The Otamatone is an electronic musical synthesizer. It was developed in Japan in 1998 by the CUBE toy company and the Maywa Denki design firm.
The Otamatone is a singing toy whose body is shaped like an eighth note (it also somewhat resembles a tadpole, "otamajakushi" being Japanese for "tadpole"), with sound emerging from a "mouth" on the notehead.
It requires two hands to play: while one hand holds and squeezes the "head", the other hand controls the pitch of the tune by placing the finger on a ribbon controller on the stem; a higher position on the stem creates a lower sound.
The ribbon controller is deliberately delinearized to resemble a guitar, so there is a shorter distance between higher notes than between lower ones. Varying the pressure on the head (thereby opening and closing the "mouth" of the Otamatone) creates a wah-wah effect, and shaking the neck (and thereby slightly changing pressure on the head) creates a vibrato effect.
Switches on the back of the head allow users to change octave, turn it off or on, or change the volume. The sound made by this toy can be compared to the sound of a theremin, synthesizer, or jinghu.
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Excellent gift for the eccentric musician in your life. Mostly a novelty, but you can get some cool stuff out of it with enough work.
I bought this for our family Christmas white elephant and all the kids fought for this! It was hilarious! Totally worth every penny!
When I pitched the idea of getting this to my team, everyone let out a huge groan. Except for my manager. He asked what it was, and where he could get one. We have yet to play in a duet because /someone/ has been skipping practice, but I've been having a blast playing the national anthem, happy birthday, and the theme song of Game of Thrones on this. Just make sure not to annoy your co-workers /too/ much, or you might just find it broken in too soon...
Cute and fun and works as expected.
My daughter absolutely loves it. Looks exactly as described and couldn't be happier with it.
Lisa Weinert .
SO CUTE! My life changed ever since I discovered this precious little instrument. Whenever I'm stressed out, I play some calming tunes and it really eases my anxiety.
Cute cute cute. I LOVE IT!
I thought this product was so cute and musical! My kids couldn’t stop laughing and had a lot of fun playing it. To all of the parents out there I would highly recommend this product.