Otamatone (Image courtesy Trends in Japan)
By Andrew Liszewski

I’m not entirely sure how to classify the Otamatone, it’s kind of a cross between a musical toy, an actual instrument and a theremin. “Waaaah”-like sounds are produced by squeezing the ‘face’ at the bottom while sliding one’s fingers up and down the ‘neck’, but to really understand what it is, how it’s played and how it sounds, I recommend watching this video.

The Otamatone was created by Maywa Denki, whose website is even more confusing than this device, but since it was shown at the 2009 Tokyo Toy Show I have to assume it will actually be available for sale in Japan at some point.

[ Trends in Japan – Tokyo Toy Show 2009 ]