featured image: Twitter/@kyoryu_kuramo

Father Hides Real Nintendo Switch in Son’s Cardboard Version

Twitter user Mohikan recently posted some pictures of his creative, game-loving son.

On April 5, Mohikan posted a picture of his son playing “Poop Prince Adventure 2” on his newest homemade PC. Mohikan noted that the PC’s display has a “mysterious 29:8 aspect ratio.”

The new “Poop Prince Adventure 3” game apparently got a Nintendo Switch port last Thursday. Mohikan mused that his son might have been trying to give him a hint that he wanted a non-cardboard Nintendo Switch.

Mohikan’s son did not have to wait long to get his hands on the real thing. The father reported on Monday, “While he was taking a bath, I turned my son’s homemade Switch into a real playable one. I wonder when he’ll notice.”

Mohikan posted another update on Monday as his son’s days of gaming on tree products came to an end. It looks like the boy was slightly excited when he discovered his father’s trick.

Although Mohikan did not reveal all the games he bought, the lucky son can at least play Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Nintendo released the game on Switch on April 28. If the boy is as devoted to electronic gaming as he is to paper gaming, he might start breaking records soon. Maybe he can beat Jimmy-e, who found a way to clear the game’s Big Blue course in just 63 seconds.

Source: Twitter/@mohikan1974 via Hachima Kiko
Featured image: Twitter/@mohikan1974

More from Anime News Network:

Japanese artist’s cardboard creations are impressively detailed, delightfully fun

From a bag of potato chips to Doc’s DeLorean, there’s nothing she can’t make!

Art is all around us, if you know where to look. It can take on many forms, both visually and audibly, and artists find inspiration and medium in whatever it is that surrounds them. For Monami Ohno, her medium of choice happens to be cardboard. While most of us may not see cardboard as anything other than a way to pack and store things, Monami has been transforming the plain brown board into intricate three-dimensional creations since 2011, as a student at the Osaka University of Arts. A look through her Instagram gallery will have you wowing at her undeniable talent.

▼ “May the fourth be with you”

▼ Cardboard fashion seems to be catching on, though we have to admit this is a bit more impressive than Mr. Sato’s cardboard outfit.

▼ The attention to detail is amazing – all the way down to the serial number and signatures!

▼ It may look like cardboard, but we wouldn’t be surprised if this thing could actually shoot.

▼ Mecha Godzilla looks ready to take over Tokyo!

▼ Her Godzilla even has moving parts.

▼ The red laces are a nice touch.

▼ The detail she put into this cardboard DeLorean is mind blowing…

▼ Monami still knows how to enjoy the simpler things in life too, like a cold can of beer.

▼ These chips even have little flecks of seasoning!

Be sure to keep up with Monami on her Instagram, and find information about her workshops and exhibitions on her website here. If you’re getting the urge to be creative with cardboard but can’t make it to a workshop, Mr. Sato may be able to give you some more inspiration too.

Source, images: Instagram/@monamincb

Mr. Sato installs a cardboard toilet in his workspace for maximum efficiency

Mr. Sato overcomes his greatest foe in the battle for time: his own bowels.

Like many writers, when Mr. Sato gets in a groove, he wants nothing to interrupt him. No phones calls, no trips to the store, and no chitchat when he gets writing. However, when many of your articles tackle the subject of eating obscene amounts of food, there is one thing that he simply cannot put aside…

Take this instance where our star writer is hard at work – even though he appears to be typing on an article that he had already published months earlier.

Everything is going smoothly, and Mr. Sato had come up with the perfect bon mot to describe his all-you-can-eat raw egg experience when a rumble in his tummy occurs.

He tries to fight it as his hands type frantically, but the urge gets stronger and stronger. Farts begin to emerge first quiet, but gradually louder and smellier, indicating his impending interruption.

“Not now!!!”

With no alternative, he gathers up his laptop and moves the entire operation onto the toilet. However, with the nuisance of moving and new surroundings of the lavatory, his train of thought has completely derailed.

After one particularly harrowing Taco Bell review, Mr. Sato researched alternatives and came across the “Simple Cardboard Toilet & Partition Setselling on Amazon Japan for only 2,970 yen (US$26).

The order was made and two weeks later his little bundle of joy arrived.

These cardboard toilets were meant to be used in disaster situations for emergency shelters, but to Mr. Sato, mood-killing bowel movements were his own private catastrophes and required a suitable countermeasure.

It came in two piles of cardboard, one to be assembled into a toilet bowl and the other to be crafted into a privacy-securing partition. Mr. Sato was impressed with the quality of cardboard. It was both durable and light, and very easy to assemble.

Each unit is also designed to be foldable for easy storage.

Assembly of both the can and partition took about 20 minutes. It was a minuscule price to pay for all the time he was about to save himself.

The toilet bowl was fitted with a plastic bag, into which a special coagulant is put. This chemical that came with the toilet acts to solidify any waste that enters it.

And with that, it was complete!

Finally, Mr. Sato, his desk, and his toilet were as one.

Now, any time his stomach began to churn, Mr. Sato could just keep on working without missing a second of potentially valuable inspiration. It gave him an added sense of security as well. If terrorists were to take over the RocketNews24 offices, Mr. Sato could stay holed up at his desk, self-sufficient for quite some time.

