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December 17, 2014 AT 12:30 am

Adafruit Holiday Gift Guide 2014: Gakken Kits

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Gakken is a Japanese publishing company founded in 1946. In the 1970s, they began selling educational toys, books, magazines, and science for adults 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.

Our wide selection of Gakken kits make great gift ideas for the holiday season whether you’re a seasoned veteran or just a young buck in the DIY maker stratosphere!

And speaking of stratosphere…



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The Pinhole Planetarium Kit

Decorate your walls with 10,000 bright stars with this Pinhole Planetarium Kit from Gakken’s series of science for adults kits! The Pinhole Planetarium uses a small light bulb and a micro-perforated dodecahedron to cast the stars, galaxies, and constellations of the northern hemisphere onto your walls. The stellar globe can be set to project the northern hemisphere night sky for any location, date, or time.

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The planetarium was designed using records from JAXA, a Japanese space and aviation research institute, and Takayuki Ohira who created the Megastar planetarium, to ensure high accuracy and a comprehensive collection of cosmic bodies. Both kids and adults love seeing their rooms, living rooms, or offices covered in stars and the pin hole planetarium also adds a level of accuracy that makes it interesting and unique.

Read more…



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Mini Electric Guitar Kit


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.

Read more…



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35mm Twin Lens Reflex Camera Kit

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.

Read more…



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Theo Jansen’s Mini Strandbeest Kit


Theo Jansen’s Strandbeest walks around leisurely, propelled naturally by the wind flowing through its turbines. Now you can build and enjoy your very own miniature version – a small Strandbeest that glides gracefully across surfaces without electricity or batteries.

The Strandbeest is a kinetic, wind-propelled sculpture that was designed by physicist/artist Theo Jansen. While the original was designed for the beach (strandbeest is Dutch for “beach beast”), this do-it-yourself version will work equally well on any flat surface. It’s perfect for kids or adults and isn’t too hard so it won’t take more than an afternoon to put together.

Also you can do neat stuff like hack your Strandbeest Kit to work with your daughter’s hamster wheel, for example.

We also have a Theo Jansen-style Biped Robot Kit and Theo Jansen’s Mini Rhinoceros Kit.

Read more…



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AKARI Origami LED Lamp Shade Kit

Delve into the traditional Japanese art of origami and produce softly lit origami paper. You can make a lampshade using either a square-folded shade or a polygonal shape and then switch between different color lights! Each of the three LED colors can be dimmed individually or set to auto-fade.

The concept and design of the AKARI Origami came about from a collaboration between Japanese artist Hiroyuki Moriwaki and the origami designer Miyuki Kawamura.

Read more…


Other Gakken Kits that we aren’t carrying yet:


All Adafruit Gakken kits, products, projects, and fun can be found here!


Adafruit Holiday Shipping Deadlines 2014

Here are your 2014 shipping deadlines for ordering from Adafruit. Please review our shipping section if you have specific questions on how and where we ship worldwide for this holiday season.

The Adafruit Shipping Department works hard to get your orders out as quickly as we can, but once they’re in the hands of our carriers they’re out of our control.

Carriers have been struggling to keep up with the sharp rise in online orders. Last year UPS, FedEX, and USPS all experienced delivery delays

So all the Adafruit Shippers say: Please be sure you get your gifts early! Order as soon as you can! Once you place your order we’ll ship like the wind!

UPS 3-day (USA orders): Place orders by Wednesday 11am ET – December 17, 2014 – Arrive by 12/24/2014.

UPS 2-day (USA orders): Place orders by Thursday 11am ET – December 18, 2014 – Arrive by 12/24/2014.

UPS overnight (USA orders): Place orders by Friday 11am ET – December 19, 2014 – Arrive by 12/24/2014.

Please note: We do not offer Saturday or Sunday service for UPS or USPS.

Thursday, Dec. 25, 2014, Christmas, no UPS pickup or delivery service.
Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015, New Year’s Day, no UPS pickup or delivery service.

United States Postal Service, First Class and Priority (USA orders): Place orders by Friday– December 12, 2014 – Arrive by 12/24/2014 or sooner.

USPS First class mail international (International orders): Place orders by Friday – November 21, 2014. Can take up to 30 days ore more with worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/24/2014 or sooner, but not a trackable service and cannot be guaranteed to arrive by 12/24/14.

USPS Express mail international(International orders): Place orders by Friday – December 5, 2015. Can take up to 15 days or more with worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/24/2014 or sooner.

Gift Certificates are always available at any time.

When in doubt contact us!


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