Labo 1974 edition – Nintendo Paper Model Series (ペーパーモデル)

In preparation for Nintendo’s return to producing toys made out of cardboard, I thought I should try out a similar item in my vintage Nintendo collection. In 1974 Nintendo entered the paper craft market, with a series of simple cardboard DIY projects known as the Nintendo Paper Model series (ペーパーモデル).

There are dozens of designs available and I personally own around 15.

My favourite is probably the Johnny Walker licensed bus, but most of the houses look quite nice too.

  

Since I was going to open an item that had been in the packaging for 44 years, I wondered if my niece Emma was interested in helping…

 

…I took that as a yes.

We started after dinner. Emma chose the French Castle (フランスのお城 – Furansu o-jo) as our project.

In a nice coincidence 城 is one of the first Kanji I was able to recognise thanks to 悪魔城ドラキュラ(Demon Castle Dracula) – the Japanese name for Castlevania!

Here is the card laid out. It is not pop-out and requires some intricate cutting and gluing.

It was here that we realised this was actually much too fiddly for young kids. I had to do many of the cuts with a knife, and assembly was also going to be very fine work. Emma kept drawing while I did most of the grunt work (continuing after Emma’s bedtime), and we glued it together the next day.

The final result: not bad!

The design seems largely based on Château d’Azay-le-Rideau, which is situated on a river.

As such, Emma grabbed some extra paper from her craft supplies and prepared some grounds and a pond, complete with reeds and ducks.

Final result with grounds and pond:

All in all, we had a decent evening/afternoon of fun. But here’s hoping Labo will be easier for kids to be involved at each step!

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