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.
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.
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.
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.
Yak Bak WarpR: this one could warp your voice.
Yak Time: an annoying watch.
Yak Back SFX: SUPER COOL! HIGH TECH! JUST LIKE HOLLYWOOD!
Yak Backwards: it plays your recording backwards.
Yak Bak Ball: a ball that plays a recorded message so your friend can hear something funny when you chuck this at their head.
. . . 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!