Publishing and toy company Gakken's Otona no Kagaku 大人の科学 scientific kits are very sought-after and often sold out quickly after they are released. It's not hard to see why. A quick look at their past issues reveals such appealing kits as an authentic letterpress printer, a hand-drawing machine co-developed with Meiwa Denki, an atomic yet retro-looking flip-clock, and many more.

Their March 2020 issue was no exception, with many stores reporting they were out of stock only days after it went on sale. This kit contained a cute yet fully-functioning device that could not only play 5-inch vinyl records but also engrave them with a stylus, using your smartphone as the sound source. Developed together with sound designer Yuri Suzuki, the Toy Record Maker was sold out already at the pre-order phase, after going viral on Japanese social media.

It was also picked up by Dezeen and other English-language media sites.

According to Dezeen, there are plans to sell the device, branded as "Easy Record Maker," in the UK and the US later this year. However, if you don't want to wait or if you live in Japan, you'll be happy to know that Gakken has decided to reissue this kit, bringing it back by popular demand.

Toy Record Maker

Engrave and play your own records

Record cutting machines are normally only available commercially and are quite expensive. As such, they're familiar to record fans but many of them have never actually used one. Cutting grooves onto a fresh record is a process which not only record enthusiasts, but anyone who loves music can get excited about.

Recording time is 4 minutes at 33 rpm and 3 minutes at 45 rpm. Once you've cut your vinyl, you can play the finished record on an ordinary player.

Built-in speaker; plays commercial 7"s

A stylus used for normal record players is included for playback. You can listen to 7-inch records (with the included adapter) as well as the selection of records which come with the kit. Since it has an output terminal, it can be connected to earphones and external speakers.

Features and kit contents

The Toy Record Maker runs on a belt-drive, has a ceramic cartridge unit, an internal speaker, can cut and play monaural records, has a switch to change from 33 to 45 rpm, another switch to change from recording to playback mode, and has a 3.5 mm monaural audio socket for input and output and a USB socket for power.

The kit contains a USB cable, a 3.5 mm audio cable, two cutting styli, 10 5" blank records (5 white, 5 black, double-sided), a 7" record adapter, record sleeves, 10 sheets of construction paper to make jackets, and one sheet of label stickers


  • Name (JP): 『大人の科学マガジン トイ・レコードメーカー』
  • Meaning: Otona no Kagaku Magazine: Toy Record Maker
  • Concept Design and Direction by Yuri Suzuki
  • Price: 7,980 JPY plus tax
  • Originally sold on March 26th, 2020
  • Format: A4-henkei / 68 pages + kit
  • ISBN:978-4-05-750722-4
  • Publisher: Gakken Plus Co. Ltd.
  • Website: Otona no

To buy yours, visit Gakken's website here.

Promotional video

Styli and additional records can also be purchased

You can also purchase additional records (black, white, green and blue) as well as styli at their website here.

By - Ben K.

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