A centipede kit, a Stirling engine kit, and a gramophone kit! The centipede kit, reviewed here, is a doozy. That's the one that got us in the mood to order stuff. I've ordered stuff from HobbyLink Japan before, and was pleased with their prices and service. They had the Centipede kit for ¥7,600 which was pretty attractive. But, perusing the site, I found a Stirling cycle car kit, and I've always wanted one of these little widgets, but they were too expensive, but this one was only ¥9,334, so that got put on the order as well. And the phonograph kit was not only nifty, it both records and plays back! And it does so on ordinary cheap plastic cups (no expensive and/or unobtainable consumables to buy!). And for ¥2,839, irresistable.
I hadn't seen the Gakken kits before, so I didn't really know what to expect, other than what Dan had stated on his review. So I had a look in the Sterling engine box:
Every single part rested in its own little niche in the custom-formed plastic holder. There's a nice thick manual, and tools are included! Then I realized that was just the first layer:
Underneath a cardboard separator were even more parts, all gleaming and neatly packed, nothing loose to get away. The attention to detail is just amazing, even the little screws, springs, and fasteners are neatly laid out, each in their own little plastic bubble: