Taking It Back

Taking It Back

Haphazard: adjective
1. Characterized by lack of order or planning, by irregularity, or by randomness; determined by or dependent on chance; aimless.

Hi all! Welcome to the new -or maybe old, or something like that- thread, Haphazard. Here I will explore all the random thoughts that cross my mind. I may tell a short story, or even have a flashback, who knows, but mostly I’ll be taking a look at random things from when we were all kids. Here we can experience nostalgia together, and reminisce about “back in the day”.

To begin this journey, I want to take it back, record six seconds of it, and replay it for all to hear; maybe backwards. Yup, I’m bringing in some old school tech, the Yak-Bak.

 With all the incredible technology we are spoiled by today we have forgotten simple classics like this one. With its clear plastic body, teeny-tiny watch batteries, and finger grip curvy side, it recorded its way into our homes as a toy aimed at kids ranging 3+ years old in the mid-to-late 1990’s.

I remember having one just like this; all the way back in elementary school.

Yes! Gear (a.k.a. Yes! Entertainment) released these sweet little devices way back when.

They were designed as cheap competition for the well known Talkboy introduced by Tiger Electronics in 1993.

You remember Talkboys, right? Home-alone..

YES! Gear tried to dominate the toy market with the capability to record six seconds of audio and play it back, and surprisingly, it caught on. They put out eight different variations in the 90’s, and re-released the original Yak Bak in 1997, and again in 2000 as the Yak Bak 2k. I actually had quite a few of these.

In 1996, YES! Gear filled a lawsuit against a similar product made by Playtronic PTE, LTD with claims that their Tokabak and BlaBlaMouth devices infringed upon YES! Gear’s intellectual property. Surprising, considering that YES! Gear totally stole its idea from the Talkboy.

No matter, I still remember all the good memories I personally have from playing with these wonderful toys, whether it was recording our favorite show theme songs or recording the loudest fart we could to replay it and laugh.

I remember way back in elementary school -where I was a constant demon- we were playing with my see-through green original model Yak Bak in the lunchroom. The other kids thought it was hilarious when I pressed the button, revealing what I had recorded. It was the word “shit”. As bad as we might have been as kids, we were still innocent. Just a word made us all giggle, simply because we were not supposed to say it. We recorded several curse words, passing the Yak Bak back and forth down our lunch table, up until a teacher overheard what he thought was a student cursing in real time. Upon discovering it was a toy, the teacher swiftly took my Yak Bak from us. We all cringed with anticipation when the teacher reached for the play button, only to quickly belt out the word


Fearful of getting in trouble or not, we a laughed until our sides hurt, and I continued to laugh as they dragged me down to the principal’s office, like they had done so many times before.

Good times.

I have plenty of good memories using these wonderful toys, from making up my own backward language with Yak Backwards, to mixing my own short tunes with the Yak Bak Maniak. Alas, the 90’s couldn’t last forever, and I was forced to grow up, and lost all of my magical toys. Eventually, being forced to “adult”, I grew out of my Yak Bak phase, but that doesn’t mean I ever forgot about all the good times.

Do you have any Yak Bak memories, or still have one of these nostalgic 90’s toys? If so, drop me a line with your memories in the comments!