I’ve been reading an advance review copy of Gael Fashingbauer Cooper and Brian Bellmont’s pop culture flashback-fueling book The Totally Sweet 90s: From Clear Cola to Furby, and Grunge to “Whatever”, the Toys, Tastes, and Trends That Defined a Decade (review coming closer to the book’s June 4 release date). It’s funny how the 90s feel like a very set thing in my brain and yet I went from being 7 to 16 in that decade and have several different stages of pop culture development both in general and for me personally. Anyway, one of the subjects in the book kicked off a very distinct memory in my brain: Gak.
If you’re not familiar, Gak was a slime-like substance created by Nickelodeon that was kind of like Flubber, but instead of making you bounce around, does allow you to make pretty convincing fart sounds. I don’t think I had any Gak myself, though I do remember playing with it at my friends’ houses. My parents probably appreciated that is it seemed like a pretty messy toy. As a dad now, the idea of my kid playing with Gak gives me a bit of a headache. I remember it smelling funny and leaving your hands kind of greasy.
This commercial is pretty great and remind me of my childhood. This was the early 90s, so it was still okay to market a toy to children as something cool that adults would not approve of. This was also the hay day of gross toys which included everything from Trash Bag Bunch to Dr. Dreadful, so it was perfect timing. Man, good times.