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May 15, 2014 AT 2:53 pm

NEW PRODUCTS – GAKKEN (PART 1) – Mini-Theremin Kit / Edison Wax Candle Cylinder Phonograph Kit / Mini Electric Guitar Kit / 35mm Twin Lens Reflex Camera Kit / Electronic Blocks Mini

NEW PRODUCTS – GAKKEN (PART 1)Mini-Theremin Kit / Edison Wax Candle Cylinder Phonograph Kit / Mini Electric Guitar Kit / 35mm Twin Lens Reflex Camera Kit / Electronic Blocks Mini

Gakken is a Japanese publishing company founded in 1946. In the 1970s, they began selling educational toys, books, magazines, and electronic kits. Their kits are known for their smart design and relative ease of use and have a large cult following both in Japan and the United States.

Check out all of our new Gakken products here!


A Gakken kit best-seller, now available from the Adafruit shop: Make and play one of the world’s oldest electronic musical instruments – the theremin!

The theremin is an instrument that plays eerie, otherwordly tones based on the proximity of the players hands to metal antennas. The resulting interference is transformed into music! When assembled, the Mini-Theremin is a full-fledged musical instrument with a built-in speaker.

In stock and shipping now!


“Of all my inventions, I liked the phonograph the best.” – Thomas Edison

While we prefer the incandescent lightbulb, we’re willing to call the phonograph a close second. And with this kit from Gakken, you can now feel like Edison himself by building your own miniature phonograph! This phonograph can record and play about fifty seconds of sound onto a wax candle – mimicking the original wax cylinder used.

This build-it-yourself phonograph works by capturing sound’s vibrations by pressing a needle onto wax candle. The playback does the opposite – the grooves cause the needle to vibrate and when the waves are passed onto a diaphragm, a sound comes out from the phonograph’s horn.

The kit takes about an hour to assemble and is perfect for both kids and adults. It requires no special tools except scissors, cellophane tape, and two AA batteries that aren’t included. Candles, however, are included!

In stock and shipping now!


Shredders unite! This handmade Mini Electric Guitar has a built-in amp and speaker. The strings on this 320mm guitar can be installed and tuned the same way as a normal sized guitar. The built-in amp and speaker output a powerful distortion sound, and an external amp can also be connected with a standard 1/4″ jack for clearer & better tones.

Even includes a pick that allows for easy playing! All that’s needed to assemble this kit is a Phillips screwdriver, everyday cellophane tape, pliers, and 2xAA batteries.

In stock and shipping now!


The Gakken Twin Lens Reflex Camera is perfect for anyone who loves photography or electronics. This highly portable camera, when assembled, has a unique appearance with a pair of vertically arranged lenses. The upper lens is used to set the view, angle, and focus the camera, while the bottom lens is used to take the actual photographs. Use any 35mm color/slide/b&w film (not included!)

The kit also includes stickers to decorate your camera and with its twin lens functionality, you can give your shots a unique, individual style to show off to your friends! This kit is guaranteed to give you way more hipster-cred than a Holga.

In stock and shipping now!


Learn circuit basics with these fun electronic blocks! These 46 blocks contain enough transistors, resistors, wireless microphones, and electronics buzzers to run up to 150 different experiments. They require no special tools and allow you to build anything from a lie detector to a diode tester.

This kit is very delicate! We recommend this kit for more advanced makers as it only includes a Japanese Manual (with pictures) and may require some minor repair along the way. It might be a good idea to have a multimeter handy when building this kit as it’ll make troubleshooting easier.

Inside the magazine there’s the same Japanese manual that we’ve provided, as well as example diagrams of 50 different configurations to make 50 different working circuits. Some of the configurations require some interpretation of diagrams and images (such as pinching two blocks together) but the experiments are worth it and you’ll learn along the way.

In stock and shipping now!

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