Throwback Thursday: Y is for Yak Bak

When I was a kid, I watched Home Alone 2: Lost in New York and, like most red-blooded kids in America, I really wanted a Talkboy. Instead, I got a Yak Bak.

It's totally the same thing.
It’s totally the same thing.

Introduced in 1994, this was the less expensive alternative to the Talkboy and featured “Say” and “Play” buttons which are pretty self explanatory and I don’t feel the need to go over those in detail because you, my readers, are brilliant individuals who can figure out how record and playback buttons work. This device allowed you to record up to six seconds of whatever you wanted, making it the 90s precursor to Vine.

https://vine.co/v/hzxpjd6b9d9/embed/simplehttps://platform.vine.co/static/scripts/embed.js

This video has almost 31,000,000 views. My husband accounts for around 4,000,000 of those views.

In retrospect, it’s probably better that my parents got me a Yak Bak instead of a Talkboy because I do much better with the written word than I do speaking aloud.

These are real screen grabs from an interview I did last year. It's clear why I prefer to sit behind a computer.
These are real screen grabs from a TV interview I did last year.
It’s clear why I prefer to sit behind a computer.

The Yak Bak was actually quite popular, possibly due to this Oscar-worthy commercial:

It was so successful, in fact, that it inspired a series of follow up toys, including:

Yak Bak 2: the only difference was a locking mechanism to keep you from accidentally erasing your recording.

The only difference was a locking mechanism to keep you from accidentally erasing your recording like a dumbass.
Like a dumbass.

Yak Bak WarpR: this one could warp your voice.

This one could warp your voice. Sometimes for nefarious purposes.
Sometimes for nefarious purposes.

Yak Time: an annoying watch.

An annoying watch.
I don’t need my watch to talk. I have a friend.

Yak Back SFX: SUPER COOL! HIGH TECH! JUST LIKE HOLLYWOOD!

How can I say no to
How could I say no to squish sounds and cool color combos?

Yak Backwards: it plays your recording backwards.

It plays your recording backwards. That's it.
That’s it.

Yak Bak Ball: a ball that plays a recorded message so your friend can hear something funny when you chuck this at their head.

Why? Why was this necessary?
Why?
Why was this necessary?

. . . and a few other variations that are frankly too stupid to make an already stupid list. Instead, here’s another commercial about a kid who can’t handle a tongue twister:

The message: stop trying to get better. You’re only embarrassing yourself.

Happy Throwback Thursday!

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Emily Regan is the author of several books, including "What's an Adult?: No One Knows Anything and We're All Going to Die." She is an avid fan of reality TV, an unironic Hanson fan, and currently resides in Arizona with her family.

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