Even better, Mr. Sato began finding benefits to his desk toilet that he hadn’t even anticipated. First, because he was sitting on the toilet all the time, his need for pants vanished. To his amazement the liberating sensation of working without pants opened his mind up to new realms of thought.

A popular saying is “don’t s%&t where you eat,” and that is sage advice. The converse, however, is fool’s talk as Mr. Sato discovered it to be a golden rule for the time conscious worker. By snacking both at his desk and on his toilet, his body became a freeway of ideas and digestible matter operating at peak efficiency.

If all that weren’t enough, Mr. Sato’s toilet kept all his co-workers at a safe distance so they wouldn’t bother him with questions or idle chatter while he was creating. In fact, after a while people didn’t even call him on the telephone anymore, leaving him to focus fully on his craft.

Like before as it had in the areas of fashion and residency, cardboard has once again revolutionized Mr. Sato’s life. Sure, he’s completely withdrawn from society now, but society is highly overrated anyway. Isn’t that right Mr. Sato?

That’s right.

Reference: Amazon Japan/Simple Cardboard Toilet & Partition Set
Photos: ©RocketNews24

Mr. Sato shows how to work from home, even if you have to commute to the office

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If you can’t take your work home, just build a new home at work.

It may not look that way when he’s chowing down on 1,000 slices of cheese or blasting his junk with icy cooling spray, but Mr. Sato, RocketNews24’s crack Japanese-language correspondent, has a delicate creative process that belies the chaotic nature of his finished articles. Between bouts of concentrated madness, he likes to isolate himself from the rest of the world, letting his mind heal and his spirit reform, before throwing himself into his next endeavor.

That presents a bit of a problem, though. Like most Japanese workplaces, RocketNews24 headquarters has a very open floor layout. There are no cubicles, and even our boss, man of the people that he is, doesn’t have a private office.

And yet, Mr. Sato longs for a space of his own. Unfortunately, RocketNews24 is located in Tokyo’s Shinjuku neighborhood, one of the most expensive districts of one of the most expensive cities in the world. As such, expanding the office to give Mr. Sato his own territory is out of the question, so he decided to take matters into his own hands and do the next best thing.

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The other day, while we were all hard at work, there was a knock at the door. Standing there was a deliveryman with a package from Amazon, which Mr. Sato signed for with an expectant grin on his face.

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We were puzzled as he opened the flat cardboard container and started pulling still more sheets of cardboard from it. But after a few moments, what he was doing became clear.

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Mr. Sato was building a small cardboard house in the middle of our office.

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This was no cheap shack, either. As we stole glances at Mr. Sato’s progress (being careful not to make eye contact, of course), we noticed that the light brown structure was equipped with a functioning doorknob and even an operating push-button doorbell.

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Artistic type that he is, Mr. Sato had even selected a model with stars and a crescent moon cut out of the roof, no doubt so that he could gaze up at the celestial bodies to help him overcome bouts of writer’s block.

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And finally, to show that the house was occupied, Mr. Sato wrote his name on a placard on the front door, as is the custom in Japan.

▼ “Sato”

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The whole thing took about 20 minutes to put together, and didn’t require any tools or cutting. While we were happy for the guy, by this time we were hoping he’d get back to work. Thankfully, he was thinking the same thing…

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…and so he hopped back into his chair and started typing away!

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However, this is technically a children’s playhouse (which Mr. Sato ordered through Amazon Japan here for 4,644 yen [US$40]) not a piece of office equipment. As such, it wasn’t really designed to be placed on top of a chair. But Mr. Sato was growing increasingly fond of his new home, which is the first single-family house he’s ever owned. And so instead of emerging from it in order to sit at his desk like a normal human being, he solved the problem in a different way…

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…by claiming a portion of the office floor and bringing his laptop with him.

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With this, Mr, Sato had finally achieved his long-held aspiration of being able to work from home,

▼ He also had a partial view of his coworker’s butt, though we’re not sure if that has a positive or a negative effect on his property value.

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In order to make their residence really feel like a home, some people like to throw house-warming parties. However, such a thing would run counter to Mr. Sato’s primary objective of isolating himself from the rest of society. So instead, he settled on asserting his identity as a homeowner by ordering food to be delivered to his house. Granted, he didn’t have a phone line in his cardboard palace, but that wasn’t a problem.

“Hey! I’m hungry over here!”

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This caused everyone in the office to quickly shout “Not me!” The slowest to respond, though was Japanese-language reporter P.K. Sanjun, who then made the trip across the street to the local branch of the Lawson convenience store chain and brought back a cup of ramen and a yakitori chicken skewer for his vocally famished coworker.

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He also provided Mr. Sato with a can of happoshu, Japan’s ultra-low malt beer, in hopes that if Mr. Sato were full and buzzed, he’d succumb to sleepiness and let the rest of us do some actual work.

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Luckily, it did the trick. Mr. Sato retracted back into the walls of his home, and after a few last looks out the front peephole, all was quiet.

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Now if we could just figure how to make him come out again.

Images ©RocketNews24